Sunday, September 15, 2013

Travel through Philately - Classic Locomotive of Northern Ireland

There is a charm with locomotives which I couldn't point or shake off. Especially the old timers. They captured my full attention when I was a kid and as they passed in front of me, the little boy in me watched with awe how they thundered past with a might that automobiles just couldn't compete against. I have a number of rail related FDC for my appreciation, one commemorating Singapore's retired train stations (Philately - Singapore's Historical Train Stations) and one for London Underground's centenary (Philately - London Underground). And now I have more.

These chugging reminders of the Northern Ireland's past had long gone out of date, but this FDC kept them immortalized.

Steam and diesel locomotives are long past their heydays, replaced by their younger cousins of electric variant. Those distinctive cylindrical bodies are now reserved for museums, historical movies or cartoon animations. Somehow the nostalgia remained with British's Royal Mail (or they ran out of ideas) as they issued a number of train related FDC. They started with "Great British Railways" in 2010, released "Classic Locomotives of England" in 2011, followed by Scotland in 2012, and this year they continued with their Northern Ireland's cousin.

I may loved looking at the chugging locomotives in movies but I am far from being an expert in them. It was through this FDC that I come to know that locomotives are named like ships, though not as frequent, usually just going by a number designating itself. The commemoration of these retired locomotives is not unlike the honoring of old soldiers in Armed Forces Day - they are told they were remembered for how they toiled for the sake of the nation, yet nobody remembered nor resonated with those sacrifices.

Locomotives have served an undeniably important role in freight, as it did half a century back and still does now.




Date of Issue:             18 June 2013
Denominations:           1st Local, 78¢, 88¢, £1.28
Stamp Size:                41mm x 30mm
Miniature Sheet Size:  179mm x 74mm
Perforation:                14.5 x 14
Paper:                        Phosphor coated paper
Printing Process:         Lithography
Printer:                       Cartor Security Printing, France
Designer:                    Delaney Design Consultants




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