"From my Collection"
Some interesting examples from our collections

 

END OF A LINE - SWAZILAND RAILWAY

These four stamps have been sitting in a drawer for many decades and calling the offering "End of a Line" may seem rather strange for an issue marking the opening of a railway.

A new railway it might have been (although first projected back in 1902), but there are some aspects to this issue that make it the end (or almost) the end of a line).

 

Firstly the new line - opened to transport iron ore from Ngwenya mine in Swaziland for export via Mozambique- was operated by steam; did many other steam railways open after this date (preserved lines excepted)?

Secondly  how many more recess-printed commemoratives would come from British Protectorates or colonies after this date?  Certainly not in Africa - by this date only Gambia, Basutoland, Bechuanaland Protectorate and Swaziland itself had yet to be granted independence - and although the writer has not checked the Part One catalogue, possibly only the Battle of the Falkland Islands commemoratives released on 8 December 1964 by the Falkland Islands would be  printed by this means after this date.

So I believe these four stamps deserve an airing as being (almost) the last representatives of Commonwealth commemoratives produced by this very attractive printing method.

5 November 1964

Opening of Swaziland Railway

Recess-printed by Bradbury Wilkinson & Co.

Watermark Multiple St Edward's Crown CA   P 11

As for the railway itself, the steam locomotives used on opening were Henschel 4-8-2 locomotives loaned by the Mozambique Railway. During the 1970's, the Mozambique Civil War created operating difficulties but the use of steam persisted until the Ngwenya mine closed in 1980. However the Swaziland Railway continues to operate for the conveyance of minerals new links to the South African railways having been opened for the export of minerals.

6/11/2020

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