Britain's most spectacular commemoratives, No41: 1951 Festival of Britain 4d

Organised only half a dozen years after the end of World War II, the Festival of Britain was intended to mark the centenary of the Great Exhibition of 1851, but also a dawning optimism about the country’s future as it struggled to recover from the ravages of war.

Pavilions were erected along the South Bank of the Thames to put the whole country on show to the world, and two stamps were issued.

The higher value has the official logo of the Festival, comprising a compass rose with a stylised Britannia’s head, adorned with bunting in the form of suspended flags and a string of pennants. It’s very conservative, reflecting the austerity of post-war period, but it’s also infused with pride and patriotism.

Design: Abram Games.

Printing: photogravure by Harrisons.