World Post Day
The beginning of post offices in Sri Lanka goes back to the Dutch period in 1787. The post office system which commenced with five post offices in the coastal areas has to day evolved into a system consisting of 641 post offices and 3681 Sub Post Offices.
Letters, parcels and other postal items received by a Post Office are transported to their respective destinations by Postmen, motor vehicles, aero planes and trains.
In the past postal items were transported from one Post Office to another Post Office and also to household residents through Postmen who walked on foot. Subsequently horse carriages were used for that purpose. In Asia it was in Sri Lanka where horse carriages were used for the first time for mail transport.
Horse carriages, motor vehicles, aero planes and trains were used for delivery of mail without delay.
Postal transport by train was started in 1865.That was from Colombo to Ambepussa. Between Ambepussa and Kandy mail was transported using horse carriages and with the commencement of train services between Ambepussa and Kandy in 1867, postal items were transported from Colombo to Kandy by train.
For the first time a mobile post office was started on April 11, 1892 using passenger transport railway compartments where it was possible to sort out letters there itself. This Travelling Post Office facility which was initiated from the hill country was subsequently expanded to other areas such as the southern, north-western, eastern and the northern provinces as well. Today the Travelling Post Offices are in operation as those of Colombo – Badulla, Colombo – Galle and Colombo – Jaffna.
Train service was mainly used for the interior transport of mail and the railway line from Medavachchiya to Thalaimannar can be considered as a unique travelling postal transport route of this service. Postal goods transported to Thalaimannar via Medavachchiya from Colombo were transported by it up to Madras in India. Postal goods brought from Colombo to Thalaimannar via Medavachchiya were unloaded at the Thalaimannar Naval Dockyard. Thereafter, passengers and postal goods were transported by sea from Thalaimannar to Danushkodi in India by ships belonging to the British – India Stem Navigation Company (BISNC) which came from Danushkodi.
Postal goods of Sri Lanka which were unloaded at Danushkodi were transported from there to Madras by the Indian train which used to call at that port. This Indo – Sri Lanka Traveling Post Office commenced on March 01, 1914 was used for the transport of passengers and postal goods between the two countries.


The Boat Mail Train aka the Indo-Ceylon Express
In the 1950s, there was much traffic between India and Sri Lanka (then Ceylon) by land and sea. The Boat Mail train, aka the Indo-Ceylon Express plied between Chennai (then Madras) and Dhanushkodi on the Bay of Bengal. It took almost 19 hours to complete the journey of 675 kilometers.
After the Boat Mail train reached Dhanushkodi Pier at 15:05 hours in the afternoon, the passengers after alighting from the train crossed the Palk Strait using the steamer ferry service from Dhanushkodi Pier to Talaimannar Pier in Ceylon (Sri Lanka). The ferry steamer used to leave the Indian shore soon after 16:00 hours. It took about 3½ hours for the crossing.
The era of the Boat Mail came to an end after a cyclonic storm with high-speed winds, and high tidal waves struck South India and northern Ceylon between December 22 and 25, 1964. The entire town of Dhanushkodi was completely submerged with heavy casualties. The railway line running from Pamban Station to Dhanushkodi Pier was destroyed, and a passenger train with over 100 passengers drowned in the sea.
Years later, the name of the train changed from Indo-Ceylon Express to Rameswaram Express.

After some searching I found that the ferry used in 1955 between Talaimannar in Ceylon and Rameswarum in India was the RAMANUJAN, and she is depict on the stamp alongside the pier in Talaimannar.

She was built as a passenger-cargo vessel under yard No 859m by D&W Henderson & Co., at the Meadowside yard, Glasgow for the South India Railway Co. Ltd., Glasgow.
10 June 1929 launched as the IRWIN.
Tonnage 970 grt, 377 nrt, dim, 76.2 x 11.61 x 3.47m.
Powered by two steam turbines manufactured by Yarrow & Co. Ltd., Glasgow, 353 nhp. Speed 10 knots.
02 September 1929 completed.

1948 Transferred to the Southern Railway, Madras, India not renamed.
1965 Transferred to the Shipping Corp. of India Ltd., Madras not renamed.
1972 Renamed by the company in RAMANUJAN.
09 June 1987 work commenced scrapping by Shri Ram Shipbreakers in Bombay, India.

