Norvic Philatelics - GB New Stamps and Special Postmarks

Thomas The Tank Engine: Rev Wilbert Awdry - 14 June 2011

This issue marks the centenary of the birth of the Reverend Wilbert Awdry creator of Thomas the Tank Engine. The six stamps show Thomas and some of his friends from the TV series.

Reverend Awdry’s passion for railways had been instilled in him by his clergyman father, Vere, and when Wilbert himself had a family, he shared his railway enthusiasm with his own son, Christopher. It was while two-year-old Christopher was suffering with measles that Wilbert tried to enliven his son’s bed-bound quarantine by telling stories and drawing pictures about a group of little engines.

He wrote down the stories and in May 1945 ‘The Three Railway Engines’ was published. Between 1945 and 1972, Reverend Awdry wrote 26 volumes in ‘The Railway Series’.

Stamp showing Thomas the Tank Engine.Stamp showing James, the red Engine.
Stamp showing Percy the small engine.Stamp showing Daisy the diesel railcar.
Stamp showing Toby the tram engine.Stamp showing Gordon the big engine.
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1st Class – ‘Thomas’
66p - James
68p - Percy
76p - Daisy
£1.00 - Toby
£1.10 - Gordon.
Thomas the Tank Engine miniature sheet.

The Miniature Sheet
.... features original illustrations from the Thomas the Tank Engine books.

1st Class – ‘Thomas and Bertie the Bus’
In this original illustration from the story ‘Thomas and Bertie’ (from Tank Engine Thomas Again), Thomas challenges Bertie the bus to a race. Here he is speeding past Bertie at a level crossing in this original illustration by C Reginald Dalby.

66p – ‘James’
James ends up covered in tar when he crashes into the yard after failing to pin down his brakes at the top of a hill, fortunately it’s only his pride that is hurt. Original illustration by C Reginald Dalby from the story ‘Dirty Objects in Toby the Tram Engine’.

76p – ‘Percy’
Percy ends up in the sea when he ignores a sign in ‘Percy Takes the Plunge’ (from The Eight
Famous Engines). Original illustration by John T Kenny.

£1.00 – ‘Henry’
In the ‘Sad Story of Henry’ (from The Three Railway Engines), Henry ends up being walled up in a tunnel as punishment for not wanting to get his paint wet. Illustration by C Reginald Dalby.

Stamp by stamp 

1st Class – ‘Thomas’
‘Thomas the Tank Engine’ is a 0-6-0 tank locomotive, based on the LB&SCR E2 Class. He is painted blue with red lining and is number 1 in the North Western Railway (NWR) fleet. Thomas was given his own branch line, which he operates with his two coaches, Annie and Clarabel. He was built in 1913 and arrived on Sodor in 1915.

66p – 'James'
'James the Red Engine' is a mixed-traffic engine, which means he is just as capable of pulling coaches as trucks. He has a 2-6-0 ("Mogul") wheel arrangement and is engine number 5 on the North Western Railway, the Fat Controller's railway on the Island of Sodor.  James first appeared in the Railway Series in 1946, in the book Thomas the Tank Engine. Two books in the series, no. 3 James the Red Engine and no. 28 James and the Diesel Engines are dedicated to James.

68p - ‘Percy’
‘Percy the Small Engine’ is a saddle tank engine of indeterminate origins. He is painted green with red stripes and is number 6 in the NWR fleet. He is a cheeky little engine with a strong sense of adventure, who doesn’t let anyone push him around, which sometimes gets him into trouble. He arrived on Sodor on 1949 during a railway strike.

76p – ‘Daisy’
‘Daisy’ is a unique diesel railcar, painted green with yellow lining (similar to the livery of British Railways DMUs in the 1960s), and was built specially for use on the Ffarquhar branch of the NWR. Her number is D1 whereas she originally carried the number 52627. She was built in 1956 and arrived on Sodor in 1961. She first appeared in the book Branch Line Engines.

£1.00 – ‘Toby’
‘Toby the Tram Engine’ is a 0-6-0 steam tram engine who works on the same branch line as Thomas. He is painted brown and blue and is number 7 in the NWR fleet. He is a wise, experienced engine who knows all there is to know about running a branch line. He was built in 1903 and arrived on Sodor in 1951.

£1.10 – ‘Gordon’
‘Gordon the Big Engine’ is a ‘Pacific’ (4-6-2) tender engine. He is painted blue with red stripes and is number 4 in the NWR fleet. He is the biggest engine on the railway, and pulls the Express. He is also very boastful and proud, but good at heart. He was built and arrived on Sodor in 1922.

Technical details:

Thomas the Tank Engine retail booklet.The conventionally gummed stamps and miniature sheet are designed by Elmwood.  The stamps are printed in lithography by Cartor Security Printing. The stamp size is 60 x 21mm in sheets of 24/48 with all over phosphor, perf 14.5 x 14.5.
The miniature sheet is printed by Cartor Security Printing, Meaucé, France in lithography. The size of the sheet is 115 x 89mm, with stamps 41 x 30 mm. 

