Sunday, November 28, 2010

150th Anniversary of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway, Great Britain

Recently I got this fantastic surprise in my mailbox from Laura. She saw this and reminded her of me and thought I may like to have it! This is one of the times when I think that a simple 'thank you' aint good enough but i just dont know which are the right words to show my appreciation for the thoughtfulness. Do you also get stuck with words like I do?

The Liverpool and Manchester Railway, the world's first regular passenger-carrying railway, opened on 15 December 1830. Many distinguished guests, including the Duke of Wellington, then Prime Minister, attended the occasion. The day was marred when the member for Liverpool, Mr. William Huskisson was struck by the Rocket and died that evening.
Many prints and lithographs recorded the appearance of the Railway and its surroundings both during construction and after completion. These have provided the inspirations for the stamp designs, which show a train running through a landscape, which includes five familiar features of the Liverpool-Manchester route.

From left to right, the first stamp shows the Rocket in its most original form and livery. Probably by the time the line had opened, the Rocket had been modified but the original form is more familiar. The background shows the Moorish Arch, just short of the tunnel into Liverpool.

The second stamp shows first and second-class carriages. The setting is the deep Olive Mount Cutting, a few miles up the line.

The third stamp shows an open third-class coach and a two-storey cattle truck full of sheep. These would not normally have been found together in the same train, but serve to emphasize the crudity of the arrangements provided for the poorer passengers. The landscape behind is Chat Moss.

The fourth stamp shows the first-ever rail-drive: an open coach carried on a truck and its owner's horse box. The background shows a cottage near the bridge over the Bridgewater Canal.

The fifth stamp shows a truck-load of merchandise covered by a tarpaulin and a red Post Office Mail van with its guard bringing up the rear of the train. The overcast industrial Manchester background highlights the commercial importance of the Railway.

The mixture of goods traffic is, of course, symbolic of the railway's scope rather than strictly accurate. Actual trains were either passenger or freight.

The five se-tenant stamps, issued on 12 March 1980, were designed by David Gentleman and printed in photogravure on unwatermarked, coated, phosphor treated paper by Harrison & Sons (High Wycombe) Ltd.
Format: Horizontal size 41x30 mm
Perforations: 15x14
number per sheet:100

The FDC was designed by David Gentleman
Laura, thank you again so much!! Thank you thank you thank you! This feels like such a precious item to own!

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