FALKLAND ISLANDS STAMPS

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The Falkland Islands are an archipelago in the South Atlantic Ocean, located 300 miles from the coast of Argentina, 671 miles west of South Georgia, and 584 miles north of the British Antarctic Territory. 

There are two main islands, East Falkland and West Falkland, as well as 776 smaller islands. Stanley, on East Falkland, is the capital. 

The Islands are a self-governing Overseas Territory of the United Kingdom.

NEW RELEASE

95th Birthday of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

The Falkland Islands Post Office takes great pleasure in releasing a set of six stamps in celebration of The Queen’s 95th birthday.

The stamps will be released on Her Majesty’s actual birthday, 21 April. Each of the stamps depict key aspects of Her Majesty’s life, from a young Princess, to her Coronation and Marriage as well as managing to enjoy some Leisure time and Pageantry, out and about fulfilling her Royal Duties.

 

 

On her twenty-first birthday, 21 April 1947, Princess Elizabeth was with her parents and younger sister, Princess Margaret, on a tour of South Africa. In a speech broadcast on the radio from Cape Town, the Princess dedicated her life to the service of the Commonwealth. The theme of the stamp issue, “Devoted to your service”, is taken from that speech: “I declare before you all that my whole life whether it be long or short shall be devoted to your service and the service of our great imperial family to which we all belong.”

This special issue is a collaboration between 11 postal administrations which sees the three Crown Dependencies, Guernsey, Jersey and the Isle of Man, join The Bahamas and seven UK Overseas Territories, Ascension Island, British Antarctic Territory, British Virgin Islands, Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, South Georgia & the South Sandwich Islands, and Tristan da Cunha to mark the birthday of the world’s longest reigning monarch.

Stamps

  • 32p Princess. Princess Elizabeth, daughter of The Duke and Duchess of York, pictured in ballet outfit (Photo by Bob Thomas/Popperfoto via Getty Images)
  • 49p Coronation. Queen Elizabeth on 2 June 1953, after her coronation ceremony in Westminster Abbey, the setting for every coronation since 1066. (Photo by PA Archive/PA Images).
  • 78p Marriage. Queen Elizabeth II and her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh walk at Broadlands, Hampshire in 2007, the year of their diamond wedding anniversary. (Photo by Fiona HANSON/POOL/AFP via Getty Images).
  • £1.04 Leisure. Queen Elizabeth II can be seen holding a camera about to take a photograph, while attending the Royal Windsor Horse show in 1982. (Photo by Bob Thomas/Popperfoto via Getty Images).
  • £1.10 Pageantry. The Queen can be seen Saluting at Trooping The Colour (Photo by Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images).
  • £1.26 Royal Duty. Queen Elizabeth II departs after reopening the Sir Joseph Hotung Gallery at the British Museum on November 8, 2017 in London. (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images).
  • The FDC features two images of Her Majesty; a contemporary picture of the Queen who is fondly known throughout the world and a beautiful portrait, circa 1929, of the young Princess Elizabeth before it was realised that she would be acceding to the throne. (Photos via Getty Images).


Technical details: 


Designer Bee Design
Printer Cartor Security Printing
Process Lithography
Perforation 13 ¼ x 13 ¼ per 2cms
Stamp size 36 x 36mm
Sheet Layout 10
Release date 21 April, 2021
Production Coordination Creative Direction (Worldwide) Ltd
 

 GO TO STAMP ITEM NUMBERS

 

 

Christmas 2020

The Falkland Islands is a British Overseas Territory lying over 8,000 miles away from the UK in the South Atlantic. It has a population of a little over 3,400 people on a number of islands comprising about 4,700 square miles. This means that the returning students studying in the UK have an eighteen-hour flight to anticipate the excitement of spending Christmas at home with their families and friends.
Christmas in the Falklands is a celebration, a holiday, a time to gather family together as it is around the world. Being in the Southern Hemisphere means that at Christmastime it is daylight until 10pm so young children would be loaded into the family car in their pyjamas just before bedtime to drive around Stanley, the main area of population in the islands, to see houses around the town lit with colourful Christmas lights and decorations.
 
