First day cover (FDC) for the 2004 “Legends” issue from Rona – the follow-up to the island’s first issue a year earlier – with stamps depicting Church Cave, the Rona postman, the Danish Princess’s grave, and Janet Mackenzie who burned a lamp to give seafarers a guide into the harbour.
The front of the FDC features the block of four stamps (25p, 50p, 75p and £1) cancelled with a first day of issue handstamp, alongside a Royal Mail Scottish regional definitive with a Portree postmark.
The reverse side of the cover is blank, but inside there is a folded A4 sheet that contains more information about the issue and the subjects depicted.
The cover is in excellent condition.
Rona is an island off the east coast of Skye that covers a little under four square miles. It is sometimes referred to as “South Rona”, to avoid confusion with another Scottish Rona that lies some way to the north of Cape Wrath.
Still home to 14 families a century ago, the southernmost Rona’s present-day full-time population is in single figures – comprising island manager Bill Cowie and his family – but numbers are boosted by visitors who enjoy staying in Rona’s self-catering holiday accommodation: the cosy and appropriately named “Escape”, which used to be the island’s manse; and the larger Mission House, converted from two former cottages. In recent years, the island has even proved a popular and memorable place for intimate weddings.
It is Rona’s status as a still-inhabited island that created its need for local carriage labels, to help cover the cost of the charter boat that delivers the island’s Royal Mail post. The attractive first issue, depicting views of Rona, was produced in 2003, with a further new issue appearing every year or two afterwards until the most recent in 2017. All Rona’s issues have been well designed and capture the spirit of the island, celebrating its history, landmarks, wildlife and families.
For further information about past issues, visit the Isle of Rona Stamps website.