Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Which stamps are these major media outlets missing for 2015?

It always happens during the Christmas break, though now I can spot these things on my iPhone.  There were multiple splashes on the web on 27th December (and probably in the printed media) about Royal Mail's 2015 stamp programme (though not in the Archant Group which publishes my local paper).  Most concentrated on The Two Ronnies stamp to be issued (with others) on 1 April.  [Now added to our website here.]


Typical reports:

The Mirror -'Best of British' stamps to honour our famous battles, bridges and The Two Ronnies

Western Morning News - Bridges, rugby and comedy legends to feature on stamps.
Two areas in which the West Country excels - engineering and rugby - are among the items to feature on stamps in 2015.

Digital Spy - Royal Mail to honour Two Ronnies in 2015 Special Stamp programme

Daily Mail - First class! The Two Ronnies on a stamp.

Wales Online – Bees, Comedians and Rugby Union (with reference to rugby and stamping)

Shropshire Star/Herald Scotland and others -- BRIDGES TO BE FEATURED ON STAMPS
Several digital outlets showed the Forth (Rail) Bridge to illustrate this story. 

Most mentioned Bridges, the Centenary of the First World War, and the British Inventions with specific reference to the invention of the World Wide Web by Tim Berners-Lee (the only one they seem to have had a picture for).


Several of the reports included this paragraph:

The 2015 special stamps programme will start with British inventions, such as the world wide web, followed by a set of 10 stamps celebrating the engineering of some of our most famous bridges.

Now you know, and I know, that this is just not true.  The Inventors stamps will be issued at Stampex on 19 February.  What's missing are the Alice in Wonderland stamps issued next week, and the new Greetings stamps for the Smilers service issued later in January.


So why the odd reporting?  Well, as you know we couldn't show the Alice in Wonderland stamps as early as I would have liked§ - say in late November or early December - because of Royal Mail media restrictions.  I was told that they would, as usual, have a big push after Christmas when news is quiet so as to get maximum coverage for their first new issue of 2015.  So what went wrong?  There has been no press release about the Alice stamps yet: instead they set out the list for most of the rest of the year (full text below) in which they suggest that the 2015 programme starts in February!

Casual collectors who don't follow stamp news websites or blogs, or buy stamp magazines may be forgiven for thinking that they could pay their pre-Christmas credit-card bills in January and not worry about adding to their stamp collections until later.  Wrong!  Alice will cost £9.42 for a single mint set.

§ In the light of a couple of comments on this blog I should explain that Royal Mail do allow dealers to show the stamps in conjunction with their own products eg FDCs, but not on Royal Mail fdcs, or as stand-alone items.  This is why major cover dealers are showing them a month or more ahead of the date of issue.  It doesn't explain why other dealers are listing on eBay for 30 days of advance sales before the issue date, and why other writers are showing them without permission on their blogs.  Oh for some sanity!

Press Release
ROYAL MAIL REVEALS ITS SPECIAL STAMP PROGRAMME FOR 2015
  • The British sense of humour is celebrated with the Comedy Greats issue. The set features iconic comedians who have provided some of the nation’s most memorable laugh-out-loud moments in television, film and theatre history, including one of the nation’s best loved comedy duos, The Two Ronnies
  • Prominent key British inventions, such as the world wide web, will be marked with the Inventive Britain issue
  • 2015 will see the second issue in the five-year series of stamps commemorating the First World War. Featured in the set is an image of the football used by the London Irish Rifles during the Battle of Loos in 1915
  • Bridges celebrates the engineering of ten of these iconic structures from across the UK
  • 175th Anniversary of the Penny Black  is to be marked with a miniature sheet of stamps
  • 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta will be commemorated with a set in June
  • The bicentenary of The Battle of Waterloo and the 75th anniversary of The Battle of Britain will also be commemorated
  • The sport of Rugby Union features in 2015, with England hosting the eighth tournament, the Rugby World Cup set of stamps launch in September 

Royal Mail’s 2015 Special Stamp programme is set to showcase the Best of British from great inventions to some of our most cherished Comedy Greats.

The British sense of humour is celebrated with the Comedy Greats issue on 1 April. This set of stamps features iconic comedians who have provided some of the nation’s most memorable laugh-out-loud moments in television, film and theatre history, including one of the nation’s best loved comedy duos, The Two Ronnies.

May 2015 will see the second issue in the five-year series of stamps commemorating the First World War. Included in the set is an image of the actual ball used by Rifleman Frank Edwards who led his fellow troops into what became known as the Battle of Loos, by kicking a football into play on the battlefield ahead of their initial attack.

Royal Mail will also honour prominent key British inventions with the Inventive Britain issue in February. Included in the set is a stamp to mark the invention of the World Wide Web by Tim Berners-Lee.

Bridges in March will see 10 stamps celebrate the engineering genius of these structures from across the UK.

May marks the 175th anniversary of the Penny Black, the world’s first ever postage stamp.

The 2015 calendar continues the military theme with Special Stamps marking the bicentenary of The Battle of Waterloo in June and 75 years since the start of The Battle of Britain in July.

The 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta will be marked by the release of a set of stamps in June, while a series of national events across the country will commemorate this historic document.

Rugby Union features in September with a set of stamps launching as England hosts the eighth Rugby World Cup.

In what is set to be a notable year of stamp issues, other sets include Bees and Christmas, which will take a religious theme.

2015 Special Stamp Programme
February                     Inventive Britain
March                          Bridges
April                             Comedy Greats
May                              Penny Black
May                              First World War: 1915
June                             Magna Carta
June                             The Battle of Waterloo
July                              The Battle of Britain
August                         Bees
September                  Rugby World Cup
November                   Christmas

- See more at: http://www.royalmailgroup.com/media/press-releases/special-stamp-programme-2015#sthash.7H5s8G66.dpuf


So if you read these strange reports in your Daily Express, Daily Mail, Metro, Mirror, Western Morning News or many other regional newspapers and thought, "Newspaper's got it wrong again!", now you know why.  I suppose we will have another splash next week about Alice, but that may be too late for anybody who wants to prepare their own first day cover.

Happy New Year !



7 comments:

  1. Thanks Ian and Happy New Year to you all. Interesting that Bradbury's site had images of the Alice in Wonderland stamps on their covers weeks ago!

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    Replies
    1. Happy new year to all at Norvic,Adrian Bradburys site has also shown Post&Go Sail issue for the past few weeks!.

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    2. Thank you both for your comments. I have added an explanation of this situation in the blog post (in blue, above the press release).

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  2. Just popped into the local PO in Devon to try and obtain an Alice 1st Class booklet only to be proudly shown the booklets of the Locomotives of Wales which had been delivered today!!!

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  3. The Alice In Wonderland stamps are wonderful and colourful a welcome addition to my stamp collection, very fresh and lovely on the eye..

    On a separate note, May, June, July releases look a bit cluttered, probably marking the anniversaries on some particular dates on those months for several issues, they could have gave August a miss and pushed a set for October. 8 sets in the first 6 months... jesus... counting the miniature sheet for the Penny Black,

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    Replies
    1. There is an unidentified issue planned for October - see our home page www.norphil.co.uk for the full programme.

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    2. I know that seems to be a placeholder for a set scheduled for October on RM site as well, it wouldn't surprise me if they push a set later in the year, already have 12 sets for the year, usually that's the minimum, they did promise to cut down on them.

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