South African Airmails – 2nd Edition


2nd Edition by Nicholas Arrow

Up to the summer of 2008, South African Airmails was a subject sparsely dealt with by any authorities. The 3 main works, (Wyndham, Stern and Burrell) with the Uys listing (dealing with the period from 1961 to 1981) books were difficult to get hold of – in particular Burrell’s “Par Avion in South Africa” was almost unobtainable, certainly at any reasonable price. Consequentially, collecting South African Airmails, had to be conducted in something of a vacuum, with the collector obtaining material more or less on an ad hoc basis and relying on his own instinct as to what was available.

In an attempt to fill this void, “South African Airmails” was published by Nicholas Arrow in the summer of 2008 and was genereally favourably reviewed. This was a comprehensive work, intended to bring together the various threads of the subject, up to February 1994. The book anticipated a supplement and one was issued in July 2010. However, the author has now turned his attention to a second Edition, and this is now available.

The new book will follow the layout of the original, dividing South African Airmails into 3 main periods, with the Chapters (outlined in the review of the first Edition) and Listings following the original precisely. However, the book has been entirely rewritten and is intended to be more authoritative. In particular, the Chapters on (a) the War Period and (b) after 1981, both of which were dealt with in a rather cursory fashion in the original book, have been entirely and substantially rewritten. Further, the new edition sports 2 indices (one of people, pilots and planes, the second being a brief, albeit incomplete, listing of its own), in the hope that the new Edition will be rather more user-friendly than the original.

The book is thus more substantial than the first – 6 introductory pages plus 276 pages (as against 8 and 203 respectively). The author claims that the extra pages are filled with facts, rather than plain verbiage, and hopes that this expansion will justify the price tag of £30 (the same price as the first Edition) plus P&P, even for those who bought the first Edition.

This new book is available from the author, Nicholas Arrow, at “The Beeches”, Axminster Road, Musbury, East Devon, EX13 8AZ.
Tel:+44 (0)1297 552482 (mobile +44 (0)7973 253 951) Email at