Snark Island Page 1

On July 18 1874, Her Majesty’s vessel “Snarkfinder” sailed from Guildford harbour.  On board were ten worthy adventurers, their destination was the mysterious unchartered island rumoured to be inhabited by snarks.  Their objective was to capture one or more of these elusive creatures.

After 20 months at sea the party made landfall on March 22 1876 and founded a new colony within the British Empire.

To ascertain the location of the island Lewis Carroll provides two vital clues; that the vessel was “snarked” in tropical climes and that “when the wind blew east that the ship would NOT  travel due west”.  The clues point to the island being both eastern and tropical.  Now, take Stanley Gibbons Part One Catalogue.  If one places “Snark Island” in its correct alphabetical position, it fits snugly between “Singapore” and “Solomon Islands”.  The mid-way point between these two territitories is the north-east tip of New Guinea, the outline of which may well be suggested to have a lizard-like dinasaurish, or dare we say it – SNARKISH shape.

So it becomes logical – nay obvious – that Snark is one of the myriad of islands off the coast of New Guinea.

Naturally the captain and crew wanted to keep in touch with England and, for their convenience, obsolete stamps of Wonderland were supplied overprinted “SEF” (Snark Expeditionary Force).

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During the long voyage the supply of these stamps became exhausted and the ship’s company took it upon itself to produce a fresh supply.  The Beaver was probably assigned this task (he being adept in the art of lace-making) and designed four stamps; two of One Penny and two of Two Pence, and printed them in red and blue.  These probably were never postally used as, shortly after landfall, a large package was discovered containing the first official issues to be put to use once the company had landed and a Colony properly established.  These were quickly put to use on correspondence back to England, bearing reports on the progress (or non-progress) in the efforts to capture the snark.  Of course the crew was receiving post as well – if they could be found …………..

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The first Snark Island issue on cover to London.

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April 1876 Advertising cover to the Man at the Helm.  Undeliverable because  of Naval Rule 42 which stated “No-one shall speak to the man at the helm”

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February 1977.  Cover to Lloyds of London, content possibly reporting on damage/repairs to HMV “Snarkfinder”.

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March 1877.  Cover the the “Times” possibly from the Butcher claiming to have heard the first Jubjub of spring.

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October 1877.  To Captain Bellman possibly containing amended Naval Code instructions – especially rule 42 “With regard to Rule 42 please read as follows “At NOON one shall speak the The Man At The Helm”.

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October 1879.  After three years of searching for the vanished Baker, the crew decided to contact and enlist the aid of Sherlock Holmes.  Unfortunately the letter fell into the hands of Prof. Moriarty.

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