Published on February 3rd, 2015 | by admin
Marking 50 Years Of Special Stamps
It’s quite amazing to think that 2015 marks half a century of special stamps which have been released by Royal Mail. During the past 50 years, over 2,500 different stamp designs have been issued which have caught the imagination of the general public.
It was way back in 1965 that the notion of special stamps was first devised to add some variety to the stamps we use. As the brainchild of the then Postmaster General Tony Benn, literally hundreds of notable occasions, events and themes have been commemorated in this form. His vision was to issue special stamps ‘marking special anniversaries, the British way of life and Britain’s contribution to world affairs’.
One of the most prominent designers who have produced a range of special stamps as requested by Tony Benn was David Gentleman. He produced over 100 different stamp designs across a number of different themes spanning more than 30 years which explains why he has been described as ‘the doyen of British stamp designers’.
The very first set of special stamps issued in 1965 which were designed by David Gentleman featured Sir Winston Churchill following his death in January 1965.
Over the next few weeks we’ll be taking a look back at some of the most poignant special stamps which have been issued over each of the past five decades starting with the 1960’s which included a set issued to mark the centenary of the Salvation Army in 1965.
Every new stamp design is approved by Her Majesty The Queen before it is issued and unsurprisingly The Queen herself has featured on more Special Stamps than anyone else (over and above Her Majesty’s silhouette which appears in the corner of each stamp), followed by The Duke of Edinburgh and William Shakespeare.
Some of the most popular special stamps of recent times available here at the Post Office Shop include the Olympic and Paralympic Gold Medal Winners (2012) including Chris Boardman as well as a range of Doctor Who (2013) themed collectibles.