Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Thames (NZ): Thames on New Zealand Stamps

Below are stamps found to have a Thames connection, apologies for omissions, maybe we can claim some of the train stamps to add to the numbers! Let me know of any others...

On 7 February 1973 the ‘Centennial of Thames Borough’ was released as part of a set of four stamps: Anniversaries & Events. It was a 3 cent stamp. “The design shows old Pollen Street with the hills behind highlighted in symbolic gold.  Thames is a town with 7000 people, at the foot of the Coromandel Peninsula. Gold was first discovered nearby the town in the early 1850s, but it wasn't until an arrangement had been reached with the local Maori to allow prospecting of the area that a major strike was found in 1867. By 1870 the town of Shortland, as it was then called, had been established with a population of around 20,000, greater than that of Auckland at that time.” 
Source: https://stamps.nzpost.co.nz/new-zealand/1973/anniversaries

The Coromandel Forest Park, then featured on a 23 cent stamp as part of a set of four stamps of Forest Parks, they were released 4 June 1975. The background information stating the 65,000 hectares park was formed in 1971, and contained mainly rimu and tawa but there are also kauri and other native trees.

The famous Wakatere (ship that travelled the Firth of Thames), featured as part of a set of four stamps: Vintage Transport Ferries released 4 April 1984. It was a 70 cent stamp. Built in Scotland, the Wakatere arrived in Auckland in 1896, providing a vital link between the Thames gold fields and Auckland, until 1926.

 STEAM TRAIN: The Graham's Town Steam Tram, a 30 cent stamp, was released as part of a set of six stamps: Vintage Trams released 6 March 1985. Released to recognise one of the earliest locally-built tram carriages, it provided a vital link between Grahamstown and Tararu.

"One of the earliest locally-built tram carriages was made of that most famous of New Zealand timbers, kauri.  Its short career had a rather inauspicious beginning.  The discovery of gold at Graham's Town (now Thames) meant many passengers for the country's first steam tramway opened in 1871.  The track ran from Thames to the deep sea wharf at Tararu Point. 
In May 1874 a heavy gale partly destroyed the wharf and washed away a large section of the tramway.  Damage was so great both the wharf and tramway were abandoned.  The line closed on 10 November 1874."
Then in 1989, a 60 cent stamp was released to commemorate all the Prospectors in New Zealand, including the Coromandel. Part of six stamps in a Heritage People set, released 17 May 1989.
Two Christmas issues featured a Pohutakawa on the Thames Coast, issued on 3 October 1979 (lower left) and 20 October 2010 (lower right).
Description for the 1979 stamp: "This stamp depicts a Pohutukawa tree (Metrosideros excelsa) in bloom along the Thames-Coromandel coast.  Sometimes known as the 'Christmas' tree, this is the best known of New Zealand coastal trees because of its attractive wide-spreading habit and the profusion of red flowers it bears about Christmas time."

The 2010 stamp set, were a celebration of fifty years of Christmas stamps.
The Thames-made lighthouses from Judd's Foundry, featured on several stamps. Including NZ Government Life Insurance Office issues, the 1 August 1947 2 ½d is of the Cape Campbell Lighthouse. On the right, is the Cape Brett Lighthouse – this $1.50 stamp was released 7 January 2009 as part of a set of five.
Stamp Images from : http://stampsnz.com/