Thursday 30 August 2012

The first Paralympic Gold Medal Winners Stamps

The first Paralympic Gold Medal Winners stamp has been issued 31st Aug 2012.

Track cyclist Sarah Storey cruised to victory in the women's C5 individual pursuit, after breaking her own world record in the heats.

Single stamp
Miniature Sheet
First Day Cover
The Sarah Storey stamps will be issued in a single A4 sheet:

In swimming, Jonathan Fox took gold in the men's S7 100m backstroke.

This stamp will be issued on 1 September, possibly in an A4 sheet with other medal stamps Update: we now know that Jon's stamp will be issued on its own, with the programme continuing on Monday 3rd September.

Paralympic Gold Medal Winners stamps - very fluid situation

We've previously reported Royal Mail's announcement that the Paralympic Gold Medal Winners stamps would be issued at 500+ Post Office branches on 1st, 4th, 7th and; 11th September, with supplies reaching another 4500 (approx) branches on 6th and 13th September, along with the FDCs.

We're now hearing rumours that the Paralympic gold medal winners stamps are to be issued on the day after the win, at the same 500+ post office which had next-day facilities for the Olympics.

We have also reported that the Gold Medal miniature sheets (containing 2 stamps) would be printed '4 medals to a sheet', which was interpreted as being 4 to the A4 Post Office sheet.  However, it has been pointed out that the printers' (B2) sheets comprise 4 x A4 sheets and it may be that it is the B2 sheets which will have 4 different stamps on, rather than the A4.

As I am composing this, Post Office Ltd have now confirmed that the stamps WILL be available at approximately 500 branches on the day after medals are won.

We understand that this may not apply to medals won after 9.30 pm.

Further update - Royal Mail advise:

"the plan is to feature feature medal winners per A4 sheet, but could be subject to change, dependent on timing of medal wins"

I suppose making decisions on the fly is as good a way as any.  Want to know how many FDCs you need?  Wait until you find out how many stamps have been issued!

Wednesday 29 August 2012

Royal Mail are now taking orders for Paralympic Gold Medal Stamps and FDCs

Paralympic Gold Medal Stamps and FDCs can now be ordered from Royal Mail's website  here (but see below!)

If you ordered the Olympic Gold Medal subscription and have not received a letter from Royal Mail Edinburgh do not order Paralympic Gold Medal stamps yet as there will be a special deal for previous subscribers.   See this post.

The main discussion on these stamps and all news will be on the original post.

Monday 27 August 2012

New British Forces Philatelic Bureau.

Announcement (updated May 2013)

The British Forces Philatelic Service (BFPS) is a new not-for-profit business operating the Forces Philatelic Bureau (FPB) under license from the British Forces Post Office (BFPO), specially set up to ensure that the Forces Philatelic Bureau survives and thrives.

The British Forces Philatelic Service (BFPS) is registered with Companies House as a Community Interest Company (CIC), which is a type of limited company designed specifically to operate for the benefit of the community.

The British Forces Post Office (BFPO) has had responsibility for all aspects of military mail,
including philatelic matters, since its formation in 1882. More recently, as part of a Strategic
Defence and Security Review, BFPO was reorganised and as a result of this the Forces
Philatelic Bureau was transferred to BFPS as the sole authorised body empowered to deal
with all matters concerning the Forces Philatelic Bureau.

BFPS is jointly managed by two retired career Army officers, each of whom has had
extensive experience working within the BFPO in general and the Forces Philatelic Bureau
in particular. Both are volunteers and are dedicated to keeping the Forces Philatelic Bureau

They are working hard to ensure the future of this important area of BFPO operations
is secure and flourishes. Lt Col (Ret’d) Graham Meacher MBE (based in Scotland) has
responsibility for operations and finance whilst Lt Col (Ret’d) Denis Dillon MBE (based in
England) deals with sales, marketing and business development. The third key member of
the small team is the Webmaster, Darrell Drury (based in France), who is also an ex-Services volunteer (and keen philatelist).

The Head of BFPO, Colonel Stephen Heron, is Chairman of the BFPS Management Board,
which along with the two JMDs, has two senior directors from industry as Board members.

