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Guy Thomas  |  Nov 06, 2017  |  0 comments

Royal Mail’s Christmas issue, released on November 7, has two distinct elements, as it did in 2013.

A set of eight has various depictions of the Madonna & Child after old paintings, available from self-adhesive counter sheets (and booklets) and a gummed miniature sheet as usual.

A further set of four, available in self-adhesive guise only, features the two winning designs from a children’s competition, which attracted more than 200,000 entries.

Guy Thomas  |  Oct 30, 2018  |  0 comments

This year’s Christmas stamp issue, released on November 1, is entitled Royal Mail Delivering Christmas, and shows scenes of everyday life with the postbox at their centre.

A range of pedestal, wall and pillar boxes are featured, from six different reigns, in urban and rural settings, but all in suitably wintry conditions.

As in other recent Christmas issues, eight values are available in self-adhesive guise from counter sheets, and they also appear together in a gummed miniature sheet.

Guy Thomas  |  Nov 05, 2019  |  0 comments

Royal Mail’s Christmas stamps, released on November 5, take a religious approach this year, featuring classy biblical scenes created by paper-cut artists Hari & Deepti.

With clever use of light and shade, and depth of colour, they bring the Christmas story to life in intricate detail, with the Star of Bethlehem as a constant thread.

As in recent years there are eight self-adhesive stamps, including standard and Large versions of the 2nd class and 1st class values.

Guy Thomas  |  Nov 03, 2020  |  0 comments

This year’s Christmas stamp issue, released on November 3, features stained-glass nativity scenes from town and village churches around England.

The nativity was a popular subject in stained-glass art from the 13th century onwards, often focusing on the relationship between the Virgin Mary and the new-born Jesus.

Each of the stamps shows a detail of a window from an Anglican church, showcasing the extraordinary craftmanship of the artists working in this highly specialised genre, and encompassing a range of styles, techniques and eras.

Guy Thomas  |  Nov 02, 2021  |  0 comments

This year’s Christmas stamp issue from Royal Mail, released on November 2, differs significantly from those of recent years to allow for the inclusion of ‘barcoded’ stamps for the first time.

Their designs follows that of the large-format 2nd class Machin definitive issued in business sheets in March.

The digitally scannable element (technically not a barcode but a data matrix code) is to the right of the pictorial element, separated from it by a line which resembles a perforation.

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.

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  |  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 12, 2014  |  0 comments

The last in the Classic Locomotives series of miniature sheets, featuring Welsh railways, will be released on February 20.

Its four stamps illustrate two engines pulling passenger trains and two in industrial use; the earliest railways in Wales were built for industrial purposes, serving collieries and smelting works.

The sheet border has a background image of the British Railways class 5101 No4126 locomotive hauling a passenger train across the Crumlin Viaduct in Monmouthshire, which was the third highest railway viaduct in the world but was dismantled in 1967.

Guy Thomas  |  Apr 14, 2021  |  0 comments

A set of six stamps issued by Royal Mail on April 15 celebrated Classic Science Fiction, roughly coinciding with the 75th anniversary of the death of H G Wells and the 70th anniversary of the publication of The Day of the Triffids.

The term ‘science fiction’ came into use at the end of the 1920s, for a style of literature which engaged with the rapid technological change of the day, and encouraged readers to imagine where it might lead.

Some of what are now considered classics of the genre, however, were written long before then.

Guy Thomas  |  Apr 01, 2015  |  0 comments

The issue date of April 1 was carefully chosen for the Comedy Greats set, which celebrates 10 of Britain’s best loved funny acts of the past 60 years, including many whose work is considered a landmark in the history of entertainment.

Royal Mail says that part of the inspiration behind the issue is that a quirky sense of humour is a trait synonymous with British people.

There are also several linked anniversaries, including the centenary of the birth of Norman Wisdom and the 50th anniversary of the first broadcast of Peter Cook and Dudley Moore’s television show Not Only…But Also.

Julia Lee  |  Jul 17, 2014  |  0 comments

On July 17, six days before the opening of the 20th Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Royal Mail will issue six stamps to celebrate the largest sporting and cultural festival ever held in Scotland.

This is the third time the Games have taken place in Scotland, after Edinburgh hosted the event in 1970 and 1986.

A total of 71 national teams will compete.

Guy Thomas  |  Jun 01, 2020  |  0 comments

On May 28, Royal Mail issued a set of stamps celebrating the 60th anniversary of the soap opera Coronation Street, the world’s longest-running television drama series.

Eight counter sheet stamps feature pairs of the show’s best-loved characters, from the early years to the present day, with each photographic image complemented by a quote capturing the essence of their relationship.

A miniature sheet of four stamps focuses on barmaids who have worked at the Rovers Return pub, the hub of the community.

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 26, 2018  |  0 comments

Royal Mail issued a set of eight stamps on June 26 celebrating the 50th anniversary of the BBC television sitcom Dad's Army.

Written by Jimmy Perry and David Croft, Dad's Army ran for nine series, adding up to 80 episodes in total, broadcast between 1968 to 1977.

In its heyday it attracted more than 18 million viewers, making it one of the most popular series ever; offshoots included a radio version and a feature film.

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