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Guy Thomas  |  Oct 01, 2019  |  0 comments

A Royal Mail stamp issue on October 10 marks the 20th anniversary of the publication of The Gruffalo, the popular children’s picture book written by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler.

Initially published in 1999 as a 32-page hardback, aimed at readers aged three to seven, the story was only about 700 words long and written in rhyming couplets.

With later paperback and board book editions, it became an international best-seller.

Guy Thomas  |  Sep 18, 2019  |  0 comments

Royal Mail will issue a set of eight stamps paying tribute to Royal Navy Ships on September 19.

As an island nation, Britain’s prowess in shipbuilding and navigation has been crucial in its history, and the Royal Navy was key to forging the British Empire and to keeping enemies at bay, from the Spanish Armada to the Nazis.

The oldest of the armed forces (and therefore known as the ‘senior service’), Royal Navy has its roots in the English Navy of Tudor times and was formally established in 1546.

Guy Thomas  |  Sep 03, 2019  |  0 comments

Royal Mail issued a set of eight stamps and a miniature sheet on September 3 to celebrate one of Britain’s best-loved and most successful musicians, Elton John.

The honour comes on the 50th anniversary of the 72-year-old singer-songwriter’s first album, during what is said to be his final tour (a three-year extravaganza featuring more than 300 concerts), and six weeks before the publication of his autobiography,Me.

A global superstar, known for his outlandish stage outfits, Elton John is one of the biggest-selling recording artists of all time.

Guy Thomas  |  Aug 13, 2019  |  0 comments

On August 13 Royal Mail will issue a set of six stamps entitled Forests, to mark the 100th anniversary of the Forestry Commission.

The Forestry Commission, a non-ministerial government department, was established in 1919 to manage and replenish the UK’s timber resources, which had been severely depleted during World War I.

It bought so much former agricultural land that it became the largest landowner in Britain.

Guy Thomas  |  Jul 09, 2019  |  0 comments

A set of eight stamps entitled Curious Customs, issued on July 9, celebrates a selection of Britain’s most weird and wonderful annual festivals, sporting contests and community events.

Its child-like poster-style illustrations attempt to capture the eccentric spirit of these calendar fixtures, some of which are well-known and some not so well-known.

Many of these are medieval traditions which were revived during the Victorian period, as communities began to take renewed pride in their folk heritage.

Guy Thomas  |  Jun 05, 2019  |  0 comments

On June 6, Royal Mail issued a set of six stamps and a miniature sheet to mark the 75th anniversary of D-Day, the Normandy Landings which began the liberation of France from German occupation in World War II.

It was the largest seaborne invasion, and largest combined naval, air and land assault, in the history of warfare.

More than 5,000 vessels and 150,000 Allied troops crossed the English Channel on the morning of June 6, 1944, following a sustained aerial and naval bombardment of coastal fortifications and the landing of airborne troops behind enemy lines.

Guy Thomas  |  May 24, 2019  |  0 comments

A stamp issue on May 24 will mark the bicentenaries of the birth of both Queen Victoria and her husband Prince Albert.

Born on May 24, 1819, Victoria enjoyed what was at the time the longest reign in British history, from 1837 to 1901.

The era named after her witnessed huge social, political and economic advancement, including the creation of a modern postal service.

Guy Thomas  |  May 03, 2019  |  0 comments

Released on May 2, the British Engineering issue showcases national innovations and achievements in a range of disciplines over the past 50 years.

The six stamps celebrate civil, electronic, chemical and biomedical engineering projects, while noting the 50th anniversary of the prestigious MacRobert Award for innovation, bestowed annually by the Royal Academy of Engineering.

An accompanying miniature sheet celebrates the the 50th anniversary of the Harrier GR3 ‘jump jet’, originally designed by Hawker Siddeley and later manufactured by British Aerospace (now part of BAE Systems), the world’s first fighter aircraft with short take-off and vertical take off capabilities, and even the ability to fly backwards.

Guy Thomas  |  Apr 05, 2019  |  0 comments

The Birds of Prey stamp issue, released on April 4, celebrates 10 of Britain’s most spectacular avian predators.

They comprise all four falcons found in the UK (smaller birds from the Falconidae family), along with two eagles, two hawks, one buzzard and one kite (larger birds from the Accipitridae family).

All these raptors are nimble flyers with excellent binocular vision, which catch and carry off their prey with their feet.

Guy Thomas  |  Mar 11, 2019  |  0 comments

Royal Mail will issue a Marvel Super Heroes set of stamps on March 14, marking the 80th anniversary of the famous comic stories.

Ten stamps sold in counter sheets illustrate popular characters, all facing the viewer in dynamic action poses.

A further five stamps are contained in a miniature sheet which takes the form of a specially commissioned comic strip entitled Marvel Heroes UK, with a storyline loosely set in London.

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