Sunday, 1 October 2023

Art and Crafts


1966: Cuban Handicrafts
Afro-Cuban doll and it looks like the doll is a drummer.  The four main African groups uprooted to Cuba were the Yoruba, Bantu, Calabar and the Dahomey. The most numerous were the Yoruba and Bantu and they had the most influence on Cuban folklore and music. Perhaps this doll is of Bantu origin for that is where the Bongo drums originate.  The other stamp features a colourful sombrero to protect from the heat while working under the sun. They are made from yarey, a palm endemic to Cuba.

1961: Professions

I imagine the Dahomey took their pot making skills to Cuba but here they are on home ground.

1972: Plains Indians

'Fancy Dancer', a work by Gerald Tailfeathers of Alberta and the Blackfoot Nation showing the ceremonial costume a man might wear during the sun dance, a grueling physical and spiritual test for the benefit of a dancer's family and tribe

Sunday Stamps theme this week is - Indigenous art, crafts and clothing - See It On A Postcard

Thursday, 28 September 2023

In Store

 Thursday's Post Card Hunt and I choose a museum and visit Debden in Essex and what the Postal Museum call their "off site large objects store"

A cornucopia for the all things postal including Roland Hill's desk and 200 postboxes, here is a taster.  They did guided tours but think they might have paused them at the moment.  Happily the Postal Museum in London is definitely open.  The van in the front is a Morris Eight hybrid of 1938 built to Post Office specifications and driven by both postal workers and Post Office Telephone engineers.  Like all museums there is more in store than ever on display.

Sunday, 24 September 2023



2020: Brilliant Bugs (Illustrator - Richard Lewington

They are all around us, brilliant bugs.  The stamps are designed by Richard Lewington, illustrator of many insect guides, never wonder what that bug might be with a field guide to hand.

1953: Beetles
Although as my eyesight is not what  it was so something that sits still on a leaf, branch or on the ground is good. A nice shiny Jewel Bug like this would be perfect. 
2018: Flora and Fauna (Design - Stiina Hovi)

The flash of red on a stem and time to count the spots on a ladybird before she flies away.

1997: Insects (Design - A Ysttri)

The full 7 spots can be seen here - Coccinella septempunctate, our most familiar ladybird, welcomed by gardeners and organic farmers for their voracious appetite for aphids. Even better the 7 spotted ladybird is considered lucky, although not for the aphid.

Sunday Stamps theme this week is - Insects - See It On A Postcard

Thursday, 21 September 2023

Fun for Kids

 Thursday's Postcard Hunt theme of 'Fun for Kids' takes us to the seaside in the North East of England

and a ride on a miniature railway at Saltburn-by-the-Sea, North Yorkshire.  I think this must be Cat Nab Station near the beach. The railway, run by enthusiasts since 1947, is only open at the  weekends (weather permitting) and this website suggests other things to do while visiting Saltburn.

Sunday, 17 September 2023



2016: Definitive - Swiss Railway Stations (Design - Marc Weller)

When the old (1896) Lucerne Railway Station burned down in 1971 temporary structures were put in place. The Swiss decided rather than just rebuild the station to redevelop the whole area. As part of the project in 1980 Swiss Railways, Swiss Post (PTT) and the Canton of Lucerne joined forces to launch an architectural competition for the station complex. The winning design was eventually built and inaugurated in 1991

1987: Europa: Modern Architecture (Design H Larson; Engraving Cz Slania)

I didn't guess that this was a library but always a good thing to celebrate. Part of the interior of the central library of Gentofte, north of Copenhagen and completed in 1985. I wondered what the library looked like from the outside so here it is in its green setting.

The other stamp of the set is the senior school in Tåstrup with its jolly awning.
1987: Europa - British Architects in Europe

Lastly details of one of Richard Rodger's  'inside out buildings', the Pompidou Centre, Paris.  Sadly Richard Roger's is no longer with us but leaves behind his vision which was never bland unlike so many modern buildings.

Sunday Stamps theme this week is - Modern Architecture - See It On A Postcard


Thursday, 14 September 2023

Towers of Rohan

 For the Thursday's Postcard Hunt of palaces/castles lets travel to Brittany

and the sturdy Josselin Castle by the River Oust.  Since the 11th Century it has had a long history. The castle was substantially built on by Olivier V de Classon in the 14th Century when he had acquired the land as part of a dowry on his marriage to Margaret of Rohan.  In 1629 during the religious wars Cardinal Richelieu destroyed the keep and four of the towers saying to the Duke   "My lord, into your game of skittles I have just thrown a good ball!"  Today the castle has two sides the riverside fortress and the renaissance buildings and gardens on the other.  