This additional information was provided by Graham Meacher:

What we have done is reactivate the in-house Forces Philatelic Bureau cover servicing and reposting facility that used to exist at Mill Hill and latterly Northolt. This allows us the flexibility to produce shorter cover runs (under 1,000) and helps make the operation viable. Cover production runs of 1,000+ will continue to be serviced by the Midlands SHC as our resources are very limited (BFPS is run on a shoestring with only three part time volunteers (all ex-Services) located in three different countries). The reposting address for each handstamp will be advised in the respective Postmark Bulletin, but most will be BFPS in Fife*.

BFPS now requires postage to be applied to any outer covers for the return after postmarking:
Whilst return postage is covered by the postage on the item, most people want their covers to be delivered in pristine condition so include a self-addressed envelope to protect their covers from the rigours of the post.

Royal Mail count the postage on the handstamped covers as matter of course, but they can afford to. As BFPS don’t have a budget for return postage, customers must provide a stamped addressed envelope if they want their postmarked covers returned under cover. And obviously if the returning package is over 100g or over 5mm thick, this return be stamped at the appropriate large letter rate or a surcharge will be charged by Royal Mail.

* BFPS, The Old Post Office, Links Place, Elie, Leven, Fife, KY9 1AX

Read more about the history of the BFPO and BFPS, and buy commemorative military covers from their online shop -

New Union Flag Diamond Jubilee Faststamps at Stampex.

Royal Mail have announced the programme for Faststamps at Autumn Stampex from 26-29 September.  For the first time there will be no Machin Faststamps available.
NB Availability - See note at end of post.

The following items will be sold by Royal Mail:-

1. ‘Union Flag’ Stamps with ‘Diamond Jubilee 1952-2012’ overprint.

2. Unoverprinted ‘Union Flag’ Stamps.

3. British Farm Animals 2 - ‘Pigs’ Stamps.

4. British Farm Animal 3 - ’Cattle’ Stamps. (Available from 28th September)

All these will be available from self-service machines in singles and strips of up to 6, and they will also be available over the counter in strips of 6 (single values or collectors strips).

The usual values will be available (face values in brackets)
1st (60p)
1st Large (90p)
Europe 20g and Worldwide 10g (both 87p)
Worldwide 20g (£1.28)
Worldwide 40g (£1.90)
Collectors strips will be sold for £6.42, sets of 36 different animal stamps will be sold for £38.52.

As you can see the coding at the foot of the stamps is quite different.  We understand that these are new Hytech machines and the meaning of the letters and numbers at the foot is new.  More details later.

We will be writing to existing customers about their requirements for these.

We will not be attending Stampex. We have ordered stocks sufficient for declared customer requirements and do not expect to have any spare.  If you have not already asked - before 8 September - then may not be able to supply you. 

Saturday 25 August 2012

Paralympic Gold Medal Stamps - first details from Royal Mail..

Royal Mail have provided some preliminary details of the Paralympic Gold Medal stamps.  Designs are not yet available but will be launched on 29 August.

"Each miniature sheet will comprise of two identical 1st Class stamps featuring the UK Gold Paralympic Medal winning athlete or team. The stamps will use the same design format that was created for the Olympic Gold Medal Winner stamps issued after the Team GB medal winning events during the London Olympic Games, only with the Paralympic logo substituted for the Olympic logo. Each stamp will bear the athlete/team’s name and the name of the event. The format was created by Manchester based design consultancy True North.

"The medal winner’s image will be dropped into the format and the artwork sent to the printers with the objective of having the Gold Medal Winners Miniature sheets on sale at the 518 Post Offices that received the overnight distribution of the Olympic Gold Medal Winners stamps as soon as possible with a wider distribution to a network of 4700 offices later.
"A4 Sheet – Printer Varieties
A4 sheets from each of the 6 regional printers will be available to order from Tallents House. Each A4 sheet will feature 8 minisheets; 2 each of 4 Gold Medal Winners. Price £9.60."

This does, of course, mean that those people who collected A4 sheets will find them cheaper, not only because there are fewer stamps, but because there will be 4 medals per sheet, rather than 1.  So instead of a sheet costing £14.40 for each medal, it will cost £9.60 for 4 medals.  (I hope they have thought through the situation where the total number of medals is not divisible by 4!)

The FDC and postmark designs will be very similar to those for the Olympic. Royal Mail are in discussions with the British Paralympic Association and LOCOG about all the products.  More details next week.

Miniature sheet image:

The first day cover is expected to be similar to this:

UPDATE: Royal Mail have placed a Gold Medal FAQ on their website.  Key additional information on the Paralympics Gold Medal Stamps is:

Q: What discount may I receive on ParalympicsGB Gold Medal stamps?
A: We will shortly write to our customers and this will give details of the offers.

