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In 1881 the railway from Cuxhaven to Harburg was completed. This improved links for Cuxhaven with Harburg, Hanover and Bremen. Harburg was already connected via a railway link to Hamburg. The steamer services then dropped mail off at Cuxhaven for onward delivery to Hamburg.
The Early Hamburg Influence on Helgoland Postal System
In 1859 Hamburg was issued with its own stamps and these could be used to pre-pay mail coming from Helgoland up to the introduction of the first Helgoland issues in 1867. Only three Hamburg values are currently known to have been used to pre-pay Helgoland mail.
Letters from England to Helgoland are known from as early as 1810. Because Helgoland was officially under Danish rule until 1814 mail was cancelled with a red “Foreign” cancel inscribed with the number “195” and year.
Helgoland (Heligoland to the English and on the stamps) is located in the North Sea about 30 miles from Schleswig-Holstein and sixty miles from the great Elbe river port of Hamburg. It was taken from the Danish and given to the British as a part of the settlement following the Napoleonic wars. While the British used it for its naval facilities and tourism local fisherman and farmers inhabited it.