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Sunday, 24 June 2018

Sunday Stamps II - A-Z 'S' Germany

I have a number of Swastika stamps from the time of the Third Reich but I have no intention of ever showing those. I've settled instead for the poet/playwright and compatriot of Goethe - 

Germany  - Friedrich Schiller (1759/1805)
I must confess I do not know of any of Schiller's work, but knew of - 

DDR (East Germany) - 18 March 1975
It was Albert Schweitzer who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1952,  and who is possibly more famous for setting up his hospital in Lambaréné in what was then the French Equatorial Africa (now Gabon). Schweitzer used his prize money to set up the leprosarium there. He died at his hospital in 1965.

For more 'S' related stamps check out the links at Sunday-Stamps-s.

Sunday, 17 June 2018

Sunday Stamps II A-Z 'R' USA, Great Britain

Back in the 1950s when I was at school, I won my boxing colours and was captain of the boxing team. I wish I could say that I was undefeated like Rocky Marciano, the world heavyweight champion of the time,


USA -26 May 1999
Rocky (not the film) was on the stamp for the 1950s in the Celebrate the Century series.

From boxing to a gentler pastime of poetry for my next stamp from the USA.


" I wake to sleep and take my waking slow.
I feel my fate in what I cannot fear.
I learn  by going where I have to go."

USA - 21 April 2012
Theodore Roethke (1908-1963) is one of the ten 20th century poets that appeared on this set in 2012. He won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1954.

At this time so many years since England won the football world cup, I have chosen a stamp from back then (1966) showing what is claimed to be Britain's favourite bird.

Great Britain - 6 August 1966
Just like the one that chases other birds away from our feeders when it wants to eat.

This year sees the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Royal Air Force. For the 50th anniversary in 1968 a commemorative stamp showed a Sopwith Camel from WWI and English Electric Lightning Fighters from the 1960s.

Great Britain - 29 May 1968
For other 'R' related stamps fly over and pick up the links at Sunday-stamps-r.

Sunday, 10 June 2018

Sunday Stamps II - A-Z; 'Q' USA, Great Britain

I was expecting to show Queens on many stamps today, Last week when covering 'P', I considered focusing on pilots but then found this for today,

USA - 27 April 1991
Harriet Quimby was the first woman pilot in the USA and the first (in 1912) to fly over the English Channel. Tragically she died in a flying accident the same year at the age of 37.

In 1969 the Investiture of HRH the Prince of Wales was held at Caernarfon Castle. One of the set of stamps commemorating this depicted - 

Great Britain - 1 July 1969
Queen Eleanor's Gate, Caernarfon Castle
Queen Eleanor  was the wife of Edward I and gave birth to a son at the castle in 1284 who was to become King Edward II.

To see what other 'Q' related stamps are on show this week just follow the links at Sunday-stamps-q.

Sunday, 3 June 2018

Sunday Stamps II A-Z 'P': Great Britain, Norway

I may have shown these before but they are worth another outing.

When I was a boy, fishing on the River Welland, I was always pleased to catch one of these - 

Great Britain - Perch 26 January 1983
Salmon, trout and pike were also in that set of British River Fish. Shame I do not have that pike.

The set for the Centenary of the Royal Society for Protection of Birds issued on 17 January 1989 included - 

Puffin
I always like stamps depicting dogs and despite the time I spent in Norway I never knew that this was a - 

Norwegian Puffin Dog (1983)

I was still in Norway when that stamp was issued.

For other 'P' stamps just pop over to the links at Sunday-stamps-p.

Sunday, 27 May 2018

Sunday Stamps II A-Z 'O': Norway, Saudi Arabia, Great Britain

The Viking Ship Museum in Oslo contains three Viking ships - Tune, Gokstad and Oseberg. In 2014 Norway issued a set of three stamps to commemorate the Museum Unfortunately the one in my collection does not show a ship.


Norway - 28 April 2014
Saudi Arabia has vast reserves of oil so it should be no surprise that their stamps reflect this.

Al Khafji Oil Producting-plant - 1976

In 2000 the first series of Millennium Project 'Above and Beyond' stamps included one of my favourite birds.

Great Britain - World Owl Trust, Muncaster

Now if you are wise you will look for other 'O' related stamps at Sunday-Stamps-o.

Sunday, 20 May 2018

Sunday Stamps II A-Z 'N' Nobel Prize winners

Three Nobel Prize winners from 1911 appeared on these Swedish stamps issued on 10 December 1971.