Q: Will A4 printers sheets be available for the ParalympicsGB Gold Medal Winners stamps like they were for the Olympic Winners?
A: Yes, the A4 sheets will be available direct from Royal Mail Tallents House after the end of the games.

Q: When are the ParalympicsGB Gold Medal stamps issued?
A: There will be four issue dates – 1st September, 4th September, 7th September and 11th September ***

Q: Which Post Offices will sell the stamps?
A: The Post Offices that sold the Olympic Gold Medal Winners stamps will be receiving the ParalympicsGB Gold Medal stamps.
Q: Will Post Offices open on a Sunday to sell these stamps?
A: As there will be no stamp issue dates on a Sunday, the Post Offices will not open that day.

Q: Will there be an album produced to house the stamps?
A: Yes, there will be an album designed specifically for both Olympic and Paralympic Gold Medal Winner stamps and we will have this available in approximately four weeks.
UPDATE - Royal Mail's website has been updated and the Paralympic GMW sheets can now be ordered here

*** Update pm Wednesday.  On twitter, @RoyalMailstamps have said that the stamps will be on sale from Friday, which is 31st August - seeking clarification!! Corrected: images available Friday, in branches from Saturday 1st September.

Thursday 23 August 2012

Startling misprint on Olympic Gold Medal stamp sheet

The production of Olympic Gold Medal stamps seems to have gone smoothly apart from the problems at Preston which prevented them from printing the last three stamps.  There are minor variations in colour/shade and some stamps look grainier than others, but overall things seem to have gone to plan for Royal Mail and the army of printers and couriers.

So this sheet is something of a surprise.  Bought at a Post Office branch, it shows an upward shift of the digital overprint by approximately 6mm.

This results in the athlete image overlaying the perforations, and the caption being printed over the preprinted gold text.

Only one miniature sheet has so far been reported.

UPDATE: Well, that didn't last long.  Our anonymous contributor in the comment below has forwarded an image of a complete A4 sheet, with an even greater shift - about 9.5mm.  And being a complete sheet, it shows that the printer was in Preston.  Here's the lower left corner:  And from this even more than the other, it is evident that the Team GB logo is printed at the same time as the athlete image, by the digital printer.

We understand that the regional printers were selected after several trials and tests, over a 6-month period.  The test sheets (call them proofs if you like but they weren't actually proofs of the finished GM stamps) were examined by Royal Mail before the six printers were actually selected.

To be approved, the proofs had to meet the exacting specifications laid down by Royal Mail (curves, densities, dot-gain etc etc.), although the results were not necessarily what the printer would have normally accepted.  (As you will see when my comparison scans are shown, the results vary considerably so I'm not certain that all 6 printers kept to the same 'exacting specifications'.)

The Taekwondo medal was won around 10.35pm, the artwork reached the printers at around 11:45pm, the plates were on press about 1am, with guillotining around 3am.  If these misprinted sheets were the result of the set-up (or make-ready) process, and were put into the pile of 'good' sheets in error, then that is when it happened.

The Postmaster at Flint confirmed that he started selling the stamps at midday on the day of release, and within a couple of minutes had received a call from royal mail advising him to stop selling the stamps until he had checked them all.  Apparently he had ‘several’ in his safe to return to Royal Mail.

Royal Mail Postmark Bulletin 24 August postponed

Royal Mail have announced that the 24 August Postmark Bulletin will be postponed until images of the official Paralympic GM Winners Postmarks are available. 

Once these become available a Bulletin will be issued as a matter of priority.

Monday 20 August 2012

Autumn 2012 stamp issues from Royal Mail

Olympic and Paralympic Games Memories: 27 September

No details of this have yet been announced, as the content will not be known until the completion of the Paralympic Games.

Classic Locomotives of Scotland: retail booklet 27 September

Four Machin 1st class definitives - should have source code MCND - and two Scottish railway stamps:

1st Class – BR D34 Nos. 62471 and 62496
Two former North British Railway 4-4-0, “Glens”, LNER and BR Class D34, 62471, Glen Falloch and 62496 Glen Loy at Ardlui on 09 May 1959, the West Highland Line from Glasgow to Fort William and Mallaig. They were built by the NBR at Cowlairs in 1920/21 to the design of W P Reid.

