Sunday, December 16, 2018

Mayday Rescue at Sea -SOS

These stamps were issued to celebrate the work of British agencies and organisations that save lives at sea.

SOS is the commonly used description for the International Morse code distress signal (· · · - - - · · ·). This distress signal was first adopted by the German government in 1905, and became the worldwide standard when it was included in the second International Radiotelegraphic Convention, and became effective on July 1, 1908.

To mark the centenary of the SOS signal the horizontal perforations have the SOS dot-dash pattern instead of normal uniform perforations.

Royal Mail marks this centenary with a set of 6 stamps highlighting the actions of the crews of Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) and the Maritime and Coast Guard Agency (MCA) who regularly risk their own lives attempting to save those of others.

Stamps :
1st  - Barra Island, Outer Hebrides
46p - Appledore, Devon
48p - Portland, Dorset
54p - St Ives, Cornwall
69p - Selsey, West Sussex
78p - Tenby, Pembrokeshire

Recently acquired the above FDC ...

Inputs from : Norvic Philatelics

Saturday, July 14, 2018



In 1948, the settlement of the Otago Province and the founding of the city of Dunedin on 23 March 1848 were commemorated by four stamps depicting the arrival of the immigrant ships, the town of Cromwell, the First Dunedin Church and the University of Otago. The stamps are classic James Berry designs, being full of fine detail. The 1d is famous for its colour shifts of the blue centre, examples of which can been seen below.

Otago celebrates the arrival of the immigrant ship John Wickliffe as the founding day of the province.

The ship and its 97 passengers sailed from Gravesend, England, on 24 November 1847. Three days later, the Philip Laing left Greenock, Scotland, with a further 247 people. Both ships were carrying Scottish settlers bound for New Zealand.

Plans for a New Zealand settlement for Scotland had begun in 1842. Scottish architect and politician George Rennie, concerned at English dominance over the first New Zealand Company settlements, hoped to establish ‘a new Edinburgh’ in the southern hemisphere. Dunedin – the Gaelic form of Edinburgh – became feasible once the New Zealand Company purchased the large Otago block from Ngāi Tahu in 1844.

Divisions within the Church of Scotland transformed Rennie’s original plan. Unhappy with patronage and state control, 400 clergy and about one-third of lay people quit the established church. Some of these dissenters, including Thomas Burns, William Cargill, and John McGlashan, saw Otago as a home for a new ‘Free Church’. Two-thirds of the original Otago settlers were Free Church Presbyterians. 

Sunday, July 8, 2018

National Postal strike - Exeter Emergency Delivery Service -20 Jan 1971

Above is a beautiful First Day cover of the National Postal strike - Exeter Emergency Delivery Service -20 Jan 1971

The first national postal strike created the unique situation in British postal history where private postal services were allowed to operate under licence.

The first full national strike in the history of the British Post Office took place from Wednesday 20th January to Sunday 7th March 1971. It took place against a background of increasing inflation and worsening industrial relations over the preceding decade, both in the Post Office and in the country in general. On 15th January a pay offer from the Post Office Board was rejected by the executive of the Union of Post Office Workers. An "all-out" strike was called to start at midnight on 19th/20th January.

Although local mail deliveries were possible in some areas, either where the postmen did not go on strike or as some gradually returned to work, the bulk of the country's postal services came to a complete halt. 

The Government announced that the Post Office's monopoly on carrying letters would be suspended for the duration of the strike. Several hundred private posts were set up throughout the country; some of these were of course "philatelic", but many operated with efficiency and transported significant quantities of mail, although normally at a much higher price than the normal first class rate. A number of these posts linked up in an "Association of Mail Services" which provided for transmission of letters from post to post across the country, and also to overseas destinations. Considerable use was also made of the existing alternatives, and of course the Armed Forces had their own postal arrangements.

The strike dragged on for seven weeks as the Union and the Post Office were unable to agree. Eventually, faced with rapidly worsening finances, the Union Executive proposed a public enquiry as a peace plan to Employment Secretary Robert Carr. A ballot resulted in a majority for ending the strike, and postmen were told to return to work at 9am, Monday 8th March.

