Postal History Covers

Here are three covers of unusual interest together with a few associated stamps.

First is an example of disinfected mail from the quarantine isle of St Pinga way out in the Bristol Channel. Communities have been packed off here over the centuries whenever a contagious and peculiarly Welsh disease broke out. This cover is from the last use of the island during the Llanwyrtyd Leprosy epidemic swept across a couple of hills. The cover is punctured to permit fumigation of the contents, while the outside was wiped with a damp cloth. For this the Tiwpeni Post was introduced. Red stamps were for outgoing post and green for inbound. This worked well until a colour blind mail sorter started. These stamps are some of the rarest British Island local posts as most mail was burnt soon after arrival just in case.

Second up is an example of Prisoner of War mail, dating from the Patagonian Civil War (read all about this in the Malcolm Pryce Aberystwyth novels) when the Welsh settlers in the autonomous region of Y Wladfa were set upon by their Latin neighbours. Many of the aggressors were taken prisoners were transported back to Wales for the duration and housed in a camp at Clarach Bay just north of Aberystwyth. The prisoners introduced a postal service both within the camp and for mail back home, via the Red Cross. The camp still remains there used as a holiday camp now.

The stamps were all home made using whatever materials and ingenuity they possessed. Paper was made from seaweed or recycled Izal. Adhesive was concocted from kitchen waste or cuttlefish ink. There were three designs of increasing complexity, and can be found either imperforate or with hand roulette perforations. There are numerous variations known.

The last cover is unique to Wales. Nowhere else does the post office have the need to warn the recipient that their letter may be infested with sheep ticks. Watch out for the one eating its way out!

131 177 130 177c

132 188 133 197

134 189c 135 199c

Postal History Covers

SK NumberTypeDecription
177129Tiwpeni Post 2d red
177cOutbound cover with 2d red
178Tiwpeni Post 2d green
1791301z brown (kelp) paper imperf
1801z brown (kelp) paper rouletted
1812z brown (kelp) paper imperf
1822z brown (kelp) paper rouletted
1831z greenish paper imperf
1841z greenish paper rouletted
1852z greenish paper imperf
1862z greenish paper rouletted
1872z yellowish paper rouletted
188131Guard tower 1z yellowish Izal paper black gum imperf
189Guard tower 2z yellowish Izal paper black gum imperf
189cCover with 2z stamp for international delivery
190Guard tower 1z brownish paper imperf
191Guard tower 1z brownish paper rouletted
192Guard tower 2z brownish paper imperf
193Guard tower 2z brownish paper rouletted
194Guard tower 2z whiter paper roulette
195132Camp huts 1z brown imperf
196Camp huts 1z brown rouletted
197Camp huts 2z greenish brown imperf
198Camp huts 2z greenish rouletted
199c133Infested by sheep ticks cover

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