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Falkland Islands
  • Falkland Islands – Rural HeritageFalkland Islands – Rural HeritageSeptember 7, 2022The rural history of the Falklands is wide ranging:  bases used by early hunters of seals and penguins for extracting oil; lone graves of sailors from passing ships who died and were buried on Falkland shores, or of settlers who died as a result of accident or illness; wrecks of ships whose timbers still survive on reefs and rocky beaches; sites of habitation or industry; stone buildings and structures; signs of communication such as semaphores, letterboxes and lighthouses.  Cattle and pigs were put ashore by visiting ships in order to provide fresh meat for future visits.  Once the islands were settled cattle hands and good horsemen (gauchos) were employed to undertake the various tasks involving wild, and later tamed, cattle.  This included the building of stone and turf corrals and walls (which must have been back-breaking work undertaken with minimal tools) many of which are still visible today.  Sheep farming and the export of wool became a more lucrative trade and has continued ever since, but brought about a call for shepherds (mostly from the United Kingdom).  Boundary riders were employed and lived in basic huts until wool began showing financial returns when fences were erected, and small houses were built on outlying areas of farms so that shepherds could live near their flocks.  Settlements, the farm headquarters, were built in harbours with jetties to enable wool to be shipped out and supplies brought in. These settlements grew larger as more workers were required, and as more sheep were being carried on farms, so those farms prospered and were able to improve housing and amenities. Life was not easy for farming populations as there were no roads, communications were basic, sea links were sometimes hazardous for sea craft of all sizes. These carried supplies, mail, doctors, itinerant school teachers and other passengers from offshore island farms to mainland settlements and back again. Some tragedies resulted.  On land, horses, carts and other horse drawn equipment travelled on pre-defined tracks between settlements and shepherds’ houses. This too could be hazardous, crossing rivers, beaches and over mountains in sometimes inclement weather brought downfall to some.  As farming progressed so did communications with magneto telephones being installed, bridges built, and tracked and wheeled vehicles introduced, making life much easier.  Radio Telephones (R/T) made a huge difference to communications, especially to those on islands who felt less isolated, as did the establishment of the air service using floatplanes which could land at settlements to transport passengers and deliver mail. Beginning in the 1980s many of the larger farms were subdivided and sold in sections as single family units; thus life changed quite radically for many.  Now a network of all-weather tracks connects farms and a ferry links East and West Falkland.  Time and progress have marched on very quickly it seems and, as such, relics from rural life can sometimes be demolished, fall down, get ploughed under, built over, covered by vegetation or just forgotten altogether. 1p Rudd’s Pass, San Carlos River In October 1864 John Rudd, the Falkland Islands Company’s camp manager at Darwin, was riding through the river pass accompanied by a gaucho or cattle hand by the name of Gill (records show him as being ‘a half bred Indian’).  As they were fording the river, Gill stabbed John Rudd who later died of his wounds. Gill fled and hid in shrubbery, but was discovered by men from the farm, taken to Darwin, thence to Stanley where he was hanged for the murder of John Rudd. Folklore tells of a card game in Stanley where Gill drew the ‘short straw’ as the person who would commit the murder, but there is no evidence to support this. John’s widow was left with six young children and was expecting a seventh. 2p The St Mary Whale Point, Island Harbour, Fitzroy Farm                                                      The newly built ship ‘St Mary’ was damaged in 1891 after nearing Cape Horn, when an iron ship collided with her, resulting in her making for the Falklands and Stanley, for repairs.  She struck the reef opposite Kelp Lagoon, where she lay a shattered wreck. The crew managed to make Fitzroy but the captain stayed aboard the ship.  He was found the next day, lying dead in his berth. At the inquest the jury returned that his death was caused by ‘heart disease accelerated by worry and excitement’. A storm later split the wreck into two halves, one of which came ashore.  Some of the valuable cargo, which included carpet, coffee, whiskey, paraffin and soap, was sold by auction.  A portion of the ‘tween decks was taken back to Maine, USA and reconstructed in Maine State Museum, Augusta. 5p Hillside House, Riverside Farm An early stone cottage in a ruined state near to the more modern (1940’s) wooden house. The location was chosen by the shepherd Jason Phillips and the cottage built by the Falkland Islands Company in 1868. It was later discovered that the cottage was built on the wrong side of the plot boundary and most likely on Fitzroy farmland. 10p Ferguson’s Lookout, New Island   The stone shelter on top of a hill overlooking New Island settlement was built by Bob Ferguson and his sister Effie during WWII as one of 16 coast watching stations set up in Camp.  On a clear day it gives excellent views for miles in all directions.  Monetary rewards were given for the sighting of foreign and/or enemy ships during WWII.  