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The Journal of the Rhodesia Study Circle - Issue No. 67

British Association – Victoria Falls
 v. 19, no. 3 (67), p.6–8

In the May 1965 Journal (Vol. 15, No.1 page 6) there is a most interesting article about the 1965 Victoria Falls issue of Rhodesia by Dr. C.R. Barker.  Under the heading of Postmarks Dr. Barker describes the two British Association postmarks, on a double

circle in purple ink with British Association at top, Bulawayo at the bottom and with the date Sep 11 1965 in one line ???? the ????.  Dr. Barker ??????? showed examples of this double circle postmark dated 14th September 1905.  The second postmark described by Dr. Parker was a single circle with British Association at the top, Victoria Falls at the bottom, and the date Sep 12 1905 in one line across the centre.  I have myself got this postmark, one example with the date Sep 12 1905 and the other Sep 13 1905.  (One of them, if not both, was given to me by Bill Williams).  Can anyone tell me where this postmark was issued and for how long it was used?  My own belief is that it was used only on the train which took the members of the British Association to the Victoria Falls from Bulawayo, and that the train left Bulawayo on Sep 11, stayed at the Victoria Falls for the 12th and l3th and returned to Bulawayo on the 14th.  This would account for the two Bulawayo postmarks of Sep 11th and 14th, and the different Victoria Falls postmarks of Sep 12th and 13th.  But this is pure speculation, though I believe I have read that the members of the British Association travelled in a special train and stayed in it while at Victoria Falls.

Are there any known postmarks of the two sorts described above for any other dates except those quoted, that is Sep 11th to 14th inclusive?  It is of course known that the series of stamps has postmarks from many places in Northern and Southern Rhodesia, but these are the normal postmarks of the time in general use.  At the time when the Victoria Falls bridge was opened by Professor Darwin (Sep 12th), the Victoria Falls Hotel had only recently been opened in a very unpretentious form, while Livingstone on the North bank was still at the old drift, and had not moved to its present site.  Apart from the hotel, there was the store of P.M. Clark (the old drifter) on the South bank and perhaps 30 or 40 Europeans on the North bank.  Where did the train stop for the night?  - and after the bridge was opened did it cross the bridge into Northern Rhodesia?  It appears from Dann that there was a Post Office at Victoria Falls from 1904 onwards and there is a picture in Dann's book of the first post office at Livingstone in 1903.  Was the 1905 British Association postmark used on the train, at the Victoria Falls post office or at the post office at Livingstone at the old drift?

This question is of special interest to me for I collect the old B.S.A.Company stamps with Northern Rhodesia postmarks only.  Is the British Association - Victoria Falls postmark, a Northern Rhodesia postmark as well as a Southern Rhodesia one?  It would be if it was used in the train in Northern Rhodesia, or at the old drift.

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