 
In recent years there has been a new tradition of a Christmas Tree Festival and Christmas Challenge Concert which is supported by many local community groups who sponsor and decorate a tree to raise money for charity in the blacked-out Parish Hall. The same groups are challenged to sing a Christmas song in the challenge concert in the Town Hall with hilarious results such as the fire service in full breathing apparatus singing ‘Frosty the Snowman’. 

 

A community Christmas Tree is erected on Whalebone Arch Green, next to Christ Church Cathedral on the waterfront and on Christmas Eve the community come together to sing carols under the Whalebone Arch. The following morning a Christmas Day service is held in Christ Church Cathedral which is the southernmost cathedral in the world.

 

Christmas is a time for feasting and celebration, with the main Christmas meal of local Falkland Islanders lamb rather than turkey. Many families also celebrate with barbeques gathering together with their extended family and friends. This is especially true in Camp, the areas outside the main populace of Stanley, where a third of the population live in quite often isolated settlements and farms and the holiday is an opportunity for them to gather together.
 
 
On Boxing Day, a sporting tradition which goes back over a hundred years is the Boxing Day Races held on the Stanley Racecourse, the highlight of which is the hotly contested Governor’s Cup.
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Many visitors would usually visit the islands over the summer months on cruise ships or on extended holidays to see the amazing scenery and wildlife of penguins, seals, orcas, dolphins and endemic bird species and often cruise ships arrive over Christmas week.
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This year COVID will dramatically reduce the number of visitors to the islands leaving those who normally are involved in the tourist industry the happy prospect of visiting the wildlife and outer islands to enjoy the beautiful country they call home.
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Text by Nancy Locke 

With many thanks to all of the children for their wonderful drawings showing different aspects of our Falkland Islands’ Christmas. Many of the drawings worked especially well as stamp and First Day Cover designs, but only five designs could be chosen. This was not an easy task for the judges as all of the entries were so very special and imaginative.
 
Technical Details:
Designer Bee Design
Illustrations 32p Rylee Molkenbuhr, age 5
78p Tessa Blake, age 8
£1.04 Laura Blake, age 13
£1.26 Neve Stanworth, age 14
FDC Renata Valeria Borquez Leiva, age 9
Printer Cartor Security Printing
Process Lithography
Perforation 13 x 13 ¼ per 2 cms
Stamp size 30.6 x 38mm
Sheet layout 10
Release date 20 November, 2020
Production Coordination Creative Direction (Worldwide) Ltd
 
STAMP ITEM NUMBERS

ST012217 Christmas 2020 Mint Set
ST012218 Christmas 2020 CTO Set
ST012219 Christmas 2020 FDC

 

 

Falkland Islands Mine Clearance Programme - November 2020

 
At the end of hostilities in 1982 British Forces made considerable efforts to locate and clear mines and booby traps. Unfortunately, the efforts were very costly. Three soldiers suffered serious injury within the first three weeks of clearance and two others were injured in 1983. Following this, the UK government decided to stop clearance and fence off all suspect areas until such time as technology and processes had evolved that would reduce risk. 151 areas were identified as hazardous, which initial work then reduced to 122. Argentina estimated that several thousand anti-personnel mines (AP) and anti-vehicle (AV) mines had been laid. From 1982 to 2009 some mines were destroyed in minefields by the UK military’s Joint Service Explosive Ordnance Disposal Detachment using remote controlled equipment.

 

 

 

 

Mine clearance was completed in October 2020. The clearance teams, with their Zimbabwean deminers, have destroyed over 10,000 AP mines and 1,700 AV mines along with 22 cluster bomb submunitions and over 370 booby traps and assorted items of unexploded ordnance (excluding small arms ammunition). This has resulted in the release of over 23,000,000m2 (2,338 hectares) of safe ground back to the community that had been prohibited from using many beaches and areas close to the capital, Stanley, and the main populated settlements.
 
