150 years of the Shipping Forecast

August 24, 2017

Darwin’s Captain, Captain Fitzroy of HMS  Beagle, introduced the Shipping Forecast in 1867 in his later career.

Robert_Fitzroy

It was introduced several years after the Royal Charter Storm losses in 1859, the a month before the publication of Darwin’s Origin of Species on 22 November 1859.

“On the night of 25th/26th October 1859 a severe and slow moving storm struck the British Isles. It was considered to be the most severe storm to hit the Irish Sea in the 19th century. The storm depression was first noted in the Bay of Biscay near Cape Finisterre on 24th – 25th. The centre progressed northwards over Britain from Cornwall to the Yorkshire Coast and the strongest winds in the system developed as a rather narrow stream from the N or NNE over the Irish Sea. The winds reached hurricane force 12 on the Beaufort Scale and were estimated at well over 100mph. Wind speeds recorded in the Mersey were higher than any previously recorded.

The storm took 800 lives and 133 ships with a further 90 badly damaged. Twice as many people were lost at sea around the British Isles than in the whole of 1858.

The most famous ship to founder during the night was the steam clipper Royal Charter, which foundered on the north coast of Anglesey. The ship was on the last leg of her two month journey from Melbourne to Liverpool. She was one of the fastest and most famous emigrant ships operating during the years of the Australian Gold Rush and could carry up to 600 passengers and some cargo.”   Source: Met Office website

http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/learning/library/archive-hidden-treasures/royal-charter

Some lovely Fitzroy and  150th anniversary  material on the Met Office site

http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/news/releases/2017/150th-anniversary-of-the-shipping-forecast

http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/learning/mostly-weather/episode10

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/uk-41030909/radio-4-s-shipping-forecast-reaches-150-years-old

Winds light to variable …Winds light to variable …

Posted by Mark Norris, Darwin 200 stamp project.

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Welcome Home Charles Darwin Falmouth 2nd October 1836

October 2, 2016
800px-Charles_Darwin_Voyage_of_The_Beagle_plaque_Falmouth_Cornwall

Plaque marking spot of Darwin’s landfall from HMS Beagle voyage, Oct 2 1836 in Falmouth and his departure home by coach.

180 years ago Charles Darwin arrived back in Falmouth aboard the HMS Beagle, after 5 years away at sea.

https://wordpress.com/post/darwin200stampzoo.wordpress.com/389

It hardly seems 10 years since I was taking photos in Falmouth and Flushing harbour using a tiny Britain’s 54mm Darwin figure and a model ship to publicise what was the forthcoming Darwin 200 celebration in 2009. (In fact I had started working on the project at Newquay Zoo ten years beforehand in 1996 on the 160th anniversary.)

You can read more about Darwin 200, his life in stamps and his work on the previous blogposts.

 

 

 

Heading home aboard HMS Beagle 180 years ago

August 17, 2016
darwin first day cover Falklands 1982

Charles Darwin first day cover Falklands 1982

180 years ago a 26 year old young Englishman prepares for the final part of his journey home on one of the most impressive round the world “gap years” in history.

darwin cocos

August 17 1836 aboard HMS Beagle, a young Charles Darwin prepares to  leave South America for the last time. Along with the Captain Fitzroy and crew of HMS Beagle, they were  heading home for the first time after 5 years away.

darwin##8

He arrived in Falmouth harbour in Cornwall on HMS Beagle on October 2 1836.

800px-Charles_Darwin_Voyage_of_The_Beagle_plaque_Falmouth_Cornwall

Plaque marking spot of Darwin’s landfall from HMS Beagle voyage, Oct 2 1836 in Falmouth and his departure home by coach. Erected during the Darwin Bicentenary 2009.

Unlike Fitzroy and the Royal Navy crew of HMS Beagle, the often seasick Darwin would never go to sea or leave Britain again.

Read more of our past blogposts by Sandie Robb at RZSS Edinburgh Zoo and Mark Norris at Newquay Zoo for more about Darwin’s life and work, his life commemorated in postage stamps, the 200th Birthday celebrations in 2009, Alfred Russel Wallace, using stamps in schools or zoos as a teaching resource and celebrating many things Victorian!

Blog posted by Mark Norris, Newquay Zoo – Darwin Stamp Zoo blog, 17 August 2016

Queen Elizabeth 2nd overtakes Queen Victoria as UK longest reigning monarch

September 9, 2015

Today 9th September 2015 Queen Elizabeth 2nd becomes Britain’s longest-reigning monarch (1952-2015),  when she passes the record set by her great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria (1837-1901).