Source http://www.miramarshipindex.nz http://www.clydeships.co.uk/view.php?of ... ssel=IRWIN
Sri Lanka 2017 15.00P sg?, scott? and a miniature sheet.


The galleries of Peter the Great in the battle for the Azov

During the preparation of the first Azov campaign in the winter of 1695, the galleys built in the Preobrazhensky (3 cannon galley Principupium and other galleys) in disassembled form were delivered to Voronezh, where they assembled and descended to the water. In 1695 in the Netherlands was ordered 32 rowing galleries, which was intended for walking along the Volga and the Caspian Sea. The gallery was delivered to Russia in parts. Together with her came a master who was supposed to help collect her by model. By this moment, important political events took place. The failed first Azov campaign showed that it is necessary to build a navy to capture Azov. The place of its construction was the village of Preobrazhenskoe. Therefore, the galley arrived from Holland began to be used as a model for the construction of the galleys of the first regular navy of Russia. By February 1696, parts of 26 galleys were built from the raw frozen forest. By April 1696 in Voronezh was built the first regular naval fleet of Russia. In addition to 23 galleys there were 2 ships, 4 fire-ships. May 3, 1696 from Voronezh to Azov went a detachment of 8 galleys at the head of Peter I, who was on the galley "Principium". During this campaign, the king made the first charter of the Russian navy - "Decree on galleys." In this document, he established rules for the transmission of signals sent by the squadron commander, as well as requirements for the captains. The constructed galleys differed little from the galleys of their time. Their length was from 125 to 160 feet, and width - from 18 to-36 feet. On the galleys were two masts - the grotto and the foc. If there was a need, they were removed. Latin sails had two sets - large and small, which were used depending on the strength of the wind. Among 6 four-armed anchors, 2 were located on the nose, 2 at the stern and 2 were spare. The artillery was on the nose and consisted of four 8-pound and one 36-pound guns. The artist's painting depicted on the stamp has the name: "Russian galley during the siege and capture of Azov in the Ottoman Empire (1696)." But the artist was mistaken, since the galleys of Azov were 2 masts. The 3-masted gallery of the Petrine era is the 25-can of the Dvina, built by the Italian ship master Francesco Diponti in the Venetian Manira in St. Petersburg in 1721. Its length was about 48.5 m, the width with the posters was 9.6 m, the oars had a length of 13.2 m and a mass of about 94 kg; Each row paddles six people. The armament of the Dvina consisted of one 24-pounder, two 12-pounder cannons and twelve 3-pound basses. But she did not participate in the siege of Azov.
Burundi 2017; 660f.
Source: http: //ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_Voronezh_ (1682-1725). https://otvet.mail.ru/question/64385578

TAN SUO YI HAO research vessel

This set of stamps shows the leading international achievements China has reached in the fields of science and technology.
The first depicts the five-hundred-meter aperture spherical radio telescope. The background shows the powerful functions of the telescope as a multidisciplinary research tool through the representation of neutral hydrogen, pulsars, space objects and other scientific symbols.
The second is the quantum science experiment satellite "Mo-tse", the world's first successful implementation of 1,000-kilometer level star two-way quantum distribution.
The third stamp is the Exploration scientific investigation vessel. In addition to the ship, the stamp also shows unmanned submersibles and an underwater glider.
The fourth shows the Bohai Sea Granary Science and Technology Demonstration Project, which researches and develops high-quality, high-yield advanced growing methods and crop varieties that have salt tolerance.
The fifth is the Sunway · Taihu light super computer. Located in the National Supercomputing Center in Wuxi, the super computer has a calculation speed of 12.54 quadrillion times a second.

China Postal web-site.

The third stamp has a maritime theme and shows us the research vessel TAN SUO YI HAO of which I found the following details.