In 1997 the United Kingdom, alongside 121 other nations, signed the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention, also known as the Ottawa Convention, which prohibits the use, stockpiling, production and transfer of anti-personnel mines and commits signatories to removing such mines from territories over which they have jurisdiction or control. To that end the United Kingdom restarted clearance work in 2009 selecting SafeLane Global Ltd (previously known as BACTEC Ltd) to carry out the clearance work and Fenix Insight Ltd to provide the Demining Programme Office, responsible for monitoring the progress, quality, safety and environmental aspects of the work.
How do they do it?
 
The mines were laid in standard patterns using mine laying ‘strings’ to create irregularly spaced positions of 8 mines as a row. In most minefields three strings/rows were laid parallel to each other forming a ‘panel’; multiple panels form the minefield. The documents handed over in 1982 by Argentine troops record the detail within each minefield and have proved to be credible records of the layout of panels. Unfortunately, only about 70% of the minefields had such records. Using the records and any other information available a plan specific to that area was developed. Clearance ‘lanes’ were then cut into the minefield from the outer fence.
 
The deminers used a number of techniques depending upon the type of mine, the terrain and the expected layout of the minefield. The most effective and efficient clearance method in the Falkland Islands was for the mines to be dug out by a combination of machines preparing the ground and human deminers following up, finding and excavating the mines. Most of the mines are described as minimum metal mines and can only be located at a few centimetres’ depth by the most sophisticated detectors available. To achieve the minimum required clearance depth of 20cm a combination of metal detection and manual excavation methods were used.
 
Once rows were encountered, the mine patterns could be worked out and the mines found and destroyed. Where there was no record, a technical survey technique was used to find the panels. Clearing landmines is a slow and demanding process in normal circumstances, but in the Falkland
Islands additional factors made the task even harder: the weather is often challenging with high winds, heavy rain, sleet and snow which, combined with thick, fibrous peat and heavy vegetation, make for waterlogged ground that can be extremely difficult to cut through. Mines near beaches represented a particular challenge with blown sand being deposited as sand dunes: in Yorke Bay some mines were recovered over 15m below the surface.
 
32p Recovered Mines: A stockpile of mines retrieved from deep under the blown sand of Yorke Bay. Mines recovered must be disposed of by either incineration or demolition. Mines that cannot be defused or are considered too dangerous to transport are grouped together and destroyed in controlled explosions.
 
49p Manual Deming: Most of the mines were dug out by hand. This image from 2009 shows a deminer in the first minefield to be worked on at Surf Bay. Coloured pickets and string are used to mark the boundary between safe and hazardous areas. The orange protective body armour and ballistic visor are the deminer’s last lines of defence should an unexpected detonation occur while working.
 
£1.10 Penguin Watchers: Some minefields were either occupied or traversed by penguins. As part of technical risk assessments, it was confirmed that no local penguin was heavy enough to initiate a mine. A comprehensive environmental assessment identified appropriate periods when demining would have the least impact on wildlife. Special care was taken to ensure that no penguins were harmed during any mine clearance.
 
£1.96 Mechanical Demining: The minefields laid in the area known as Yorke Bay were covered by very thick layers of blown sand. Overlying sand dunes were up to 15m deep and had to be removed in order to allow access to the mines. The recovery of mines in this instance required the careful use of machinery to sift the sand using a system through which a mine cannot pass without being detected and recovered.
 
Text: Guy Marot, Demining Programme Office 2009-2020.
 
Many Falkland Islanders have grown up without being able to access many areas of farmland, beaches and coastal areas due to the presence of dangerous minefields. Below is a selection of quotes from those that can now celebrate having these areas reopened.
 
Sue Luxton: “Walking on Yorke Bay again used to be an impossible dream. Doing it after the Demining Programme finally liberated the dunes from Argentine landmines was a moment I’ll remember forever.”
 
