Robert Murray Stamp Shop, Edinburgh
Forth Road Bridge
Presentation Pack

When the Forth Road Bridge opened on 4 September 1964, it had the fourth-longest span of any bridge in the world, and was one of the longest suspension bridges worldwide (the longest outside the USA) - at the time of writing this in 2015, it is now 28th longest !  It connects North and South Queensferry and replaced the historic ferry service.

      forth road bridge presentation pack


As one of the first presentation packs to be issued, most regular stamp collectors were not yet recognising these as a new collectable category. This accounts for many of the earlier packs being scarcer; it was only once collectors saw them being issued regularly that they started collecting them, then found that they had to find someone with the earlier ones available.
Another factor in the scarcity was that such a high number were sold locally;
{a} On the day of issue, many people of course were visiting the Bridge. Many were sending themselves first day covers, and some people did a FDC from South Queensferry, then crossed the Bridge (by car or on foot) and sent themselves another from North Queensferry. I have been told that later in the day the NQ post office ran out of sixpenny stamps, and that some people chose to pay the shilling extra for a presentation pack (and most probably just threw the wrapper away).
{b} Large numbers were bought as souvenirs by people who had only a passing interest in stamps. Some might have sat on bookshelves or mantelpieces for some time, eventually possibly just getting tidied up and chucked.
{c} Further numbers were given as gifts to grandchildren, etc. Again, few of these would be serious collectors. Remember, this was only the fourth presentation pack to be issued by Royal Mail, and hardly anybody would have described themselves as a "presentation pack collector". Some of the children who received them may well have been stamp collectors, but they would most likely have taken the stamps out of the pack and hinged them into their albums.

When considereing the condition of one of these, all elements must be looked at. {1} The stamps are not very important, as they can be replaced for just a few pence. {2} The black card with the two clear strips; look out for warping and creasing, or for loose strips, or strips which have come loose and been glued back on. Sometimes people will have replaced a damaged card with a "better" one from another cheaper pack, but it will probably not match exactly. {3} The printed descriptive card is the most important part, and you are looking at general condition on these - rubs, creases, marks, dents, etc. Because the cellophane on many of the earlier UK packs has shrunk, causing warping of the packs, from time to time people have trimmed just a tiny edge off the top or bottom (or both) of the printed card, so that should be checked. {4} The cellophane wrapper, at best, should be clean and flat, with no tears or nicks, and should still be sealed at the back. It should of course be original - many packs with damaged wrappers have had the cellophane replaced with one off another pack (later ones are usually a little thinner), or even a modern replacement sleeve. Beware of the fact that many sold online by private sellers will be described as "fine" or even "perfect" even when one or more of these elements is wrong.


With only 11,450 having been issued, this is the smallest quantity for any of the standard commemorative packs, the next scarcest being 16,141 of the Botanical issue. As previously mentioned, fair numbers of these were lost or discarded, so it is very likely that within a year or two fewer than 10,000 remained in the collector market.

Check dealers' price lists, auction realisations, etc. for current prices. A top grade example can easily obtain double the price of one that is only average, with poor examples maybe being half of that again.

Forgeries are not normally a major problem with these packs, but some have appeared for sale online recently which are quite poor quality copies. There's been some discussion of these on "Stampboards".

Private Anniversary Pack
In 2014 we produced a souvenir presentation pack for the 50th Anniversary of the FRB. It uses original 1964 stamps, plus parts from packs of about the 1970s, along with an information card designed specially for the anniversary, and using photographs taken on the actual day of the anniversary. These are available from our shop at 5 each.
FRB anniversary private pack

 Last updated Friday 3 February 2017.
Copyright Robert Murray 2015-17. Errors and ommissions excepted.
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Robert Murray Stamp Shop
5 & 6 Inverleith Gardens
Scotland EH3 5PU
Tel. 0131 552 1220 or 0131 478 7021
Email; [email protected]
How to Order
Mail Orders are accepted by post, telephone, or email. We accept payments by cash, cheque, debit card, Visa/MasterCard, and some foreign currencies.
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Full details can be seen at our How to Order page.
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We carry very wide stocks of the whole world - much, much more than is listed on our website.
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