As a lookout, it has the advantage of being enclosed and with a stone roof, enabling the person watching for approaching ships to remain relatively dry and warm. 54p Mission Station, Keppel Island structures The Patagonian Missionary Society, established a settlement on Keppel Island in 1855, the aim being to bring Fuegian Indians to be “civilised” and educated and shown practical farming skills so that, on their return to Patagonia, they could pass on those skills.  Their hard work made the Island self-supporting in vegetables, beef, mutton and wool, the surplus produce being sold to Stanley and the wool exported.  The need to bring parties of Indians to Keppel was reduced following the establishment of mission settlements in their homeland and so from 1898 the island was run as a farm only, until it was sold in 1911 to the Deans who continued with sheep farming. 77p Caravans, general farm constructions                                                                                Caravans were rather heavy, farm made huts on sleigh runners or, less commonly, on wheels.  They could be towed around farms for fencing work or left in situ near, for example, peat bogs or lamb marking pens where farm workers were required to live on site for short periods.  The caravans were normally timber framed, clad with flat iron and roofed with corrugated iron, and contained bunks and a small peat stove for cooking, heating and boiling water. A peat bin and meatsafe were often located on the outside end of the caravan.  Quite a number can still be seen on farms today although the majority have been modernised. 80p Little Chartres Bridge, Little Chartres Farm                                                        The Annual Colonial report of 1928 tells of a wooden bridge being built with a span of 120 feet across the Chartres River, near Little Chartres house, which runs into Chartres Creek. A ford, or pass, a little further downstream was not suitable at high tide for crossing with a flock of sheep, horse riders or later vehicles. The bridge was replaced with a new Bailey bridge after the road was upgraded between Port Howard and Fox Bay. £1 The Bull’s House, Lafonia                                                                                     A very small shelter, just large enough for one person, situated on the side of a valley.  Folklore suggests this would have been used whilst waiting for cattle to cross the ditch in the valley below. £2 Whaling Station, New Island    Christian Salvesen & Co of Leith, Scotland, operated the first, and last, shore-based whaling station in the Falklands from the south of New Island from 1908 until 1916, with three whaling vessels.   There are many relics from the station still at the site, and graves of some Norwegians who were attached to the whaling station.  Long rails run into the bay, upon which the very few whales were winched to the flensing or ‘cutting up’ area, then to the large vats to render the blubber into oil.  The station closed due to the lack of whales and was transferred to the more lucrative whaling in South Georgia. £2.05 Stone Corral, Kelp Harbour,Goose Green Farm This corral is the most perfectly built one in the Islands, by Falkland Islands Company stone mason James Smith who was paid £29.7.0. The stones are well cut and square, a perfect stone circle with a smaller circle attached.  It is also possible ‘Nippy’ Steel another mason was involved.  Nearby Egg Harbour was the home in the early days of an employee who looked after the farm breeding mares, as well as undertaking cattle work, both utilising the corral.    £3.60 Sheep Dip, Mount Rosalie, Port Howard Farm                                          Sheep dips are long troughs, some above ground, others set into the ground, where sheep were immersed in a liquid solution to kill skin parasites such as ked, scab and ticks.  The animals were encouraged to plunge into the dip liquid and swim to the other end of the trough from where they would scramble up a ramp into pens.  Sheep dipping ceased in the 1970s as the various parasites had been eradicated.  £5 Standing Man, Stanhope Hill, Weddell Island Stone cairns (standing men) were built mostly on high ground as wayfinders for travellers riding from one shepherd’s house or farm settlement to another.  They were also useful as a stop for shepherds waiting for a flock of sheep to be driven past, to join the drive.  To pass the time, the shepherd would often put more stones on the cairn.  In the 1950s standing men were built on high ground or mountains by surveyors mapping the Falklands.  These were built carefully and symmetrically centred over the trig station mark.  Some, such as this one on Stanhope Hill, included an X shaped canvas marker which was used for the aerial photographic survey.  With thanks to Joan Spruce and Nathalie Smith, Authors of Falklands Rural Heritage. Available from Hugh Osborne hughaosborne501@gmail.com  Local Rate Booklet £3.30 Technical details: Designer                               Bee Design  Photography                        Joan & Terry Spruce and Natalie & Colin Smith Printer                                   bpost Security Printers Process                                  Lithography Stamp Size                            27.66 x 40.2mm Booklet Stamps                   31.66 x 40mm (10 Local Rate stamps) Booklet Size                          216 x 89mm (108 x 89mm folded) Perforation                           11½ per 2cms Sheet Layout                        20 (2 x 10) Release date                         10 October, 2022 Production Coordination   Creative Direction (Worldwide) Ltd [...]