Rosie King: “Awe inspiring. An underfoot experience I’d dreamed of and hugely grateful that it was realised in my lifetime”
 
Nicky Jonson: “Every minefield cleared is another opportunity for exploring and enjoying our freedom”
 
Technical Details:
f

Designer Bee Design

Photography 32p John Hare, SafeLane Global Ltd, 2015-2020

All other images Guy Marot, Demining Programme

Office 2009 - 2020

Printer Cartor Security Printing

Process Lithography

Perforation 13 ¼ x 13 ½ per 2cms

Stamp size 42 x 28mm

Sheet layout 10

Release date 14 November, 2020

Production Coordination Creative Direction (Worldwide) Ltd


 STAMP ITEM NUMBERS
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        ST012214     Demining   Mint Set
        ST012215     Demining   CTO Set
 ST012216     Demining   FDC

 

 

The Paintings of Mike Peake Part 1 - Birds - October 2020

1939 - 15th September 2005 

Arthur Peake was born in Pontefract, Yorkshire. Carrying a suitcase in one hand and a guitar in the other he sailed from Britain to the Falklands in 1959, at the age of twenty, to work as an electronics technician at the Radio Space Research Station (RSRS). On the trip down to the Islands, a few of the passengers would gather in the bar each evening. The group had two people named Arthur, and Harry Rowlands decided there could not be two Arthurs. Turning to Arthur Peake he said, ‘You will have to be Mike.’ The name stuck for the rest of his life with Mike even naming his son Michael. He was also the father of Bernadette and Alison and a proud grandfather to Isaac, Cody and Louie. 
 
 
It wasn’t long after Mike arrived in the Islands that his musical talents were being appreciated by radio listeners. He later formed a small folk group called ‘The Satellites’ who recorded a series of programmes with their songs becoming popular among the locals. Mike also enjoyed football, darts and gave many memorable performances in the Amateur Dramatic Society productions. 
From working at the RSRS, Mike then began to work at the European Space Research operation centre (ESRO) at the west end of Stanley. Mike worked there from 1967 to 1973, ending up as the Station Manager. In 1973, Mike began work as a Technician at the Post and Telecommunications Department of Government. He was given the task of installing the new AEL transceivers that replaced the old R/T sets and was proud to say that he had visited virtually every Falklands settlement while on this mission. 
Because of Mike’s computer knowledge, when the Computer Section was established in 1986, he was appointed as the first Computer Coordinator. He continued to supervise upgrades and enhancements until his retirement in September 1999.
Mike was passionate about the Islands and within days of arriving he vowed to never live anywhere else. He had an exceptional artistic talent to match this passion. Painting with oils and varnish, Mike was sometimes able to produce breath-taking landscapes in just 30 minutes when something of interest caught his eye.
Following his retirement, Mike made many visits to Sea Lion and Carcass Island, capturing their mood and ruggedness in his paintings. Many of Mike’s paintings can still be found in the islands today whilst others have made their way around the world. Previously Mike designed the UPU Membership Centenary (1979) and the Bridges of the Falkland Islands (2000) stamp issues.
We acknowledge with thanks the help and assistance of Mensun Bound and Chris Andrews.
 
Stamps
Black-necked Swan 32p
Black-crowned Night Heron 49p
Upland Goose 78p
Belcher’s Gull £1.04
Variable Hawk £1.26
Upland Goose £1.35

 

Technical Details:

Paintings Mike Peake

Photography Chris Andrews Publications Ltd

Printer Cartor Security Printing

Process Lithography

Perforation 13 x 13 ¼ per 2cms

Stamp size 30.6 x 38mm

Sheet layout 10

Release date 1 October, 2020

Production Co-ordination Creative Direction (Worldwide) Ltd

 

 STAMP ITEM NUMBERS

        ST012194     Mike Peake Part I    Mint Set
       ST012195     Mike Peake Part I   CTO Set
ST012196     Mike Peake Part I    FDC

 

 

50TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE FALKLAND ISLANDS PHILATELIC STUDY GROUP - SEPTEMBER 2020

 

The Falkland Islands have issued many iconic stamps, notably the Queen Victoria high values in 1898, and the Centenary set of 1933. Yet, in the old days, most collectors relied on just the Stanley Gibbons stamp catalogue and the 1950's book on Falkland Islands stamps by B.S.H. Grant to help organising their collections. There was a need for a specialist society to research the stamps and postal history, and assist interested collectors. 