Count Maurice Polidore Marie Bernard Maeterlinck
Nobel Prize in Literature
The Nobel Prize in Literature 1911 was awarded to Maurice Maeterlinck "in appreciation of his many-sided literary activities, and especially of his dramatic works, which are distinguished by a wealth of imagination and by a poetic fancy, which reveals, sometimes in the guise of a fairy tale, a deep inspiration, while in a mysterious way they appeal to the readers' own feelings and stimulate their imaginations".

Maeterlinck was born in Ghent, Belgium

Wilhelm Wien & Alivar Gullstrand
Wilhelm Wien, born in a part of Prussia that is now in Russia, was affiliated to Würzburg University in Germany when he won the Nobel Prize for Physics. During his career he submitted 24 nominations for a Nobel Prize and was nominated 9 times for the Physics Prize.

Alivar Gullstrand was Swedish and in 1911 was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. He was also a multi-nominee for Nobel Prizes including the one for Physics.

For other 'N' related stamps please visit Sunday-Stamps-n. where you will find another world famous scientist.

Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Thematic Photography - Red

You may, like me. have trouble in deciding what is really red - so here are some shades of red from our garden this morning.

Pieris - Mountain Fire
Azalea (on the left)
A wind-battered rhododendron
Battered it may be but not ready for a trip in a

40 year old barrow with a faded red wheel

You may find Carmi's edible red theme at Thematic-photographic-419.

Sunday, 13 May 2018

Sunday Stamps II A-Z 'M': USA

Three from the USA this week in the order of which they were issued.

26 May 1937 - US Naval Academy Seal & Midshipmen

In addition to naval personnel the Academy also trains marines.

4 April 1948 - Mississippi sesquicentennial
The the territory of Mississippi was first organised in 1798 with Winthrop Sargent as its governor. It became the 20th state in 1817.

1 May 1969 - The Fourth of July
Anna May Robert (Grandma) Moses didn't begin painting until she was in her seventies. Her basic theme was scenes on American folklore.

For other stamps on the 'M' theme please visit our host at Sunday-Stamps-m.


Sunday, 6 May 2018

Sunday Stamps II - A-Z ; 'L' Great Britain

I thought it was time I showed some stamps from Great Britain. 'L' has given me the opportunity to go back to 1963 with the 9th International Lifeboat Conference in Edinburgh.

Rescue at Sea
19th Century Lifeboat
Lifeboatmen
Now you need to row over to Sunday-stamps-l where more 'L' related stamps may be found.

Monday, 30 April 2018

A-Z Challenge 2018 - British Rivers: 'Z'

I must be a dunce to think that I could find a British river beginning with 'Z'. But then I remembered that 'z' is the last letter of the alphabet - 


Bridge, Buckland Mill, Devon
 showing two of the arches across the River Duntz.

In 1986 the BBC Domesday project included this is part of the "View of Buckland Brewer."

"In our area we have two rivers called Yeo and Duntz. They have quite a lot of small streams joining them. The Duntz is quite narrow with pebbles at the bottom. The Duntz joins the River Yeo which joins the River Torridge. The valleys have gently sloping sides and level floors.

The bridges crossing over the Yeo and Duntz are stone."

To hide the scars from this years A-Z and to maintain the mill connection I discovered a west country stream that rises in Wiltshire and which flows north east for 8.1 miles before joining the Bristol Avon (you could say that that has brought us back from 'Z' to 'A'.)

Mill Lane, Colston runs alongside Gauze Brook
That's all folks!

Photo attributions:

  • Bridge, Buckland Mill: 16 February 2008 ex geograph.org.uk by Derek Harper - CC BY-SA 2.0 Licence
  • Mill Lane Colston: 24 January 2007  ex geograph.org.uk by Roger Comfort - CC BY-SA 2.0 Licence.

Sunday, 29 April 2018

Sunday Stamps II: A-Z 'K' Iceland Malawi Norway

50 years ago today Iceland issued a Europa stamp depicting a - 

CEPT Key
Conférence européenne des administrations des postes et des télécommunications.

No translation needed for a pastime in Malawi,

Kayak Riding - 25 April 2014
And finally a Norwegian geologist who I know nothing about.

TR Kjerulf - 4 September 1974
For more stamps under 'K' follow the links at Sunday-stamps-k.

Saturday, 28 April 2018

A-Z Challenge 2018 - British Rivers: 'Y' Yare

In 1949 I was awarded a form prize at Stamford School. The book I chose was 'Coot Club' by Arthur Ransome. It is the story of Dick and Dorothea and their adventures in a yacht, the Titmouse, as they sailed down the River Yare in Norfolk.

The inside covers contain maps of the Norfolk Broads and the Northern and Southern Rivers which are navigable.


