Norvic Philatelics - Great Britain stamps and special postmarks

Transports of Delight - Toys on Stamps - 18 September 2003

The first Toy Fair in Britain was held in 1953. 50 years later this stamp issue, in the 'Transport' series of stamps, shows British toys from the 1930s to the 1960s.

Meccano Constructor Biplane (1931) Wells Brimtoy Clockwork Double-decker Omnibus (1938) Hornby M1 Locomotive & Tender (1940) Dinky Toy Ford Zephyr (1956) Mettoy Friction Drive Space Ship Eagle (1960)
1st class ( 28p) Meccano Constructor Biplane (1931) 'E' rate ( 38p) Wells-Brimtoy Clockwork Double-decker Omnibus (1938) 42p Hornby M1 Locomotive & Tender (1940) 47p Dinky Toy Ford Zephyr (1956)
68p Mettoy Friction Drive Space Ship Eagle (1960)

Toys have always been popular with children, whether a simple bat and ball, hoop, spinning top or dolls. But when railway expansion was it its peak wooden, then metal toys were made, the latter often working models powered by steam generated by a spirit boiler. Toy aeroplanes appeared soon after the Wright Brothers flights in 1903.

Leading the pack of British toy manufacturers was Frank Hornby who, as early as 1901, patented the 'Mechanics Made Easy' construction kits consisting of perforated metal strips and angles, nuts, bolts and wheels. These kits enabled different models to be made, taken apart, and made into other models. Later the name was changed to Meccano.

In 1920 he started producing the model railways to which he gave his name, and Hornby Railways were an instant and long-lasting success with more recent models including the Eurostar trains which operate in the Channel Tunnel. In the 1930s he developed die-cast metal 'Modelled Miniatures' which, started as model railway accessories known as Meccano Dinky Toys. These were made in factories in Liverpool and at Bobigny in France. When the Liverpool factory closed in 1979 over 1000 different models had been produced.

Wells-Brimtoy started in 1914 as The British Metal and Toy Manufacturers when the public demanded home-produced toys rather than German goods. Based in a North London foundry, they produced toys at night from scarp metal and survived German bombing of two factories during World War 2.

Mettoy, on the other hand, was the creation in 1933 of two German refugees, who produced many clockwork tin lorries and aircraft, much of their output being for the pretigious chain retail Marks & Spencer. Later moving to die-cast metal, Mettoy was the first to add moulded plastic features and to use a friction motor instead of clockwork.

This is the third series of 'transport' stamps, the previous issues being 2002 - Jet airliners and 2001. The series continues in with two issues in 2004 - classic steam trains (January), & ocean liners (April).

miniature sheet of the full set of 5 stamps The stamps are designed by Trickett & Webb. They used photographs by Martin Langfield. The Meccano biplane and Wells-Brimtoy bus are shown courtesy of Pollocks Toy Museum, the remaineder of the subjects are in private collections.

Miniature Sheet
The miniature sheet contains the full set of stamps, contained withtin a border which appears to be based on a toy catalogue of the 1950s.

Self-adhesive book
On the same day Royal Mail will issue a book of 6 self-adhesive stamps - 4 definitives plus two 'Meccano bi-plane' stamps.

Technical details: The stamps are 41x30mm and are printed by Joh Enschede Stamps of Holland, in sheets of 50. The miniature sheet is also printedby Enschede and the booklet by De La Rue.

All images are taken from Royal Mail's Philatelic Bulletin and Postmark Bulletin, and are Copyright 2003 by Royal Mail.
'Meccano' is a trademark of Nicco Toys. All other copyrights and Trade Marks acknowledged.

Norvic Exclusive First Day Covers

As usual we have produced exclusive limited edition FDCs for this issue as follows:

Norvic FDC with set of 5 stamps with a choice of two postmarks (N8712 or E8723) at a price of 7.00 each.
Norvic FDC with Self-adhesive booklet (postmark E8720)- price 5.75
Miniature sheet - a few covers have been prepared with postmark L8744 for 7.00.

Also available:
Mint set of 5 or MS - 3.25; booklet 2.50

All prices exclude postage & packing. For enquiries including prices in foreign currencies - please email us.

Special postmarks available for use on the issue date are shown below. Explanations of some of the postmarks are at the foot of the table.

toys toys Stampex Logo Hornby Logo stampex logo
Ref FD319
Philatelic Bureau FD Postmark
Ref FD320
Toye, Downpatrick, FD Postmark
Ref L8704
First Day of Issue, London Stampex Autumn Exhibition Transports of Delight
Ref L8697
Hornby - Britain's National Stamp Exhibition, Stampex, Islington, London
Ref L8705
The 50th Anniversary Autumn Stampex
biplane double-decker bus toy train doll Hornby train - class A4 locomotive
Ref E8720
[Biplane] Duxford, Cambridge
Ref E8721
Omnibus, Epping [Essex]
Ref E8722
[Toy train] Bletchley Park PO, Milton Keynes
Ref L8695
Barry Potter Toy Collectors Fairs and Auctions, Sandown Park, Esher
Ref E8725
Making Models Real, Margate, Kent [Hornby train - class A4 locomotive]
sports car toy train museum logo (toy clown) Dr Who Tardis (police telephone box) BMC Mini car
Ref E8724
Beaulieu, Brockenhurst [Hampshire]
Ref E8723
[Toy Southern locomotive 513] Margate
Ref L8696
Pollock's Toy Museum, London W1T
Ref L8702, The Strand, London WC2
Ref L8703
Hornby Close, London NW3
various toys: train, car, boat, airplane, cyclist toy plane toy train toy biplane toy racing car
Ref L8701
Transport Revisited, Transport Avenue, Brentford, Middlesex
Ref M8709
Northampton [toy plane]
Ref N8710
York [toy train]
Ref N8711
Liverpool [toy biplane]
Ref N8712
Liverpool [toy racing car]
cartoon car locomotive on 'stamp' railway locomotive railway locomotive Mettoy spaceship Eagle
Ref N8713
Hornby, Lancaster [cartoon car]
Ref N8717
Self Adhesives, Hornby, Lancaster
Ref N8716
Hornby, Lancaster [railway locomotive]
Ref N8718
Hornby, Lancaster [railway locomotive]
Ref N8714
Eagle, Lincoln [Mettoy spaceship]
'Duke Ellington' caricature tram double-decker bus Express steam train
Ref L8700
Stars of Jazz & Transport, Duke Ellington - "Take the A Train", Ellington Road, London N10
Ref N8715
Dinky Trams and Buses of the 1930's, Liverpool
Ref M8673
Transports of Delight, Birmingham
Ref L8732
The Orient Express, Orient Way, London E5
Ref M8736
Transports of Delight, Corgi, Leicester
toy railway carriage British Toy & Hobby Association logo Model T (?) Ford Postmark Explanations
Duxford (E8720) - site of wartime airfield and Air Museum of the Imperial War Museum
Epping (E8721) - site of original Wells (Wells-Brimtoy) factory.
Beaulieu (E8724) - Historic motor museum
York (N8710) - National Railway Museum
Liverpool (several) - location of original Frank Hornby (Meccano, Hornby, Dinky) factory.
Ref M8757
Transports of Delight, Memory Lane, Leicester
Ref L8744
British Toy & Hobby Association London SE5
Ref L8743
Ford Centenary 1903-2003 Dagenham

This page updated 6 October 2003 [7.2.05]

2003 stamp issues
14 January Birds of Prey 21 January Flowers Greetings Stamps Smilers Sheet 4 February Occasions/Greetings stamps and Smilers sheet 25 February Medical Science - DNA & Genome 4 March Hello SA booklet & Wales 1st reprint
25 March Fun Fruit & Vegetables 27 March New definitives, SA airmail booklets of 40gr stamps 29 April Extreme Endeavours 6 May 34p definitives 20 May Wilding II miniature sheet
28 May Wales 2nd class, 1st class gold reprints 2 June - 50th Anniversary of the Coronation 17 June Prince William of Wales 1 July High Value Definitive reprints 15 July British Journey - Scotland
29 July Cartoons Smilers Sheet 12 August Pub Signs - Europa 18 September - Transports of Delight - toys 30 September Christmas Robin Smilers Sheet 7 October 250th Anniv. of British Museum
13 October Reprints of Country Stamps 4 November Christmas: Ice Sculptures 18 December England World Cup - Rugby Winners