Monday 2 January 2017

Royal Mail uses blog to publicise a few 2017 stamp issues

I mentioned in mid-December how dealers who are not cover producers are restricted from doing any form of publicity about new issues until Royal Mail's own publicity machine has crawled into action.  But they don't tell us when they start, so using Google news alerts and watching other blogs I can now add to the information already supplied.

The Windsor Express reports not only on the set of 10 Windsor Castle stamps that will be issued next month but continues,
As part of the Royal Mail’s Special Stamp Programme, which this year is showcasing the
‘Best of British’, April will include 1989 Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Desert Orchid as part of a Racehorse Legends package.
May’s theme will be Songbirds, while July will feature Landmark Buildings as well as commemorating the First World War.
Of course when those 'Landmark Buildings' are revealed we can expect the local press to be alerted to pick up on that news.  No such pre-issue publicity has appeared yet for the Ancient Britain stamps to be issued on 17th of this month.  Doubtless the press release will be sent out for publication the day before.

Meanwhile the Machin Mania blog, not bound by the same contractual restrictions that I have, has copied the new £5 definitive from a first day cover website.  As you can see, this is not the final version but a pre-issue publicity picture. The actual stamp will have iridescent security printing, and probably security cuts in case one gets sent through the post, by-passes cancellation in Royal Mail's high-speed but hit-and-miss mail centres, and the recipient is tempted to use it on a parcel of their own!  
    But it's not very original is it? Even the font used for the £ sign is the same as the 1977 version.
UPDATE 13 January.
I'm reminded by Peter (see comments) that Royal Mail customers with regular orders from Tallents House will NOT get the £5 Accession stamp unless they have high value definitives as part of their regular issue.- Thank you Peter.

Meanwhile the Commonwealth Stamps Opinion blog publishes the programme in full, and even fills in the November 20th issue as "Platinum wedding anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II and The Duke Of Edinburgh".  I suppose that wasn't too difficult to work out, was it?

Finally, I was pleased to see that at last Royal Mail have their own blog!  To be strictly honest it started last August with an article about Postboxes and Anthony Trollope, and has had articles about
Star Wars, Beatrix Potter, and so on.  But unfortunately there is no interaction: you can click the Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and email icons, but not comment or ask a question.
       Which rather suggests that they don't actually want you to ask questions, nor do they want to know what you think about their stamp issues which is a pity.  Fortunately some of them read the philatelic press and several blogs.  The Desert Orchid stamp from their blog is shown above, and the wren from the Songbirds set is show here.  I don't know who the artist is, but it is an attractive work (you can probably see it larger if you click on this image) and it is good to have art instead of library or even commissioned photos.  (Is there any point in paying for a bird photo to be taken when so many good ones already exist?)

As mentioned by a reader, The Racing Post, Betfair, and others give more details about the Racehorse stamps:
Eight horses - four Flat and four jumps - from the past six decades will be honoured with an original-artwork stamp. Desert Orchid's portrays him en route to winning in the 1989 Cheltenham Gold Cup, while his career highlights also included four King George triumphs.

So, that's the round up of news from other sources.  The Windsor Castle and Mail by Rail stamps pages have been added to our website.

Happy New Year!


  1. There's now a pdf 2017 Calendar up on the RM site -

    1. I notice there is no mention of the £5 definitive issue in February. Very weird but then with the stupid secrecy Royal Mail put around new issues it's no surprise.

    2. Probably because that is being treated as a Definitive stamp rather than a "Special" stamp

  2. £1.33 Desert Orchid stamp in April - I wonder if that rate is set in stone, as in, no price rise for 20g worldwide airmail...

    1. Face values shown for stamps to be issued after 31 March are always provisional.

  3. Just to let you know that people with regular orders from TH will NOT get the £5 Accession stamp unless they have high value definitives as part of their regular issue.

  4. The Music Giants II stamp collection is due in March, I'm beginning to think David Bowie and George Michael will be focused on them, 4 stamps each as a set of 8 stamps, they have recently passed away in the last 12 months sadly. Personally it be nice to cover both artists but with George Michael been Greek born I don't think they will go down that route, but a David Bowie set will be welcomed, Space Oddity, Scary Monsters etc etc. his album discography is pretty endless.


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