Following a recent trip to Bristol docks where we explored I K Brunel's wonderful S S Great Britain I've finally completed my latest stamp collage. It's been such fun! For her hull I've used QEII black definitive stamps, most of which show our present queen, but I have also included a few of the 20p "double head Machins" issued in 1990 commemorating the 150th anniversary of British postage stamp. Queen Victoria was on the throne at the time of the launch of the S S Great Britain, and HRH Prince Albert was present at the launch. I It would have been nice to include a stamp bearing his image, but very few were issued and sadly none are in my possession! My post of 7th September showed the Smilers sheet issued in 2010 which included 20 1st class White Ensign stamps together with ships signal flags and having used up the stamps on my postcards, I've used the little flags to decorate the masts of the S S Great Britain, as she was decked out on her launch.
Other flags have also been taken from stamps issued worldwide, and the "Great Britain" flag miraculously came to light in a bundle of old postal covers, just when I had given up the search! Also note the date on the Bristol postmarks - lucky to have found these!
I found a wonderful image in my guidebook which showed the launch from Bristol as painted by the artist Joseph Walter and have based my own collage loosely on this version.
The S S Great Britain was launched from Bristol docks on 19th July 1843 and I've managed to find Bristol postmarks for 19th July .. but for a different year. This original stamp collage will be available to see at my forthcoming Open Studio in Stroud on Saturday 1st and Sunday 2nd November, along with some other recently completed stamp collages. Full details coming shortly!