Pictorial Faststamps: Cattle - 28 September 2012

Row 1: Irish Moiled, Welsh Black, Highland
Row 2: White Park, Aberdeen Angus, Red Poll

There is more details of these on our website.

Space Science - 16 October 2012

50th anniversary of the launch of the first British satellite Ariel 1

More details of these can be found on our website.

Christmas:  6 November 2012 

The Christmas stamps this year have been designed by Webb and Webb using new illustrations by Axel Scheffler - the artist who illustrated the children’s classic The Gruffalo. As usual the stamps will be in standard and large letter definitive size and self adhesive.  There will also be a conventionally-gummed miniature sheet containing all stamps, booklets of 12 x 1st and 12 x 2nd stamps, and a Smilers Generic sheet with (updated) 4 x 2nd, 4 x 1st, 2 x 86p and 2 x £1.28 stamps.

Correction: As Brian points out in the comment, this year's prices will be  87p, £1.28 and £1.90.  The pictures shown are the preliminary ones we were provided with in February. 
And as Trevor pointed out, the date we were originally given by Royal Mail and which I used without checking the calendar, was Sunday 11th.  Now confirmed as Tuesday 6th.

(Click on the images for a larger version)

Thursday 16 August 2012

Commemorative Stamp Sheets for Notts County FC and the Goon Show this autumn.

Royal Mail has announced the issue of two premium-priced Commemorative Sheets during the second half of 2012.  Each sheet will sell for £14.95, and can be ordered from Royal Mail's website closer to the date of issue. Some Post Office Branches may stock them. The product code for ordering from Royal Mail is AV018.

The first, to be issued on 5 October, marks the 40th anniversary of the last Goon Show – the groundbreaking radio series widely recognised as playing a unique and significant role in the history of British comedy.

According to advance information, the sheet
"... explores the conception and development of the show and features photos, quotes and stories about the Goons, the people behind the comedy phenomenon, the main characters in the show and some of its most illustrious fans, such as His Royal Highness Prince Charles and Sir Noël Coward."
It also explains the infl uence its creator and main script writer, Spike Milligan, had on subsequent comic writers and performers like Peter Cook, the creators of Monty Python’s Flying Circus and Eddie Izzard.
UPDATE 25 Sept: No official First Day cover will be produced for these but two sponsored special postmarks have been announced for this sheet.  Both can be obtained from the London Special Handstamp Centre:

Reference numbers 12720 and 12721

Pictures of the actual Goon Show sheet (click on the images to see even larger versions):

The second sheet, to be issued on 8 November, celebrates the 150th anniversary of the world’s oldest football league club, Notts County.  The Royal Mail product code for this is AV019.

"Including key facts and figures about Notts County and featuring notable past players and managers, the Commemorative Sheet contains a wealth of images and fascinating stories about the club since its formation in 1862. It also explains the historic relationship Notts County has with the current Serie A champions, Juventus. As an individually numbered limited edition of 10,000, this is a must have for football aficionados and those interested in the history of the game."

UPDATE 19 October: No official First Day cover will be produced for these but two sponsored special postmarks have been announced for this sheet.  Both can be obtained from the Midland Special Handstamp Centre, Birmingham:

Reference numbers M12742 and M12743

Pictures of the actual Notts County sheet (click on the images to see even larger versions):

Wednesday 15 August 2012

Royal Mail U-Turn - gold medal stamps for Paralympians!

Press Release 15 August 2012

A Gold Medal stamp for each ParalympicsGB individual or team win
  • Following the great success of TeamGB at the London 2012 Olympic Games, Royal Mail has announced it will produce a stamp for each individual or team ParalympicsGB gold medal win
  • This will be the first time ever any host country has issued Gold Medal stamps for their Paralympic winners since the movement was founded in 1948 at Stoke Mandeville Hospital by Dr Ludwig Guttmann
  • The stamps will be on sale at 518 dedicated Post Offices across the UK within five working days of each gold medal win and thereafter at a further 5,000 branches
  • The Gold Medal stamps will be presented for purchase as a sheet of two First Class stamps for £1.20. The sheet carries additional information on the winning athlete or athletes. The stamps can also be bought individually at Post Offices.
  • Royal Mail will also turn one of it historic post boxes gold in the hometown of every ParalympicsGB gold medallist just as it did for TeamGB winners during the Olympic Games
  • The main image of the stamp will, wherever possible, be a photograph of the ParalympicsGB athlete or team from their gold medal winning journey or following their win
  • Royal Mail has a proud history of commemorating the London Olympic Games, having issued 29 gold medal stamps for the London 2012 Olympic Games, as well as four stamps for the 1948 Games bearing the five Olympic Rings.

