Philatelic Banner


During the 1950's the island was owned by the Whatley family, who remained there until 1969. At first the British 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 in that vicinity.. 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 to about 20. Mr.Whatley was therefore able to "export" knitwear, pottery, paintings, sculpture and farm produce, as well s gaining some income from tourism.


Pabay graphic

In 1962 Mr.Whatley issued a 2d stamp, somewhat crudely printed in sheets of four, in blue on white paper featuring the mailboat. The stamp 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 for Europa, Churchill and Kennedy, pandering to the philatelic thematic interest in these subjects at the time. Most collectors of British and Scottsh island stamps lost interest, for over this period over 200 different issues were produced, many of them totally inappropriate subjects.

In 1971 the island gained new owners, Anne and Edward Gerrard, and in August 1972 three new Pabay stamps were issued-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 Knotted Wrack (7p), Bladder Wrack (13p), and Saw Wrack (20p). In 1981 a further issue of stamps was made, featuring Fossil Shells: Pseudopecten (10p) Gryphea (15p) and Uptonia Ammonite (25p). Another 1981 issue of 10p and 25p stamps depicted the Great Northern Diver and White Fronted Goose.

The new owner decided that any future stamp issues would be of an appropriate design and the first very limited issue was the establishing of an Amateur Radio Station on the island: GM0PNS. This was in 1992. The next issue was in 1993. when a set of four stamps was produced showing the progress of the tree plantation. This coincided with the Year of the Tree (1993). This issue is a quality production and was printed by the House of Questa. Many new issues have now been produced.

Arrow Left GraphicBack to History page Arrow Left GraphicBack to Main Pabay page