Postage stamps no.1

Whenever I visit a post office for any product or service, I feel compelled to enquire if there are any special stamps available, even if I have absolutely no need of them.

My purse has a small zipped section in which I keep a little plastic packet filled with postage stamps. Most of the stamps contained therein are special issues I have been unable to resist.

I tend to buy several of each design, and am happy to make use of most of them as soon as I need to, but I often find it hard to part with the very last one. As a result of this, I have a growing collection of single, slightly ragged, stamps sitting in my purse that will doubtless continue to sit there for some time to come.

The stamp shown below is a particular favourite that I once had many copies of. This is my last copy, and I have often taken it out and had another look at it before returning it to the plastic packet. I wonder if I will ever be able to bring myself to stick it to an envelope and send it off on its travels.

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Cutty Sark postage stamp: a firm favourite.

This stamp was produced in 2013 as one of a collection brought out to celebrate the trading fleet of Britain’s Merchant Navy.

The ship was designed by Scottish surveyor and shipbuilder, Hercules Linton, and built on the River Clyde in 1869. The name, ‘Cutty Sark’, seems an odd name for a ship, coming as it does from the Scottish term for a short nightdress, as worn by a witch called Nannie in the poem Tam O’Shanter by Robert Burns.

Rather splendidly, the ship is still in existence, having been carefully preserved by the Cutty Sark Trust and turned into a museum based in Greenwich, London.

In memory of Hercules Linton, at the north end of his home town of Inverbervie there is a full scale replica of the Cutty Sark’s figurehead, featuring Nannie gripping a horse’s tail as described in Tam O’Shanter.

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14 Comments

  1. This is a great stamp and I can see why you don´t want to part with it. I collected stamps as a child and loved looking at all the stamps from around the world. I never once thought I would be living in the country of the Espania stamps!! I found my old stamp collection before we left and gave it to my youngest grandson.

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    1. That was a lovely thing to do, Darlene. If someone had given me a stamp collection when I was young I’d have been cock-a-hoop, I bet your grandchildren enjoy getting the stamps that come from Spain on letters and cards.

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  2. I read the Wikipedia entry 🙂 Maybe someone thought it was just a very fine ship? 🙂 I mean, sports cars can have very pleasing lines to them, and good craftsmanship is very appealing in it’s own way, so maybe the name is more in the spirit of a salute to a fine lady (ships always being she) than anything literally to do with nightgowns? I can understand about not wanting to part with a nice stamp.

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  3. I am the same as you with stamps – if I like the picture I am reluctant to use the last one. I collected stamps when I was a child (after inheriting a stamp album) and then I graduated to having first day covers sent to me. I stopped that quite a few years ago, but still have the collection.

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    1. They’re such little works of art, aren’t they? How wonderful to inherit a stamp album as a child. Getting first day covers is tempting but it can get very expensive, I believe. It’s lovely that you still have your collection to look through and enjoy.

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    1. I didn’t know about the name either until I read about it online for this post. It’s surprising, isn’t it? All these years I’ve known the name but not known the story behind it. There were several other tall ship stamps brought out at the same time, but the Cutty Sark was the only one I got. I think I’ve always liked it because of its tea-carrying history.

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    1. I hope you find them okay. I had to use a stamp today and I struggled to find one I was happy to give away. In the end I sacrificed George VI with a small Princess Elizabeth (I have another one left so it wasn’t too big a wrench).

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  4. I love the story of the tea clippers they were gorgeous boats – must have been something else to see them at full sail on the highs seas – ultimately overtaken by technology – which ultimately we could find ourselves in the same boat – there are real concerns that a lot of the jobs we do will be taken over by machines as technology advances faster than our ability to react – creating mass unemployment like the 1700s (I believe) when mechanisation had a similar impact. Doom and Gloom

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    1. I don’t think you need to worry about your job though, Scott. Could a robot ever learn how to take beautiful shots of scenery at just the right angle with artistic lighting? Hard to imagine.

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