River Yare as it runs south from Norwich
You should be able to see the name Buckenham Ferry

Buckenham Ferry on the River Yare -
oil painting by Joseph Stannard (1797-1830)
River Yare by Buckenham Marshes
The Yare is a principal navigable waterway of the Norfolk Broads and flows into and out of Breydon Water.

The Yare's route to the from Reedham to Gorleston-on-Sea
View of Gorleston-on-Sea from South Denes
I've always been a little disappointed that this river which runs through Great Yarmouth is not called the River Yarm. (Yarm is the town on the North East River Tees -see my 'T' post) My visits to Yarmouth have either been on holiday or to catch a helicopter from North Denes heliport when going offshore.

Photo attributions:

  • Buckenham Ferry on the River Yare: Joseph Stannard 1826 painting - Yale Centre for British Art  - public domain
  • River Yare by Buckenham Marshes: 3 January 2009 ex geograph.org.uk by Hugh Venables - CC BY-SA 2.0 Licence
  • View of Gorleston-on-Sea across the River Yare: 13 February 2009  ex geograph.org.uk by Craig Tuck - CC BY-SA 2.0 Licence

Friday, 27 April 2018

A-Z Challenge 2018 - British Rivers: 'X' Exe

"It is sweet to see how soon a spring becomes a rill, and a rill runs on into a rivulet, and a rivulet swells into a brook; and before one has time to say 'what are you at?' - before the first tree it ever spoke to is a dummy, or the first hill it ever ran down has turned blue, here we all have airs and graces, demands and assertions of a full grown river." - R.D. Blackmore. 

I'd like to think that he had the River Exe in mind when he wrote that.

The Exe rises on Exmoor in Somerset only 5 miles from the Bristol Channel. However it had a different route in mind, running south through Devon to reach its estuary at the city of Exeter.


River Exe at Tiverton
The Exe Valley Way, a long distance route, enables you to walk along the length of the river valley and enables you to appreciate the words of R.D. Blackmore (Author of Lorna Doone)

Photo attribution:
  • River Exe at Tiverton: 30 August 2010 by IDS.photos - CC BY-SA 2.0 Licence

Thursday, 26 April 2018

A-Z Challenge 2018 - British Rivers: 'W' Wye, Wear, Wensum.

It's at this stage in the A-Z when I wonder Wye I started and Wear (where) I've got to and Wensum one will comment.

I started with the Wye because apart from the River Severn it has the most westerly of sources in the UK. It rises on Plynlimon in mid Wales and forms part of the border between England and Wales. Its valley is an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.


River Wye at Hay on Wye looking downstream towards Hereford
On a visit to Chepstow some years ago I took a photo of the Wye from the Castle walls but as I can no longer find it I have had to make do with this shot, at low tide, instead.

River Wye at Chepstow
The River Wear is one of the longest rivers in North East England. It rises in the Pennines, flows through County Durham, the city of Durham before reaching Sunderland and the North Sea.

I've seen it often from up high on - 

Croxdale railway viaduct carrying the East Coast mainline between London and Edinburgh near Durham
Having started in Wales it's time to finish in the east.

Swans on the River Wensum
The Wensum is another of those chalk rivers I've mention in earlier posts. 71 km of its length has been designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest and a Special Area of Conservation. If you have Google Earth on your computer you may see all about the Wensum.

It's a tributary of the River Yare despite being the larger of the two and it flows through the city of Norwich.

Photo attributions:
  • River Wye at Hay on Wye: 29 August 2008 ex geograph.org.uk by OLU - CC BY-SA 2,0 Licence
  • River Wye at Chepstow: 3 September 2003 ex geograph.org.uk by Robin Somes - CC BY-SA 2,0 Licence
  • River Wear - Croxdale viaduct: 30 June 2007 by Peter G Hughes - CC BY-SA 3.0 Licence
  • Swans on River Wensum: 25 January 2008 ex geograph.org.uk by Evelyn Simak - CC BY-SA 2.0 Licence.


Wednesday, 25 April 2018

A-Z Challenge 2018 - British Rivers: 'V' Valency

I studied chemistry at university and thought I had learnt a lot about valency.

I had never heard of the North Cornish village of Boscastle but like many I was shocked to see the TV news in August 2004.


Boscastle Harbour
This photo was taken in April 2004. In it you can see the steep sides of the Valency valley. The river itself is very short - c.5 miles. It has many tributaries, including a very short River Jordan (not one of those in my 'J' post) which joins the Valency just above Bocastle.

In its wooded stretches the Valency looks very mild.

