Monday, 28 November 2016

Queensland Stamp Manuscript Cancellations

This is a listing of the different Queensland receiving office manuscript cancellations found on Queensland (Chalon, Sideface and Commonwealth) postage stamps. To find the receiving office you are looking for select from the alphabetical tabs above or the labels at the right

While hundreds of receiving offices existed for various lengths of time, almost all 
did not use distinctly recognisable markings. Most receiving offices followed the instructions of either not cancelling the stamp but letting the first "Official" Post Office that the mail arrived at do this, or they followed a later instruction to write the receiving offices' name on the envelope or postcard near the stamp. To see this you would need the envelope or postcard.

However, if the letter was a "local" mail, that is used in the same town / area, then
 postage stamps were to be obliterated by lines drawn diagonally across the stamps with a pen and black ink, and the name of the office and the date written on the upper left-hand corner of the letter. This is where most of the crosses, wavy lines, names and initials come from. Occasionally this was applied to mail destined for outside the local area as well.

All identifiable manuscript cancellations are therefore extremely scarce and hard to find, with the possible exceptions of Cania, Mt Larcom, Parson's Point and San Jose.

The rarity rating, given this caveat, is Scarce, for the most commonly found cancels, Rare, and then Very Rare where only 1 or two examples have been seen by me. All covers and postcards (with the possible exception of Parson's Point) are extremely rare and desirable.

Information about the receiving offices comes from Joan Frew: Queensland Post Offices 1842-1980 and Receiving Offices 1869-1927, published in 1981. 
Stampboards material can be seen at the Queensland Receiving Office Manuscript Cancels on stamps page here


Dakabin Receiving office, 16 km south of Caboolture. It opened in February 1903 and was designated a post office in late 1927. The first receiving office keeper was A. McPhie
  • Manuscript cancellation seen in 1932 and 1935 rated Very Rare

Dakabin electric telegraph cancel with a manuscript cancellation dated 31 May 1935 and rated Very Rare. Seen in the Queensland Facebook Group. It is unknown why the electric telegraph cancel  was used. No datestamp cancellations for this post office during this period are known

Dakabin electric telegraph cancel with a manuscript cancellation dated 28 December 1932 and rated Very Rare. Seen in Smithies. It is unknown why the electric telegraph cancel  was used. No datestamp cancellations for this post office during this period are known

Friday, 26 August 2016


Rainworth Post office, 75 km south of Emerald. It opened in January 1863 and closed at the end of that year
  • Manuscript cancellation seen in 1863 rated Very Rare

Rainworth manuscript cancellation rated Very Rare. Dated 17 February 1863. Seen in a private collection. The post office was in existence at this time. However, as datestamp cancellations have been seen for this office, it is possible the official datestamp canceller had not yet been received

Unofficial receiving offices at Queensland pastoral properties and remote work locations

I have come across a handful of covers that have originated from Queensland pastoral properties and other remote work locations with their name written on the top left hand side. They also include a signature and the word registered if applicable. They are subsequently cancelled at the nearest post office. I suspect, given the size of these properties, the number of people employed by them and living on site, as well as their distance to the nearest post office, that these acted as unofficial receiving offices with the stamps affixed on site and then given to the letter carrier, when he delivered mail to that location, to take to the post office, where they were cancelled and registered. 

If you have any more examples. I would love to see them.

Originating at Darr Rivers Downs, a pastoral property west of Longreach. Dated 22 August 1907

Originating at Charlotte Plains, a pastoral property east of Cunnamulla. Dated 11 June 1903. Seen on Stampboards

A cover from an unknown originating property outside Longreach and dated 25 September 1904. Seen on Ebay

And this one from a Chain Gang crew (56) working on a railway outside Alpha in 1901

Retro Station outside Capella dated 19 March 1903. Seen in Queensland Facebook Group

Stoneleigh Station dated 21 July 1899 in the Ingham district dated 23 July 1899. Seen in Queensland Facebook Group

Mail sent in Queensland without going through a post office

I have recently discovered that it was legal to send mail in Queensland without going through a post office. This newspaper article explains:

Logan Witness (Beenleigh, Qld), Saturday 25 February 1882, page 2

Road Letters

The Governor in Council has been pleased to approve the following new regulation under section 5 of the ‘Postage Act of 1871,’ which is published for general information. 

