Norvic Philatelics - GB New Stamps and Special Postmarks

A - Z of the United Kingdom - Part 1 : 13 October 2011

Introduction, reason for stamps A 26-stamp series depicting significant landmarks around the United Kingdom, alphabetically.  When this was first revealed as part of the 2011 programme it sounded like a good idea especially if it was issued as four sets of 6/7 or six sets of 4/5. However, Royal Mail seem to have realised that a schedule like that could not be accommodated alongside the regular stamp programme adn still reach 'Z' by the time the Olympics visitors arrived, so the 26 1st class stamps are being issued in two parts, with a set of 12 (A-L) on 13 October 2011 and a further 14 stamps (M-Z) on 10 April 2012.

For each letter of the alphabet an iconic landmark of the UK is assigned, ranging from ancient to modern and from spiritual to spectacular; but each has an essential presence in the nation’s fabric.  The stamps will be printed in two sheets, each having 6 columns, which will enable multiples of the same design/location to be purchased without the expensive of buying the whole set/sheet.

The stamp policy team extensively researched UK gazetteers and drew up the list of potential subjects which were supplied to the designer. Using a mixture of specially commissioned and library photography the final line up was assembled and agreed taking into consideration the need to represent each of the four countries of the UK.  In the caption table, locations in Scotland have blue backgrounds, Ireland green, Wales red, and England white.

set of 10 annimals stamps. D to F of the UK.

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1. Angel of the North

2. Blackpool Tower

3. Carrick-a-Rede

4. Downing Steet

5. Edinburgh Castle

6. Forth Railway Bridge

7. Glastonbury Tor

8. Harlech Castle

9. Ironbridge

10. Jodrell Bank

11. Kursaal

12. Lindisfarne Priory

The stamps in detail

Angel of the North
...  is a contemporary steel sculpture designed by Antony Gormley, which is located just outside Gateshead. Standing 20 metres (66 ft) tall, with wings measuring 54 metres (177 ft) across, the wings are angled 3.5º forward to create "a sense of embrace". It stands on a hill on the southern edge of Low Fell, overlooking the A1 and A167 roads into Tyneside and the East Coast Main Line rail route, south of the site of Team Colliery.

Blackpool Tower
... is a tourist attraction in Blackpool, Lancashire. It was opened to the public on 14 May 1894. Inspired by the Eiffel Tower in Paris, it rises to 158m (518 ft 9 inches). The Tower is a member of the World Federation of Great Towers. The tower can be seen from most places within a 30-mile (48 km) radius including Barrow-in-Furness, Lancaster, Liverpool, Manchester, Preston, Chorley and Southport.  It is a Grade 1 listed building.

The rope suspension bridge at Carrick-a-Rede, near Ballintoy, County Antrim, Northern Ireland was originally built by salmon fishermen.The bridge links the mainland to the tiny Carrick Island and is owned and maintained by the National Trust, it spans twenty metres and is thirty metres above the rocks below. Today the bridge is a year round tourist attraction, with 247,000 visitors in 2009.

Downing Street
Probably the most famous front door in the world 10 Downing Street is the headquarters of Her Majesty's Government and the official residence and office of the First Lord of the Treasury, who is now always the Prime Minister. The townhouse, from which the modern building gets its name, was one of several built by Sir George Downing between 1682 and 1684. In 1732, George II offered the property to Sir Robert Walpole who accepted on the condition that they were a gift to the office of First Lord of the Treasury rather than to him personally.

Edinburgh Castle
Dominating the skyline of Edinburgh, from its position atop the volcanic Castle Rock, There has been a royal castle here since the reign of David I in the 12th century. The site continued to be a royal residence until the Union of the Crowns in 1603. As one of the most important fortresses in the Kingdom of Scotland, Edinburgh Castle has been involved in many historical conflicts, from the Wars of Scottish Independence in the 14th century, up to the Jacobite Rising of 1745, and has been besieged, both successfully and unsuccessfully, on several occasions. From the later 17th century, the castle became a military base, with a large garrison. Its importance as a historic monument was recognised from the 19th century, and various restoration programmes have been carried out since.