These stamps are printed Exeter Emergency Delivery Service

Reference taken from :

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Cover commemorates Rosyth Navy Days 21-22nd June 1986 / HMS Leeds Castle

This cover commemorates Rosyth Navy Days 21-22nd June 1986 / HMS Leeds Castle

This cover is R N Marriot RNCC Group Series One No 61

HMS Leeds Castle (P258) was a Castle-class patrol ship built by Hall, Russell & Company of Aberdeen, Scotland for the Royal Navy. She was launched in October 1980 and commissioned the following August. She was involved in the 1982 Falklands War, operating between the British territories of Ascension Island, South Georgia, and the Falkland Islands as a dispatch vessel commanded by Lieutenant-Commander Colin Hamilton.

The Leeds Castle spent much time performing fishery protection duties around the United Kingdom, as well as being used as a guard ship in the Falkland Islands. In 2000, Leeds Castle underwent an eight-month refit, returning to the fleet in early 2001.

On 8 August 2005 she returned for the final time to her home base of Portsmouth to be decommissioned after a 24-year career having finished her final deployment as a patrol vessel based in the Falkland Islands. She was relieved in that role by her sister ship HMS Dumbarton Castle (commissioned in 1982) which served in that role until being replaced in 2007 by the new HMS Clyde.

In April 2010 Leeds Castle was sold to Bangladesh along with Dumbarton Castle. She left Portsmouth under tow for the A&P Group facility in Newcastle upon Tyne on 14 May 2010, where both ships underwent a major regeneration refit that was completed in December 2010.

In March 2011, Leeds Castle and Dumbarton Castle were recommissioned as the Dhaleshwari and Bijoy of the Bangladesh Navy respectively.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Liberia 2012 Titanic - 100 Year Anniversary

Recently acquired the Liberia 2012 Titanic - 100 Year Anniversary sheet-let


RMS Titanic was a passenger liner that struck an iceberg on her maiden voyage from Southampton, England, to New York City, and sank on 15 April 1912, resulting in the deaths of 1,517 people in one of the deadliest peacetime maritime disasters in history.

For more details visit the Titanic Link 

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Special Cover by APO - Army Post Office Decommissioning of INS Viraat - Aircraft Carrier 58 years of Glorious Service special cover

Special Cover by APO - Army Post Office Decommissioning of INS Viraat - Aircraft Carrier

INS Viraat was a Centaur-class aircraft carrier of the Indian Navy. INS Viraat was the flagship of the Indian Navy before INS Vikramaditya was commissioned in 2013. The last British-built ship serving with the Indian Navy, she was the oldest aircraft carrier in service in the world. The ship was completed and commissioned in 1959 as the Royal Navy's HMS Hermes, and decommissioned in 1984. It was sold to India in 1987. 

INS Viraat was commissioned into the Indian Navy on 12 May 1987,and served for almost 30 years.

In February 2015, the Navy stated that Viraat would be decommissioned the following year.On 23 July 2016, Viraat sailed for the last time under her own power from Mumbai to Kochi, where she was dry-docked and prepared for decommissioning. She was towed out of Kochi on 23 October, returning to Mumbai on 28 October, where she was laid up. Viraat was formally decommissioned on 6 March 2017.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

JAPAN - CIRCA 1953: Cormorant Fishing Traditional Fishing Method

Today acquired this wonderful block of used stamps of Japan which is on Traditional Fishing method called Cormorant Fishing. 

Cormorant fishing is a traditional fishing method in which fishermen use trained cormorants to fish in rivers. Historically, cormorant fishing has taken place in Japan and China since about 960 AD. It is described as a method used by the ancient Japanese in the Book of Sui, the official history of the Sui Dynasty of China, completed in 636 AD. This technique has also been used in other countries but is currently under threat in China.

To control the birds, the fishermen tie a snare near the base of the bird's throat. This prevents the birds from swallowing larger fish, which are held in their throat, but the birds can swallow smaller fish. When a cormorant has caught a fish in its throat, the fisherman brings the bird back to the boat and has the bird spit the fish up. Though cormorant fishing once was a successful industry, its primary use today is to serve the tourism industry.

The types of cormorants used differ based on the location. In Gifu, Japan, the Japanese cormorant (P. capillatus) is used; Chinese fishermen often employ great cormorants, Darters (anhinga), which are very close relatives of cormorants, are also used for this fishing technique on occasion.