Both Queens 1990 issue Royal Mail double header.

 1990 Royal Mail double header.

The Queen will have reigned for 63 years and seven months – an amazing  23,226 days!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-34177107

Congratulations, Ma’am!

This has led to a range of postal commemoratives such as this Isle of Man stamp first day cover from the Westminster Collection:

2015 Postal 9.9.15 commemorative of the Queen's longest reign.

2015 Postal 9.9.15 commemorative of the Queen’s longest reign.

Inspiration for Primary History TeachingTwo Queens

The different reign of the two queens is covered in some units based on the Primary History National Curriculum such as Cornwall Learning’s Inspire Curriculum Year 2 National Celebration Two Queens :  http://theinspirecurriculum.co.uk/product/national-celebration

Inspire Curriculum's Year 2 interesting Two Queens National Celebration unit looking at Victorians and today.

Inspire Curriculum’s Year 2 interesting Two Queens National Celebration unit looking at Victorians and today.

There is a similar Curriculum map for Year 6 A Voyage of Discovery covering Charles Darwin’s voyages and the Victorians.

This is an exciting opportunity to combine Science and History (of Science) and Geography (and RE)  which should be interesting to explore in the classroom and at zoo workshops or offsites. We had great fun exploring these topics in schools and at the zoo and galleries in Darwin 200 Bicentenary Year 2009:

6-a-voyage-of-discoveryWe also saw an interesting postal related unit  for Year 1 called Posting and Places. This involves letter and postcard writing (and led to a flurry of enquiries and visit requests about penguins at Newquay Zoo last Spring). Maybe stamp design could creep in somewhere?

1-posting-and-places

So an amazing history record by Queen Victoria and some great opportunities to explore topics in the classroom and enjoy  Victorians, stamps and postal history as learning opportunities and fascinating hobby learning.

New FREE Learning Resource for Key Stages 1-3

September 9, 2015

Source: New FREE Learning Resource for Key Stages 1-3

175th anniversary of the Penny Black the world’s first adhesive postage stamp

May 1, 2015

Today the 1st of  May 2015 is the 175th birthday of the Penny Black, the world’s first adhesive postage stamp issued in 1840.

How technology has changed is shown by the event being marked by a ‘Google doodle’ of the Penny Black.

the stamp that started it all - the Penny Black of 1840, Young Queen Victoria's head

The stamp that started it all – the Penny Black of 1840, Young Queen Victoria’s head

The stamp features a portrait of the very young Queen Victoria, then only twenty, newly married by months  and only  three years into her reign.

Charles Darwin was four years back from the Beagle Voyage and working on his researches, which involved a mass of correspondence, so many many Penny Blacks!

You can read more about the Penny Black at the British Postal Museum website.

Darwin’s Grandson killed in the WW1 trenches and WW1 centenary stamps

April 26, 2015

Cross-posting from another project blog, sadly 24th April 2015 marks the centenary of the death of Erasmus, one of Darwin’s grandsons, in the trenches of WW1. You can read more of his story on the blog post below:

Erasmus Darwin IV (Source: Wikipedia)

Erasmus Darwin IV (Source: Wikipedia) died 24 April 1915, Ypres.

https://worldwarzoogardener1939.wordpress.com/2015/04/23/a-trench-dead-darwin-24-april-1915/

WW1 Remembered in stamps

Royal Mail WW1 stamp set.

Royal Mail WW1 stamp set.

The WW1 centenary has been widely marked by the issue of stamps and online exhibitions:

http://www.britishlegion.org.uk/remembrance/ww1-centenary/ww1-commemorative-stamps

A fantastic and massive KS1 – KS3 teaching resource to download http://teacherspost.co.uk/the-last-post/

http://www.postalheritage.org.uk/explore/history/firstworldwar/

https://postalheritage.wordpress.com/2011/12/20/the-post-office-in-the-first-world-war/

A fact picked up from Horrible Histories is confirmed on the Postal Heritage website, that the Post Office installed one of the largest temporary wooden buildings in the world at the time. It was in Regent’s Park, next to the ZSL London Zoo where Drawin once strode,  to handle forces mail, within the sound of monkey whoops and wolf howls:

With the onset of trench warfare, all mails bound for troops on the Western Front were sorted at the London Home Depot by the end of 1914. Covering five acres of Regents Park, this was said to be the largest wooden structure in the world employing over 2,500 mostly female staff by 1918. During the war the Home Depot handled a staggering 2 billion letters and 114 million parcels (Postal Heritage website, First World War section)

The wartime postal service is mentioned in this BBC article:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-25934407

The Post Office even had its own regiment, The Post Office Rifles.  A 2015 Royal Mail pack of stamps pack commemorates the Post Office Rifles on the centenary of their arrival in France on 18th March 1915.

http://shop.royalmail.com/issue-by-issue/the-first-world-war-1914-souvenirs/icat/thegreatwar1914&view=&bklist=icat,7,cat110,con,cat111,stampslandingpage,cat158,thegreatwar1914

The 8th (City of London) Battalion, The London Regiment (Post Office Rifles)  lost 1,800 killed and 4,500 men wounded by the end of the War.