 

 

So, in 1970 the Falkland Islands Philatelic Study Group (FIPSG) was founded following a meeting of some 50 collectors gathered together by Malcolm Barton. A one-page newsletter was produced and the first formal meeting was held in London on 26th September 1970, and its first committee was elected. 

By September 1971 the newsletter had expanded and developed into a regular quarterly journal, "The Upland Goose". This is distributed to all members and to leading philatelic libraries. The publication has been awarded medals at many international philatelic exhibitions. Membership grew rapidly, reaching more than 200 in 1975, and the Group now has more than 350 members worldwide. The Group is truly international in its membership structure.

The object of the Study Group is to research into all aspects of philately connected with the Falkland Islands, the former Dependencies, South Georgia and the British Antarctic Territory, leading to the publication of findings. Research is carried out by individuals or groups of members, collated through a nominated leader for each subject.

The Study Group Weekend meeting takes place annually, normally in March, during which an Annual General Meeting is held. Meetings are also held on a regular basis regionally throughout the UK, and meetings have been held in other countries as well, including the USA, Australia, South Africa, Norway, Sweden, Finland and the Falkland Islands.

The group is in the forefront of specialist philatelic societies and has belonged to the national Association of British Philatelic Societies since its inception, and actively participates in its activities. To commemorate its Silver Jubilee in 1995, the Group was honoured by the Royal Philatelic Society of London by an invitation to display material of the Falkland Islands. The display of 52 frames took place in January 1995 and was outstandingly successful. The Group has now received an invitation from the current President to present a Golden Jubilee display of Falkland Islands philately at the new headquarters of the “Royal” at Abchurch Lane, London, opened in November 2019 by Her Majesty the Queen.

More information about the Study Group can be found on its website: www.fipsg.org.uk 

 

Stamp designs:

32p Stanley Post Office & Philatelic Bureau - many Study Group members buy stamps from the Philatelic Bureau and have visited the Post Office while in the Falkland Islands. The Post Office also provides information on the postmarks and cachets used, and the postal rates employed. The 1898 Queen Victoria 2/6d and 5/- stamps (the 5/- is illustrated here) were once voted as the most beautiful stamp designs in the world.

78p Jane Cameron National Archives - many Study Group members have used the research facilities at the Archives either by visiting or using the extensive online facilities. Information is held on stamp designs and proofs, correspondence between the Falkland Islands and Crown Agents, numbers of stamps orderedand destroyed, and shipping records. These provide vital information for specialist collectors. The iconic 5/- King Penguin stamp from the 1933 Centenary set is illustrated here.

£1.04 Publications - the Study Group magazine Upland Goose is published four times a year showing the latest research and news about Falkland Islands philately. In addition, a colour supplement of the annual Weekend meeting of the Study Group in the UK is produced. Some twenty monographs on specialist aspects of Falkland Islands collecting have also been published over the years, and these are distributed free to members. The 5/- King George VI definitive stamp was in use between 1938 and 1952.

£1.26 Collecting - there are more than 350 specialist Study Group members worldwide, and many more interested Falkland Islands stamp collectors. A catalogue of Falkland Islands, South Georgia and BAT stamps is regularly published by Stefan Falkland Heijtz FRPSL. This also includes many other aspects of Falklands philately, including varieties, postmarks, and specialist subjects such as whaling mail, air mail and the 1982 Falklands War. The stamp also depicts the precursor to Falkland Islands stamps, the 1869 Black Frank and one of the most famous stamp errors, the 1964 Battle of the Falklands 6d. with the incorrect ship in the centre, HMS Glasgow rather than HMS Kent.

