Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Stampede Expected at the Kidderminster Beer Festival

Kinver Brewery shall be brewing a special brew called "Over the Hill" for the 2nd Kidderminster Beer Festival to be held in Kidderminster, just a short hop over the hill, along Kinver Edge from Kinver Brewery.

The Kidderminster festival theme is the celebration of the invention of the paper postage stamp in 1840 by the local inventor Rowland Hill.

Kinver Festival Beers
Kinver Over the Hill 4.3%  - A pale, extra hoppy ale with distinctive citrus smell, taste and finish
Kinver Half Centurion 5% - Brewed to celebrate the 50th birthdays of both founders. A Pale premium bitter with hop and citrus flavours

Opening Times
Thursday 23rd May 6-11pm (4-6pm open to Trade and CAMRA members only)
Friday 24th May 11am-11pm
Saturday 25th May 11am-11pm (or until the beer runs out!)

Kidderminster Town Hall,
Vicar Street
DY10 1DB

Penny Black
Prior to the postage stamp, the recipient was often responsible for payment upon delivery of a letter, but many recipients refused to pay for the post.   Following a review of the post system by Roland Hill, a system of purchasing adhesive stamps to pay up front based upon weight was introduced.

An inked stamp had been used to mark the envelope to confirm payment, hence the name stamp.   The inked stamp system was open to fraud as the cork stamps were easy to copy. In 1839, the British Treasury announced a competition to design the new stamps, but none of the submissions were considered suitable. The Treasury chose a rough design endorsed by Rowland Hill, featuring an easily recognisable profile of 15-year-old former Princess Victoria. Hill believed this would be difficult to forge.

A Uniform Fourpenny Post system was initially introduced in January 1840 where a flat rate of 4d was paid for letters of up to one ounce in weight. An inked cork stamp was used to mark the envelope to confirm the 4d payment.   The high postage charge caused an outcry, and the postage charge was then reduced to one penny when the first printed adhesive paper stamp, the Penny Black,  was issued on 1st May 1840, valid from 6th May 1840.  A two pence blue was issued on 8th May 1840.  As the UK invented stamps and no other country used stamps in 1840, there was no need to identify the UK on the stamp, and the UK remains the only country in the world not to print the country name on the stamp.  In today's money, the cost of the first stamp of 1d (£1/244) in 1840 is equivalent to 35p in 2012.

All London post offices received official issues of the penny black stamps,  but initially other post offices throughout the United Kingdom, including the Kinver Post Office, continued to accept postage payments in cash.

The paper stamps were still stamped in ink, or franked, to confirm postage. The Penny Black was replaced with the Penny Red in 1841 to make the franking mark more visible .

The first printed postage stamps were cut by scissors from a large sheet, and perforated stamps were introduced in 1854 to aid the post master at the point of sale.  Despite Roland Hill's view that the design would be difficult to copy, the paper stamps were forged, and watermarked paper was introduced.

Rowland Hill was knighted in 1860, died in 1879 and is buried in Westminster Abbey.

The Weatherspoon's Penny Black Pub and the Roland Hill Shopping Centre recognise the contribution made by Roland Hill

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