What’s the story behind this Goat Island Cinderella label?

View of Goat Island, Stornoway with Goat Island label superimposed. Photograph by Dave Conner
View of Goat Island, Stornoway with Goat Island label superimposed. Photograph by Dave Conner

This is something of a philatelic curiosity, for which no information seems to come up in Google.

It is a Cinderella label, printed on very thin paper, imperforate, and without gum, inscribed “Goat Island”. There are many islands around the world with this name, but the inscription “Cha chainich ach godhair so” along the bottom of the stamp – which Google Translate identifies as Scots Gaelic – suggests that it must be the Goat Island that sits in Stornoway Harbour in the Outer Hebrides.

Interestingly, Google translates that inscription as “Only this door will be chained”, though it’s possible that there is a typo, given that the word “gobhair”, with a B rather than a D, means “goats”.

The “1d” denomination on the label suggests that it is intended to perform some kind of local carriage function, though this seems unlikely to have been necessary, given that the island has been connected to the mainland with a causeway since the 1940s.

Most likely then is that this Goat Island “stamp” is a fantasy issue, produced by someone for fun – but it would be interesting to find out more about when and why it was created, and by whom!

Do you have any insight on the background to this Goat Island Cinderella label? Have you seen it, or others inscribed Goat Island, before? Feel free to post your comments below!

MV Isle of Lewis entering Stornoway Harbour on the Isle of Lewis Scotland” by Dave Conner (conner395) is licensed under CC BY 2.0

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