FDC. The First Day Cover shows the Historic Dockyard Museum in Stanley and the National Stamp Collection. This collection is on display in the Museum - it was put together mostly by members of the Study Group and donated to the Museum in 2010. The page illustrated shows the 1933 Centenary set and a picture of Nutt Cartmell and his grave in Goose Green. Nutt was probably the most well-known local stamps collector in modern times, and the National Stamp Collection was created in his honour.

Text by Stefan Falkland Heijtz and Kim Stuckey. 

 

Technical Details:

Photography

Stanley Post Office Nick Bonner

The National Archives Tansy Bishop

Historic Dockyard Museum (FDC) FI Museum & National Trust

Stamps & other images Stefan Heijtz

Designer Bee Design

Printer Cartor Security Printing

Process Lithography

Perforation 13 ¼ x 13 ½ per 2cms

Stamp size 42 x 28

Sheet layout 10

Release date 7 September, 2020

Production Coordination Creative Direction (Worldwide) Ltd

H

  STAMP ITEM NUMBERS

 

        ST012185     FIPSG 50    Mint Set
       ST012186     FIPSG 50   CTO Set
ST012187     FIPSG 50    FDC

 

 

Penguins - August 2020

This set of Falkland Islands stamps features the five species of penguin that breed in the Falkland Islands: Macaroni Penguin, Gentoo Penguin, King Penguin, Magellanic Penguin and Southern Rockhopper Penguin.

The images of the penguins in their natural environment are paired with a matching circulation coin featuring a close up of the head of each of these beautiful seabirds.

 

 

A set of five 50p coins of different penguins was approved in 2018 by the Executive Council of Falkland Islands Government, following the recommendation of the Commissioners of Currency, in accordance with the Currency Ordinance 1987. The Coins (Circulation) Order 2018 provides the full technical description of the coins

(https://www.legislation.gov.fk/view/html/inforce/2020-05-29/fisl-2018-8). Pobjoy Mint of Surrey, England is the mint that is contracted by the Falkland Islands Government to supply the coinage that the Falkland Islands requires (https://www.pobjoy.com/governments).

An order of some 125,000 circulation coins (25,000 of each penguin) dated 2018 was minted by Pobjoy Mint and then securely shipped to the Falkland Islands by MV Hartland Point, from Southampton to Mare Harbour. Upon arrival in the Falkland Islands, the wooden crates of the new coins were then delivered to The Treasury in Stanley and held in the Main Vault until required.

The Falkland Islands has issued its own coins since 1974, and this has been recognised on a previous issue of Falkland Islands postage stamps. The obverse of the 2018 penguin circulation coins features Pobjoy Mint's effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

The Currency Ordinance 1987

(https://www.legislation.gov.fk/view/html/inforce/2020-05-29/fiord-1987-14) provides the legal basis for the issue of currency by Falkland Islands Government, including parity with Sterling and the establishment of a Currency Fund.

The 2018 penguin coins are in circulation in the Falkland Islands, along with other denominations of coins: 1p, 2p, 5p, 10p, 20, £1 and £2, as well as bank notes in £5, £10, £20 and £50 denominations. Standard Chartered UK has a branch in the Falkland Islands, and it is to Standard Chartered Bank on Ross Road in Stanley that The Treasury issues currency for use by local retail and other businesses, residents and visitors.

In 2020 a successful partnership came into being. Mastercard, Square (a card payment provider for small businesses), Gibraltar International Bank and Standard Chartered Bank (who are able to issue locally resident account holders with debit cards) were able to ensure that the majority of retail and tourism-based businesses in Stanley now accept payment cards and contactless payment. The Falkland Islands are fully connected into international card payment networks, an advantage for residents and the many visitors.

However, the continued availability of circulation currency that is used in the Falkland Islands acts as a real reminder of economic activity in this British Overseas Territory. 