Notwithstanding anything contained in the postal regulations issued on the 29th May, 1880, and clauses 13 and 16 of the General Conditions attached to Mail Contracts, contractors or other persons employed as mailmen in the conveyance of mails shall when required by any person on the road beyond the precincts of a post town or a distance of one mile from the nearest Post Office, take in charge any letter or packet bearing the proper postage in stamps affixed thereto and deliver such letter or packet at any place on the mail line, before arriving, at a Post Office and such letter or packet shall be deemed to have been sent by post in terms of the ‘Postage Act of 1871.'

Provided that the stamps affixed thereto shall be obliterated or destroyed on delivery by the addressee or receiver in the presence of the mailman: and any person neglecting to so obliterate or destroy such stamps shall be liable on conviction thereof to a penalty not exceeding £5 for each offence, and the mailman or person in charge of the mail shall be liable on conviction to a penalty not exceeding £5 for each case for neglecting to see the stamps so obliterated or destroyed at the time of delivery thereof. And any person again using such unobliterated stamps shall be liable to the penalty provided by clause 68 of ‘The Postal Act of 1871.' Any mailman or other person in charge of the mail receiving or delivering any letter or packet under these regulations without the proper stamps affixed thereto, shall be liable on conviction thereof to a penalty not exceeding £5 for each offence. N.B. Mailmen are not allowed to take money in payment or postage for road letters or packets.

I think I have found two examples of this practice (seen on Stampboards) both addressed to Mt Morgan and would love to see more!

Friday, 29 July 2016


Callide Receiving office, 12 km north north west of Biloela. It opened in 1889 and was elevated to a post office in December 1909
  • Manuscript cancellation seen in 1909 rated Rare

Callide manuscript cancellation rated Rare. Seen on Stampboards

Callide manuscript cancellation rated Rare. Dated 3 July 1909. Seen on Stampboards

Callide manuscript cancellation rated Rare. Dated 3 August 1909. Seen in Smithies


Adavale Post office, 170 km north west of Charleville. It opened in 1881
  • Manuscript cancellation seen in 1884 rated Very Rare

Adavale manuscript cancellation dated 27 January 1882 rated Very Rare. Seen on Ebay. Why a manuscript cancellation exists is a mystery as the post office was operating at this time

Friday, 17 June 2016


Rockhampton Post Office, 100 km north west of Gladstone. It opened on 1 April 1858
  • Manuscript cancellation seen in 1860 rated Very Rare

Rockhampton manuscript cancellation and a Rockhampton datestamp dated 9 November 1960. It is not known why this cover was cancelled with a single wavy-line pen stroke, as the Rockhampton 201 ray type numeral has been seen on stamps prior to this date. Rated Very Rare. Seen at Spink Auction 12043 lot no 1143. Ex Griffiths


Springfield, Brisbane district. It is not known which receiving office in the Brisbane area was responsible for this item
  • Manuscript cancellation seen in 1868 rated Very Rare

Manuscript cancellation dated 29 December 1868. An entire letter from Springfield, Brisbane "via Southampton" to Scotland and redirected to Edinburgh, bearing 6d. yellow-green and "registered" (6d.) orange-yellow cancelled with manuscript pen stroke and faint "gpo" in barred roller and with faint Brisbane Registered oval datestamp in red  and rated Very Rare. Seen at Spink Auction 14015 lot no 2311


Jimna Receiving office, on the Yabba Goldfield 45 km west of Nambour. It opened on 9 September 1891 and closed around January 1909. The receiving office keeper was G. Whittington
  • Manuscript cancellation seen in 1907 rated Very Rare

Jimna manuscript cancellation with a Kilkoy datestamp of 7 August 1907 and a Kilkoy registered handstamp crossed out and replaced with Jimna and rated Very Rare. Seen on Ebay

North Arm

North Arm Receiving office, 13 km north of Nambour. It opened at the railway station of the same name sometime after July 1891. It was elevated to a post office in 1912/13
  • Manuscript cancellation seen in 1894 rated Very Rare

North Arm manuscript cancellation dated 25 June 1894 and rated Very Rare. Seen on Ebay

Wednesday, 30 December 2015


Invicta receiving office, 22 km west of Bundaberg. The Receiving Office opened in 1897 and was elevated to a post office about March 1908. The receiving office keeper in 1897 was Edward Amos, the manager of the Buss and Others store
  • Manuscript cancellation dated 1900 rated Very Rare

Invicta manuscript cancellation dated 13 September 1900 with an indistinct numeral and rated Very Rare. Seen at Premier Postal auction no 118 lot no 1299

Probable Invicta manuscript cancellation rated Very Rare. Seen on the Queensland Facebook Group