Postcards of course also have two sides and this one comes with a bonus,

a nice tourism cancel

Sunday, 10 September 2023

Take the High Road


1956: Opening of Sichuan-Tibet and Chinghai-Tibet Highways

Take a spectacular drive though the mountains, canyons and valleys of China and Tibet. This is the most precipitous road in China which opened in 1954. A truck convoy makes its way slowly to its destination.

1949: Landscapes
Not a lot of leeway for this truck coming out of a tunnel on the Val d'Anniviers Alpine road (considered one of the most beautiful valleys in Switzerland).  The road initially runs parallel to the mountains before starting to climb, winding along cliffs and passing through avalanche tunnels dug into the rock.  In the distance is a bus which perhaps is one of the yellow Swiss post buses.  A cyclist commented on the road "Thrills are guaranteed as you scale your way up the first hairpin bends from the valley and on the road cut into the rock at Niouc"
1937: Opening of Col de L'Iseran Road

The high mountain pass of Col de L'Iseran is Europe's highest paved road, 2764m (9068ft) and opened in 1937.  An irresistible opportunity to the Tour de France organisers as they made it part of the tour in 1938. It has been part of the Le Tour eight times, most recently in 2019 when thing did not go to plan.  Egan Bernal crested the top Of Col d'Iseran first but on the descent freak weather conditions of snow and hailstorms and news of a landslide blocking the route further on meant the rest of the stage was cancelled.

Sunday Stamps theme this week is - Roads - travel  to See It On A Postcard


Thursday, 7 September 2023


 My contribution to Thursday's Postcard Hunt, and it will be a hunt for my postcards, although not numerous, are in a state of disorder but to bring a sense of calm to my mind

time to gaze upon Triton Lake in the Powerscourt Gardens, Country Wicklow as autumn approaches; open all year (apart from Christmas and Boxing Day) so all the seasons can enjoyed here. 

In the 1000 acres of the Powerscourt Estate there are 47 acres of gardens and Ireland's highest waterfall.

Sunday, 3 September 2023

Island Views


1978: Mykines (Design - Charles Gottsche)

Mykines - the westernmost of the Faroe Islands and geologically the oldest.  The only village on the island, a cluster of turf roofed houses, takes the island's name.  Although there are 40 houses  only 11 have permanent residents. For 8 months of the year the only way in or out is by helicopter, in summer a more relaxing ferry ride is available.  The thousands of birds have more freedom and arrive on the wing.  These are some of the early stamps of  Faroe's independent postal administration and their ambition was to feature all the 18 islands .

2012: Levadas

Heading a long way south and to Madeira and their Levadas, water channels created for irrigation (a waterfall can be seen to the left). There are 1864 miles (3000km) of them and today are a popular walking experience for visitors to the island.

1983: Definitive (Design - Gordon Drummond)

Alderney's first definitive stamps entice to the sunshine on Braye Bay and encourage a dusk visit

to Longis Bay to watch the sunset over Hanging Rock

Sunday Stamps theme this week is - Landscapes - See It On A Postcard


Sunday, 27 August 2023

Sherlock Holmes


1993: Sherlock Holmes (Design - Andrew Davidson)

The "games afoot" with Sherlock Holmes.  I know the received wisdom is that collectors don't like addressed FDCs but I am not one of them for it tells of a journey when a collection is broken up and moves on. What better person to have on a Sherlock Holmes cover than a retired army officer.  In imagination he could be a friend of Dr Watson or would he be "a person of interest" in one of  Holmes cases?

The stamps have one letter of the alphabet on each which spell out the name Doyle
Here Holmes and Watson are joined by Lestrade from Scotland Yard who would have his own suspects and also those who the police think might have been involved in a crime but they do not have enough evidence - a 'Persons of Interest' He learned to work with the great detective who would always find the evidence.  Holmes brother Mycroft is introduced to readers in 'The Greek Interpreter' and of course nothing would be complete without Holmes arch nemesis Professor Moriarty. Famously Conon Doyle tried to kill off Holmes in 'The Final Problem' but had to bring him back due to public demand.
2013: Great Britains
Royal Mail did issue a Conon Doyle stamp as part of their "Eminent Britons" set in 2009 but I do not have it so here instead is Peter Cushing who played Holmes in a 1960s TV series which I've never seen, although I have seen him in the Hammer film "Hound of the Baskervilles" on numerous occasions. He was joined by another Hammer favourite, Christopher Lee, who appears as Henry Baskerville and indeed would later go on to play Holmes himself. My own personal favourite is the Jeremy Brett version of Holmes in the  TV series of the 1980s/90s
2020: Sherlock (Design - Karolis Stautniekas)

This mini sheet features stories that Doyle ranked among his favourites and have not appeared on GB stamps before. It was issued with a set of stamps featuring the TV series "Sherlock", a modern retelling of the stories with Dominic Cumberbatch playing Holmes.

