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Julia Lee  |  Oct 11, 2012  |  0 comments

The Space Science set, issued on October 16, celebrates the United Kingdom’s contribution to studying the solar system with six eye-catching images captured by satellites.

The issue is claimed to mark the 50th anniversary of Ariel 1, the first British satellite, which was launched on April 26, 1962.

However, all the chosen imageswere captured by later satellites and probes operated wholly or partly by the European Space Agency, in which the UK is a major player.

Julia Lee  |  Oct 01, 2012  |  0 comments

Royal Mail issued a Gold Medal Winner miniature sheet to celebrate each British success in the Paralympic Games in London.

Each sheet comprised two self-adhesive 1st class stamps of the same design, showing the medallists either in action during their event or on the podium.

As with the Olympic Games six-stamp sheets (October issue, page 20), base sheets designed by True North and pre-printed by Cartor were overprinted with images and inscriptions by six different regional printers, whose identities had not been released as we went to press.

Julia Lee  |  Oct 01, 2012  |  0 comments

Royal Mail issued its final stamps commemorating the Olympic and Paralympic Games on September 27 in the shape of a four-stamp miniature sheet entitled Memories of London 2012.

In the same format as the Welcome to the Olympics and Welcome to the Paralympics sheets of July and August, it features photographs from both events, with the logos of Team GB and ParalympicsGB and a quote from Lord Coe, the Chairman of the Organising Committee, in the border.

The sheet was designed by The Chase and printed by Walsall in lithography.

Julia Lee  |  Sep 18, 2012  |  0 comments

Royal Mail issued a total of 29 next-day miniature sheets from August 1-12, to celebrate every gold medal won by British competitors at the London 2012 Olympics.

Each sheet comprised six 1st class stamps of the same design, featuring a photograph of the athlete or team in the process of winning their event, celebrating immediately afterwards or receivingtheir medals.

The images and inscriptions were overprinted onto pre-printed base sheets by six different printers, based in London, Swindon, Attleborough, Solihull, Preston and Edinburgh, and were available from 500 main post offices by noon the following day.

Julia Lee  |  Aug 17, 2012  |  0 comments

Royal Mail is issuing a miniature sheet of four stamps to coincide with the opening of the Paralympic Games on August 29.

The Welcome to the London 2012 Paralympic Games miniature sheet is similar in style to the Welcome to the Olympic Games sheet issued in July (August issue, page 22), featuring aquartet of sports merged with images of the city’s landmarks.

It will make Royal Mail the first postal administration of a host country to issue stamps to celebrate the start of the Paralympics.

Julia Lee  |  Jul 11, 2012  |  0 comments

Royal Mail is celebrating the opening ceremony of the London Olympics on July 27 by issuing a miniature sheet of four stamps.

Entitled ‘Welcome to the London 2012 Olympic Games’, it features a quartet of Olympic sports merging into a quartet of London landmarks.

The stamps were designed by Hat-Trick, from photographs of unidentified athletes by Andy Hooper and of landmarks by Paul Grundy.

Julia Lee  |  Jun 19, 2012  |  0 comments

Royal Mail is celebrating the bicentenary of the birth of Britain’s greatest novelist, Charles Dickens, with a set of six stamps and a miniature sheet to be issued on June 19.

They feature popular characters from 10 of his most famous novels, as drawn during the 19th century.

In the case of the sheet stamps, the illustrations are adapted from Character Sketches from Charles Dickens by Joseph Clayton Clarke (known as ‘Kyd’); in the case of the miniature sheet, they are from book illustrations by Hablot Knight Brown (known as ‘Phiz’).

Julia Lee  |  May 09, 2012  |  0 comments

Royal Mail is marking the culmination of Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations with a set of eight stamps featuring archive photographs of her taken at a variety of significant events over the past 60 years.

The stamps will be issued on May 31, in time for the Jubilee bank holiday events of June 4-5.

Issued in four se-tenant pairs, each comprising one colour and one black-and-white design, they give an insight into the diverse duties the Queen performs, from delivering Christmas broadcasts to reviewing troops as the head of the UK’s armed forces.

Julia Lee  |  May 09, 2012  |  0 comments

The Great British Fashion issue on May 15 brings together the best post-war design from the fashion houses which put Britain at the forefront of world couture.

Printed in litho by Cartor, in se-tenant strips of five, the stamps were created by Johnson Banks, who commissioned fashion photographer Sølve Sundsbø to shoot the outfits.

Live models were used to achieve dynamic postures and a sense of movement, but they do not appear on the final designs.

Julia Lee  |  Apr 11, 2012  |  0 comments

Royal Mail’s alphabetical journey around UK landmarks, which began with the letters A to L in October last year, concludes with the letters M to Z on April 10.

Comprising no fewer than 14 1st class stamps, this is Britain’s biggest single special stamp issue to date.

The stamps are being issued in three sheets of 30: one has the designs from M to R in se-tenant strips of six, another has S to X in se-tenant strips of six, and the third has Y and Z in se-tenant pairs; this arrangement also makes vertical strips of each individual design available.

Julia Lee  |  Mar 07, 2012  |  0 comments

Royal Mail’s latest stamp issue, Comics, marks the 75th birthday of The Dandy, Britain’s longest-running comic book.

Issued on March 20, the set celebrates 10 different comics by featuring a classic front cover alongside an iconic character in each case.

British comics emerged from weekly ‘story papers’ such as Boy’s Own and The Magnet.

Julia Lee  |  Feb 08, 2012  |  0 comments

The second miniature sheet in Royal Mail’s railway tour of the UK will be released on March 8.

Classic Locomotives of Scotland features four different types of engine, two in colour photographs and two in black and white, with a background image of LNER Class K2 2-6-0 crossing Glenfinnan Viaduct in the Highlands in 1947.

The sheet was designed by Delaney, and printed in litho by Cartor.

Julia Lee  |  Feb 08, 2012  |  0 comments

Royal Mail is celebrating the life and work of 10 significant but in some cases lesser-known citizens, in a special stamp issue on February 23.

The Britons of Distinction set celebrates distinguished individuals from the realms of engineering, computing, architecture, music, politics, literature and design, with a secret agent added to the mix for good measure.

Some are quite familiar names but others less so, certainly in comparison with the Eminent Britons set of 2009.

Julia Lee  |  Jan 11, 2012  |  0 comments

The Kings & Queens series of stamp issues which started in 2008 concludes with the House of Windsor & Saxe-Coburg-Gotha set on February 2, bringing the story of the British monarchy up the present day.

The five most recent monarchs are illustrated through contemporary portrait paintings, as in previous sets, with Queen Elizabeth II taking pride of place on the top value in her Diamond Jubilee year.

Following the style of the earlier issue in this series, a miniature sheet of four stamps highlights landmark events that have taken place during the dynasty.

Julia Lee  |  Dec 06, 2011  |  0 comments

Royal Mail’s first special issue of 2012 is dedicated to the author Roald Dahl on January 10.

A set of six sheet stamps celebrates some of his best-known children’s stories, with the aid of the instantly familiar illustrations of Quentin Blake.

In addition, a miniature sheet of four stamps marks the 30th anniversary of The BFG (Big Friendly Giant), one of his most popular characters.

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