April 7, 2015

1264, 1515 GUERNSEY (Alderney) - Alderney Island

1264 ALDERNEY - Moorings alongside the breakwater
at Braye Harbour

Posted on 02.10.2014, 07.04.2015
Alderney, part of the Bailiwick of Guernsey, is the most northerly of the Channel Islands, located at around 16km to the west of La Hague (Normandy, France), and 32km to the north-east of Guernsey. It is 4.8km long and 2.4km wide, and has about 1,900 inhabitants, formally known as Ridunians (from the Latin Riduna), but traditionally nicknamed vaques (after the cows), or else lapins (because of the many rabbits seen in the island). It shares a history with the other Channel Islands, becoming an island in the Neolithic period as the waters of the Channel rose. Its many dolmens have suffered through the large-scale military constructions of the 19th century and also by the Germans during the WWII occupation. Moreover, Germans fortified the island abandoned by inhabitants, as part of Hitler's Atlantic Wall, and built four concentration camps.

1515 ALDERNEY - Springtime on Gannet Rock

Braye Harbour is the main harbour on the north side of the island. It is an artificial harbour created by building a pier or jetty. The harbour faces out onto the Swinge, which is part of the English Channel. The breakwater at the Braye Harbour was built between 1847 and 1864. Originally, two arms were planned as a protection to the harbour, but only the western arm was completed, with a length of 1,471 m. Within a year 540 m was abandoned to the sea following heavy gales. The massive stone breakwater is generally used as a walk way to enjoy the scenic beauty of the bay, its harbour and the sea. Braye Harbour has a slipway but it doesn't have a marina and there are no alongside pontoon systems to berth to.

As the other Channel Islands, Alderney has sheer cliffs broken by stretches of sandy beach and dunes, and supports a rich flora and fauna. Puffins on Burhou and gannets on Les Étacs (popularly called Gannet Rock) just off Alderney are a favourite of many visitors to the island. The northern gannets are large white birds with yellowish heads; black-tipped wings; long bills and a wingspan of up to 2m. They hunt fish by diving from a height into the sea and pursuing their prey underwater. Gannets can dive from a height of 30m, achieving speeds of 100 kilometres per hour. Gannets are colonial breeders on islands and coasts, normally laying one chalky, blue egg. It takes five years for gannets to reach maturity. First-year birds are completely black, and subsequent sub-adult plumages show increasing amounts of white.

About the stamps
On the postcard 1264 (Guernsey stamps)
The first stamp is part of the series Christmas Festive Lights, designed by Sally Diamond and issued on October 16, 2001:
• Tree of Joy, St Peter Port (0.19 GBP)
• Cross, Les Cotils Christian Centre (0.27 GBP)
• Les Ruettes Cottage, St. Saviour's (0.36 GBP)
• Farmhouse, Le Preel, Castel (0.40 GBP)
• Sark Post Office (45 GBP) - it's on the postcard
• High Street, St Peter Port (65 GBP)

The second stamp is part of the series presented by Guernsey in 2000 as Europe stamps (issued on May 9, 2000 and designed by KWL), with the theme Tower of 6 Stars:
• Guernsey Flag on Kite (0.21 GBP) - it's on the postcard
• Stylized Sails bearing National Flowers (0.26 GBP)
• Building Europe (0.36 GBP)
• Rainbow and Three Doves (0.65 GBP)

On the postcard 1515 (Alderney stamps)
The stamp is part of the series The Life of Ian Fleming, designed by Two Degrees North, and issued on July 30, 2014. Ian Lancaster Fleming (1908-1964) was an English author, journalist and naval intelligence officer, best known for his James Bond series of spy novels.
• Commander in Naval Intelligence during World War II (41p)
• Well travelled, he wrote vividly about the places he visited (54p)
• In Jamaica, where all of the James Bond  novels were written (55p)
• Holding his son, Caspar, born in 1952 (66p) - it's on the postcard
• Journalist and writer at his desk in London (74p)
• As a journalist abroad (83p)

Alderney - Wikipedia
Braye Harbour - Wikipedia

Sender 1264: Kathy Allen-James
Sent from Saint Peter Port (Guernsey Island / Guernsey), on 28.09.2014
Sender 1515: Kathy Allen-James
Sent from Alderney (Alderney Island / Guernsey), on 02.04.2015
Photo: Astrid Harrisson

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