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Campania (label)

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Campania (label)

Postby shipstamps » Thu Sep 18, 2008 5:20 pm

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To commemorate the Festival of Britain, the Greater London Fund for the Blind issued a set of stamps at 2s 6d. per set, in aid of the fund's work among London's blind folk. One of the stamps, as shown, illustrates the Festival ship Campania, the largest ship ever to be used as a floating exhibition. She was laid down as a merchant vessel at the yard of Harland and Wolff, but was taken over during the Second World War by the Admiralty while still on the stocks and converted into a ferry carrier. In this role she had a distinguished career. During 1944 -45 she was the flagship of the present First Sea Lord, Admiral Sir Rhoderick McGrigor, on Russian convoy duties. One of his staff officers, now the assistant secretary of the Greater London Fund for the Blind, Mr. Allan C. Jay, was respon sible for initiating this set of stamps. He won the D.S.C. in the Campania The vessel was loaned by the Adiralty in 1951 as a naval contribution to the Festival of Britain. Her conversion to a Festival ship was planned by the Director of Navy Construction, Sir Charles Lillicrap in conjunction with Mr. James Holland, the exhibition's chief designer It was carried out by Cammell Laird and Co., Ltd., of Birkenhead. During her time as a festival ship the Campania was flying the Red Ensign. She was manned by a merchant Navy crew and managed on behalf of the Festival of Britain Office by Furness, Withy and Co., Ltd., for her tour of ports during 1951. Her exhibition was a miniature version of that at South Bank, London, and showed some .of the con¬tributions Britain has made—and is making—to world civilisation, particularly in science, technology and industrial design. After the exhibition was over, she was reconverted for naval service, and H.M.S. Campania was once again in the news when, as the headquarters ship of the British atomic test in Australasian waters, she sent the message round the world of the first success¬ful British atomic explosion last year.
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