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Julia Lee  |  Jan 08, 2014  |  0 comments

Royal Mail’s Working Horses special issue, to be released on February 4, salutes the contribution horses make to working life in the UK, from ceremonial functions to police work.

Besides the estimated 900,000 privately-owned horses in the UK, another 88,000 are owned and worked by professionals.

Royal Mail thinks of this set of six as a sequel to the Working Dogs issue of 2008, which it says was very popular.

Katy Purvis  |  Jan 07, 2014  |  0 comments

Royal Mail’s first stamp issue of 2014, Classic Children’s TV, will celebrate much-loved animated characters drawn from more than 60 years of British television.

The release of 12 free-form self-adhesive stamps on January 7 roughly coincides with the 10th anniversary of Peppa Pig, the 40th anniversary of Bagpuss and the 50th anniversary of The Magic Roundabout.

Designed by the Interabang agency, the set was printed by International Security Printers (Walsall) in gravure.

Julia Lee  |  Oct 31, 2013  |  0 comments

For customers who would prefer secular stamps to religious stamps, Royal Mail has issued extra 1st class and 2nd class designs this Christmas, based on paintings by primary school children.

The winners of a competition launched in the summer were Molly Robson, aged 7, and Rosie Hargreaves, aged 10.

A staggering 240,000 entries were whittled down to 120 regional finalists and then a shortlist of 24 national finalists by a judging panel which included the Prince of Wales, Lauren Child, the author of the Charlie & Lola books, and Tasveer Shemza, who was six when she designed a stamp for Royal Mail’s first ever Christmas issue in 1966.

Julia Lee  |  Oct 08, 2013  |  0 comments

Royal Mail’s new Dinosaurs set, issued on October 10, features prehistoric reptile species whose fossilised remains have been discovered in Britain.

Specialist illustrator John Sibbick was commissioned to paint images of the ‘terrible lizards’ as they might have looked, with Dr Angela Milner of the Natural History Museum advising on their appearance.

The theme, which has not been covered on British stamps since 1991, ties in with the release of the 3D film version of the popular BBC television series Walking With Dinosaurs, which will be out in cinemas in December.

Julia Lee  |  Sep 19, 2013  |  0 comments

Royal Mail will issue a set of six stamps saluting the Merchant Navy on September 19, with an accompanying four-stamp miniature sheet honouring the achievements and the sacrifice of those who took part in the perilous Atlantic and Arctic convoys in World War II.

The history of Britain’s merchant fleet is intertwined with the fortunes of the nation.

The Empire was built on the carriage of goods, by private organisations such as the East India Company, and emigrants and mail, not least by Royal Mail ships.

Julia Lee  |  Aug 07, 2013  |  0 comments

Royal Mail is celebrating Andy Murray’s victory in the Wimbledon Men’s Singles Final with a miniature sheet issued on August 8.

By beating Novak Djokovic in straight sets, Murray became the first Briton to win the men’s singles in 77 years, since Fred Perry did so in 1936.

The four-stamp miniature sheet uses the colours of the All England Lawn Tennis Club, green and purple, to salute Murray as a ‘1st class sporting success’.

Julia Lee  |  Aug 07, 2013  |  0 comments

The British Auto Legends issue on August 13 celebrates some of the most stylish motor vehicles ever manufactured in Britain, and some of the most hard-working.

Timed to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the birth of Sir Henry Royce (the co-founder of Rolls-Royce) and the centenary of Aston Martin, the issue highlights two very different kinds of legendary cars: the ‘thoroughbreds’ ofthe 1960s and 1970s on a set of sixsheet stamps, and the ‘workhorses’ ofthe public services on a four-stamp miniature sheet.

The images for the sheet stamps were shot in a studio by renowned car photographer James Mann, using specialist lighting to capture the classic lines of the vehicles.

Julia Lee  |  Jul 10, 2013  |  0 comments

Royal Mail will release a Butterflies set of 10 stamps on July 11, with delicate and detailed illustrations by Richard Lewington depicting these beautiful creatures to stunning effect.

The 10 species chosen are a mix of the endangered and the common, but three-quarters of species are in decline in the UK.

The Big Butterfly Count, an annual nationwide survey, takes place from July 20–August 1, just after the issue comes out.

Julia Lee  |  Jun 03, 2013  |  0 comments

Royal Mail issued a Royal Portraits set of six stamps on May 30 to mark the 60th anniversary of the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, and the 1st class value reproduces a detail of a portrait which it commissioned specially.

The painting by Nicky Philipps is a full-length study showing the Queen in her Order of the Garter robes.

This is the first time Royal Mail has commissioned a painted portrait of the Queen.

Julia Lee  |  May 08, 2013  |  0 comments

Royal Mail is celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Football Association and the 140th anniversary of the Scottish Football Association with its Football Heroes miniature sheet, issued on May 9.

Eleven 1st class stamps portrayindividual British footballers who stood out in their generation, not least in representing their respective countries.

The designs form a composite image, and the miniature sheet places them all together in a team line-up.

Julia Lee  |  Apr 11, 2013  |  0 comments

Royal Mail is issuing a set of ten 1st class stamps on April 16 celebrating some of Britain’s most remarkable individuals, on the 100th or 150th anniversary of their birth.

The Great Britons honoured include an actor and actress, a national and a local politician, a football manager, a composer, a photographer, a writer, a broadcaster and an archaeologist.

Only two have featured previously on British stamps, Vivien Leigh in the 1985 British Film Year and 1996 Centenary of Cinema sets, and Peter Cushing in the 2008 Carry On & Hammer Films set.

Julia Lee  |  Mar 13, 2013  |  0 comments

Doctor Who, the world’s longest-running science-fiction television series, marks its 50th birthday this year, and Royal Mail is issuing stamps on March 26, four days before an Easter special is broadcast.

A set of 11 sheet stamps illustrates all the actors who have played the Doctor over the years, each with the backdrop used in the title sequence in his period.

The earliest two are in black and white, as broadcast.

Julia Lee  |  Feb 13, 2013  |  0 comments

Scenes from each of Jane Austen’s six published novels feature on a set of stamps marking the 200th anniversary of the publication of Pride & Prejudice.

Released on February 21, the stamps use illustrations by Angela Barrett which were commissioned especially for the issue.

The set was designed by Webb & Webb and printed in lithography by Cartor.

Julia Lee  |  Dec 12, 2012  |  0 comments

Royal Mail’s first stamp issue of2013 celebrates the 150th anniversary of the world’s oldest underground railway.

Issued on January 9, the London Underground issue comprises six separate stamps charting the history of the network, and a miniature sheet of four wide-format stamps focusing on the design heritage of its promotional posters.

The sheet stamps all feature a timeline across the lower quarter of the design, giving the date of the image and using the livery colour of the relevant Underground line.

Julia Lee  |  Nov 05, 2012  |  0 comments

The artist behind world-famous children’s book The Gruffalo has illustrated this year’s Christmas stamps, issued on November 6.

Design agency Webb & Webb was commissioned by Royal Mail to devise the issue, and suggested Axel Scheffler as the illustrator.

In his distinctive style, he drew a range of seasonal, secular scenes including Father Christmas and various animals.

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