River Valency at New Mills

After several days of heavy rain in August 2004 and 24 hours in which a month's rain came down, the Valency turned into a raging torrent which caused extensive structural damage in Boscastle. Cars were washed away and people trapped in their houses until rescued by helicopters.


The harbour was protected by two stone walls erected by Sir Richard Grenville in 1584. I assume that these are those in the first photo above.

Protected from the Atlantic Ocean by these walls, Boscastle harbour was unprotected from what became the raging Valency.

There are a number of videos on YouTube which show the Boscastle floods if you wish to get an idea about how bad the conditions were.

Photo attributions:
  • Boscastle Harbour: 14 April 2004 by JUweL - CC BY-SA 3.0 Licence
  • River Valency at New Mills: 18 May 2007 by Jan Coupland ex geography.org.uk - CC BY-SA 2.0 Licence

Tuesday, 24 April 2018

A-Z Challenge 2018 - British Rivers: 'U' Ure

The River Ure runs close to Jervaulx Abbey near Ripon in North Yorkshire.


River Ure near Jervaulx Abbey
Some years ago (I'm not allowed to say how many) our family visited Jervaulx Abbey, the Cistercian Abbey dedicated to St Mary in 1156.

Inside Jervaulx Abbey (I think) - 19xx
The Ure runs through Wensleydale and after 74 miles its name changes to the Ouse (see 'O'). Wensleydale is famous for its cheese. It was Cistercian monks that made it first. However the cheese now made in the town of Hawes has been made more 'famous' by Wallace and Gromit. 



Along the course of the river is a set of falls gouged out on a one mile stretch of the Ure that appeared in the film 'Robin Hood and the Prince of Thieves.' This is where Robin fought Little John.

The Upper Waterfall at Aysgarth
Unsurprisingly the Aysgarth Falls have become a favourite place for visitors - and not because of the Robin Hood connection.

Photo attributions:
  • River Ure near Jervaulx Abbey: 8 January 2006 ex geograph.org.uk by Chris Heaton - CC BY-SA 2.0 licence
  • Wallace and Gromit video - ex Youtube
  • The Upper Waterfall at Aysgarth: 23 May 2012 by Wehha - CC BY-SA 3.0 licence


Monday, 23 April 2018

A-Z Challenge 2018 - British Rivers: 'T' Tees

There are so many rivers beginning with 'T' - Tay, Tweed, Tyne, Tees, Trent,Thames, Test, Taw, Tamar - it's impossible to cover them all.

So I'll stick to the one I know best.


River Tees 'looping' round the town of Yarm
Here you can hardly miss the railway viaduct that appeared in my 'Theme Reveal' post.

Railway viaduct crossing the River Tees
That's it, together with the road bridge, at the left of the first photo.

Upstream of the viaduct the river looks very peaceful. A seal has been fishing there this week.


You can see the road bridge with the viaduct behind from this shot taken from down stream.


The name of Yarm is derived from the Anglo Saxon 'yarum' meaning 'fish pools'

The road bridge was built in 1400 by Walter Skirlaw, Bishop of Durham; now it is twice the width of that 1400 bridge, but original stonework still makes up part of the pillars you can see.

The first bridge over the Tees at Stockton, further downstream, was built in 1771. Until that time the port of Yarm had been the nearest place to the North Sea where River Tees could be crossed. As ships got bigger port facilities moved down river, first to Stockton, then and now to Middlesbrough.

When we first moved to Yarm in 1970 the Tees was a tidal river up to and beyond the town. It was not uncommon for the town to be flooded; high water heights are recorded on some buildings.

In the 1990s a tidal barrier was installed between Stockton and Middlesbrough. The Tees at Yarm is now no longer tidal with the water level controlled by the Tees Barrage.

Geese on the River Tees at Yarm
Raised floodgate on the Barrage
High Tide
Low Tide
Meanwhile back at Yarm the geese line up - 


For their turn in a gala on the River
We cannot leave the Tees without taking a look at some bridges further down river,

The Infinity Bridge at Stockton
(with the Tees Barrage in the background)
The Infinity Bridge was erected to celebrate the end of the 20th century.

You can walk alongside the River from the Infinity Bridge down past the Tees Barrage, alongside the Portrack Nature Reserve. Then if the mood takes you can cross over to the other side via - 

Newport Bridge
Designed as a lift bridge to allow ships to past, the road section is now fixed in place and only small craft pass to go up to the Barrage and through its lock to Stockton and beyond.

Along that stretch of the Tees you may, if the mood takes you, indulge some bird watching.

A curlew in the mud
Closer to the sea you come to Middlesbrough and the bridge that has become an icon for the town.

Middlesbrough Transporter Bridge in action