Stamp Story: Emergency Mail Stamp - Covid-19

The CILP produced a single NVI stamp (CLP010716S) in July 2016, which was not issued and placed into storage for future use. It was anticipated that additional mail services on the Island would be necessary during major civil or national emergencies, and a unique stamp would identify mail posted during such an event for express service.


A limited edition of 90 landscape, fully gummed and perforated stamps measuring 43x26mm, were produced. The design shows an original 1960s Royal Mail slogan promoting the Island and cds date cancellation on a Machin head stamp of Queen Elizabeth II. A legend was incorporated in the design that described the stamp’s purpose and reason for issue. In short, intended for extended CILP service during strike action or civil emergency.

On 18 November 2016, 10 overprinted ‘specimen’ stamps (CLP181116S) were released for collectors. These quickly sold out and are no longer available from stock.


The stamp was brought out of storage in November 2019 and was ready for use due to a threatened Christmas strike by staff at the Royal Mail. However, sense prevailed, and Industrial action was averted; the Emergency stamp was placed back into store.

Following the outbreak of Covid-19 in the United Kingdom and subsequent first lockdown in England, the Emergency Mail Service stamp was officially issued on 23 April 2020, St. George’s Day. A limited number of First Day Covers (4) and First Day Issue Postcards (5) were also released.


Due to domestic reasons (mainly a house move that was aborted due to the Covid-19 pandemic), the stamp and covers have not been available for purchase through our usual agent until 22 December 2020. From an initial print run of 90 stamps, 10 were used as ‘specimens’ and 10 for covers and postcards, leaving a stock of 70 stamps for emergency mail service use and local post stamp collectors.

The Emergency Mail Service stamp and CILP previous issues (subject to stock) are now available from Alpha Thematics at (under menu section ‘Cinderella’).

Keep safe and keep healthy in 2021!

Canvey Island Local Post 2020