The Treasury in Stanley does not sell coins direct, however Falklands Post Service has a website https://www.falklandstamps.com/penguin-50p-coin-set-2018.ir and Falklands Collectibles supplies a full range of Falkland Islands coins and bank notes https://www.falklandcollectibles.com

An updated catalogue that will include details of all Falkland Islands coins since 1974 is planned for issue in 2020 by Nova Stamps http://www.novastamps.com/stefan/Sidor/specFI.html

 

32p - Rockhopper 68p - King 78p - Magellanic £1.04 - Gentoo £1.26 - Macaroni

 

Technical Details:

Coin Images Pobjoy Mint

Designer Andrew Robinson

Printer Cartor Security Printing

Process Lithography

Perforation 13 ¼ x 13 ½ per 2cms

Stamp size 42 x 28

Sheet layout 10

Release date 10 August, 2020

Production Coordination Creative Direction (Worldwide) Ltd

 

STAMP ITEM NUMBERS

        ST012182     Penguin/Coin    Mint Set
       ST012183     Penguin/Coin   CTO Set
ST012184     Penguin/Coin    FDC

 

 

Falkland Islands Wrecks Part IV - March 2020 CORRECTED PRESS RELEASE

 

The extraordinary voyages of 16th century seafarers transformed history. Newly-developed deep-water sailing ships, equipped with the mariner’s compass, enabled Europeans to venture beyond the horizon and scour the oceans for new land, dreams and gold. During one such voyage in 1592, to the Magellan Straits, the little recognized but most accomplished navigator, John Davis, in his ship Desire, was storm-blown under bare poles amongst these apparently unknown and unpeopled islands. But it is likely that the archipelago had been quietly known about for years by the major sea powers. On maps published from 1507 onwards, an ill-defined cluster of blobs appear, vaguely positioned, near the eastern end of the Magellan Strait. Amerigo Vespucci may well have seen them from the deck of a Portuguese ship as early as 1502.

The 700 islands, islets, rocks and reefs which comprise the Falklands are situated some 315 nautical miles down-wind and down-stream from Cape Horn. Battered by frequent gales and surrounded by strong currents, the Islands have always provided both peril and sanctuary for the seafarer. Over 180 ships are known to have met their end in the wild seas which surround the Falklands. Without doubt there will have been others which sank without trace.

 

 

During the 1850’s there was a sudden upsurge in sea-borne traffic around Cape Horn. Vessels trading in Californian and Australian gold, Chilean copper and Peruvian guano began calling into Stanley for repair and provisions. The nearest alternative port was Montevideo, a thousand miles to the north. Some ships attempting to round the Horn were overloaded, some unseaworthy, and others simply unlucky. Many suffered severe battering and, riding the prevailing westerlies, limped back into harbour to lick their wounds. A few lame ducks never recovered. Others were deliberately wrecked and their cargoes sold by unscrupulous dealers. The growing port gained a notorious reputation and a flock of worn-out windjammers. Several are still stuck in the Stanley Harbour mud. But time and tide and two pernicious sea worms, the teredo and the gribble, have hastened their demise. In many cases their crumbling woodwork has all but disappeared.

This issue, the fourth in the Shipwrecks series, depicts some of those vessels which finished their days beached along the Falklands’ shorelines. They remain an integral part of the Islands’ history and a reminder of the salty folk who sailed in them. 

32p Samson

The 94’ tugboat, Samson, built in Hull in 1888, was brought down in 1900 by the Falkland Islands Company in the aftermath of the City of Philadelphia disaster. Her value was shown on Christmas Eve 1910 when the Samson towed the iron ship Wavertree into Stanley after she had been dismasted off Cape Horn. In November 1912, the PSNC liner

Oravia struck the Billy Rock near the entrance to Port William. At night and in heavy seas, Captain Thomas took the Samson alongside the stricken vessel, disembarking 150 passengers to safety. In 1924, the ageing tug was converted and she finished her working life as a lighter. During a heavy gale in 1945, the Samson broke her moorings and came ashore on the beach close to the north-east corner of Stanley Harbour.