Built as a tug- pipelayer dive support vessel under yard No 391 by Shipyard Amels B.V. Makkum the Netherlands for Blue Fish River S.A., Panama a member of the Heerema Group of companies in the Netherlands, Heerema Marine Contractors S.A. was the manager of the ship.
16 September 1983 laid down.
16 March 1984 launched as the EXPLORER II.
Tonnage 2,987 grt, 2,524 dwt, dim. 82.0 x 18.3 x 8.0m., length bpp. 73.5m, draught maximum 6.91m.
Powered by four Wärtsilä type Vasa 6R32 in-line engines, each 2,205 kW powering two Lips c.p. nozzle propellers, speed 12 knots.
Fitted out with an Eager Beaver trencher digger and has a dynamic positioning system.
The ships superstructure is placed forward to have plenty of deck space aft and storage space for ROVs. Carried an aluminium landing platform for a Bell helicopter
27 June 1984 completed.

September 1991 sold to Northern Ocean Service Ltd., Cayman Islands, renamed NORTHERN EXPLORER.
1998 Managed by ETPM Deepsea in Aberdeen, Scotland.
2000 ETPM was taken over by Stolt Offshore, Aberdeen and renamed SEAWAY EXPLORER.
2003 Stolt Offshore got in financial trouble and the SEAWAY EXPLORER was sold to the China National Offshore Oil Corporation and renamed HAI YANG SHI YOU 299.

2013 Transferred to Institute of Deep-Sea-Science & Engineering (IDSSE) in Sanya, Hainan Province and renamed TAN SUO YI HAO.
She was lengthened by the Chengxi Shipyard in Guangzhou and refitted in a research vessel. After a 13 month modification her details are now.
Tonnage 5,073 grt, 2,448 dwt, length 94.45m.
Accommodation for a crew of 60 including 39 scientists
Equipped with laboratories, data processing and information centres. Carried a Haidou ARV which can dive to a depth of 11,000 meters, a Tianya and Haijiao deep-sea landers, an ocean floor seismometer.
Her maiden voyage was in 2017 to the Mariana Trench, during her 52 day voyage she conducted 84 research projects.
2018 In service, same name and owner. IMO No 8315451.

Source: Marine News. Wikipedia. http://www.miramarshipindex.nz Various internet sites.
China 2017 1.20f sg?, scott? (Two photos of the ship, one under the name EXPLORER II the second what the Chinese have made of her after 33 years.)

HMS Britannia (1682)

Charles II’ s magnificent flagship was a 100 gun 3-decked line of battleship. Built in Chatham, England, and launched in 1682, the Britannia was the biggest ship of Charles II’s Thirty-Ship program. She was originally designed (by Sir Phineas Pett II) with a beam 16” in excess of its specifications in order to balance a heightened main battery. The Admiralty rejected the increased beam width, although they held the battery at its new level. It was not until her commissioning several years later, when, loaded with weaponry, it was discovered that Britannia was too top heavy to fight. She was withdrawn from service for modification and returned, refitted with a girdle of fir. It increased her beam from 47’ 4” to 48’ 8”. (Pett’s original sixteen inches).
Gracefully reflecting the cavalier era of the late seventeenth century, this magnificent 100-gun battleship of King Charles II is depicted on the picture of artist James A Flood, when “Britannia” under the command of Lord Russel, seeking the French fleet in 1692 following the Battle of Barfleur.
In 1692, Britannia became Lord Russell’s Flagship under William & Mary and engaged in direct combat with the prized French Flagship Soleil-Royal (serving under Conte de Tourville). Outnumbered and fatigued, the French were forced to retire. Heavily pursued by the British, most of their fleet, including Soleil-Royal, were forced ashore, destroyed, and burnt. The battle was more than a victory for the British; it marked a pivotal point for the French, whose sea power fell into a decline that would continue into the following century. And so it was that Britannia, although having only once engaged in such fevered battle, landed a role that would establish her placement among the British Navy’s most famous warships. In 1705 she took on board Charles III of Spain, when on her way to Catalonia . In 1715, Britannia was ordered to be taken to pieces and rebuilt at Woolwich Dockyard, from where she relaunched on 30 October 1719, again as a 100-gun first rate. Britannia was placed on harbour service in 1745, and was broken up in 1749. She was captained from 1734 to 1736 by Sir Tancred Robinson. The design stamp is made after painting of James A Flood: «Britannia Chasing the French».

