1971 Scott 329 30c gold and multicolor
70th Anniversary of the Completion of the Mombasa to Kisumu LineBud's Big Blue
Since its inception in 1892, the Uganda Railway has been called by many names, both formal and colloquial -- The Kenya-Ugandan Line, East African Railways and Harbours Corporation (EAR&H), the Lunatic Express or Lunatic Line, the Iron Snake, and a Gigantic Folly, among others. Churchill regarded it a “brilliant conception” and fine example of “the British art of 'muddling through.'” Built at tremendous costs in lives (over 2000 workers died -- tropical disease, lions, local resistance), the line stretched from Mombasa to Kampala by 1903.
The philatelic significance is great because, once service began, almost all Kenya and Uganda non-local mail was transported along the Lunatic Line. At least two canceled stamps on these pages very likely made the journey -- Kijabe, Kenya and Jinja, Uganda. Both are located on the line, Kijable being a small settlement on the Great Rift’s edge. Eventually a railway/roadway bridge would be built across the Nile at Jinja, a feat commemorated in Kenya-Uganda-Tanzania stamps of the 1930s. Railway cancels can be found, but cost dearly.
I encountered a wood-fired mail train when I was changing a flat tire on the road to Mombasa in 1975. Its hissing scattered a troop of baboons that gathered to ridicule my circumstances.
Census: 19 in BB spaces, two tipped in, three on supplement page. Seven added to supplement page since the scans were made.
I don't have any stories as exciting as Bud's tale of changing a tire accompanied by baboons on the road to Mombasa. Who says stamp collectors live sedate lives? ;-)
Big Blue '97, on one page, has 19 stamp spaces for the 1903-1919 British colonial stamp issues of King Edward VII and George V.
The protectorate's issues are the well known Edward VII and George V designs from 1903-1918. The Edward VII issues (1903-07) are a bit tricky, with watermark 2 or 3, and chalky or ordinary paper varieties to detect. Check the watermarks for this issue.
A cautionary word: The 1912-18 King George V "East Africa and Uganda Proctetorates" colonial watermark 3 issues clearly belong to East Africa and Uganda protectorates stamp pages. But in 1920, it became known as"Kenya and Uganda". Stamps with that inscription were produced in 1922. But prior in 1921, the King George V "East Africa and Uganda Protectorates" stamps were continued in use in Kenya. This issue can be distinguished by the colonial watermark 4. Scott has the watermark 4 issues listed under the Kenya , Uganda, & Tanzania section. Personally, I will probably keep the watermark 4 stamps in the King George V "East Africa and Uganda Protectorates stamp pages section with a note to avoid confusion.
East Africa and Uganda Protectorates Blog Post and Checklist