It’s not obvious from the stamp – which lacks the usual ‘Talyllyn Railway Letter’ inscription – but this IS a hard-to-find Talyllyn Railway issue from 1975, marking the 150th anniversary of the Stockton and Darlington (‘SD’) Railway alongside the 110th anniversary of the Talyllyn Railway (‘TR’) itself.
U/M / Unmounted Mint / MNH / Mint Never Hinged.
About the Talyllyn Railway
In 1957, the narrow-gauge Talyllyn Railway in mid Wales became the first UK railway to issue its own railway letter stamps. Such labels were immediately 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.
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.
As of 2021, the Talyllyn Railway remains one of only three UK railways still running a letter service, with current issues available from the shop at Tywyn Wharf. The others are understood to be the Ffestiniog Railway and the Nene Valley Railway.
For details of all Talyllyn issues, see the excellent Philatelic Compendium website.