Press release from RPSL

There is something special about collecting islands, especially small islands, and islands you can reach.’ The words of Alan Moorcroft FRPSL, giving the Vote of Thanks for the display and presentation of ‘Postal History of the Isles of Scilly’ by Michael Roberts FRPSL, President of the Royal Philatelic Society London, to its members on 18 April.

Michael fell in love with the islands when on holiday in 1995, and returned many times. Soon the passion extended to building a fine collection – and a superb collection it certainly is.

Among the outstanding pieces shown was the earliest known entire letter from the Scilly islands, dated 26 June 1727, sent by William Crudge and addressed to London. Another entire letter shown was sent from St Mary’s, Scilly to London, bearing the Scilly datestamp of 29 March 1841, and stamped with a Penny Black cancelled with a black Maltese Cross.

On 7 May 1875 the SS Schiller was shipwrecked off the islands: only ten covers from this wreck survive. One was shown that had been sent from Norfolk to New Zealand but, as the addressee had not been found, it was being returned to sender.

Michael also told the tale of the first airport on Scilly, on the island of St Mary’s, ‘situated on the Golf Course’, in fact on the fifth hole.

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Written by Héloïse

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