Friday 29 December 2017

Don’t Panic - Royal Mail WILL tell us what the Jan 23rd issue is soon!

My apologies.....

... to anybody I misled about when Royal Mail would break the news about 2018's stamp issues.  They led us to believe that the news release this week would include all this year's issues including the Centenary of Women's Suffrage (Votes for Women) in February, and the really secret one that includes Post and Go on 23 January.

But they didn't.  As UK readers may have seen in some daily newspapers, the press release (as last year's) was selective:
Royal Mail’s 2018 Special Stamp programme will again showcase the “Best of British” in a range of subjects from the 50th anniversary of one of TV’s most popular comedies to the successful reintroduction of species that were once extinct on these shores.
The RAF Centenary celebrates the oldest independent air force in the world – the Royal Air Force – with 10 stamps issued in March. The stamps will depict six iconic aircraft from the service over the past 100 years, and an additional four stamps will pay tribute to the brilliance of the RAF Red Arrows aerobatic team.
Reintroduced Species in April celebrates the work of scientists and conservationists who have reintroduced once extinct species back into the country, from the Large Blue Butterfly to the Osprey. Six species are featured, each the subject of specially commissioned artwork.
One of a handful of TV comedies that fully deserves its classic status, Dad’s Army celebrates its 50th birthday in 2018. In June, eight stamps will be issued depicting the leading and much loved characters from the series.
September will see the culmination of a five year landmark series marking centenaries of the First World War. The set will feature a new interpretation of the poppy image, war poetry and art, and a commemoration of the sacrifice of the armed services.
Only one picture is shown on their media website, but the press had three:

The full programme, or as much of it as we can reveal, was shown in our 13 November post:

Date Issue Comment
23 January Game of Thrones: set, MS, PSB, RB, Sheet etc etc
23 January Post and Go - Game of Thrones
January (provisional) 150th Ann of Trades Union Congress [Com Sheet]
14 February Postal Heritage: Mail by Sea
15 February Votes for Women
20 March Royal Air Force Centenary incl RB & PSB
19 May Royal Wedding - miniature sheet
17 April Reintroduced Species
11 May Owls  & Red Arrows RB switched
5 June Royal Academy
26 June Dad's Army incl RB & Generic Sheet
31 July Hampton Court Palace
16 August Captain Cook's Voyage
30 August The Old Vic switched
12 September Postal Heritage: Mail by Bike
13 September First World War 1918
16 October TBA
1 November Christmas
14 November Prince of Wales 70th Birthday
November Lunar New Year of the Pig
More news will be provided as soon as we can.

No more comments on this this post, so that all the future comments of Game of Thrones will be on the new post.


  1. I received an Order Advice Note telling me the cost of the 23rd January issue. As it was quite expensive I asked what it involved. I was informed: a set of stamps, a mini sheet, a collector's sheet, a prestige book and a retail book, together with the Post & Go set.
    Details would be published on 9th January when regular Tallents House customers would normally get the 'First' leaflet. What could the stamps be commemorating ? Well 23rd January 2018 will be 75 years since the British entered Libya and Tunisia, the culmination of the El Alamein offensive. Why the secrecy ? Could it be the current volatile political situation in that part of the world which could lead to a catastrophe, so it would be better to be cautious about the issue date ? And then there is the mystery of the Post & Go issue. Just some thoughts !

    1. Only one person has come close to saying what this stamp issue is about, and he was so accurate that he must have been told!

      Suffice to say you can stop looking at wikipedia or encyclopaedia for anniversaries or events. You won't guess it!

    2. I was in one of the several Post Offices that I regularly visit on the 27th December and the manager said to me 'Have you seen the new stamps for the 23rd January issue' to which I replied no. He then went on to tell me all about them and all the advertising and publicity material they had already received. I said to him I thought there was an embargo on all this information until early January. He said there was no embargo on this as far as he knew and certainly not with stamps stock and publicity material already received.
      Of course I will not say what I know about the new stamp issue.
      With regards to the Dad,s Army issue, this was in the National Press earlier this week along with a picture as already shown. I thought there was an embargo on this as well.

    3. I had to renew my road tax this morning. I said to my postmaster "Don't Panic" and he hadn't seen the news about the Dad's Army stamps! So I asked him if he knew about 23 Jan, and he confirmed the issue title (quietly) but said he had only had a notice, but not the stamp issue.

      Regarding DA, as you will see from the Press Release I quoted, that was part of their publicity. They did this last year and showed just three pictures (one racehorse), but no pics of Capt Mainwaring, Private Pike, etc who - as you can imagine - are included in tge 6-stamp set.

  2. It's fun to speculate.

    Even though you say the January issue is not related to an anniversary I note there is no announced issue relating to the 65th anniversary of the Coronation so perhaps the issue is on the subject of the Crown Jewels or Royal Beasts which would be quite suitable for all the accompanying paraphernalia and especially the Post and Go labels. But then again the anniversary isn't till June and it isn't really something with enough mass appeal to warrant all the various booklets, sheets etc.

    Perhaps the issue might be about the Royal children which could well be popular with the general public.

    Surely it can't be yet another veteran popular musicians issue. Then again Royal Mail haven't yet commemorated The Rolling Stones. But I can't see musicians being depicted on Post and Go stamps.

