A local post is an independent mail system or service not operated by a Postal System that is a member of the U.P.U. The local post may work in conjunction with the national Postal Service to provide delivery service. A local post can issued its own local post stamps and have local post cancels. If local post stamps are used on envelopes that are to be mailed outside of the local area they also must bear official postage stamps in order to be delivered. Today most local posts are philatelic in nature.
The tradition of Boy Scouts serving as messengers or providing local postal delivery is closely tied to the start of the Scouting movement. Both the Cape of Good Hope and Czech Scout issues, the first two "Scouts on Stamps" classic issues, are considered as local post issues.
Scouts have carried mail in war and peace. Their services have been marked by local issues with proceeds sometimes benefiting Scouting or other charities. Some local posts, such as the Old Lighthouse, issued stamps to honor the Scouting movement.
British Private Local Issues were produced by owners of British Isles or shipping lines to prepay the cost of ferrying letters and parcels to the nearest point on the mainland. They were not valid for national or international postage, and the British Post Office did not recognize them as postage stamps. The British Post Office did not supply postal service to these islands (Davaar, Calf of Man, Guernsey, etc.) and this was the only method of mail service. In 1969, the British Government granted postal autonomy to some of these islands. Today, the Guernsey Post Office runs the postal service for the Bailiwick, i.e. Guernsey, Alderney, Sark and Herm. The Isle of Man also now has postal service.
Local post Scout issues add another interesting category for collectors. For an authoritative catalogue of Scout Local Post issues, I suggest consulting Paul Toneman's Scouts on Stamps Checklist.
Here is a list of known locations for Scout Local Post issues:
- Kaulbach Island (Nova Scotia)
- Channel Islands
- Great Britain
- SGPEX 76
- Isle of Man
- New Zealand
- United States