St. Helena - 1961 Tristan Relief Fund stamp set

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St. Helena - 1961 Tristan Relief Fund stamp set

Post by Stoon »

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Tristan da Cuhna has to be one of the most isolated communities on this planet.

The Following information is from the British Library:

"The small island of Tristan da Cunha in the South Atlantic hit the headlines in October 1961 when violent volcanic activity caused the evacuation of the population.

The authorities on the neighbouring island of St. Helena, some 1,400 miles to the north-east, started a Relief Fund, and a supply of Tristan da Cunha stamps were surcharged "ST. HELENA Tristan Relief" with an amount for the fund.

Unfortunately only the Colonial Office in London could authorise new stamps, a fact clearly unknown to the Governor, and the issue was withdrawn.

These are among the rarest of modern stamps as only 434 sets were sold."
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Re: St.Helena - Tristan Relief Fund

Post by bathurst stamper »

Tristan da Cunha is THE most isolated permanently inhabited part of the world.
No longer in Bathurst, but too good a double pun to request a name change.

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Re: St.Helena - Tristan Relief Fund

Post by Stoon »

Has anyone visited this island? - Would love to see pictures.

What is the population, how do they support themselves etc. etc?

I'm interested in learning more.
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Re: St. Helena - 1961 Tristan Relief Fund stamp set

Post by GlenStephens »

I just bought a massive collection of British 'Antarctic' type covers and FDC and stamp collections from 1910.

AAT, Ross, Falklands, Argy, French, Chile, Sth Georgia, Tristan, St. Helena, Campbell Is, etc.

Boxes of it.

So if anyone has a yearning for a stamps or FDC collection, please speak up. :)

Seems like we have near zero interest in this little place here.

I listed this atttractive 1934 cover up for $50, and no-one was interested! :lol:

https://www.stampboards.com/viewtopic.php?f=27&t=27687
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Re: St. Helena - 1961 Tristan Relief Fund stamp set

Post by fromdownunder »

GlenStephens wrote:Seems like we have near zero interest in this little place here.
I would not say so - I have almost a complete run to around 1966. But, as you know, I don't collect covers.

Here are a couple of the nicer sets:

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Re: St. Helena - 1961 Tristan Relief Fund stamp set

Post by Global Administrator »

Sydney based Richard Peck had the world's best Tristan collection, and scanned it all into this stamp based handbook that came with the collection mentioned above if anyone wants to read up on this remote place.

Richard's part intro is above, and one of the several pages on the 1961 overprints and letters from folks that were moved out of the islands in 1961 due to it etc.


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Re: St. Helena - 1961 Tristan Relief Fund stamp set

Post by mikyh »

There is a gap in my St. Helena album for this set, and probably always will be, as this is one of the most expensive commonwealth sets. It sells for over £2,500 on cover and over £2,000 for each stamp. Haven't seen a set for a while, except one marked POR.

Getting to Tristan is difficult as Simon Winchester found in his excellent book Outposts. This book details his travels to the remaining countries of the British Empire. Yes, we still have one! but have 'lost' Hong Kong since this book was written.

Wiki and other Tristan based websites indicate that the RMS Helena visits once a year but their website doesn't mention it so the only access is probably via yacht/fishing boat from Cape Town. Even then it is not guaranteed that you can land once you are there.


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Re: St. Helena - 1961 Tristan Relief Fund stamp set

Post by DaveR »

Hi Stoon.

And here's some more interest:

http://www.stampboards.com/viewtopic.php?f=17&t=21209

There's some references at the bottom of page 3 that will provide more info on this interesting place.

Dave.

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Re: St. Helena - 1961 Tristan Relief Fund stamp set

Post by Stoon »

DaveR, what a great piece of philatelic research! I must say I learned some interesting facts after posting a set I put away in the bottom drawer 30+ years ago.

Would love to buy a copy of Richard Peck's book.

Being a transplanted S.African, I do remember reference to the volcanic event in the newspaper at the time.

Thanks.
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Re: St. Helena - 1961 Tristan Relief Fund stamp set

Post by GlenStephens »

Stoon wrote: Would love to buy a copy of Richard Peck's book.
Richard is an active author and self-publisher, but generally only does 100 copies of his works. This one is 20 years old, so clearly needle in a haystack material.

The one I have is $A30, and probably is the only one out there for sale globally. :)

Glen

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Re: St. Helena - 1961 Tristan Relief Fund stamp set

Post by Global Administrator »

We had a fun thread deciphering one of the earliest letters connected with Tristan da Cunha -

https://www.stampboards.com/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=19239
Global Administrator wrote:I bought a rather historic and very valuable letter recently, but am having trouble reading it all!

It is a June 26, 1840 folded letter from Sydney, Australia to Surrey, England, being one of the early letters to survive, that passed through remote Tristan da Cunha.

Rimless crowned red oval "Paid Ship Letter/Ju 26/1840/Sydney" addressed to Col. Salwey in a rather curious hand writing, red straight line "Ship Letter", and red arrival c.d.s.

The phenomenal three page letter (with partial typewritten transcript) includes passages as: ...During our voyage we did not touch anywhere but sighted the following places - the Madeira Isles, the Canaries, Trinidad Island, and Tristan D'Acunha where we heaved for two hours and a boat came to us.

We endeavored to purchase some sheep, our stock being rather low, but the 'Mangles" having been there before us we could not affect our purchase as Mr. Glass (formerly a private in the Army) & the boats crew were drunk.

There are four or five families settled on this island & the above mentioned Mr. Glass, a drunken beggar who cannot write his name, is considered 'Governor'.


I'll add scans a half page at a time to make reading it easier!

I want to read more content from one of the remotest places on earth at that time. 8)
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And many more scans of the letter followed in the original thread. :)

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Re: St. Helena - 1961 Tristan Relief Fund stamp set

Post by Stoon »

Glen,consider Richard Peck's book sold!

I can help to some extent with the Afrikaans translation of the above letter
Presumebly this article was owned by a South African collector.

...No letters remain from the time period immediately following the colonization of Tristan da Cunha in 1810 from Jonathan Lambert.

Letters from1816 and 1817 are often seen in the official records of the Cape colony, but the first letter from William Glass that still exists, from 31 December 1822, make mention of two earlier letters from him, that cannot be traced.

The letter of the 26 June 1840 (two pages earlier),that one Alfred Salwey From Australia wrote to a colonel Salwey in Britain , describes his visit to Tristan ( photocopy on previous page). Salwey tells of his visit:.....

I hope this is of some help.
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Re: St. Helena - 1961 Tristan Relief Fund stamp set

Post by fromdownunder »

The greatest Science Fiction writer of all time (yes this it a totally objective statement), Robert A. Heinlein visited Tristan da Cunha in 1952 in one of his many world wide travels. I suspect that he is (was) one of the few people in the world who saw more places than Glen (and his wife Ginny hated flying, so they went pretty much everywhere by ship and land transpost).

He devoted an entire chapter of his book Tramp Royale to this visit, but unfortunately I loaned my copy to a "friend" one day about 15 years ago, and have not seen it since. One thing I remember, for obvious reasons, is a statement along the lines that "They had recently gotten their first stamps ever, and we all purchased First Day Covers" (paraphrased here)

One other thing I remember is that they were lucky to land, due to decent weather, and had anything been worse, the ship (it was a commercial steamer, not a tourist Ship) would not have allowed the small boats to leave.

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Re: St. Helena - 1961 Tristan Relief Fund stamp set

Post by Sark »

Stoon Hi

If you are interested in Tristan and want to read more, the book to get is "The History and Postal History of Tristan da Cunha" by the Late George Crabb. Published in 1980 in fills 340 pages with postal history of the Island, is very well illustrated throughout and seems to mention virtually every ship that called at Tristan. Letters from the 1640's onwards are illustrated and as one would expect the various cachets used prior to stamps being issued are covered in great detail.

If you were to buy only one book on the subject this would be the one I would recommend.

