Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Britten, Cushing, Leakey, Shankly, Lloyd George, among Great Britons on stamps in April

The Great Britons stamp set for 2013 will mark a number of different birth anniversaries of key Britons.  The 10 x 1st class stamps will be issued on 16 April.

These mixed anniversary stamps are always popular, with different collectors focussing on different stamps as well as those who buy the whole set. The format enables Royal Mail to feature many individuals who otherwise would not be included in the stamp programme.


Commemorated this year are:

Photographer Norman Parkinson (born 1913);
Actress Vivien Leigh (born in 1913) famous for her portrayal of Scarlett O’Hara in Gone With The Wind;
Actor Peter Cushing (born 1913) one of the screen’s best known Sherlock Holmes, but also famed for playing Baron Frankenstein and Dracula’s nemesis Van Helsing in several Hammer Horrors, Grand Moff Tarkin in Star Wars and Dr Who in two cinema films in the 1960s amongst many other roles;
David Lloyd George (born 1863) the politician and wartime Prime Minister; 
Elizabeth David (born 1913) food and drink writer who revolutionised what we eat with her books that introduced French and Italian cooking to post-war Britain;
John Archer (born 1863) the first Briton of Afro-Caribbean origin to hold public office in the UK;
Benjamin Britten (born 1913) composer of Peter Grimes, Billy Budd and the War Requiem; There are some major events planned for Britten in 2013.
Mary Leakey (born 1913) the archaeologist and anthropologist who discovered some of the earliest hominid remains at Olduvai Gorge in Tanzania;
Bill Shankly (born 1913) Scottish footballer and manager;
Broadcaster Richard Dimbleby who was also born in 1913.

The 35mm square stamps were designed by Together Design and will be printed by Cartor Security Printers in lithography. A presentation pack, first day cover and 10 stamp cards will be produced.

The stamps will be issued in two sheets of 25 stamps each, enabling customers to buy vertical strips of 5 different stamps.

Special postmarks for this issue are on our website.

17 comments:

  1. Ah now I see a reason why No Peter Cushing in Dr Who set.

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    1. It's a good reason, but the main reason as has been mentioned elsewhere on this blog is that this stamp set is very much a joint effort with the BBC, and of course the Dr Who films were in no way BBC productions. Peter Cushing is not considered to be a "canon" Doctor, as the films were simply cinematic remakes of the two of the TV stories. Personally, I think the inclusion of Paul McGann in the canon on the basis of a single TV film/episode is pushing it a little bit as well, but his appearance as the Eighth Doctor in multiple audio stories and books during the TV hiatus has re-inforced his presence considerably amongst fans.

      If you take the inclusion of different actors who have at some time portrayed Doctor Who, you will probably hit 50 or so quite quickly. There have been comic relief specials some years ago that had him/her go through a signifant number of famous faces including amonsgt others, Rowan Atkinson, Joanna Lumley and Richard E Grant.

      Anyway, back to stamps....

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    2. How can Paul McGann's inclusion in the canon of TV Doctors be "pushing it"? The number of TV episodes he did is immaterial, and the fact that only one was made with him in the title role is purely down to the US networks not picking up the series. He was chosen to portray the Eighth Doctor and Sylvester McCoy's Doctor (the seventh incarnation) was seen to regenerate into McGann's Doctor. McGann is the Eighth Doctor. End of.

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  2. Great Britons with a small 'g' may I suggest. I wonder who came up with this list, but what worries me more is that I see an emerging pattern. Will we now have an annual batch of 'Great Britons' to grace our under-used stamps?

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    1. I believe we will, and I'm glad I suggested it as a reminder of the 60s & 70s General Anniversaries sets, and a way to avoid more single-subject multi-value commemorations. I think this format is much better than, say, 5 different stamps on just one of these.

      Compare for instance Jane Austen - again next month, where we have a set of stamps showing 'scenes' from 6 works of fiction for the anniversary of just one of them. The other 5 are just makeweights. I don't like the JA set at all.

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  3. I know this is slightly off subject, but still concerning great Britons. Why did Royal Mail not issue a complete set of Kings & Queens, from the Norman Conquest onwards, including the rest of the Angevin and Plantagenet dynasty, instead of starting with the Houses of Lancaster & York? Surely these should have been considered before the likes of Vivien Leigh, Peter Cushing, Elizabeth David (never heard of her!!!!) etc.

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    1. Now if only Royal Mail stamps had a blog like this, you could ask them !

      Of course they could be short of pictures of some of the earlier kings - just a thought.

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    2. That thought had crossed my mind, but there are pictures of all the earlier monarchs, admittedly in varying degrees of quality. I've put a comment on RM's Facebook page, but its not appeared yet, and even then Royal Mail will decide whether to answer it or not.

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  4. I think the disapproval for the 6 stamps to commemorate Jane Austin is probably unjustified since she probably was a truly "Great Briton", certainly one of, if not THE greatest female writers in British history unlike a few of the 10 people included in the "Great Britons" set, not all of whom appear to have been chosen for their greatness, but rather to create a politically correct balance. Of the 10 people featured on the stamps, probably only Lloyd George and Britten are really the only names that will be remembered in history, possibly Vivienne Leigh as well, and I would say that that would be reason to produce a stamp to commemorate someone. In 300 years time I doubt that anyone will ever have known who Elizabeth David or Norman Parkinson or Bill Shankley or John Archer were but most people know who Jane Austin was, 200 years after her birth which is pretty good and worthy of a generous amount of philatelic commemoration. After all, only 50 years after his invention Dr Who is getting 16 stamps plus various other items though I have to admit that in 2 or 300 years time people may well remember the legend of Dr Who, as we know all about Robin Hood and King Arthur, and no doubt be trying to prove he was a real historical character so he probably does deserve philatelic commemoration on his 50th birthday.

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    1. You are entitled to your opinion on Jane Austen - even if you spell her name wrongly.

      But this is the anniversary of A BOOK! She had her anniversary back in 1975, with 4 stamps, and now there are six stamps because of one book. It doesn't make sense, and - despite the popularity of the author - this will not be one of Royal Mail's big sellers this year.

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  5. It's bad enough that some people spell "Shankly" as "Shankley" without you knocking "l" out of him in your headline!

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    1. Oops - many thanks for pointing that out. My proof reader didn't spot it.

      I corrected Britton from the publicity release that RM sent out, though. 8-)

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  6. I always thought you had to be deceased to appear on a british stamp Royal family excluded, this obviously is not the case with the Dr Who stamps ,could you enlighten me please Regards Howard

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    1. I'll copy this and reply on the Doctor Who post.

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  7. The rule about dead people only disappeared with the Beatles issue, and of course was TOTALLY destroyed with 2012 Olympic winners.

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  8. Regarding earlier monarchs on British stamps: Edward the Confessor, Harold and William the Conqueror are depicted in the Bayeux Tapestry. Those depictions could be used.

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  9. Personally, I think the recent issues by Royal Mail commemorating 'Great' Britons is one of the better ideas and sets of recent years. Perhaps you may not have heard of all the people commemorated on the stamps, but they were obviously important in their particular fields. And if you have never heard them, then look them up: the whole idea of stamp issues is to educate and inform. I'm so pleased that Royal Mail is issuing more stamps actually showing the faces of famous people as well: I was sorry when they issued the Trafalgar issue, but didn't show Admiral Nelson in person. And i'm still waiting for an Edward Elgar stamp: disappointed that they never issued a 150th birth commemoration back in 2007.

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