Summer Isles Post Office
Tanera is the only Scottish island to operate a year-round private postal service.
The Summer Isles Post Office was inaugurated on September 1st 1970, with the approval of the Royal Mail. When the Wilder Family bought Tanera Mòr in 1996 they revived the Post Office, which had been dormant for 10 years. Bill and Jean managed Tanera until their daughter Lizzie and her husband Richard Williams moved to the Island in 2009.
A letter posted on Tanera must therefore bear two stamps: a Summer Isles stamp to carry it from Tanera to the mainland post office in Achiltibuie, and a Royal Mail stamp for the rest of its journey. Post travels from Tanera to the mainland on our sturdy boat the MV Patricia, who returns with mail for Island inhabitants.
The Post Office on Tanera shares the old boathouse with the Island’s cafe, and is open from May to September for visitors from the mainland – travelling on Patricia, or one of the local tour boats, or perhaps a yacht or kayak. The cafe tables are often scenes of frantic scribbling, as visitors scurry to get their postcards written and posted with a Summer Isles stamp and a special frank before the boat departs.
So far there have been 36 stamp issues, each celebrating a different aspect of the natural and cultural heritage of this amazing place: from mountains to maps; from crofting activities to mythical tales; birds, butterflies and underwater life. Designed by a range of artists and photographers, they make an intriguing and eclectic collection.
Our most recent issue was 'Island Haven' in 2013; a sumptuous series of colour photographs of the Island, by Tim Winterburn. We are excited to be working on a new issue for early 2016 to celebrate the release of an album by local musician Mairearad Green, called Summer Isles. We'll post news about its development here.
In the meantime, you can browse the archive of previous stamps issued by the Summer Isles Post Office!
The Summer Isles Post Office - and Bill Wilder - had a starring role in an episode of BBC Scotland's Grand Tours of the Scottish Islands. There has been a lovely surge of interest in our stamps since the programme aired several times in 2015.
Many of you may have noticed that the Philatelic Bureau has moved from Perthshire to Achiltibuie. In the Spring of 2013 we decided that it was time for Gerry Mickleburgh (in his 10th decade!) to enjoy his retirement. We are hugely grateful to Gerry for his dedication over 30 years.
Contact the Post Office
Summer Isles Post Office & Philatelic Bureau
Isle of Tanera Mor, Achiltibuie, Ross-Shire, IV26 2YN, Scotland.
Tel: +44 (0)1854 622 797