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Re: St. Helena - 1961 Tristan Relief Fund stamp set

Post by phrag99 »

Sark wrote:Stoon Hi

If you are interested in Tristan and want to read more, the book to get is "The History and Postal History of Tristan da Cunha" by the Late George Crabb. Published in 1980 in fills 340 pages with postal history of the Island, is very well illustrated throughout and seems to mention virtually every ship that called at Tristan. Letters from the 1640's onwards are illustrated and as one would expect the various cachets used prior to stamps being issued are covered in great detail.

If you were to buy only one book on the subject this would be the one I would recommend.
There are 2 copies currently available on abebooks.co.uk

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Re: St. Helena - 1961 Tristan Relief Fund stamp set

Post by aethelwulf »

In the 90s I got a part-time job while at uni in Canada working the counter at an LPO as Aussies call it (Licensed Post Office, franchise retail outlet). The owner sometimes regretted hiring a stamp collector, I would plaster parcels with stamps instead of using the meter ("Its faster" he'd say, "and then I don't have to order more stamps and do inventory). He tried to 'thwart' me by not keeping any dollar values in the drawer, so I'd use up to full sheets of overweight/international rate letter stamps, which just made him more angry as that led to more ordering/inventorying. :lol:

Just a few days into the job, a woman came in mailing some parcels. We served an upscale part of town. She was well-dressed, her parcels were all carefully wrapped in brown paper. She told me she was posting off calendars as Christmas gifts. This was mid-October. :o I looked at the addresses and she had a couple to the Falklands, and a couple to Tristan da Cunha. :shock: I had never encountered anyone before who even knew this place let alone had correspondents there.

She told me that she had taken a holiday to "Trist", and posted off gifties every year, usually calendars showing scenes of Canada. She said things had to be posted early as they went from Canada to the UK, where they were taken down to St. Helena, often by RAF cargo planes.

Apparently getting to Trist is a bit hit-and-miss. There's no regular sailings of ferries, the population doesn't warrant it. On their holiday they were bobbing about in the Falklands, and hitched a lift on a Russian ship, scientific vessel to Antarctica probably. This woman said if you want to get over to Trist, that's pretty much how to do it, hang around and wait for a ship that's passing by that area, so you might be on a research boat, a cargo ship, maybe not a whaling vessel anymore.

Built up a fair rapport with her after that meeting, although I still remember she gave me a bad face one day when I had trouble understanding an elderly man who, it turned out, was asking, in Polish, for airmail stickers. (Eventually figured it out as he kept saying "lot", which from seeing postal history I knew was Polish for 'air' :D).
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Re: St. Helena - 1961 Tristan Relief Fund stamp set

Post by Stoon »

Thank you Sark and phrag99,
Excellent recommendation.
Managed to pick up a copy for $50 + shipping at Abebooks.
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Re: St. Helena - 1961 Tristan Relief Fund stamp set

Post by stampchris »

I believe mail goes by RAF plane from RAF Brize Norton in the UK, to Wideawake Airfield on Ascension Island, and then by the Royal Mail Ship RMS St. Helena to St. Helena, which takes about 2 days.

I believe RMS St. Helena used to travel from the UK to Ascension, and St. Helena, but now only does a round trip from South Africa to Ascension and St. Helena and back. Tristan is serviced by RMS St. Helena once a year, and more regularly by fishing boats.

There's no airfield on St. Helena, though they plan to have one open by 2012.

Tristan really is a remote community.
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Re: St. Helena - 1961 Tristan Relief Fund stamp set

Post by Global Administrator »

stampchris wrote:
Tristan really is a remote community.
It is Manhattan compared to Pitcairn Island. :mrgreen:

You can't even moor a boat on the island. 8)

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Re: St. Helena - 1961 Tristan Relief Fund stamp set

Post by CMJ »

mikyh wrote:There is a gap in my St. Helena album for this set, and probably always will be, as this is one of the most expensive commonwealth sets. It sells for over £2,500 on cover and over £2,000 for each stamp. Haven't seen a set for a while, except one marked POR.
Michael
Considering the limited number produced, they do come up at auction occasionally. I remember seeing two last year (a mint set and an FDC) and in Spink's July 2011 Collector's sale there is a used set (est £800) and a locally addressed FDC (est £1,000).

Chris.

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