Norvic Philatelics - GB New Stamps and Special Postmarks

Pictorial Faststamps: Birds 1 - 17 September 2010

Some of the UK’s favourite garden birds will appear on Royal Mail’s new  available from 17 September in 30 Post Offices across the UK and from the Philatelic Bureau at Tallents House. (Note that Royal Mail and Post Office Ltd adopted the name Post & Go pictorial stamps, distinguishing them from the 'day-of-use' Post & Go labels, after the trade and collectors had adopted the Faststamps name.)  

Birds have long been one of the most popular thematic subjects and for this set Royal Mail referred to the results of the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch, selecting six of the most commonly seen species from the top 20.

Post & Go terminals allow customers to weigh their letters and packets, pay for and print postage labels and stamps without the need to visit the counter. The first Post & Go machine was trialled in The Galleries Post Office® in Bristol in 2007.

The labels can be obtained with 5 different service indicators: 1st class & 1st class Large up to 100gr, Europe up to 20gr, Worldwide up to 10gr and 20gr,  singly or in strips of up to 5 of the same value or various values. Thus there are 30 different value/design combinations in total.  In the circumstances it is strange that Royal Mail have settled for 6 different designs* as this will undoubtedly result in some collectors wanting the five different se-tenant combinations which result possibly for each value or combinations of values!

* The explanation for the 6 values is now clear.  The 'presentation pack' sold from Royal Mail's philatelic bureau will contain the six stamps on one sheet of backing paper.  This is in the same format as the stamps will be on the official FDC, siggesting that these have been printed in a sideways-fed roll, some used to apply the stamps to the cover by machine, and some cut for the packs.  The format of the rolls is not yet confirmed but we believe it will be House Sparrow, Starling, Blue Tit, Goldfinch, Wood Pigeon, Robin.  Thus the machines will give vertical strips of 5 in the format shown in the table on our blog.

Set of 6 pictorial Faststamps - birds 1.

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House Sparrow - Passer domesticus
Small, noisy and gregarious, house sparrows often nest in buildings and feed on seeds and scraps. Males have a bold black bib and a distinctive grey cap whereas females are buff brown.

Goldfinch - Carduelis carduelis
Colourful and sociable, goldfinches gather in areas with trees, bushes or tall seed-producing plants. Widely admired for their delightful song, they have a bright yellow wing patch, red, white & black head.

Blue Tit - Cyanistes caeruleus
Common in gardens, woodlands and along hedgerows, these colourful tits have a blue cap above a black-and-white face and a yellow underside. Remarkably agile, they are frequent visitors to bird feeders.

Starling - Sturnus vulgaris
Black at first glance but with a purple and green sheen in the summer and light spots in the winter, starlings breed in urban and rural areas and can be recognised by their confident waddle.

Wood Pigeon - Columba palumbus
Found in woods, fields and city parks, these plump birds are largely grey, with a white neck patch, pink breast and white bars on the wings. They feed on seeds, grains and berries.

Robin - Erithacus rubecula
Found in woodlands and gardens, robins are easy to spot because of their distinctive orange-red breast. Traditionally associated with Christmas, these birds have round bodies and slim tails.

Technical details:

Designed by Kate Stephens and illustrated by Robert Gillmor the six 56mm x 25mm stamps are printed in gravure by Walsall Security Printers.  With two phosphor bars.

All images are by kind permission of Royal Mail, Copyright 2010. This website is copyright Norvic Philatelics 2010.

Products issued

The labels will be used in Post & Go machines at Autumn Stampex and initially at 30 Post Offices around the country.  (See the list here.)

A mint set will also be available from Royal Mail's Tallents House Bureau mounted on an attractive card with details about each of the birds featured together with an illustration of their eggs. All values are 1st Class with a philatelic Post & Go code. Design is by The Chase with illustration by Peter Horridge. 

Although Post & Go machines are a Post Office Ltd product, Royal Mail has chosen to produce a First Day Cover and official First Day Postmarks for these (See below).

Special Postmarks
Postmarks available for the day of issue will be shown here, others may be added later. These are not to scale. These postmarks cannot be obtained after the date of issue.

Official bureau FD postmark for bird faststamps. Official Bristol FD postmark for bird faststamps. Non-pictorial Bristol postmark for Bird Faststamps. Postmark illustrated with a robin. Postmark illustrated with a robin.
Ref FD1039
Philatelic Bureau Official Postmark illustrated with a map of the British Isles
Ref FD1040
Bristol official postmark illustrated with a bird's egg
Ref FD1040NP
Bristol official non-pictorial postmark.
Ref L11854 Sandy, Bedfordshire
(Royal Society for the Protection of Birds)
Ref N11861 Holmfirth, Nr Huddersfield, West Yorkshire
postmark showing House Sparrow. Postmark showing birds in a tree. postmark showing a robin.
postmark showing great tit, or blue tit.
Official Stampex FD postmark for Bird Faststamps.
Ref M11859
Birdbrook Road, Birmingham
Ref L11855 Thetford, Norfolk (British Trust for Ornithology) Ref N11862
Garden Village, Sheffield.
Ref  N11860
British Garden Birds, Kielder Water, Northumberland
Ref L11871
Autumn Stampex, Post & Go Birds of Britain First Day of Issue

This page updated 7 September 2010

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2010 stamp issues
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7 Classic Album Covers
7 Olympic Games retail book 1
26 Business & Customised Smilers MS
2 Girl Guide Centenary
25 350th ann of the Royal Society
25 Olympic Games retail book 2
1 Castles of Wales
11 Battersea Dogs & Cats Home
23 House of Stewart
30 Machin & Country Definitives
30 Festival of Stamps retail advertising book
13 Endangered Mammals
6 Accession of George V*
8 The King's Stamps* &
London 2010 Souvenirs *
Britain Alone (1940)*
* London 2010 Festival of Stamps issues
18 Halley's Comet Commemorative Sheet
15 House of Stuart
15 Endangered Mammals Retail Booklet
8 British Grand Prix Commemorative Sheet
Olympics & Paralympics II
& Olympic Games retail book 3

10 London Eye Commemorative Sheet
19 Great British Railways I
19 Retail booklets: 12x2nd, 6x1st
15 Battle of Britain - Spitfire Generic Sheet & Retail booklet
16 Medical Breakthroughs
17 Faststamps: Bird pictorials
12 Children's Books
12 Olympic Games retail book 4
26 Special Delivery Machins
28 Remembrance: the National Arboretum
2 Christmas - Wallace & Gromit


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Norvic Philatelics, PO Box 119, Dereham, NR20 3YN, GB. -- UK Phone: 08450 090939 -- Skype:ian.billings-norvic