New Wembley Aircraft Post Cards.

with thanks to

Tony Davies

Tony Davies writes to me fairly regularly with new finds of British Empire Exhibition post cards. He’s recently come up with some fine cards, enough to write a small article on them. Three of them have previously unrecorded backs not associated with Wembley before. We showed one card with a very similar back in our 1994 book, and at the time thought it was a one off card by an unknown publisher.


No. 1. O. P. Jones                           Back of the O. P. Jones card

No. 2. This picture is now known with two different backs,

one certainly by Tuck’s and the other probably by Tuck’s.

It was an aerial view of the Exhibition with an Imperial Airways plane flying overhead titled ‘An Imperial Airways Passenger Aeroplane over Wembley’ and as far as I know there is only one copy. We did not illustrate the back in our book, Tony’s three cards have an almost identical back with a few minor differences, one has ‘Imperial Airways Ltd’ with serifs and a dotted stamp box while Tony’s has a line stamp box and ‘Imperial Airways Ltd’ is without serifs, and there are minor differences in the setting.

Card No. 1 is of a pilot O. P. Jones standing besides a plane with his signature printed at the bottom. This is the same type of card as the eight known Tuck cards of pilots. Card No. 2 is another familiar picture of a plane that we listed as Aeroplane Picture No. 3, again by Tuck. The implication here is that both the cards must have been produced by Tuck and published by Imperial Airways. The style of writing the title is the same for both series. Four out of Tony’s five cards have Exhibition post marks for 1925 and/or messages tying them to Wembley, the other is un-used.


No. 3. A previously unknown picture with Wembley stamp, post mark and message tying it to the exhibition.


No. 4. Another scarce Imperial Airways Tuck card tied back and front with manuscript message to Wembley.


No. 5. R. A. F. Recruiting Post Card No. E 6215.

Royal Air Force recruiting cards were available, probably given away free from the Post Office Exhibit in H.M. Government Pavilion. They were cancelled (without postage stamps) by a demonstration machine with a slogan type post mark reading 'Post Office Exhibit. Government Pavilion. Wembley.' As the cards were not intended for postal use there was no time or date, only the year 1925.

As details of more of this sort of material becomes available a pattern begins to form. The Post Office Exhibit post cards are all cancelled on the back, while the R. A. F. cards are all cancelled on the picture side. This leads to the conclusion that the cards were all pre cancelled before being made available to the public. This idea is endorsed by the fact that no other publishers exhibition cards are known with the special cancellation. In other words the post office cancelling machine was never available for use by the public to cancel their own cards.