January 14, 2015

1396, 1408 UNITED KINGDOM (British Antarctic Territory) - Port Lockroy Historic Site

Posted on 03.01.2015, and 14.01.2015
Port Lockroy is a natural harbour on the north-western shore of Wiencke Island in Palmer Archipelago, a group of islands off the northwestern coast of the Antarctic Peninsula, the northernmost part of the mainland of Antarctica. It was discovered in 1904 and named after Edouard Lockroy, a French politician who assisted Jean-Baptiste Charcot in obtaining government support for his French Antarctic Expedition. After the harbour was used for whaling between 1911 and 1931, during WWII the British military Operation Tabarin established the Port Lockroy base (Station A) on tiny Goudier Island in the bay. The chief reason of this operation was to establish solid British claims to various uninhabited islands and parts of Antarctica, reinforced by Argentine sympathies toward Germany.

After the war, Port Lockroy base continued to operate as a British research station until 1962 (initially survey, geology, meteorology and botany, mainly ionospheric research from 1950 onwards). The site has been designated a Historic Site or Monument (HSM 61) under the Antarctic Treaty, in 19 May 1995. In 1996 the base was renovated and is now a museum and post office operated by the United Kingdom Antarctic Heritage Trust. It is one of the most popular tourist destinations for cruise-ship passengers in Antarctica. The Trust collects data for the British Antarctic Survey to observe the effect of tourism on penguins. Half the island is open to tourists, while the other half is reserved for penguins. The main hut was named Bransfield House after the ship initially chartered to transport members of Operation Tabarin from the UK, and itself named after Edward Bransfield, Master, Royal Navy, the first person to chart an area of the Antarctic mainland (1819-1820).

About the stamp
The stamp is part of the commemorative series Penguins Part II, designed by Ross Watton, issued on November 8, 2006, and comprising of 12 stamps (all with the same face value - airmail postcard rate).

Port Lockroy - Wikipedia
Port Lockroy Station A - History - British Antarctic Survey official website

Sender 1, 2: The team of Port Lockroy (Ruben)
Sent from Port Lockroy (British Antarctic Territory / Antarctica), on 12.11.2014
1: Painting of Port Lockroy © Keith Shackleton
2: Photographs courtesy BAS archives and SPRI

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