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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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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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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Though not normally having a great interest in the game of golf I find myself absolutely glued to the television for a certain three-day event which occurs every two years.

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Now and then we focus on the incredible variety of subjects that can be found on postage stamps, some being very unusual. And today I came across some such stamps. Those in question feature a sport whose participants must not only have a considerable amount of stamina but also excellent navigational skills. The sport, orienteering, began in Sweden in the late 19th Century and involved the crossing of unknown land with the aid of a map and a compass.

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tonga stampAmong the hundreds of stamps recently added to PostBeeld’s Freestampcatalogue I discovered items that took me back to a previous article published on April 29th, 2014, entitled ‘Tin Can Mail’. A wonderful lady, Betty Billingham, provided most of the information for the article and I thoroughly recommend a visit to her website, to not only read about her fascinating life history but also to view her photo gallery, as she is an extremely accomplished photographer.

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First Cristmas StampOn December 7, 1898, Canada Post issued a stamp to commemorate the uniform postage rate that would be valid throughout the British Empire. A beautiful stamp displaying in red on a world map all areas belonging to the Empire. An Empire where the sun never set.

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Stamp goofsWherever people work, mistakes will be made. The business of postage stamp design is no exception. Many stamps have been issued with design flaws or flaws of a different nature. And these are of great interest to many collectors. Below we illustrate where some stamp designers have used what might be called ‘artistic licence’.

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Btampwars Bolivia (Chaco War)Believe it or not, wars have been fought between countries over postage stamps! Although it has been quiet on the stamp front in recent decades, we only have to go back to 1932 for a real stamp war. This occurred in a then rather volatile South America, specifically between Paraguay and Bolivia.

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