50 Years of Railway Philately – published on a ‘memory stick’ – see below

Publications of interest are listed below in three groups:
1. Publications vailable directly from the RPG (including ’50 Years of Railway Philately’)
2. RPG Members’ Publications – generally available directly from the authors
3. Other Railway/Philatelic Publications not available from the RPG or its members

… also …

4. How to purchase ISBN numbers from the RPG (available to RPG members only)

1.  Publications available from the RPG

These publications are available directly from the Railway Philatelic Group Publications Officer, Keith Downing. Please email Keith at for details of postage and any other information you may require. Alternatively, you can make enquiries about them via the Contact Us page on this web site.

a.   50 Years of Railway Philately – published on ‘memory stick’ (December 2020)

A memory stick (‘flash drive’) containing the first 50 years of Railway Philately (1966-2016) has been created by scanning all 200 publications from cover to cover. So you can have all the information from a 50-year period at your finger tips! The memory stick also contains detailed indexes (by subject) of all articles published in those 50 years.
£12 to members of the RPG and members of the TPO & Seapost Society (includes postage)
£17 to non-members (includes postage)
Please email Keith Downing at publications [AT] for information

b.   TPO Postmarks

(i)   Great Britain & Ireland Travelling Post Office Postmarks
By Frank Wilson. Published 1991 by the Railway Philatelic Group. ISBN 0901667 20X (price £7 plus p+p). A basic listing of TPO postmarks with an indication of scarcity; cross referenced to illustrations in HS Wilson’s book. For details of postage or other information, please email Keith Downing at publications [AT]

(ii)   The Travelling Post Offices of Great Britain & Ireland
By H S Wilson. Published 1996 by the Railway Philatelic Group. ISBN 0901667 234 (price £21 plus p+p). The definitive text on TPO Postmarks. For details of postage or other information, please email Keith Downing at publications [AT]

c.   Railway Station Postmarks

(i)   Postmarks of British & Irish Railway Stations 1840-1997
By W T Pipe. Published by the Railway Philatelic Group. ISBN 0901667 250 (price £15 plus p+p). Contains b/w illustrations of all known types of GB and Ireland Railway Station Postmarks and their sub-varieties, plus listings of which were used at which railway stations (including postmark text and known usage dates).  For details of postage or other information, please email Keith Downing at publications [AT]

d.   GB Railway Letter Stamps (Modern / post 1950)

(i)   Great Britain & Ireland Railway Letter Stamps 1957-2021 (A Handbook & Catalogue)
By Frank Wilson. Fully updated edition published 2022 by  the Railway Philatelic Group. (price £20 plus p+p). Contains details and colour illustrations of all issues from when railway letter stamps were reintroduced by the Tal-y-Llyn Railway in 1957 up to the end of 2021. The definitive text on Modern Railway Letter Stamps.  For details of postage etc. please email Keith Downing at publications [AT] 

2.  Publications by RPG Members

The publications listed here are privately published by RPG members and not by the RPG. The RPG fully supports members’ publications but all matters concerning such publications are the sole responsibility of the individual author(s).

a.   GB Railway Parcel & Newspaper Stamps

(i)   A Detailed Catalogue and Guide to the Newspaper Stamps, Parcel Stamps and Postal Labels of the North Eastern Railway 1855-1922
By Brian Childs. Published by the author 2011. Covers NER Newspaper and Parcel Stamps, NER Railway Post Labels, NER ‘Clones’ (other company stamps based on NER designs), Cancellations found on NER stamps, plus an explanation of how NER stamps were printed. ISBN 9780955342820 (price £15, postage free). 130 pages. Fully illustrated (black & white). Wire bound so that it opens ‘flat’. The definitive text on North Eastern Railway stamps.

CLICK HERE to view and print the NER Catalogue Order Form

For more information CLICK HERE to go to the Contact Us  page

(ii)   The Railway Post of British Railways (1948 – 1987) (Part 1: A Detailed Catalogue & Guide to British Railways Parcel Stamps & Railway Post Labels)
By Brian Childs. Published by the author 2016. Covers BR Provisional Parcel Stamps, BR Definitive Parcel and Newspaper Stamps, BR Railway Post Labels (Customer fee paid for carriage of goods), and BR Railway Post Labels (Customer Fee due other than for carriage of goods). ISBN 9780955342868. (price £15, postage free). 102 pages. Fully illustrated (black & white). Wire bound so that it opens ‘flat’. The definitive text for British Railways (BR) stamps.