78p St. Mary

In the fall of 1889 veteran shipbuilder, Charles V Minott, laid the keel of an unusually large vessel in Phippsburg, Maine. 241’ long and with a registered tonnage of 1942, St Mary was to be one of the last-built, finest constructed, and shortest lived of all the great “Downeasters”. She was launched just before noon on Thursday, 20th March 1890. Under command of Captain Carver, St Mary departed Manhattan, bound for San Francisco by way of Cape Horn. 67 days out and making good speed, she was about 130 miles west of Islas Diego Ramirez. It was a quiet moonlit night, at 1.13am on 7th August, when she collided with the 176’ steel-hulled Magellan. The Magellan foundered almost immediately with all hands, while the badly damaged St Mary limped downwind for Port Stanley. Three days later, just a few miles shy of the port, St Mary struck the Pinnacle Rock. The distressed Captain refused to leave his ship and later died on board. The cause of his death was never confirmed. The crew took to the lifeboat without him and made for the nearby farm at Fitzroy. Two weeks later the wreck split in two with one half washing ashore at Whale Point, near Fitzroy. The oaken bones of the St Mary remain today, like a stranded leviathan, where she washed ashore just five months after her triumphant launch. 

£1.04 Weddell

The Weddell was a carvel-built schooner, constructed of Sandy Point timber in 1940 by Cia Doberti in Punta Arenas, Chile. She had a registered tonnage of 23.6 and was 44’7“ long. On February 1 1941, captained by Bill Radcliffe, she was registered in Stanley under “John Hamilton Ltd” and thence sailed to Weddell Island where Chris Bundes took over in charge. She was used mainly to transport sheep and wool around those islands which made up the Weddell Island group. At first, the Weddell had no engine and worked entirely under sail. In 1947 Duncan McRae took over as Captain and three years later, she was taken to Stanley to have her first engine installed. In 1976, after 35 years as the Weddell Island Farm boat, Bob Ferguson sailed her to Stanley where she was sold and gradually fell into disrepair. In June 1994, the Weddell was transported down to the Stanley’s Canache where she now lies beached above the tide line near Boxer Bridge.

£1.26 Garland

A three-masted, 599 tonne steel barque built in Liverpool in 1865, Garland put into Stanley on 6th March 1900, under command of Captain H Meyer, together with a crew of 16, while on passage from Hamburg to Talcahuano, Chile. Spillage from jars of acid amongst the cargo had caused extensive damage to her bottom plates and she was subsequently condemned. In September 1910 Garland was towed by the tug Samson to Darwin Harbour in connection with the canning plant. By 1912 she was being used at Goose Green to store coal from the Gaito. In October 1919 her owners, the Falkland Islands Company, reported that she had become useless as a hulk. Three years later she broke her moorings and came to rest, where she lies today, on the eastern shore of Darwin Harbour across the water from Goose Green. In October 1966 divers discovered the figurehead which had long since fallen off and lay covered in silt. It was brought to Stanley and restored by the then Museum Curator, John Smith. Today the Garland’s figurehead is proudly on display in Stanley’s Dockyard Museum. It depicts a young woman dressed in white and holding a garland of golden flowers. Unfortunately the head is missing.

 

Text by Tony Chater with special thanks to Tansy Bishop, National Archivist at the Jane Cameron National Archives.

  

Technical Details:

Photography Tony Chater

Printer Cartor Security Printing

Process Lithography

Perforation 13 x 13 ¼ per 2cms

Stamp size 30.6 x 38mm

Sheet layout 10

Release date 16 March, 2020

Production Co-ordination Creative Direction (Worldwide) Ltd

 

 STAMP ITEM NUMBERS

        ST012162    Wrecks Part 4     Mint Set
       ST012163    Wrecks Part 4     CTO Set
ST012164    Wrecks Part 4      FDC

 

 

 

75th ANNIVERSARY OF D-DAY

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PENGUINS, PREDATORS & PREY - PART 5