Norvic Philatelics - GB New Stamps and Special Postmarks

Eminent Britons - 8 October 2009 (Europa issue)

In an issue reminiscent of the 'General Anniversaries' sets of the 1960s/70s Royal Mail commemorates some notable personalities of our past in this set from the worlds of sport, politics, science and the arts.   Radio-astronomer Professor Sir Martin Ryle is Britain's contribution to the 2009 Europa theme of Astronomy.

The set marks the birth centenaries of tennis champion Fred Perry, footballer & manager Sir Matt Busby and the founder of the charity Mencap, Judy Fryd, the bicentenary of the birth of politician William Gladstone, and the tercentenary of the birth of lexicographer Samuel Johnson.  Writer Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was born in 1859, feminist Mary Wollstonecroft in 1759, and composer Henry Purcell in 1659.  The breaking of the water speed record by Donald Campbell in 1959 and the publication of Third Cambridge Catalogue of Radio Sources (3C) by Professor Martin Ryle's Radio Astronomy Group in the same year are also marked.

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The Ten Stamps

Set of 10 stamps featuring Eminent Britons, includes Europa 2009 stamp.

The stamps - all 1st class

Fred Perry  -  Born in Stockport in 1909 Fred Perry was World Table Tennis Champion in 1929 before moving on to become World Tennis No.1 in 1934, a position he held five times. he was the last Englishman to win the Wimbledon, US Open, French Open and Australian Open Menís Singles. He won Wimbledon on three separate occasions.

Henry Purcell - Born 1659 Purcell was the greatest British composer of early classical music, incorporating French and Italian elements to create a uniquely British Baroque. His most famous work is Dido and Aeneas considered by some to be the first British opera.

Sir Matt Busby - Born in North Lanarkshire in 1909 Busby initially found fame playing for Manchester City and Liverpool before war service ended his playing career. He is better known for managing Manchester Utd from 1945 to 1969 guiding the team from the tragedy of the Munich Air Disaster of 1958 to European Cup triumph in 1968.

William Gladstone - Born in Liverpool in 1809 gladstone was Prime Minister of the UK on four separate occasions. Noted for his fierce rivalry with the Conservative Benjamin Disraeli, the Liberal Gladstone presided over many reforms to the electoral system.  [Background picture: London's Cannon Street Station]

Mary Wollstonecraft - Born in 1759 Wollstonecraft was the author of A Vindication of the Rights of Women, one of the earliest works to argue that women were not inferior to men, but only appeared so due to lack of educational opportunities. She is regarded as one of the founders of feminist philosophy.  Her daughter was Mary Shelley, author of Frankenstein.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle - Born in 1859 Doyle qualified as a doctor but is better known as the creator of Sherlock Holmes about whom he wrote four novels and 56 short stories. Doyle was also a prolific author of ghost stories, historical novels and science fiction as well as a keen sportsman who played cricket for the MCC.

Donald Campbell - Broke the Water Speed Record in 1959 hitting 260 mph. Equally at home on land and water Campbell broke eight land and water speed records and is the only individual to hold both land and water speed records simultaneously.  Campbell was  awarded a posthumous CBE in 1967 1st Class.

Judy Fryd - Born in 1909. When faced with the problem of finding a place to educate her daughter who had learning difficulties Fryd wrote to Nursery World seeking advice. the response led to her forming the Association of Parents of Backward Children (now better known as MENCAP) a pressure group that has achieved a revolution in attitudes towards those with learning difficulties. She was appointed MBE in 1967 and CBE in 1996.  [Background picture: Coventry School]

Samuel Johnson - Born in 1709, Johnson was a poet, essayist, moralist, literary critic, biographer, editor and lexicographer. His greatest achievement was his Dictionary of the English Language, first published in 1755. It was the most commonly used English dictionary until the publication of the Oxford English Dictionary in 1928.