Burundi 2017;450f. Sources:wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Britannia_(1682). http://www.jamesaflood.com/britfrench.html

ATLAS topsail schooner 1908

Four–masted schooner ATLAS was built for coastal trade in Bath, Maine, in 1908 and named BERTHA L DOWNS. She was purchased in 1923 by a minor Åland shipping company headed by Captain Arthur Andersson, who also commanded her until 1927. This vessel was more prosperous, carrying timber in the Baltic and North Seas.
Allan Palmer has illustrated the vessel sailing close-hauled in the North Sea on her way to England. In the background we even spot a British smack. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smack_(ship)
ATLAS was sold to Estonian ship-owners in 1931 and Arthur Andersson’s company turned to steam ships.

Built by Edward W Hyde on the former shipyard of the New England Co.at Bath Maine, USA. for Benedict-Manson Marine Co., New Haven Conn.
Launched as the BERTHA L DOWNS
Tonnage 716 gross, 606 net, dim.58.40 x (53.47 bpp) x 11.30 x 4.32m.
Topsail schooner rigged.
1908 completed, homeport New Haven Conn.

Her first captain was Robert T. Wells.
1916 Sold to Denmark, not an owner given. If she was then renamed most probably yes.
1923 Sold to Arthur Andersson, captain owner, Mariahamn, Aland Islands. At that time she carried the name ATLAS.
Lloyds Registry 1931 still give him as owner.
1932 Sold to K. Jurnas, Pärna on Hiiumaa Island, Estonia, not renamed.
It is given that she was fitted out at that time with an auxiliary oil engine, make and power not given.
She survived World War II.
Lloyds Registry 1945 give that K.Jurnas was still the owner
1948 Scrapped at Kiel, Germany.
Conway’s History of the Ship series of books, which are more interesting for ship model builders has a book on the BERTHA L DOWNS.

Source Åland Post. Lloyds Registry. Four Masted Schooners of the East Coast by Paul C. Morris.
Åland Islands 2018 Local Post sg?, scott? .

ALBANIA built 1884

The growth of the Åland fleet in the early 1900s was mainly satisfied with secondhand tonnage. From 1880 to 1914,around 200 wooden vessels were procured to Åland. Large barques and frigates from Nova Scotia and Norway dominated.

Canada, full-rigged frigate ALBANIA was the largest wooden sailing vessel in Finland when imported to Åland in 1903. She had two captains during her time under Åland flag. Gustaf Erikson, later to become one of the greatest ship owners in Åland, was captain during her last three years. Already
at the time of purchase, ALBANIA was old and in need of repair and she turned out to be a
bad deal. Arriving in leaking condition, she was sold in Rio de Janeiro in 1908. On the stamp, we see her heading south in hard weather conditions in the Atlantic Ocean perhaps navigated by artist Allan Palmer’s grandfather, who was a deck officer on ALBANIA?

The ALBANIA was built in 1884 by O. Pittfield in St John N.B., Canada for Taylor Bross also in St John.
Launched as the ALBANIA.
Tonnage 1438 ton, dim. 62.39 x 12.04 x 7.37m.
Full rigged ship.

Till she was sold to Åland owners owned by Taylor Bross.
One of the voyages she made from New York to Yokohama, you can read on the URL below, at that time she had a crew of 20.
https://www.cnrs-scrn.org/northern_mari ... 23to39.pdf

Sold in 1903 to Åland, not renamed, and can’t find an owner.
1906 Gustaf Erikson became captain of the ship, but he was not the owner.

1908 Sold to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Thereafter she disappears and her fate is not known so far.

Source: Åland Post. Various internet sites.
2018 Aland Island sg?, scott?.


In 1997 the United Nations issued five stamps in the series transportation, with ships on it, most probably heavily stylized designs.

From the left to the right are depict:

A sailing clipper vessel. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clipper

A paddle steamer. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paddle_steamer

A passenger liner, the funnel is that of the British Cunard Line comparing with photo’s she is partly designed after the RMS QUEEN ELIZABETH delivered in 1940. viewtopic.php?f=2&t=8459

A hovercraft. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hovercraft

A hydrofoil passenger vessel. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydrofoil

United Nations (New York) 1997 32c sg 729/733, scott 709/713.

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