Steep Holm’s inaugural 1980 issue of four stamps – of which only 7,600 were produced – featuring 12p, 18p, 30p and 40p values.
The 12p value depicts an 1850 view of the island’s landing beach, and the inn (now ruined) that served residents and visitors until 1891, and the 18p features environmentalist Kenneth Allsop, who gave his name to the charity that has owned the island since 1976.
The 30p shows the zebra camouflage that was used to disguise the island’s searchlight posts, and the steps to them, during the Second World War, while the final 40p value depicts the packet boat Ivanhoe used to transport passengers and mail to the island at the time.
U/M / Unmounted Mint / MNH / Mint Never Hinged.
About Steep Holm
Steep Holm is a small (1 km long) and now-uninhabited island in the Bristol Channel, close to Weston-super-Mare and forming part of North Somerset.
Since 1976, the island has been owned by the Kenneth Allsop Memorial Trust, a registered charity created in memory of the naturalist and broadcaster Kenneth Allsop, and with the aim "to protect, preserve and enhance for the benefit of the public the landscape, antiquities, flora, fauna, natural beauty, and scientific interest of the island of Steep Holm in North Somerset, and to advance the education of the public in the natural sciences."
During the summer months, the Trust organises official (and tide-dependent) boat trips to the island from Knightstone Harbour in Weston-super-Mare, which is the only legitimate way to visit Steep Holm.
Once there, the island's visitor centre sells Steep Holm local stamps, which can be used, alongside a Royal Mail stamp for onward transit, on mail posted in the island's postbox. The first set of Steep Holm stamps for such use is believed to have been issued in 1980, and further issues have continued to be produced until at least 2012.