Sir Martin Ryle - In 1959 the Radio Astronomy Group at the University of Cambridge led by Professor Martin Ryle published the Third Cambridge Catalogue of Radio Sources (3C) which led to the discovery of the first quasi-stellar object (quasar).  It was a landmark map of stellar sources and Ryleís work led to confirmation of the Big Bang Theory. Ryle was knighted in 1966 and awarded the Nobel Prize for his work in 1974.

Technical details:

The stamps were designed by Together Design (see photo credits below), and are printed by Cartor Security Printing in lithography.  The 35mm square stamps are perf 14.5 in sheets of 25/50 with a phosphor background screen.   The stamps in row 1 are in one sheet of 25 (5x5), the stamps in row 2 are in a second sheet of 25.

Image credits: Fred Perry © Popperfoto/Getty Images, tennis court © Bob Thomas; Henry Purcell portrait licensed courtesy of Naxos Rights International Ltd, sheet music © TopFoto; Sir Matt Busby © Getty Images, football team © PA Photos; William Gladstone © TopFoto, Cannon Street station © Mary Evans Picture Library; Mary Wollstonecraft © National Portrait Gallery, London, with inside page from A Vindication of the Rights of Woman; Sir Arthur Conan Doyle © Getty Images, Conan Doyle manuscript © Stephen Hird/Reuters/Corbis; Donald Campbell portrait and Bluebird © TopFoto; Judy Fryd portrait supplied courtesy of the Fryd family, Coventry School © Getty Images; Samuel Johnson © Getty Images, page from Johnsonís Dictionary © English School/Private Collection/The Bridgeman Art Library; Sir Martin Ryle portrait and satellites © The Cavendish Laboratory.

Eminsent Britons set first day cover.

Products issued: 

Set of 10 stamps (2 strips of 5) 
Strip of 5 from sheet 1 or sheet 2, or vertical strip of 5 of any single stamp
First day cover 
Presentation pack 
Stamp cards 

Special Postmarks
Postmarks available for the day of issue are shown here.  These postmarks cannot be obtained after the date of issue.  Not to scale.

postmark with text as shown below.

postmark with text as shown below.

non-pictorial Britannia postmark.

postmark illustrated with portrait of William Gladstone.

postmark illustrated with portrait of William Gladstone.

Ref FD927
Philatelic Bureau Official Postmark: "Great works are performed not by strength, but by perseverance."  Samuel Johnson

Ref FD928
Britainnia, Bacup, Official Postmark "The mind will ever be unstable that has only prejudices to rest on...", Mary Wollstencraft

Ref FD928NP
Britannia Official non-pictorial Postmark

Ref M11502
Gladstone Road, Birmingham

Ref N11509
Gladstone Street, Liverpool, GBFDC Association

postmark showing pipe and magnifying glass.

postmark showing Sherlock Holmes in profile.

postmark with text as below.

postmark illustrated with portrait of Sir Matt Busby.

postmark illustrated with football.

Ref L11498

150th Ann of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, 1859-1930, Baker Street, London W1
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

Ref S11512

Eminent Britons, Edinburgh (showing Sherlock Holmes).

Ref N11505

A Salute to the Great Manchester United Manager, Sir Matt Busby, Manchester

Ref N11510

Sir Matt Busby, 1909-1994

Ref N11507

Eminent Britons, Manchester

postmark showing a swallow, presumably in place of a bluebird.

postmark showing musical score.

postmark illustrated with portrait of William Shakespeare.

postmark illustrated with 'Phil Stamp' & union flag.

postmark illustrated with orchestra conductor.

Ref N11508

Eminent Britons, Coniston, Cumbria (Campbell)

Ref L11499 Eminent Britons, St Anne's Lane, Old Fye St, London SW1 (birthplane of Purcell)

Ref L11497

Shakespeare Way, Feltham, Middx

Ref N11506 - Coniston.

Ref L11500

Eminent Britons, Westminster

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This page updated 21 September 2009

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