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Guy Thomas  |  Mar 08, 2017  |  0 comments

Royal Mail will issue a set of stamps on March 14 honouring David Bowie, one of the most influential figures in modern music.

Issued in the year of what would have been his 70th birthday, and marking 50 years since he released his first album, it comprises six self-adhesive stamps reproducing some of his most famous album covers, and a gummed miniature sheet of four based on photographs of Bowie performing live, in tours spanning four decades.

The self-adhesives have free-form edges showing the arc of the vinyl record protruding from the side, in a style used previously in 2010 (for the Classic Album Covers set which included his 1972 album The Rise & Fall of Ziggy Stardust & the Spiders From Mars) and 2016.

Guy Thomas  |  Feb 08, 2017  |  0 comments

A set of six stamps and a miniature sheet to be issued on February 15 will feature one of Britain’s most recognisable historic landmarks, Windsor Castle.

Founded by William the Conqueror in around 1080, Windsor is the oldest and largest inhabited castle in the world.

Originally it was simply part of a chain of fortifications established around London following the Norman Conquest, but King Henry I began to turn it into a royal palace as early as the early 12th century, and it remains an important royal residence today.

Guy Thomas  |  Jan 10, 2017  |  0 comments

The Ancient Britain set, to be issued by Royal Mail on January 17, comprises eight stamps depicting four important sites and four exceptional artefacts from prehistoric times.

Photographs of the locations and the objects are overlaid with black or white illustrations to bring them to life, suggesting how ancient people probably worked in them and used them.

Overall, the set spans almost 10,000 years of history, from the late Stone Age (also known as Neolithic) period, through the Bronze Age and the Iron Age, to the time when the Romans made their first incursion into Britain.

Guy Thomas  |  Nov 08, 2016  |  0 comments

This year’s Christmas set, issued on November 8, celebrates some of the key secular traditions of the season: decorating the Christmas tree, lighting a lantern, hanging out a stocking, eating a Christmas pudding and making a snowman.

It also illustrates one of the old favourites of seasonal stamp issues, a robin, whose popularity on greetings cards is said to have been inspired by the red coats worn by Victorian postmen.

For the second year in succession, the set comprises six different designs for eight stamps, with the two values for large letters using enlarged versions of the standard 2nd class and 1st class designs.

Guy Thomas  |  Oct 19, 2016  |  0 comments

On October 20, Royal Mail’s Mr Men & Little Miss issue will celebrate one of Britain’s most popular series of children’s characters, created by Roger Hargreaves.

With their bold, colourful designs and simple personality traits, they have have been enchanting children for more than 40 years, branching out from a successful series of books into television cartoons.

It all started when Hargreaves’ young son Adam innocently asked him: ‘What does a tickle look like?’ His father visualised a small orange man with absurdly long arms, drafted an illustrated story about him, and never looked back.

Guy Thomas  |  Sep 14, 2016  |  0 comments

A set of six stamps to be issued on September 15 will commemorate the work of the British author Agatha Christie, who is claimed to be the best-selling novelist of all time.

Christie is most renowned for her 66 murder and detective mysteries, of which 33 featured the fastidious Belgian sleuth, Hercule Poirot, and 12 featured the intuitive English spinster, Miss Marple.

She has been dubbed ‘the Queen of Crime’.

Guy Thomas  |  Sep 01, 2016  |  0 comments

The 350th anniversary of the Great Fire of London will be commemorated by an issue of six stamps on September 2.

The fire broke out in bakery of Thomas Farriner in Pudding Lane in the early hours of Sunday September 2, 1666.

For three days it spread through the city, helped by the close-packed wooden houses, thatched roofs, stored materials such as pitch and tar, and a strong westerly wind.

Guy Thomas  |  Aug 11, 2016  |  0 comments

The Landscape Gardens set, to be issued by Royal Mail on August 16, marks the 300th anniversary of the birth of Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown (c1716-1783), who is renowned as ‘England’s greatest gardener’, or more properly Britain’s greatest landscape architect.

In designing more than 170 parks and gardens (and in some cases houses), Brown changed the face of 18th-century England, establishing a new breed of country estate which was ‘naturalistic’, carefully landscaped without being formally patterned.

He not only planted shrubs and trees but also moved hills, and dammed rivers to fabricate lakes in strategic places.

Guy Thomas  |  Jul 20, 2016  |  0 comments

The 150th anniversary of the birth of Beatrix Potter will be commemorated on July 28 with a total of 10 stamps illustrating many of the timeless characters she created.

A set of six portray the leading characters in six of her most popular books, while a four-stamp miniature sheet features scenes from The Tale of Peter Rabbit.

Both a storyteller and an artist, Potter (1866-1943) made her name with a series of children’s tales featuring anthropomorphic animals, starting with The Tale of Peter Rabbit, published in 1902.

Guy Thomas  |  Jul 06, 2016  |  0 comments

Royal Mail will issue a set of 10 stamps on July 7 to celebrate one of the most influential British rock bands of all time, Pink Floyd.

Six self-adhesive stamps reproduce iconic record sleeve designs, in the same freeform style as the 2010 Classic Album Covers set (which included a different Pink Floyd album).

A Pink Floyd Live miniature sheet of four further designs is based on photographs from stage performances, taken over four different decades.

Guy Thomas  |  Jun 21, 2016  |  0 comments

The third issue in Royal Mail’s series commemorating the First World War, issued on June 21, focuses on the year 1916, with another eclectic and poignant selection of images.

As in the first two issues, the year is explored though a stamp covering each of six key themes: poppies, poetry, portraits, art, memorials and artefacts.

This year there is an additional miniature sheet, specifically devoted to the impact of the war on postal services.

Guy Thomas  |  May 10, 2016  |  0 comments

On May 17 Royal Mail will issue a self-adhesive miniature sheet of six colourful free-form stamps unashamedly aimed at children, although they might also appeal to adults with a sense of fun who want to brighten up letters and greetings cards.

Entitled Animail, it will feature six endearing animal characters, with each stamp designed to wrap around the outside edges of an envelope or postcard, as if the creature is clinging on to the top or side.

Thin white lines across each design suggest the place in which it is meant to be folded.

Guy Thomas  |  Apr 20, 2016  |  0 comments

Royal Mail will release a set of six stamps and a special four-stamp miniature sheet on April 21 to celebrate the 90th birthday of Queen Elizabeth II, the world’s oldest reigning monarch.

The stamps from counter sheets, which come in se-tenant strips of three, comprise three black and white images focusing on her family life, and three colour images honouring her official work on behalf the country over the decades.

Designed by Kate Stephens, the set was printed in litho by International Security Printers.

Guy Thomas  |  Apr 04, 2016  |  0 comments

Royal Mail will issue a set of 10 1st class stamps on April 5 to mark the 400th anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare, the most published and most performed dramatist in history.

The designs pay tribute to the genius of ‘the immortal bard’ by reproducing famous quotes from eight of his plays and two of his poems, in a variety of typefaces and styles.

Designed by The Chase, the stamps are printed in litho by International Security Printers, in se-tenant strips of five.

Guy Thomas  |  Mar 14, 2016  |  0 comments

The British Humanitarians issue on March 15 will commemorate the lives and achievements of six individuals who devoted their energies to helping and protecting other people, both in the UK and abroad.

The three men and three women, active in the 19th and 20th centuries, shared an innate concern for their fellow human beings struggling against illness, poverty, violence or hypocrisy, and a single-minded desire to help them in practical ways.

Unusually, the issue appears to be an example of people power heavily influencing Royal Mail’s stamp programme.