CLICK HERE to view and print the British Railways (Part 1) Catalogue Order Form

For more information CLICK HERE to go to the Contact Us  page

[Note: Part 2 is currently being prepared and contains BR Railway Post Routing Labels,
BR Customer Goods Information Labels (no fee due), BR Internal Communications
Postal Labels & Envelopes, and BR Carriage Free & ‘On Company Service’ Labels.]

3.  Other Useful Publications  (not  via  RPG)

The following publications may be available in public libraries, and may also be listed on ebay from time to time.

a.   Railway Thematics

(i)   Collect Railways on Stamps (Thematics)
Published 1999 by Stanley Gibbons. ISBN 978-0852594360. Currently out of print, but possibly available on Amazon or ebay (price £22 plus p+p) (208 pages)

b.   GB Railway Letter Stamps (pre/post 1950)

(i)   The Railway & Airway Letter Stamps of the British Isles 1891-1971
By Capt HT Jackson published 1979 by Harry Hayes. ISBN 0905222 377.  Listings of traditional Railway Letter stamps. Although this book is out of print, the RPG does have a limited number of copies available. For details contact Keith Downing at
publications [AT]

(ii)   The Railway Letter Stamps of Great Britain & Ireland 1891-1947
By R de Lacy-Spencer. Published 2000 by Moorside Publishing. ISBN 1903633 01X (price £25 plus p+p). Listings of Railway Letter stamps issued by the older (pre-modern) commercial British railways. (Out of print, but occasionally available on ebay and elsewhere.)

(iii)   An Illustrated History of the N. Yorkshire Moors Railway and it’s Railway Letter Service
By Margaret AtkinsPaperback, 52pp, 1991.

c.   GB Railway Parcel Stamps

(i)   A Priced Catalogue of the Newspaper and Railway Parcel Stamps Issued by the Railway Companies of the United Kingdom 1855-1906
By H L’Estrange Ewen. Illustrated b+w, 44 pp (out of print). It is a ground-breaking and much respected reference work. Originally published in 1906, this Catalogue was reset and reprinted in 1983 by Tim Clutterbuck & Company (now defunct). The reprint is now also out of print, but copies can still be found occasionally on ebay and elsewhere. Both the original publication and the reprint may be available via local libraries. If you want to collect railway newspaper and parcel stamps, Ewen’s Catalogue is a good place to start … indeed, it is the best place to start.

d.   Parcel Post Labels (not railway)

(i)   The Parcel Posts of the United Kingdom including Crown Dependencies (Volume 1)
By Dr WM Melrose & NJP Wraith. Illustrated colour, 335 pp. ISBN 978-1-908139-21-4.
Published by The Scottish Postal History Society. Distributed by Mrs L Robinson, 27 Myreton Avenue, Kilmacolm. PA13 4LL. Price for non-SPHS members: £27 plus £4 p&p.
(Note: Volume 2 will include Instructional Handstamps & Labels – Rail & Road Borne)

4. Purchase ISBN Numbers from the RPG

This facility is available to RPG members only.

If you are going to publish a railway philatelic book or booklet you may wish to assign an ISBN (International Standard Book Number) to it. ISBN numbers can be bought from Neilsens (the repository of ISBN numbers) for £89 each, or £164 for a block of 10.

However, the RPG has a stock of ISBN numbers (purchased for use with RPG publications) which can also be purchased by RPG members only at £10 each for use with RPG members’ own railway philatelic publications. Each purchase must be approved by the RPG Committee, and such ISBN numbers may not be used for non railway philatelic publications.

As these ISBN numbers are registered as belonging to the RPG, any publication using them needs to contain a statement saying (for example) “Published by the Railway Philatelic Group”. However, editorial ownership and rights are retained by the Author(s). The Author(s) will organise their own sales and monies from sales go to the Author(s).

If the book or booklet is suitable, it may be possible to list it on Section 2 of this page (Private Publications by RPG Members) along with a description of the book/booklet and contact details for the Author(s).

For more information or to purchase ISBNs (RPG members only) please click below to use the Contact Us page.

If you want to contact us, ask a question, or if you would just like to know more,
CLICK HERE to go to the Contact Us page