Saturday, 14 June 2014

Machin Mystery

A friend of mine gave me this item. I can’t call it a cover because it didn’t pass through the mail. It is an empty envelope with a Machin on it, and of course it piqued my interest. The Machin is tied to the cover with a hand-stamped “BP.” Other hand stamps are “18577” and “8,” which matches the number after the name.

The back of the item provides a little more information and more mystery. Handwritten on one edge is “North Sea Oil Country / Helio Copter Strike.” In a different handwriting is “Dundas Racing Pigeon Assn 18-5-77,” and above that is the stamped image of a pigeon.

That confirms that the “18577” on the front is a date, and the reference to North Sea Oil would indicate that “BP” is British Petroleum. I also searched and found that “helio copter” is apparently an old term for helicopter.

But what is the “Helio Copter Strike”? Is it a strike in the sense of finding oil, or is it a workers’ strike? What has either type of strike to do with racing pigeons? And what might have happened on 18 May 1977?

Please put any ideas in the comments.



Robert said...

Perhaps the racing pigeon struck the helicopter in flight?

Maurice Buxton said...

Perhaps there was a strike by the helicopter pilots flying out to the oil rigs, and the local (Dundas Castle?) racing pigeon association did a souvenir "pigeon post"?