Thursday, September 9, 2010

Great British Railways, UK

Sometimes I dont know how I have managed to meet such great people, but they surely have been a treasure to have in life coz they so selflessly love to surprise me with not only great postcards, but fantastic philatelic items as well.

The last great surprise came from dear Silvan from Malta, who especially for me had ordered this amazing FDC which made me jump of joy when I found it in my mailbox!
It was issued by the Royal Mail in order to commemorate the 50th anniversary of British Rail’s last steam locomotive, the 9F Class ‘Evening Star’.

This is the first in a series of Special Stamp issues commemorating classic British locomotives, which will continue with a number of Miniature Sheets from 2011 onwards!!!!!!!!!!!

Number of stamps: six
Date of issue: 19 August 2010
Stamp Format: Landscape
Stamp Size: 41mm x 30mm
Print Process: Gravure
Number per Sheet: 25/50
Perforations: 14.5 x 14
Phosphor: All over
Gum: PVA

In 1923 over 120 railway companies were merged into the Big Four, comprising the London, Midland and Scottish (including the Northern Counties Committee NCC in Northern Ireland), the Londong & Northern Eastern, the Great Western and the Southern Railways. Together they combined traditional British engineering excellence with innovative publicity. After the Second World War, however, the railways had become so run down that they were nationalised as British Railways in 1948. In March 1960, Evening Star brought to an end more than 130 years of steam-locomotive building for Britain's mainline railways.

Some details about each stamp:

1st Class – LMS Coronation Class

The streamlined Coronation Class locomotive ‘Coronation’ of the London Midland and Scottish Railway is seen here at Euston Station in 1938. Named in honour of the accession of King George VI, a Coronation Class locomotive was displayed at the 1939 New York World’s Fair.

1st Class – BR Class 9F

This photograph of ‘Evening Star’, the last of the British Rail Class 9F locomotives was taken at Midsomer Norton in 1962. The 9F was originally designed to pull heavy freight trains, but a few, like Evening Star, were used on passenger services, particularly on the steeply graded Somerset and Dorset line.

67p – GWR King Class

The photograph shows the Great Western Railway’s King Class locomotive ‘King William IV’ near Teignmouth in 1935. The Kings were the GWR’s star locomotives, able to pull heavy holiday trains and as well as expresses. Hailed as the UK’s most powerful steam engine, the ‘King George V’ toured the USA in 1927.

67p – LNER Class A1

This London North East Region Class A1 locomotive, ‘Royal Lancer’, was photographed in 1929. The LNER’s most famous A1 was the ‘Flying Scotsman’, the first UK steam engine to reach 100mph. Modernised from the 1930s, A1s were still pulling important passenger trains right into the 1960s.

97p – LMS NCC Class WT

The London Midland and Scottish Northern Counties Committee Class WT, ‘Engine No 2’, is pictured at Larne Harbour in the late 1940s. Based on a standard LMS design but built for the wider Irish track, the WTs were the last new steam locomotives delivered to the NCC and were widely known as ‘Jeeps’.

97p – SR King Arthur Class

This Southern Region King Arthur Class locomotive, ‘Sir Mador de la Porte’, was photographed at Bournemouth Central Station in the late 1930s. These fine locomotives once handled the Southern’s heaviest express trains, but were relegated to pulling less glamorous services from the 1940s.

Thank you soooo much Silvan!!!!

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