Iconic East of England celebrated in 50th anniversary of special stamps

Posted by ap507 at Jan 05, 2015 04:20 PM |
University of Leicester features in historic collection

Original source: The Royal Mail

  • 2015 marks the 50th year of Royal Mail’s Special Stamp programme, which celebrates the UK and our national characteristics
  • Over the past 50 years, places and iconic images in the East of England have appeared on numerous Special Stamps. These include the Leicester University, the Grand Junction Canal, the Norfolk Coast and Ely Cathedral.
  • As part of the programme to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Special Stamp programme, Royal Mail has launched an online gallery of every Special Stamp issued since July 1965, which includes images of the East of England stamps

The East of England’s most iconic people and places will be celebrated in the activities commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Special Stamps programme, Royal Mail announced today (2 January 2015).

The top 10 East of England Special Stamps have featured:

  1. Leicester University – 1971
  2. All Saints Church, Earls Barnton, Northamptonshire - 1972
  3. St Andrew’s in Helpringham, Lincolnshire - 1972
  4. Grand Junction Canal – 1993
  5. National Space Centre, Leicester - 2000
  6. Norfolk and Norwich project, Norwich - 2000
  7. Church of Ormesby St Michael, Great Yarmouth - 2009
  8. Great Central Railway, Leicestershire – 2004
  9. Brancaster, Norfolk Coast – 2006

10.  Ely Cathedral - 1989

2015 marks the 50th year of the Special Stamp programme, which celebrates events and commemorates anniversaries relevant to UK heritage and life. 

As part of the programme to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Special Stamp programme, Royal Mail has launched an online gallery of every Special Stamp issued since July 1965, which includes images of the stamps featuring the East of England’s iconic buildings and landscape. 

Visitors to the site at www.rmspecialstamps.com can browse through the stamps by the decade and also view the stamps that were issued in the year that they were born.

A video presented by broadcaster and historian Dan Snow, which explores how the Special Stamp programme has been shaped by the changing face of the UK, is also hosted on the www.rmspecialstamps.com website.

Simon Dixon, Digital Humanities and Special Collections Manager at the University of Leicester, said: “The University is associated with two of the stamps in this special collection.

“The landmark Gowan-Stirling Engineering building is given pride of place in the 1971 collection while the National Space Centre, which is the brainchild of the University of Leicester, is featured in the 2000 collection.

“Both these distinctive buildings are of national interest and importance which is duly reflected in  the 50th year of Royal Mail’s Special Stamp programme.

“A number of first day covers of the Engineering Building also form a part of the special collections here at the University and we will plan to put these on display during the year.”

Criteria for the creation of Special Stamps to celebrate events and commemorate anniversaries relevant to UK heritage and life was devised in 1965 by the then Postmaster General, Tony Benn.

The stamp of Sir Winston Churchill, issued in July of that year, was the first under Benn’s administration. It was the first British stamp to feature a contemporary individual and with its bold modernist approach with no words, it set the scene for the future. Including these, 2,663 Special Stamps have been issued. Her Majesty the Queen approves all UK stamp designs before they are printed.

 Ends  

Special Stamp Programme – Criteria  

The criteria have remained virtually unchanged since introduced by Postmaster General, The Right Honourable Tony Benn in 1965.  They are to:

  1. Commemorate important anniversaries
  2. Commemorate events of national importance, including major contemporary UK successes on the international stage
  3. Reflect the contribution of the UK to world affairs in the broadest range of activities, from the arts and humanities to science and technology
  4. Explore ‘the British way of life’, celebrating the diversity of cultures and interests within the UK
  5. Contribute to the cultural life of the UK through the patronage of art and design 

Share this page: