Norvic Philatelics - GB New Stamps and Special Postmarks

Pictorial Faststamps: Heraldic Beasts - 13 May 2015

Pictorial Post & Go stamps appear in machines in UK Post Offices for defined periods of time in the year and this series is intended to provide attractive stamps that are appropriate for the season in which they are issued.

In 2015 the subject matter and pictorial designs for Post & Go will vary as wildlife and natural history subjects are replaced.  Two of the sets are linked as they will feature boats and ships.  Heraldic Beasts will be issued for the London 2015 exhibition in May.  Following a request from Post Office Ltd in 2013 for a Christmas set, a final set of four new designs of Post & Go will be issued for Christmas on winter animals.

Beasts of all persuasions and permutations have appeared on coats of arms and heraldic badges for nearly 900 years. Each has its own particular meaning and significance, but often they include traits demonstrated in battle, such as courage, strength and resilience. One reason for this is that heraldry originally emerged from the need to distinguish participants in combat when their faces were hidden by armour. From these practical beginnings, however, heraldry developed into a complex and sophisticated visual language.   The beasts, with the exception of the falcon, are shown ‘passant’ – that is, walking towards the viewer’s left, with the right foreleg raised and the others on the ground. Each painstakingly hand-crafted image occupies a brightly coloured background chosen from a heraldically appropriate palette to add to the vibrancy.

Post & Go terminals allow customers to weigh their letters and packets, pay for and print postage stamps and stationery supplies, often without the need to visit the counter. The first Post & Go machine was trialled in The Galleries Post Office® in Bristol in 2008.  The stamps will be used in Self-Service Kiosks at Post Offices around the country, and from Royal Mail Post and Go machines at London 2015 Europhilex.  The stamps can be obtained with 6 different service indicators: 1st class up to 100g & 1st class Large up to 100g, a dual-value Europe up to 20g/World up to 10g, Europe 100g, Worldwide 20g, and Worldwide 100g.  The stamps are dispensed singly or in strips of up to 6 of the same value or various values. 

Post and Go Faststamp - Heraldic Lion. Post and Go Faststamp Healdic Unicorn.  Post and Go Faststamp Healdic Yale. Post and Go Faststamp Healdic Dragon.
Post and Go Faststamp Healdic Falcon. Post and Go Faststamp Healdic Griffon.
From top left: Lion, Unicorn, Yale, Dragon, Falcon and Griffin.
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The stamps in detailHeraldic Beasts Post and  Go presentation pack.

The lion is one of the most familiar ancient heraldic figures, or charges, often representing courage and valour in battle. The king of beasts can also signify Christ or royalty and comes in a bewildering array of poses and variations, from double-headed to crowned, wielding a sword or with a knotted tail.


The unicorn has the body of a horse, the tail of a lion and the legs of a deer – as well as an impressive spiral horn protruding from its face. Known for its virtue, courage and strength, the unicorn was a relative latecomer to the heraldic bestiary, first gaining popularity during the 15th century.

The yale is another mythological hybrid, about the size of a hippopotamus, usually with a goat-like body and the tusks of a boar, although descriptions vary wildly. Most agree on its crowning glory: a pair of large, swivelling horns, perfect for fighting – the reason it came to symbolise ‘proud defence’.

The dragon is a mainstay of heraldry, usually portrayed as a large, ferocious reptilian beast with bat-like wings, a forked tongue and a pointed tail.  These fire-spewing creatures are known for their keen sight, power and wisdom - and as zealous of treasure.  A two-footed dragon is called a Wyvern.


The falcon is one of many birds, actual and imagined, to feature in heraldry. It symbolises majesty and power – as well as someone utterly determined, who does not rest until his or her goal is achieved. Anne Boleyn’s badge bore a crowned falcon with a sceptre, later adopted by her daughter, Queen Elizabeth I.

The griffin has the head, wings and talons of an eagle, fused with the back parts of a lion. It is often depicted with large, leonine ears, which reflect its acute sense of hearing, to go along with other extraordinary powers. As a symbol in heraldry, the griffin stands for strength and vigilance.

Technical details:

Designed by Osborne Ross using illustrations and sketches by award-winning illustrator and print-maker Chris Wormell. Chris was commissioned to create images of the six beasts chosen for this stamp issue, working closely with Royal Mail and a heraldic expert.   The six 56mm x 25mm stamps are self-adhesive, and printed in gravure by International Security Printers (Walsall), with two phosphor bars.  The stamps in the pack will have the service indicator and other detail printed in gravure.   All images are by kind permission of Royal Mail, Copyright 2015. This website is copyright Norvic Philatelics 2015.

Products issued

A mint set of 6 x 1st will also be available from Royal Mail's Tallents House Bureau in a pack similar to a presentation pack. All values in the pack are 1st Class.  There are no Stamp Cards for Post and Go Stamps.

Royal Mail will again produce a First Day Cover and official First Day Postmarks for these stamps.

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

Tallents House first day postmark.
Dragonby first day postmark. 
Dragonby non-pictorial first day postmark.
Postmarks showing Lions.

Ref FD1515TH Philatelic Bureau Official Postmark illustrated with a map of the British Isles Ref FD1515PL Dragonby, Scunthorpe first day postmark showing the heraldic symbol for ermine.
Ref FD1515NP Dragonby, Scunthorpe non-pictorial first day postmark Ref L13399 - Kew Surrey
Ref L13400 - The White
Lion Society, A Society of
Friends of Her Majesty's
College of Arms, London.
Postmark showing a Wyvern.
Europhilex first day postmark for Heraldic Beasts. 
Postmarks showing Lions.
Ref M13406 -
* Wyvern Grove, Birmingham
Ref L13417
Post & Go Heraldic Beasts Europhilex FD of Issue
Ref L13418
Europhilex Stamp Exhibition London N1
Ref L13419 Hampton Court, East Molesey
Ref L13420 London SW1
* Before anybody writes to tell me, I know that by the definition in the Stamp Details above, this is a Dragon, not a Wyvern.

Postmark showing a Griffin . <<<<<

Ref L13421
Space available for
any further postmarks
to be published.

This page updated 17 April 2015

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