Published on February 18th, 2015 | by Sarah Jubb
Special Stamps Of The 1970s
Following on from our recent article looking back at the first special stamps which were issued during the 1960’s, the subsequent decade can be seen as another important decade for a variety of cultural, political and technological reasons.
The 1970s saw the release of the first Star Wars film, the election of the first woman Prime Minister in Margaret Thatcher and the introduction of the pocket calculator as just a few examples! For the Royal Mail though, the 1970s marked the first full decade of issuing their special stamps series, allowing them to expand their subjects.
One of the staple subjects for special stamps has always remained the Royal Family, with the Queen being featured many times throughout the past 50 years, including in the Royal Portraits stamp set covering 60 years of her reign. However, the Queen has not been the only member of the Royal Family to be prominently featured in a stamp series; the 1970s saw the wedding of Princess Anne to Mark Phillips depicted in the form of special stamps too.
Sport was also widely recognised in the 1970s, with stamps featuring racket sports, horse racing and county cricket being released. One of the most important sporting events of the 1970s was the 1970 Commonwealth Games which were held in Edinburgh. Royal Mail released a series of stamps designed by Andrew Restall that showed time lapse photography of swimming, cycling and running competitors.
44 years later in 2014 the Commonwealth Games returned to Scotland, only this time heading to the city of Glasgow. They were once more celebrated with a stamp release that showcased multiple sports featured in the Games.
Anniversaries are always an important part of Royal Mail special stamps, whether commemorating the anniversary of sports, institutions or authors; many poignant occasions have been honoured with a stamp. The 1970s saw the bicentenary since the birth of Jane Austen who is acknowledged tobe one of Britain’s most beloved authors. Royal Mail celebrated her birth with stamps featuring some of her most famous characters including Emma and Mr Darcy.
In more recent times, 2013 saw the bicentenary of the publication of Austen’s most famous work, Pride and Prejudice. Once more she was honoured with a fullstamp set featuring beautiful portraits of all her published novels, proving the enduring popularity of Austen and her work.