The retail booklet (now showing image of actual booklet), contains 2 x 1st class Thomas and 4 x 1st class gold Machin definitives. This is printed by Walsall Security Printers in gravure on self-adhesive paper.  The Machin definitives have a security code M11L & MCIL for 2011, contrary to suggestions no new code has been used.  The cylinder numbers are vertically at the right: yellow, magenta, cyan and black alongside the stamp, gold, gold overlay and phosphor are lower startig alongside the steam dome on Thomas.

All stamp, booklet, and postmark images are ©2011 Royal Mail. The webpage is ©2011 Norvic Philatelics.  Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends™. based on The Railway Series by The Reverend W Awdry. © 2011 Gullane (Thomas) Ltd. Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends and Thomas & Friends are trademarks of Gullane (Thomas) Ltd.

Products issued and available from Royal Mail:
Mint set       Mint miniature sheet       Presentation Pack (contains set and MS)     Retail stamp booklet       

Set of 11 Stamp Cards       Set on PO FDC     MS on PO FDC       

We will service a small quantity of self-adhesive Thomas singles on FDCs.  These will be for existing customers and any spare will be added to our online shop in due course.

Special Postmarks
Postmarks available for the day of issue are shown here these may not be to scale.  NOTE: These postmarks cannot be obtained after the date of issue.

Tallents House FD postmark for Thomas the Tank Engine stamps. Box, Corsham, FD postmark for Thomas the Tank Engine stamps. Box Corsham non-pictorial FD postmark for Thomas the Tank Engine stamps. Postmark showing logo of Drayton Manor Thomas Land. postmark showing railway engine.
Ref FD1125
Philatelic Bureau Official Postmark
Ref FD1126 Box, Corsham, Wilts Official Postmark  Ref FD1126NP
Box non-pictorial Postmark
Ref M12177  Drayton Manor Theme Park, the Home of Thomas Land, Tamworth, Staffordshire Ref M12173 Reverend Wilbert Awdry Centenary Stroud Gloucestershire
postmark illustrated badge of St edmunds Church Emneth. Postmark showing Thomas & Friends logo. Postmark showing railway locomotive. Postmark showing railway locomotive. postmark showing railway locomotive.
Ref M12172
Rev. W.V. Awdry, Centenary St Edmunds Church, Emneth, Wisbech
Ref M12171 Thomas the Tank Engine, GBFDC Association, Thomas Street, Tamworth
Ref M12175
Thomas the Tank Engine Retail Book, Engine Road, Oldbury
Ref M12176
Thomas the Tank Engine, Thomas St, Birmingham
Ref M12174 Reverend Wilbert Awdry Centenary King's Norton, Birmingham
postmark showing a railway tunnel. Postmark showing railway locomotive. Postmark showing railway locomotive. Postmark showing US railway locomotive. Postmark showing railway locomotive.
Ref W12179 Centenary of Rev. W. Awdry Box, Nr Bath, Somerset Ref L12170 Reverend Wilbert Awdry Centenary, Box, Corsham, Wiltshire Ref L12169 Reverend Wilbert Awdry Centenary Ampfield, Romsey, Hants Ref L12167
Thomas Road, London E14
Ref L12168 Reverend Wilbert Awdry Centenary, Elsworth, Cambridge (shows 4472 Flying Scotsman)
Postmark with text as below. Postmark showing cartoon steam locomotive. Postmark with logo of Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway. Blank Blank
Ref L12182 SODOR MAIL Centenary of Reverend W Awdry, Ampfeild, Romsey, Hants Ref L12183
The Railway, Basildon, Essex
Ref M12186
Celebrating Thomas the Tank Engine with the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire

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This page updated 10 June 2011

2009 - 2010
 2011 issues 
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11 Classic Children's Television: Gerry Anderson
11 Thunderbirds retail booklet
24 Pictorial Faststamps 2 - Garden Birds 2
1 Classic Railway Locomotives: England
12 Indipex Stamp Exhibition Generic Smilers Sheet
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24 British Heart Foundation Retail Booklet
8 Magical Realms
8 Low-value Machins
22 Worldwide Fund for Nature
29 Machin & Country Definitives
30 50th Ann Jaguar E-type Com.Sheet
12 The Royal Shakespeare Company
21 The Royal Wedding
5 Morris & Company
19 Pictorial Faststamps 3: Water Birds
14 Rev Wm Awdry: Thomas the Tank Engine
27 Olympics & Paralympics III
& Olympic Games retail book

28 Exhibition Generic Smilers Sheet for Phila'nippon 11, Japan
23 The Crown Jewels
9 World's First Scheduled Airmail
15 Kings & Queens: House of Hanover
16 Pictorial Faststamps 4: Sea Birds
13 A-Z of the United Kingdom (1)
8 Christmas - 400th anniversary of the King James Version of the Bible


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