Royal Mail update  17 August 2012 1610
As advised the logistics of this makes it impossible replicate next morning stamps for so many winners, so instead we will have several issue dates throughout the games and issue the minisheets for all Gold Medal Winners up to that point. Precise details will be confirmed next week. Details will also be shared on early visuals, postmarking, etc.    

In the meantime I can confirm the minisheet size will be exactly half the length of the Olympic Gold Medal sheets i.e. 74mm (h) x 96mm (w) and will feature 2 x 1st class stamps with the margin to the left of the stamps listing the detail of the athlete’s achievement.

Tuesday 14 August 2012

Gold medal stamps Solihull and Preston printings.

We've received an announcement from Royal Mail about the Gold Medal stamps distributed to Post Offices in northern England.
"... our planning produced dividends on Saturday afternoon when our North of England printer encountered some difficulties with its printing plates. As these difficulties couldn’t be rectified over the weekend Royal Mail implemented one of its contingencies and moved production of issues GMW27 Mo Farah, GMW28 Luke Campbell and GMW29 Anthony Joshua for the North East and North West of England to our Midlands Printer.

"The last Minisheet printed by our North of England (Preston) printer was therefore GMW26 Ed McKeever."
As contributors have reported, Post Offices in the north received supplies of the last three gold medal stamps from the Midland (Solihull) printer.

Monday 13 August 2012

Blog posts, Comments and Replies

We've had a lot of new readers during the Olympic Games, and I suspect some are people who don't normally collect stamps.  Welcome to you all - and I hope you this has (re-)awakened your interest in the hobby *.

Some people seem to be unsure about the workings of a blog.  This is how it works.

- We write the words and add the pictures and tags

- You may comment. You can use 'Anonymous', your own name, or a pseudonym.

- All comments are moderated; that is, we reserve the right not to publish.  Nearly everything is published - and we are grateful for all the extra information you put in the comments for the benefit of all our readers.  Some comments left are spam, or unintelligible, and these are deleted.

- We reply to comments where it is important to do so, but we cannot reply direct to the writer unless your email address is in your profile.

So if you have asked a question, we have probably answered it where you first asked.  Asking it again somewhere else, in a relevant (and therefore published)comment on another post won't always get a repeat of the same answer.  If you are waiting for an answer, please look at other comments you have made and see the answers there.

* If it has, take a look at our website, or better still, at our shop to see what else has been issued.

Royal Mail's gold medal stamp compendium - a review.

As well as publicising the Gold Medal Stamps widely in the media, Royal Mail also advertised an 'Official 2012 Compendium' to house the miniature sheets.  

"With a foreword by five-time Olympic gold medallist Sir Steve Redgrave, the richly illustrated, informative and Official 2012 Compendium is tailor-made to keep every single Gold Medal Winners Miniature Sheet safe for posterity and makes a superb companion to the Games."
Post Office customers in many areas received an envelope to keep their miniature sheets clean until they got them home.  These advertised the compendium:

Sadly while medals were still being won, Royal Mail sold out of these on their website as the production run was apparently limited to 10,000.  However, people who wanted one may be interested in this review received today:
"I just recieved my compendium through the post and have to say it is not as I expected it to be.
As described there are 14 printed inserts depicting leading medal contenders, which are inserted into the 14 see through sleeves which are described as - 'to keep your gold medal stamps in pristine condition.'  To store the 29 gold stamp minisheets will require 15 doubled up so 1 will have to be loose as will all the contenders inserts.
I would value your opinion and that of others reading you blog and I am aware that Royal Mail see your blog so am hoping they will realise the issues in this rather expensive album.
If people order the full set of mini sheets from Royal Mail are you aware if these will come supplied in sleeves or anything to slip into this album?"
Not impressed then!

I didn't order any as I thought it was an expensive addition to the probably large bill for the stamps themselves, so I don't know whether this is hardback - I'm told that it IS hardback.(unlikely) - perhaps somebody else can comment.  And although RM were selling collections of 19 with the 20th free if you ordered by a certain date, the album only has room for 14. 

