Climate change, global warming and environmental Issues are, quite rightly, often in the news. I, for one, am more than pleased with the great focus on these subjects nowadays although there are many influential people and organisations that, despite scientific evidence, continue to deny the facts.
I have experienced the terrible winter fogs of 1950s London caused by the effects of widespread coal burning, vehicle emissions and other pollutants which killed thousands and hospitalised hundreds of thousands of people. This experience left me with life-long lung problems.
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The subject for 2019’s Europa stamps is National Birds. Spain has a bearded vulture on its 2019 six-stamp Premium Sheet.
The bird is adapted to live in the harsh high landscape of the Pyrenean mountain range from Navarre to Catalonia.
Its anatomy is unmistakable. This huge bird can reach wingspans of up to 2.80 metres. Its Spanish name, “quebrantahuesos” (bone-breaker) comes from its way of feeding. Among other things it feeds on bones which it drops from a height onto rocks to crack them into smaller pieces. It does this in areas known in Spanish as “rompederos”.
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The tractor was a very important invention for the development of agricultural production throughout the world and tractors on postage stamps can be an interesting topic for the stamp collector. Maybe some of the following shown here will be of interest also. The stamp above depicts Demeter, the ancient Greek goddess of the harvest, as an allegorical figure representing agriculture, looking down upon tractors ploughing a field, engraved and printed by Thomas De La Rue & Co. Ltd., and issued by Greece in 1951 as one of a set of six stamps publicising Greece’s post-Second World War economic recovery.
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In the late 1970s a fascinating series of articles written by Mr. K. Kouwenberg about the history of Stamp Collecting, appeared in the Dutch magazine Philatelie. This series has been the source of inspiration for PostBeeld owner Rob Smit to rewrite the history of stamp collecting in instalments. This is Part 32 – Collectors’ Associations.
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This article appears courtesy of Cees Janssen, a confessed Anglophile and one of the main contributors for PostBeeld’s Dutch-language “Postzegelblog”:
After the flood of stamp issues around the Millennium, I chose to limit myself to the stamps of Great Britain printed by Joh. Enschedé Stamps BV in Haarlem, The Netherlands – a small, thematically appealing series. And I was immediately surprised in 2001 with the issue of the greetings stamps.
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The Hanseatic League, or Hanse, was formed as a northern European trading organisation, founded in the middle of the twelfth century in the north German city of Lubeck and continued as a powerful force for around 500 years. It grew to comprise a network of around 200 trading cities as far apart as London, England, in the west and Viliky Novgorod, Russia, in the east and during its lifetime had to protect its interests from interfering rulers, pirates and rival traders. The type of ship on the stamp above issued in 1977 is a Cog and it was the ship of choice for most Hanseatic League traders.
The Hanseatic League influenced the economic, political and cultural life in Europe for nearly four centuries.
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Coffee is second only to oil as the most-traded commodity in the world.
As mentioned in the previous article, Brazil is the largest coffee producer in the world. Coffee is also an important agricultural product for the economy of many Central and South American countries and various islands in the Caribbean. The Costa Rica definitive stamp set below includes three values – the 45 and 80 Centimos and 10 Colones – showing a female coffee bean picker.
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In the above photo (acc. Agljones) is Irishman Michael Dunlop (see at bottom of article), and continuing with the theme of the Isle of Man Tourist Trophy motorcycle races, the four riders shown on the stamps issued by Ireland in 1996 were all born on the Emerald Isle. The 32c stamp features 10-time TT race winner Stanley Woods (1903-1993), while the 44c stamp shows Artie Bell (1914-1972) winner of two TTs. His promising career was cut short after a heavy accident in the 1950 Belgian Grand Prix.
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Was the first Mr. Bean actually a ninth-century Ethiopian goatherd Named Kaldi? There is a fabled story that he discovered coffee when he noticed how excited his goats became after eating the beans from a coffee plant. It is now estimated that about two billion cups of coffee are consumed worldwide each day!
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The beauty of New Zealand is undisputed by those fortunate enough to have visited the country. Indeed, in 2010 NZ Post issued a lovely 25-value mini-sheet depicting some of the highlights to be seen on the country’s North and South Islands. The sheet is entitled “A Slice of Heaven”.
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