Remembered …

New dinosaur stamp finds for the Darwin blog

March 10, 2015

These are some beautifully stylish and  ‘very 1960s’ Polish dinosaur stamps to share with you all.

Today I have been teaching ‘dinosaurs’ and extinction at Newquay Zoo and showing dinosaur and Darwin stuff to Foundation / Year 1 dinosaur ‘experts’ from a local primary school.

I asked them what extinct means and a small boy put his hand up and dramatically said “DEAD!” to which another girl emphatically added “They’ve ALL DIED!!!!”

More ‘dino’ teaching ideas to follow …

Polska (Polish) dinosaur stamp Brontosaurus 1965

Polska (Polish) dinosaur stamp Brontosaurus 1965

polska dinosaurs Edaphosaurus

 

 

Only a few days from home, 175 years ago: Darwin’s landfall, Falmouth, October 2nd 1836

September 29, 2011

On this day 175 years ago, Charles Darwin was close to ending his world-changing 5 year journey round the world  Only a few days away from landfall and harbour in Falmouth on October 2nd 1836 and  a few days coach journey home away from his family in Shrewsbury.

Plaque marking spot of Darwin's landfall from HMS Beagle voyage, Oct 2 1836 in Falmouth and his departure home by coach.

A plaque now marks the place where Darwin made landfall that evening in Falmouth, arranged by Falmouth Town Council and Falmouth Art Gallery, during the Darwin 200 celebrations .

We still have  a few copies available to schools free of our Darwin stamp book – contact Sandie Robb at Edinburgh Zoo or Mark Norris at Newquay Zoo.  

A new Darwin stamp book for 2011

Many of the new 175th anniversary stamps issued to celebrate Darwin’s journey can be found in Barry Floyd’s new book Chrles Darwin His Life Through Commemorative Stamps (2011) , available through Traveller’s Tree Thematic Services, 30 Watch Bell Street, Rye, E. Sussex, TN31 7HB, UK Priced £15 + £2 P&P (UK). £5 P&P overseas Cheques in sterling to B N Floyd.

Look out in 2012 for events and publications celebrating Edward Lear’s bicentenary.  See the Blog of Bosh and other websites including www.nonsenselit.org

See our previous blog entry on Lear

https://darwin200stampzoo.wordpress.com/2009/12/03/the-victorians-are-not-dead-and-gone-celebrating-the-big-and-bearded-victorian-icons-from-darwin-to-lear-a-future-festival-of-nonsense/

175th Anniversary of Charles Darwin’s visit to Australia

January 12, 2011

As Mark has mentioned in the previous post, this year marks a 175th anniversary of Darwin’s return later in the year but on the 12th January 1836 he landed in Sydney Cove, Australia.

The following cover was issued on 1st April 1986 which is was the 150th anniversary of the visit to Cocos(Keeling) Islands. These islands are an Australian territory and lie in the Indian Ocean, southwest of Christmas Island. They consist of two atolls and other coral islands. An atoll is an island of coral around a lagoon.

Darwin explained the creation of coral atolls from his observations. They started as an ocean volcano and through gradual subsidence, the island sinks but the surrounding coral reef grows upwards, becoming a barrier reef island.  Over time, the subsidence takes the old volcano below ocean level and only the barrier reef remains. It is then termed an atoll.

Darwin was also fascinated by the platypus. At first he thought the platypus was so unusual, along with some of the other Australian animals that if there was a creator then it must be two different creators to make such absurd animals!

Of course later, it all fitted into his theory that the species had evolved from primitive mammals which still had many reptilian characteristics.

The platypus is a monotreme. These are mammals but instead of giving birth to live young they lay eggs. They are not primitive mammals because they have evolved over time. Mammals have evolved from reptiles. Monotremes probably branched off at an early stage and still have some reptilian features. There are 3 species of monotreme – duck billed platypus; short nosed echidna and long nosed echidna.

I also have this 1999 Australian 5c coin in my collection with echidna pictured on it. The echidna along with many australian animals have appeared on their coinage.

And please spare a thought for the floods in Australia at present.