As for how the mini-sheets are sent from Edinburgh, I expect they will be in the usual black carrier unless you ordered multiples of 4 in which case you will probably get the complete A4 sheet between boards in a large padded envelope.

UPDATE 25 August:  Royal Mail's website now has a FAQ about the Olympic and Paralympic Gold Medal Winners Stamps. This includes a comment on the Compendium, and also announces an Album to hold all the Gold Medal Stamps.  Whether this will be for single stamps or miniature sheets is not stated.
Q: Will there be an album produced to house the stamps?

A: Yes, there will be an album designed specifically for both Olympic and Paralympic Gold Medal Winner stamps and we will have this available in approximately four weeks.

Q: I have bought the Olympic Gold Medal stamps compendium. It has only 14 sleeves so how do I contain the GM stamps?

A: Customers can insert two Gold Medal miniature sheets in each sleeve, facing out. The sleeves are designed to contain up to five miniature sheets, and hence the 29th mini sheet could be inserted within a sleeve also.
UPDATED 29 August (see comments) - New Olympics album available at RM's website.

Did you order the compendium?  What do you think of it - leave a comment, or email me.

We know of an alternative album for anybody who has still to house their Gold Medal stamps - visit Dauwalder's of Salisbury at this link.  We have not seen their albums so cannot make a recommendation but we do know that they are a reputable company and their products are widely used.

Sunday 12 August 2012

Boxing provides Britain's 29th gold medal stamp

Anthony Joshua made it three boxing golds for Britain at London 2012 with a dramatic win over Roberto Cammarelle in Sunday's super-heavyweight final.  This is Great Britain's 29th gold medal and Royal Mail's 29th gold medal stamp.

A second Gold Medal Stamp for Mo Farah, and also number 28.

Mo Farah seals second Olympic gold with 5,000m win, taking his second gold medal of the London 2012 Olympics with a thrilling sprint finish in the 5,000m.  Farah is only the seventh man in history to complete a 10,000m and 5,000m Olympic double at the same Games. 

Luke Campbell won GB's second boxing gold of London 2012.   Campbell, 24, beat Ireland's John Joe Nevin in the bantamweight final.

Saturday 11 August 2012

Another gold medal stamp for tomorrow already assured!

A gold medal before most people have had breakfast - and we'll be showing that later.

Meanwhile, there's an interesting article about the production operation and the process for ensuring that the stamps reached Post Offices on the following day, even when the medal wasn't won until 10.30 pm in Print Week.

Ed McKeever powered to victory in the men's 200m kayak to win Britain's 26th gold of the Olympics.The 28-year-old dominated the K1 single final, with Spaniard Saul Craviotto Rivero taking silver and Canada's Mark de Jonge bronze.

And one edit is followed immediately by another as Mo Farah wins the 5,000 metres!

Friday 10 August 2012

Two perforation variations on Gold Medal stamp sheet

My thanks to Andy D. who has taken the trouble to write to me (not being a whiz at computers) alerting me to two different rouletting patterns on the gold medal stamp base sheets.

The bases sheets are printed, die-cut and rouletted by Walsall Security Printers so this is down to them.  On the sheets that I've examined I've only found this on the side rouletting adjacent to the fourth miniature sheet, which is good news for people who have only bought that MS:

As you shown in the image, there are 4 extra long roulettes (or uninterrupted) on the left-hand sheet.  This is not restricted to GMW07 or to one printer location, and could be found on any sheet.  As the sheets are printed two-up on the web, this difference probably occurs on one side only.

I've not had a chance to examine the horizontal rouletting between the MSs and will be pleased to pass on any information that you have, preferably with images.  (And see the comments below for other people's findings.)

Thursday 9 August 2012

After a quiet day, 3 more Gold Medal Stamps!

After a blank day yesterday, two more gold medals for TeamGB today, so two more stamps.

Charlotte Dujardin won Britain's second dressage gold medal of the Olympics, on Valegro, as the host nation's equestrian team finished London 2012 with three titles.   Laura Bechtolsheimer took bronze to add to the British overall total.

Then Great Britain's Nicola Adams became the first female boxer to win an Olympic gold medal, outclassing Chinese great Ren Cancan in the flyweight final, taking Britain's gold tally to 24.

Jade Jones claimed Britain's first Olympic taekwondo gold medal and the hosts' 25th of the London Games.   The 19-year-old beat Yuzhuo Hou 6-4 to take the women's -57kg title.