Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Postal history, scientific discovery .. letter writing ..

Dear Mr Postman .. how good of you to deliver another positive letter to us ..

Did you collect stamps .. did you realise any value from the stamps .. not monetary - but knowledge? As a child I'm quite sure my knowledge of places in the world would not have been so vast .. if I hadn't pored over Atlases trying to find the place printed on the stamp in front of me. Names I'd never heard of, places I certainly hadn't been to .. evocative names, such as Tonga - where Queen Salote reigned ...

Tonga is an archipelago of islands in the south Pacific & Queen Salote attended Queen Elizabeth IIs coronation in 1953 - she was one large lady .. tall too! Apparently a friend of Noel Coward asked: "Who's that little man in the carriage with her?" Coward is alleged sarcastically to have replied: "Her lunch." The Coronation was the first piece television I ever watched - aged five & a half!

Stamps taught me so much .. collecting is different from philately - the study of stamps. I spent hours for a few years sorting through stamps given to me by various relatives and teaching myself about the country - geographically where it was, the currency in use, the heads of state, the crops they grew etc .. they're an amazing source of reference.

The Penny Black is the iconic stamp and probably best known stamp in the world - issued in 1840 .. thus showing the world their first picture of Queen Victoria at the start of her reign.

Now stamp collecting is a major past time for numerous peoples around the world - lots of children and some serious collectors. The souvenir packs issued in recent years continue the educational tradition .. we've just had two issues recently here ..

  • St David's Day (1st March)- Celebrating Wales - see my post
  • Charles Darwin - 150 years since the publication of his book "On the Origin of Species ..". The stamps - a four set Galapagos Island sheet; and six stamps showing Darwin and the five sciences his knowledge encompassed: zoology, ornithology, geology, botany and anthropology: see picture above.

Thank you Mr Postman .. that was a good reminder about my childhood days ..

Hilary Melton-Butcher

Positive Letters


Peter Baca said...


Very interesting post on stamp collecting! Your blog is a wealth of information!

Best Regards

Pete Baca
The Car Enthusiast Online

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Thanks Pete .. I appreciate your thoughts ..and I'm glad you're enjoying your visits.

All the best - Hilary