The Letter Writers Alliance is a world wide organization. While we focus on the U.S.P.S., we don't want you to think that we're only concerned about American mail. To that end, here's a guest post by L.W.A. member Sally about some recent, upcoming and favorite stamps released by the Royal Mail:
Hi I’m Sally from Queenie and the Dew and I’m thrilled to be writing a guest post for the Letter Writers Alliance on British stamps.
Being British and a keen mail artist and letter writer, I am proud to also be a stamp lover. England was, after all, the home of the first ever adhesive postage stamp, the Penny Black, which was issued in 1840. And in the 172 years since then, the Royal Mail has delighted letter writers and stamp collectors alike with their creative designs.
When posting a letter, it’s all too simple to go for the simple option – a regular (albeit iconic) Machin stamp bearing the Queen’s head. However, British letter writers are currently mourning the hefty stamp price rise that came into effect at the end of April. From now on, a 1st class stamp will cost 60p (around 95 cents), a rise of 14p (22 cents) in just one year. So, if I’m going to spend that much on a stamp, it may as well be a pretty one. And I’m pleased to say there are plenty of pretty ones to be had.
Britain has some iconic events coming up this year: namely the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, the Olympics (27 July to 12 August) and the Paralympics (29 August to 9 September), so I thought this would be a good place to start.
To mark 60 years since her ascension to the throne, six commemorative stamps were released in February, depicting the Queen’s profile from various stamps and coins over the past six decades. My favourite, on the far left, uses a portrait of the Queen taken in 1952 by society photographer Dorothy Wilding, which was used on the first stamp of her reign.
Three sets of 10 stamps were issued in 2009, 2010 and 2011 to mark the run-up to the Olympic Games. These colourful stamps, each one designed by a different artist, feature each of the different Olympic and Paralympic sports. A set of ‘definitive’ stamps for the Olympic Games have also been released, marking the first time a commercial logo has been used on this kind of stamp, which usually features a picture of the Queen.
I was also impressed to learn that the Royal Mail are doing something truly innovative this year. To honour their achievements stamps featuring every British Olympic gold medal winner will be released from lunchtime the next day. This will be the first time the Royal Mail has ever issued next-day stamps.
In 2012, Britain also celebrates another significant landmark: the 200th birthday of Charles Dickens. In honour of his incredible literary legacy, Royal Mail will issue a set of 10 stamps on 19 June depicting characters from his various novels.
50 years of the Royal Shakespeare Company - April 2011
150th Anniversary of William Morris & Co – May 2011
Roald Dahl – January 2012
Great British Fashion – May 2012
So, while we may not have the same quantity of stamp releases in Britain, I hope you agree the quality speaks for itself. Happy letter writing!
Queenie & the Dew
Thanks for the post, Sally!
Are you an international member of the Letter Writers Alliance with a passion for stamps? Please let us know if you'd like to do a guest post here. We pay in Inklings!