After much discussion and wrangling with the Post Office Regulator, Royal Mail was permitted to increase inland and European postage rates. The inland 1st class rate increased from 27p to 28p; the 2nd class rate from 19p to 20p; the price of the basic European rate ('E') stamp increased from 37p to 38p.
There were no new 28p, 20p or E stamps, but a new 34p stamp was needed for the 60gr-100gr 2nd class rate. A 42p stamp already existed for the similar 1st class rate. The new stamp is printed in gravure by De La Rue.
The existing 20p, 33p & 41p stamps - all with two phosphor bands - were withdrawn from general sale on 7 May.
Norvic Philatelics serviced only Post Office first day covers for these stamps, with single 34p stamp for £1.60
Postmarks available on the day of this issue:
|Ref FD331 - Bureau 'Scottish Coat of Arms' postmark||REf FD332 - Windsor 'English Coat of Arms' postmark||Ref E4680 - Windsor Castle, Royal Mail permanent handstamp||Ref E7748 - Bath Postal Museum, Postal History Brought to Life||Ref W8331 - Centenary of the Old Post Office Tintagel|
If you wish to order, please e-mail Norvic.     Updated 3 May 2003 [17.1.05]
|14 January Birds of Prey||21 January Flowers Greetings Stamps Smilers Sheet||4 February Occasions/Greetings stamps and Smilers sheet||25 February Medical Science - DNA & Genome||4 March Hello SA booklet & Wales 1st reprint|
|25 March Fun Fruit & Vegetables||27 March New definitives, SA airmail booklets of 40gr stamps||29 April Extreme Endeavours||6 May - 34p definitives||20 May Wilding II miniature sheet|
|28 May Wales 2nd class, 1st class gold reprints||2 June - 50th Anniversary of the Coronation||17 June Prince William of Wales||1 July High Value Definitive reprints||15 July British Journey - Scotland|
|29 July Cartoons Smilers Sheet||12 August Pub Signs - Europa||18 September Transports of Delight - toys||30 September Christmas Robin Smilers Sheet||7 October 250th Anniv. of British Museum|
|13 October Reprints of Country Stamps||4 November Christmas: Ice Sculptures||18 December England World Cup - Rugby Winners|