Forth Railway Bridge
The Forth Bridge is a cantilever railway bridge over the Firth of Forth in the east of Scotland, to the east of the Forth Road Bridge, and 14 kilometres (9 miles) west of central Edinburgh. It was opened on 4 March 1890. It is often called the Forth Rail Bridge or Forth Railway Bridge to distinguish it from the Forth Road Bridge although it has been called the "Forth Bridge" since its construction and had for over seventy years the sole claim to this name.
Glastonbury Tor
...  is a hill at Glastonbury, Somerset, which features the roofless St. Michael's Tower. The site is managed by the National Trust and has been designated as a Scheduled Ancient Monument . Tor is a local word of Celtic origin meaning 'rock outcropping' or 'hill'. The Tor has a striking location in the middle of a plain called the Summerland Meadows, part of the Somerset Levels. The plain is reclaimed fenland out of which the Tor once rose like an island, but now, with the surrounding flats, is a peninsula washed on three sides by the River Brue. The remains of Glastonbury Lake Village nearby were identified in 1892, showing that there was an Iron Age settlement about 300–200 BC on what was an easily defended island in the fens. The spot seems to have been called Ynys yr Afalon (meaning "The Isle of Avalon") by the Ancient Britons, and it is believed by some to be the Avalon of Arthurian legend.

Harlech Castle
...  located in Harlech, Gwynedd, Wales, is a concentric castle, constructed atop a cliff close to the Irish Sea. Architecturally, it is particularly notable for its massive gatehouse. Built by Edward I during his conquest of Wales, the castle was subject to several assaults and sieges during its period of active use as a fortification. The castle served as the de facto capital of an independent Wales between 1404 and 1409 when it was held by Owain Glyndwr. The later seven-year siege of the castle, during the Wars of the Roses, has been memorialised in the famous song "Men of Harlech".

...  is a village on the River Severn, at the heart of the Ironbridge Gorge, in Shropshire. It lies in the civil parish of The Gorge, in the borough of Telford and Wrekin. Ironbridge developed beside, and takes its name from, the famous Iron Bridge, a 30 metre (100 ft) cast iron bridge that was built across the river there in 1779. The bridge was the first cast iron arch bridge in the world.

Jodrell Bank
For over 50 years the giant Lovell Telescope at Jodrell Bank has been a familiar feature of the Cheshire landscape and an internationally renowned landmark in the world of astronomy. Since the summer of 1957 it has been quietly probing the depths of space, a symbol of our wish to understand the universe in which we live. Even now, it remains one of the biggest and most powerful radio telescopes in the world, spending most of its time investigating cosmic phenomena which were undreamed of when it was conceived

The Kursaal in Southend Essex, was designed by the architect Campbell Sherrin, also responsible for amongst other things, the Brompton Oratory. The Kursaal building and its Dome were at the cutting edge of architectural design. Originally intended as an entertainment venue and gardens, the twenty-six acre site rapidly included the latest attractions and rides as they were developed. Famous in the 1920s and 1930s as the fairground of the East End of London, the Kursaal was at its peak at the start of World War II.  The Kursaal went into decline in the 1970s, when more people took holidays abroad. The land was sold off for building development, and in 1973 the Kursaal amusement park was closed down and in the 1986 the building finally closed. Following many years of dereliction the Kursaal building was reopened in 1998 after a multi-million pound redevelopment and restoration, It is now a listed building, forming part of the Kursaal conservation area.

Lindisfarne Priory
Lindisfarne is a tidal island off England’s north-east coast. It is also known as Holy Island. The monastery of Lindisfarne was founded by Irish born Saint Aidan, who had been sent from Iona to Northumbria at the request of King Oswald ca. AD 635. It became the base for Christian evangelising in the North of England and also sent a successful mission to Mercia. The priory was abandoned in the late ninth century because of persistent Viking raids.