  • Falkland Islands – 25th Anniversary of the Lighthouse Seafarer’s MissionFalkland Islands – 25th Anniversary of the Lighthouse Seafarer’s MissionSeptember 7, 202225th Anniversary of the Lighthouse Seafarer’s Mission The Lighthouse Seaman’s Centre as it was originally known was formed resultant of a Christian vision by Mike and Kirsten Hughes – Now living in New Zealand. They both set sail from Grimsby in their twin mast vessel ‘King David’ arriving in Stanley Harbour they quickly recognized that for many Fishermen there was nowhere for them to go ashore. They very soon started to invite the men onto King David for tea/coffee and Kirsten’s specialty ‘Danish Pastries’. (Kirsten hails from Denmark). As things progressed two second hand portacabins were donated and land was provided, on the current site, for the portacabins to be placed and soon became the home of the Mission. Refreshments were a key issue and Kirsten set up a café for the public, thus raising much needed funds to ensure the mission was able to maintain itself. From the three churches in Stanley a Board of Trustees was formed which also included 2 lay members. Over the years the Mission has seen many different couples managing it and it has, in many ways had something of a roller-coaster ride in terms of Managers and Finance. In 2015 Betty Turner changed the Managing role into a Port Chaplain’s role – handing over the reins to Maurice and Debbie Lake. Who remain currently in post. In 2016 in recognition of the increasing needs for seafarers to have ‘their own place’ ashore, it was decided to close the Café to the public. Then in September 2017 the Lighthouse Seafarers Mission as it had become opened its doors on a 24/7 basis for Seafarers. A system which remains to this day. The two original portacabins have undergone complete refurbishment and currently provides full board accommodation for seafarers recovering from sickness or injury. Mission staff are trained and provide Welfare, Spiritual and Practical care. For many years we have received corporate sponsorship from the Falklands Fishing and Seafaring Industry together with annual subvention from Falkland Islands Government. Over the last 25 years the Mission has had connections with a number of UK Seafaring Charities and is held in high regard. Many of these charities have provided valuable funding to support and enhance the work of the Mission.   The Lighthouse Seafarers Mission could not be written about without mentioning ‘MARLON’ the Mission dog. Marlon (full UK Kennel Club name: Sir Marlon Stanley Fitzroy) the Miniature Schnauzer is a wonderful asset to the mission, always there to welcome seafarers and be a comfort to them when they are struggling with sickness or injury. 33p, 80p, £1.10, £1.45 Technical details: Designer                               Bee Design  Photography                        33p Penguin News                                                80p & £1.10 Jo Summers                                                     £1.45 Ian France Printer                                   Cartor Security Printers Process                                  Lithography Stamp Size                            42 x 28mm Perforation                           13 ¼ x 13 ½ per 2cms Sheet Layout                        10 Release date                         20 September, 2022 Production Coordination   Creative Direction (Worldwide) Ltd [...]
  • Falkland Islands – Stanley – Jubilee CityFalkland Islands – Stanley – Jubilee CityJuly 25, 2022On Friday 20 May 2022, it was confirmed that Stanley – capital of the Falkland Islands – had been granted official city status by Her Majesty The Queen, as part of the Platinum Jubilee celebrations. This followed a rigorous and detailed assessment process, presided over by an expert panel, which saw 39 applications put forward for this prestigious award, made all the more special given that 2022 celebrates the first British monarch to reach 70 years on the throne, as well as the 40th anniversary of the Falkland Islands War. MLA Pete Biggs, Chair of the Legislative Assembly, said: “We are utterly thrilled to have been chosen for this very rare award, which is granted by Queen Elizabeth II herself. The Falkland Islands is one of the most remote British Overseas Territories, but our distance only serves to strengthen the feelings of gratitude, love and respect, that we have for Her Majesty The Queen, as a vitally important and iconic figurehead for the UK and the Commonwealth. “This celebration of her extraordinary reign comes at a time when we in the Falkland Islands are equally reflecting on an extraordinary time in our own history, as we remember the events of 74 days in 1982 when we were invaded. For our small community it was an unprecedented time, but I am delighted that, 40 years on from those dark days, we are being recognised in this way – I think it goes to show just how far we have come in that time. In the past four decades we have built a thriving, prosperous nation, which continually looks to the future while respecting our past. “We are also especially delighted, as it is the first time that British Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies have been allowed to apply for the title, which is why we jumped at the chance to take part. We have a very strong and long-standing relationship with the Royal family, whose visits have always been very well-received. Each time we have welcomed royalty to our shores, they have made a lasting impression on our home and in our hearts”. 33p, 80p, £1.13, £1.30  Technical details: Designer                 Bee Design  Photography          Christ Church Cathedral – Creative Direction (Worldwide) Ltd                                      Secretariat Building – Creative Direction (Worldwide) Ltd                                      Government House – David Cobb/Alamy                                      Stanley Houses – robertharding/Alamy                                      FDC Aerial View of Stanley – Sergio Pitamitz/Alamy Printer                                      Cartor Security Printing Process                                     Lithography Stamp Size                               42 x 28mm Perforation                               13 ¼ x 13 ½ per 2cms Sheet Layout                           10 Release date                             5 August, 2022 Production Coordination       Creative Direction (Worldwide) Ltd [...]