75p HMS Otranto Cinderella stamp from Islay’s “Remembrance 100” issue of October 2018, used on piece with a clean April 2019 postmark.
Islay is an island (population 3,228) in the Inner Hebrides, approximately 20 miles from the coast of mainland Scotland. It is also 25 miles from the coast of northern Ireland. Islay is famous for its whisky as well as for being home to many bird species, including wintering geese. Until 1493, Islay was part of the Lordship of the Isles, whose capital was based at Finlaggan Castle.
In November 2017, the island’s first stamps were issued to commemorate 250 years since the building of the Round Church in the village of Bowmore, and were issued partly to raise money for the Church of Scotland. Four further issues appeared during 2018.
The stamps are Cinderellas with no postal function, but are labels designed to accompany standard Royal Mail postage stamps on mail for the UK mainland. Used examples can be found on cover bearing a dated “Bowmore – Bogh Mor” postmark.
The Islay Stamps website provides further information. Though the stamps are essentially fantasy issues, there is a strong local angle in that they are designed and produced by a former island resident, and are intended to be made available at local outlets on the island. All issues will relate to aspects of island life and feature original photographs or artwork.