    What about a second Dr Who issue marking the recent appearance of a woman Doctor Who and the show's 55th anniversary? No, you say it's not related to events or anniversaries and again it's hardly suitable for Post and Go issues. Another popular film? - no, can't think of one unless it's something like Mary Poppins - I believe a new version is being made.

    Something popular like dogs or pets? But why hold the news back?

    What is it that's so populist that there are benefits to keeping it secret until the drama of a last minute maximum publicity revelation? I'll try not to lose any sleep worrying about it.

  3. Given Royal Mail’s penchant for Films and Music over the last few years, how about the new Aardman Film @earlymanmovie.

  4. As far as I can tell the only notable anniversary for 23rd January is the 200th anniversary of the publication of Mary Shelley's 'Frankenstein', but I am usually wrong so I hold my breath.

  5. Keep 'em coming, people! This is most interesting.

    1. I agree with you Ian. Some of the subjects mentioned would make great stamps issues for the future.

  6. Hi Folks , like Brian above I was also able to see all the new 23rd Jan issue immediately after Christmas at my local sub Post Office, indeed the kind lady brought it to my attention and showed me everything they had ! Certainly no embargo there. I also bought a number of blank First Day Covers in readiness as whilst its not my cup of tea others will appreciate it !! I don't think anyone would guess it from what I've read above I certainly would never have guessed it personally, but hey , keep guessing,

    1. I must just say that although I was told some of the information on the 23rd January issue I was not shown any of the stamps or other related material and I would not have expected too either.
      Some years ago I worked at several different Post Offices and I must admit I do not remember seeing any embargo notices regarding seeing the stamps. All I ever got in those was an embargo notice saying 'DO NOT SELL BEFORE SUCH & SUCH A DATE' and that was all.

  7. Do we know for sure if the RM embargo actually applies to the PO? If it does, then this is a bit shambolic! I hope neither of them treat the Data Protection Act with regards to any info they may hold on us punters in the same cavalier manner.

    1. I have referred this post and its comments to the relevant people in Royal Mail who directly prevent me from revealing the name of this issue.

      Of course if somebody had a photo and sent it to the Commonwealth Stamps Opinion blog, then no such restrictions apply to that writer who doesn't have the same account relationship with Royal Mail.

    2. The Commonwealth Stamps Opinion Blog is ready and waiting to find out what is the subject of this issue. The quote from Anonymous saying "I don't think anyone would guess it from what I've read above..." certainly is intriguing. Now I really am starting to lose sleep (almost).

      When I last 'Facebooked' Royal Mail a prompt suggested I visit a Facebook page for Queen. Pure coincidence I suppose or is it really going to be another issue about aging and deceased modern musicians?

      Perhaps we should all be patient and let the Royal Mail publicity people have their day.

    3. Try your local Post office!

      John embrey

    4. So now we know thanks to Commonwealth Stamps Opinion Blog!

  8. I'm expecting most special FDI postmarks to be Northern Irish for this issue...

    1. Yes. Just how good they are will depend on rights issues, but NI should win!

    2. Oh I see. Now I know what the 23 January issue will be. Yes, it could well be very popular with the general public.

  9. I always thought commemorative stamps existed to celebrate UK history, culture and achievements. OK there is a Northern Ireland connection, along with other places throughout the world. No doubt the privatised Royal Mail will be hoping to make a mint out of this, and who cares about all the loyal collectors who have been buying stamps for decades and decades. This is just a commercial exercise to make loads of dosh. How dare they use Her Majesty's image for this purpose.

  10. It’s a pity Royal Mail are emulating IGPC with their new issues, for which most items won’t be sold from Post Offices.

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  12. The 23rd of Jan issue is not my cup of tea. It will be popular with a lot of people I know, who do not collect stamps. There is point of sale material listed on eBay already.

  13. Well bang goes my 2nd guess, but then it would have been too late in the year for the 90th Birthday of Mickey Mouse .

  14. Not my cup of tea either, just RM dishing out another mega issue which is likely to put collector's off, but then look at all the up coming issue's DO we really need two issue's a month of which most stamps will be above the £1 price tag. Even Moya Green RM chief ex says letters are in decline 6% down in 2016 Quoted 2017 was running at 5% down. If RM want to encourage collectors then think about cutting 4 or 5 issue's each year and we still have the annual March/April price increase to come.

  15. Has Royal Mail appointed a 10-year-old to decide the subject matter for not-very-special stamps these says?

    Certainly, whoever it is seems to be all too readily starstruck and to lose all sense of proportion when it comes to involvement of global media companies.

  16. Now that I've found out what the issue is, I can't see why such a trivial subject needs to be kept secret. What's more, the stamps are astonishingly ugly.

  17. With the ever increasing cost of stamps and the shear number of stamps being issued these days, it's about time RM went back in time and issued sets of between 4 / 6 stamps. Why do we need sets of 10 stamps every few months, that hardly ever get used for postage. RM should think seriously at reducing the number of sets issued in a year and stick to celebrating true anniversaries / occasions.

  18. The British Philatelic Bulletin (January issue) shows the Game of Thrones issue with descriptions and pictures!!
    Doug (Enfield)

  19. Spoke to RM this morning, the guy was not able to give any price's {embargo} but did confirm it was Game of Thrones and does have 4 FDC's of various descriptions, all information tomorrow. So I duly cancelled all my orders and was told that I was not the first!!