Islay Cinderella stamp issue, from January 2019, depicting the ferries that currently serve the island: MV Eilean Dhiura, MV Finlaggan and MV Hebridean Isles.
On the 50p stamp, the Eilean Dhiura is the ferry that operates the service between Port Askaig on Islay and Feolin Ferry on the nearby Isle of Jura. Built in 1998, she has since provided the main connection between the two islands.
The Finlaggan, shown on the £1 stamp, is the newest of the three vessels, having been built in 2010 and entered into service the following year. She mainly provides services between Kennacraig, on the Kintyre peninsula, and Islay.
Caledonian MacBrayne’s Hebridean Isles was launched in 1985, and has served on various routes, though it mainly operates between Kennacraig and Islay. During the summer months, this service is extended once a week to Colonsay and Oban.
U/M / Unmounted Mint / MNH / Mint Never Hinged.
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, and, as of 2020, several new sets are being produced each year.
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.
Prices charged here at Graham Land Stamps are the same as at Islay Stamps’ own shop.