15p stamp issued by the Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway in 1979, to commemorate the second season of steam-hauled excursion trains through Ravenglass.
U/M / Unmounted Mint / MNH / Mint Never Hinged.
About the Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway
In 1957, the Talyllyn Railway became the first UK railway to issue its own railway letter stamps. Such labels were popular as souvenirs for the railway’s visitors, but also performed a postal function, paying for the carriage of mail via the railway’s own letter delivery service. Many other preserved railways followed suit with their own issues, including the Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway from 1969.
As the Railway Philatelic Group explains, however, subsequent changes to the agreement between the Royal Mail, British Rail and independent railways – most recently in 1998 – has seen the number of railways offering a letter service dwindle, with the final Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway issue appearing in 1985. As of 2018, only the Talyllyn Railway, Ffestiniog Railway and Nene Valley Railway are understood to still be running a railway letter service.
For details of all Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway issues, see the excellent Philatelic Compendium website.