Isle of Pabay Stamps
Information from stamp insert documents:
PABAY. PHILATELIC HISTORY
During the I950's the island was owned by the Whatley family who remained there until 1969. At first the GPO agreed to make one delivery a week to the island from Broadford. Mr.Whatley found this to be inadequate for his pottery and knitwear business and attempted to obtain two deliveries a week in line with most of the other islands. This the GPO refused to do. Mr.Whatley was unable to find anyone willing to undertake the task of collection and delivery of mail, and was forced to carry out the job himself, using a specially converted lifeboat. The resident population of the island at this time was in the region of 12 persons, rising in the summer months to about 20. Mr.Whatley was therefore able to 'export' knitwear, pottery, paintings, sculpture and farm produce, as well as gaining some income from tourism.
In 1962 Mr.Whatley issued a 2d stamp somewhat crudely printed in sheets of 4, in blue on white paper it featured the mailboat and was inscribed ISLE OF PABAY SKYE MAIL SERVICE POSTCARD 2. This is now quite rare. Later sets followed showing Flowers (1962 and 1963), Birds (1964) and Crustaceans (1965). A number of overprints were produced Ñ Europa, Churchill and Kennedy-pandering to the thematic interest in these subjects at the time. By the late 1960s the rather charming local nature of Pabay stamps had given way to Olympics and gold foil Churchill and Kennedy stamps. Most collectors of island stamps lost Interest and over this period over 200 different issues were produced, many of totally inappropriate subjects, Pekenese Dogs being an example!
In 1971 the island gained new proprietors, Anne and Edward Gerrard and in August 1972 three new Pabay stamps were issued Ñ showing a map of the island enclosing profiles of birds-Corncrake (3p), Kestrel (10p) and Curlew (25p). Stamps of similar design featuring Seaweeds followed in 1978 Ñ 7p Knotted Wrack, 13p Bladder Wrack and 20p Saw Wrack and Fossil Shells in 1981 Ñ 10p Pseudopecten 15p Gryphea, and 25p Uptonia ammonite. A final issue of 10p and 25p stamps showing the Great Northern Diver and White-fronted Goose also appeared in 1981.
By 1985 the island was owned by a Mr.Philip but no further stamps were issued. Some of these stamps are still available and details will be sent on request.
THE ADMINISTRATOR, ISLE OF PABAY, BROADFORD, ISLE OF SKYE, SCOTLAND IV49 9BP.
THE ISLAND OF PABAY
The island of Pabay (57 167N 05 51.5W and NGR 675270) is located 2.5 miles from the villaqe of Broadford on the South side of the Isle of Skye. It is 360 acres in size, diamond shaped and predominantly flat, the highest point being 28m asl with cliffs on the North and East shores.
Pabay consists of heath, dry grassland, herb marsh, salt marsh woodland remnants and 75 acres of newly planted deciduous and coniferous trees, contaning 17 different species. There are 32 different species of wild flowers, 49 diffferent herbs, 40 different grasses, sedges, ferns and rushes. There are also numerous resident otters, seals, 32breeding bird species and 72 non-breeding. There is also a large rabbit population and shrews have been seen. A small flock of Crossed Shetland sheep also graze on the island at certain times of the year.
Pabay is known world wide for its unique geology consisting of fossisl, Pabba shale and other features. The shoreline at low tide almost doubles the
area of the island revealing many interesting features.
Due to the inaccessibility of the island it has escaped the impact of modern farming methods. A fully modernised house with its own electricity supply is located on the South side of the island together with numerous farming building. Access to the island can only be made by boat or helicopter!.
The name Pabay is derived from an old Norse word meaning "priests isle" and there are the remains of a 13th century chapel. In the past the island was completely wooded and the tree planting sceme will return Pabay to its original sylvan state.
GEOLOGY OF THE ISLAND
From notes by Stephen Hesslbo. August 1991
Pabay was described by Hugh Miller the early Victoriarian missionary and geogist, as the "only piece of flat, level England in the entire landscape". The island gives its name to a group of Jurassic Sedimentray rocks which are seen across the Inner Hebredian area-Pabba Shales. These were laid down at the bottom of a muddy sea 190 million years ago. Much later (about 60 million years ago) volcanicity associated with the opening of the Atlantic Ocean led to the intrusion of molten rock along fractures running mostly NNW-SSE across the island. The resulting dykes now stand proud as solid sheets resembling well built masonary and protecting the island from further erosion.