Technical details: The 35mm square stamps are designed by Robert Maude and Sarah Davies.  Other credits: Antony Gormley Angel of the North [Gateshead] © the artist, photography © Chris Addis; Blackpool Tower, Jodrell Bank, Kursaal and Lindisfarne Priory photography © Charlie Waite; Carrick-a-Rede, Downing Street, Edinburgh Castle, Glastonbury Tor, Harlech Castle and Ironbridge photography © David Noton Photography; Forth Railway Bridge photography © Joe Cornish

In sheets of 30/60 they are printed in lithography by Cartor Security Printing, perf 14½, with all-over phosphor.

The stamp and postmark images are Copyright 2011 by Royal Mail.

Products available:
Set of 12 stamps in two horizontal strips of 6; vertical strips of 5 of any one stamp.
Presentation Pack
Two first day covers (because of the number of stamps)
Set of 12 Stamp Cards 

Special Postmarks
Postmarks available for the day of issue will be shown here, these may not be to scale.   More postmarks may be added later.

These postmarks cannot be obtained to order after 13 October.

postmark illustrated with Edinburgh Castle. postmark showing Blackpool Tower. Blackpool non-illustrated postmark.  Postmark showing Angel of the North. Postmark formed from letter D.
Ref FD1137
Official Philatelic Bureau FDI.
Ref FD1138
Official Batts Corner FDI postmark.
Ref FD1138NP
Official Blackpool non-pictorial FDI postmark
Ref N12301 Angel of the North, A-Z of Britain Part 1 GBFDC Association, Gateshead Ref L12294 A-Z of Britain Downing Street London SW1
Postmark illustrated with Scottish Lion rampant.. Postmark showing Welsh dragon. Postmark formed from letter H (or showing rugby posts). Postmark showing Jodrell Bank telescope. Postmark showing Union flag (with missing stripe)
Ref S12308 A-Z of UK Landmarks, Edinburgh Ref W12313
A-Z of UK Landmarks, Harlech, Gwynedd
Ref W12314
A-Z of Britain Harlech, Gwynedd, Wales
N12302 A-Z of UK Landscapes, Macclesfield, Cheshire L12293 A-Z of UK Landmarks London
Postmark showing badge of the Norfolk & Norwich Philatelic Society. Postmark showing Union flag and crown. Postmark showing Union flag and crown. Postmark showing Union flag and crown. Postmark showing Union flag and crown.
Ref L12295 The Norfolk & Norwich Philatelic Society Centenary, Norwich
(In use 13 Oct 11 - 12 April 12)
Ref L12297 Jubilee Britain, Downing Street London SW1
(In use 13 Oct 11 - 12 Oct 12)
Ref S12309 Jubilee Britain, Royal Mile, Edinburgh EH1
(In use 13 Oct 11 - 12 Oct 12)
Ref S12310 Jubilee Britain, Station Road, South Queensferry EH30
(In use 13 Oct 11 - 12 Oct 12)
Ref W12317 Jubilee Britain, Glastonbury Road, Glastonbury BA6
(In use 13 Oct 11 - 12 Oct 12)
Postmark showing Union flag and crown. Postmark showing Union flag and crown. Postmark showing Union flag and crown. Postmark showing Union flag and crown. Postmark showing Union flag and crown.
Ref W12316 Jubilee Britain, Castle Square, Harlech LL46
(In use 13 Oct 11 - 12 Oct 12)
Ref W12315 Jubilee Britain, Royal Way, Telford, TF4
(In use 13 Oct 11 - 12 Oct 12)
Ref L12296 Jubilee Britain, Elizabeth Road, Southend-on-Sea
(In use 13 Oct 11 - 12 Oct 12)
Ref N12305 Jubilee Britain, Jubilee Lane, Blackpool, FY4
(In use 13 Oct 11 - 12 Oct 12)
Ref S12311 Jubilee Britain, Whitepark Road, Ballycastle BT54
(In use 13 Oct 11 - 12 Oct 12)
Postmark showing entrance to building. Postmark showing sculpture, or logo, or ?? Postmark showing Southend Kursaal. Postmark showing the Forth Rail Bridge.

Ref M12300 A-Z of the UK Part 1, Dowing St Birmingham Ref N12303 Dream St Helens Ref L4677 Southend-on-Sea permanent postmark Ref S12345
Firth of Forth Edinburgh

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This page updated 3 November 2011

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