Great Britain

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Jeff Dugdale  |  Jan 12, 2016  |  0 comments

Sport-themed issues today commonly suggest movement, but the set of three heralding the 1970 Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh was the first British set to try it.

The designer adapted the ‘foot-exposure’ filming technique which was being trialled by sports coaches to analyse athletes’ movements and thus enhance posture and performance.

The subtle changes of colour across the figures in the stamps also help to create the illusion of action, and the busyness of the designs, not least the 5d showing track athletes, suggests keen competition.

Jeff Dugdale  |  Jan 05, 2016  |  0 comments

Very few British stamps tackling nature themes have disappointed, but today they rely heavily on photography.

Not so in 1981, when the set depicting beautiful native butterflies was the product of meticulous artwork.

The small moth-like chequered skipper shown on the 25p, which is threatened with extinction, is so-called because of its darting flight over meadows.

Julia Lee  |  Mar 16, 2012  |  0 comments

The Germans call it Englandschlacht, but to the rest of the world it is better known as the Battle of Britain – unique in the history of warfare in that it was fought entirely in the air.

The campaign which followed the fall of France in June 1940 was simply for control of the skies over England.

If it won, the German war machine would be able to press home its advantage with an attempted invasion.

James Mackay  |  Nov 30, 2010  |  0 comments

Sir Winston Churchill was 90 years old when he died on January 24, 1965.

Remarkably, he had been a member of the House of Commons until as recently as the previous autumn.

As Britain’s greatest parliamentarian and war leader, not to mention a Nobel Prize-winning author, a journalist and an accomplished artist, he was an obvious subject for a set of stamps, but the Post Office established a new precedent in issuing them.

James Mackay  |  Nov 30, 2010  |  0 comments

The exact date on which William Shakespeare was born in Stratford-upon-Avon is unknown, but tradition says it was on St George’s Day, April 23, 1564.

The Post Office’s long-standing refusal to countenance stamps in honour of famous people gave it a problem in 1964 when there was agitation for a special issue of stamps to mark the 400th anniversary.

But it found a way around its discomfort.

Julia Lee  |  Nov 03, 2010  |  0 comments

The 1924 three-halfpence for the British Empire Exhibition Until the mid-1920s, the British postal authorities had consistently shunned the idea of commemoratives, an opinion shared by the 'philatelist king' George V, who branded the notion of special event stamps ‘un-English’.

Before 1924 the British Post Office had issued a few items of commemorative postal stationery, but never a commemorative stamp.

 The birth of the stamps
 In the early planning for the British Empire Exhibition, a strong case was made that the only special issue should be postal stationery.