Britain's most spectacular commemoratives, No44: 2002 Commonwealth Games 1st class

This oblong format was in vogue early in the 21st century, and proved particularly appropriate for the set issued to mark Manchester’s hosting of the 17th Commonwealth Games in 2002.

Its success lies in the way it provides extra scope for evoking a sense of speed in each of the five events illustrated.

On the athletics stamp we see three slightly burred female sprinters heading for the finish line. The international colours of the sprinters contrast effectively with the background ochre of the track, and a spotlighting effect throws light and shadow onto the surface, making us feel we are there in the crowd.

Design: Madeleine Bennett.

Printing: photogravure by Enschedé.