Cocorocoruca Islands

Cocorocoruca Islands

Guild of Farm Science

The Guild of Farm Scientists were a group of experimental animal researchers who began their work at the peak of the industrial era in Britain, but then moved to mainland Europe, and later to a secluded privately-owned group of islands in the South Pacific – becoming more secretive and some would say, more obsessive, as they did so.

It is possible they had discovered the secret to DNA long before it was even researched elsewhere, but all members were sworn to silence and all discoveries jealously guarded until they could be marketed by more ethically-minded interests.

But their secrecy was to prove their downfall.

It was not until nuclear bomb testing was carried out in the South Pacific that the remains of their research laboratories were, quite literally, brought to light. Visitors to the area first believed they were witnessing the results of fall-out poisoning but in retrospect the likelihood was that at least some of the creatures reported on, around, and sometimes scattered all over the islands, were the culmination of what was by then some 130 years of continual experimental selective breeding programmes.

This issue commemorates the creation of the Chevache. Named by a Frenchman, it was a mixture of cow and horse, intended to provide the best of beef and milk production, but, in the days before mechanised transport, capable of being transporting itself great distances in a shorter time. The next stage in development was hoped to have been a homing version. The Chevache – had it been taken up as viable farm livestock worldwide – would now have been perfect for today’s fast food industry, being a single ingredients source for both beefburger and milk shake. Apart from the bits of horse of course.

The Chevache won an unprecedented of Excellence for Breeding Endeavour (Livestock) in its first Agricultural Show year – and this stamp commemorates that fact.

These few sheets of stamps, some colour design test sheets, and a range of pre-stamped postcards are all that remains of the once busy inter-island postal system – unless someone out there knows better of course. It is not impossible that other designs may surface one day as the now sunken islands are explored and more evidence is recovered and passed as safe for circulation.

Each sheet has one ‘Cocorocoruca-Up’ – a stamp that has a specific but small difference to the other, normal, stamps on the sheet – introduced intentionally by the designers (FfP) to add some fun to the sometimes boring lot of the many philatelists who lived on the island.

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Additionally, some colour trial sheets were printed with 1D value stamps of a reduced size.  It is currently unknown how many different colours were involved or how many stamps there were per sheet.  Only a deep grey-green imperforate example has been declared.  In February 2014 a Stampex special issue of the Boueffon (a Pantomime Chevache!!!) appeared valued 5D.  Note its feet and the tied-on falsie udder, and other difference to the standard Chevache.

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Cocorocoruca Islands, Guild of Farm Science

SK No.TypeDescription
112d Chevache claret
1aSheet of 15
1vThe sheet missing teats variant
1isImperforate sheet of 15
1tsColour test imperforate sheet of 15
1ci2d Chevache colour variation perforated - blue
1cii2d Chevache colour variation perforated - lime
1ciii2d Chevache colour variation perforated - olive
1civ2d Chevache colour variation perforated - violet (a)
1cv2d Chevache colour variation perforated - rose pink
1cvi2d Chevache colour variation perforated - emerald (a)
1cvii2d Chevache colour variation perforated - mid green
1cviii2d Chevache colour variation perforated - dull orange
1cix2d Chevache colour variation perforated - violet (b)
1cx2d Chevache colour variation perforated - violet (c)
1cxi2d Chevache colour variation perforated - emerald (b)
1cxii2d Chevache colour variation perforated - claret (a)
1cxiii2d Chevache colour variation perforated - emerald (c)
1cxiv2d Chevache colour variation perforated - claret (b)
1cxv2d Chevache colour variation perforated - claret (c)
22Cocorocorucas Island postcard - stamped and cancelled on reverse
33As above but second version of postcard penguins replacing bears stamped and cancelled on reverse
44The Chevache postcard stamped and cancelled on reverse
55‘Zebra’ postcard stamped and cancelled on reverse
66Clowns postcard stamped and cancelled on reverse
77Nature’s Harvest postcard stamped and cancelled on reverse
881d perforated dull blue
8i1d Chevache colour variation imperforate - slate grey
995d The Boueffon shades of brown
9vTail raised variant

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