Sunday Stamps theme this week is - Persons of Interest -  See It On A Postcard

Sunday, 20 August 2023



1995: Endangered Species

Sadly the United Nations are not going to run out of threatened species to feature on their regular issues of endangered fauna. Here we have Black Rhino, Golden Parakeet, Red-shanked douc and Arabian Oryx which in the 1970s became extinct in the wild. They were saved because there were large numbers  in zoos and private reserves and from these they were reintroduced into the wild in the 1980s.

1984: Endangered Antelopes

A young bongo, vulnerable to predators like pythons, leopards and hyenas.  As adults their predator is human.

1993: The Caspian Seal (Design - V Khartvig)
The threat to the Caspian Seal is environmental. A unique species that it is thought became 'landlocked' in the Caspian Sea when the ice of the last ice age retreated about 11 thousand years ago.
2007: Rare Animals (Design - A Moskovets)

The Oriental Stork has the advantage of wings although habitat loss and, in the rice growing regions, the use of pesticides, means it is on the IUCN Red List
1986: Europa - Nature Conservation (Design Ken Lilly)

Well that was all a bit gloomy so here is a Barn Owl whose numbers have increased and is now moved on to the more optimistic Green List.

Sunday Stamps theme this week is - Endangered or Vulnerable Species - See It On A Postcard

Sunday, 13 August 2023

Education for All

1999: Millennium - The Citizens' Tale
The Right to Learn
1953: People's Education Plan
brought into law
1955: Five Year Plan
and maybe a five year plan.  Books required and
1936: Tercentenary of Utrecht University

knowledge will be gained.  Here is Athene, personification of wisdom, and how appropriate that all these years later than the stamp Utrecht University today run a digital data portal to encourage interdisciplinary research into biodiversity called ATHENE. It is open to everyone both academic and citizen scientists.

Sunday Stamps theme this week is - Education - learn more at See It On A Postcard

Sunday, 30 July 2023

Viking Voyage


2014: Tourism - Oslo Viking Museum (Design - Kristin Granli)
 A Viking ship setting sail

1990: Viking Life (Design - Svenolov Ehren)
Out to Sea

2002: Viking Voyages of the Atlantic (Design - Martin Morck)

and navigating.  Our Viking is using a sunboard. In the middle of the day the ship's course was corrected by measuring the height of the sun. If the angle of the sun had got bigger the ship had traveled too far south, less and it was sailing too far north. Thank goodness for GPS.

Sunday Stamps theme this week is - At Sea - set sail at See It On A Postcard

Sunday, 23 July 2023

Europa Nature


1977: Europa - Landscapes
The 1977 Europa theme was 'Landscapes' and Sweden chose a snowy forest view and the Rapadalen valley in Sarek, the largest national park in Sweden consisting of mountains, bogs and flowering valleys, a remnant of untouched wilderness. 


In a contrast of scale Guernsey Post took us to the countryside and featured views from the Talbot Valley in the middle of the island

which is a popular area for strolls through woodlands and pasture.
1986: Europa - Nature Conservation (Artist - Hans Erni; Engraving - Karl Bickel Jr

Hans Erni portrayed a woman and a man for the 1986 theme of Nature Conservation. I'm guessing that they must be the personification of earth and water.

1986: Europa: Pollution of the Sea

I'm not left guessing with this message although was intrigued that it was described as 'dumping of radioactive and other waste in the sea and its danger to the fauna' then checked and saw that prohibition of disposal of radiation waste at sea didn't come into force until 1994.  The NE Atlantic was a popular place for dumping nuclear waste for 7 countries so one can understand the Faroe Islanders concerns, and me, as I live down the coast from a nuclear facility.

Sunday Stamps theme this week is - Europa - See It On A Postcard

Sunday, 16 July 2023



1988: Sports Organisations (Design - J Sutton)

We are at a cusp today by saying goodbye to Wimbledon but looking forward to the Women's World Cup starting on Thursday

Meanwhile the Tour de France riders are going to tackle seven mountain climbs today, they will deserve their rest day on Monday

2017: UCI Road Championships (Design - Ragnar Aalbu)

but will be a long way from any beach huts


2014: Swedish Sports Classics (Design - Henrik Karlsson)

Here is a bike race for the enthusiast, the Vätternrundan, the world's largest recreational bike race 300km round Lake Vättern.  Prefer something a little more relaxing?

2003: Regions of France (Provence)

Sunday Stamps theme this week is - At Play/Sports - See It On A Postcard