Recently acquired the the Queen Elizabeth II stamps 1969 Ships of Great Britain
RMS Queen Elizabeth 2 (SG778) - 5d. multicolored
RMS Queen Elizabeth 2, often referred to simply as the 'QE2', is a former Cunard ocean liner, now owned by Nakheel (a division of Dubai World). She was named after the earlier Cunard liner RMS Queen Elizabeth (see Name section), and served as the flagship of the line from 1969 until succeeded by RMS Queen Mary 2 in 2004. Built in Clydebank, Scotland, she was considered the last of the great transatlantic ocean liners built for over four decades before the construction of the QM2.
Elizabeth Galleon (SG779) - 9d multicolored
A galleon was a large, multi-decked sailing ship used primarily by European states from the 16th to 18th centuries. Whether used for war or commerce, they were generally armed with the demi-culverin type of cannon.
Galleons were constructed from oak (for the keel), pine (for the masts) and various hardwoods for hull and decking. Hulls were usually carvel-built. The expenses involved in galleon construction were enormous. Hundreds of expert tradesmen (including carpenters, pitch-melters, blacksmiths, coopers, shipwrights, etc.) worked day and night for months before a galleon was seaworthy. To cover the expense, galleons were often funded by groups of wealthy businessmen who pooled resources for a new ship. Therefore, most galleons were originally consigned for trade, although those captured by rival states were usually put into military service.
East Indiaman (SG780) - 9d multicolored
An East Indiaman was a ship operating under charter or license to any of the East India Companies of the major European trading powers of the 17th through the 19th centuries. In Britain, the Honourable East India Company itself did not generally own merchant ships, but held a monopoly granted to it by Queen Elizabeth I of England for all English trade between the Cape of Good Hope and Cape Horn, which was progressively restricted during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. English (later British) East Indiamen usually ran between England, the Cape of Good Hope and India, often continuing on their voyages to China before returning to England via the Cape of Good Hope. Main ports visited in India were Bombay, Madras and Calcutta.
Cutty Sark (SG781) - 9d multicoloured
The Cutty Sark is a clipper ship. Built in 1869, she served as a merchant vessel (the last clipper to be built for that purpose), and then as a training ship until being put on public display in 1954. She is preserved in dry dock in Greenwich, London. Badly damaged by fire on 21 May 2007 while undergoing conservation, the vessel is being restored and is expected to reopen in Spring 2011. The Cutty Sark is one of only three remaining original clipper ships from the nineteenth century, the others being the City of Adelaide, awaiting scrapping, and the Ambassador of 1869, beached near Punta Arenas, Chile.
SS Great Britain (SG782) - 1s multicoloured
SS Great Britain was an advanced passenger steamship designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel for the Great Western Steamship Company's transatlantic service between Bristol and New York. While other ships had previously been built of iron or equipped with a screw propeller, Great Britain was the first to combine these features in a large ocean-going ship.
When launched in 1843, Great Britain was by far the largest vessel afloat. However, her protracted construction and high cost had left her owners in a difficult financial position, and they were forced out of business in 1846 after the ship was stranded by a navigational error.
Sold for salvage and repaired, Great Britain carried thousands of immigrants to Australia until converted to sail in 1881. Three years later, the vessel was retired to the Falkland Islands where she was utilised as a warehouse, quarantine ship and coal hulk until scuttled in 1937.
In 1970, Great Britain was returned to the Bristol dry dock where she was first built. Now listed as part of the National Historic Fleet, Core Collection, the vessel is an award-winning visitor attraction and museum ship in Bristol Harbour, with between 150,000-170,000 visitors annually.
RMS Mauretania (SG783) - 1s multicoloured
RMS Mauretania was launched on 28 July 1938 at the Cammell Laird yard in Birkenhead, England and was completed in May 1939. A successor to RMS Mauretania (1906), the second Mauretania was the first ship built for the newly formed Cunard White Star company following the merger in April 1934 of the Cunard and White Star lines.
The new liner had a tonnage of 35,739 gross, an overall length of 772 feet (235 m) and a beam of 89 feet (27 m) and had a design similar to the Queen Elizabeth. The vessel was powered by two sets of Parsons single reduction-geared steam turbines giving 42,000 shaft horsepower and driving twin propellers. Her service speed was 23 knots (43 km/h).
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