When England Won the World Cup in 1966

With the 2014 FIFA World Cup kicking off today in Brazil, and England’s first game – against Italy – fast approaching on Saturday, this seemed like a very good moment to look at the last time England hosted, and then won the contest, way back in 1966. The General Post Office issued its first ever […]

The 1948 Olympic Games

Whilst the world’s attention is firmly fixed on the 2012 Olympic Games in London, I thought this would be an excellent time to look back at the postage stamps issued to commemorate the last time the Olympics were staged in London – The Games of the XIV Olympiad. Issued on 29 July 1948 to coincide […]

The First Flight of Concorde

The Sunday Stamps meme over at Viridian’s Postcard Blog this week is taking a look at flag stamps or patriotic stamps. This first day cover commemorating the First Flight of Concorde came to my mind as a great example. It features both the British Union Flag and the French Tricolour and celebrates the combined efforts […]

Happy Birthday Charles Dickens!

Today marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of one of the most well-loved storytellers of all time – Charles Dickens. The great 19th century English novelist and outspoken supporter of social reform will be remembered in a new set of British stamps to be issued by the Royal Mail in June this year featuring […]

British Spring Flowers

The clocks went forward one hour in Europe in the early hours of the morning today and the March equinox came and went several days ago, so it is now officially springtime! In Rome, balmy temperatures and blue skies have also heralded in the new season and the cyclamens have been in bloom for a […]

Happy Darwin Day!

Darwin Day is a global celebration of science and reason held on or around February 12, the birthday anniversary of evolutionary biologist Charles Darwin. 2009 marks the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin’s birth. In his On The Origin of Species, published in 1859, Darwin outlined how life evolved through natural selection over millions of years […]

Crazy GB stamp mixture on one envelope!

This crazy envelope surely has to win some kind of prize for its eccentric mix of British commemorative and definitive stamps from many different years and issues! Posted on 7 October 2003, it carries the following stamps (running clockwise): 11 1/2p – Policeman Directing Traffic issued on 26 September 1979 as part of the 150th […]

Good King Wenceslas, the Page and the Peasant

Merry Christmas from Penny Black 1840! I have just made this little video of the 1973 British commemorative stamps for Christmas telling the story of Good King Wenceslas – Good King Wenceslas, the Page and the Peasant. The stamps were issued as a se-tenant strip with a slightly higher value 3 1/2 pence stamp issued […]

The Twelve Days of Christmas

I’ve always loved these 1977 Christmas stamps because they were one of the first sets I collected as a child, eagerly waiting for different images to arrive on letters and then steaming them off Christmas card envelopes to make up the full set of six. The five 7 pence stamps represent different lines of the […]

The Royal Silver Wedding Anniversary 1948

With Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip celebrating their diamond wedding anniversary this week I thought this stamp might make a timely post – The Royal Silver Wedding Stamp issued in 1948 to celebrate 25 years of marriage between Queen Elizabeth II’s parents King George VI and the Queen Consort, Elizabeth (later known throughout her […]

The Defeat of the Spanish Armada

I was lucky enough to have got tickets for the première showing of Elizabeth: The Golden Age starring Cate Blanchett and Geoffrey Rush at the Rome Film Festival last week. The film was a sumptuous romp through history with Cate Blanchett as fabulous as ever – the scenes showing the defeat of the Spanish Armada […]

1981 FDC Guernsey Diana and Charles Stamp

Whilst news broadcasts the world over follow the Diana Inquest I thought I’d post this First Day of Issue Postcard featuring the Guernsey 12p stamp featuring Prince Charles and Lady Diana (as she was then known) together on the occasion of their wedding on 29 July 1981. The photograph shows the couple at the announcement […]

George VI stamp find in mixed bag!

One of the fun sides to buying the occasional mixed bag of stamps is that you’ll inevitably find the odd rarity that pays back your minimal investment. For example, I was delighted to come across this George VI  £1 brown (SG 478b).  First issued on 1 October 1948 this stamp is actually harder to find […]

1979 GB commemoratives

Here’s an interesting curiosity…A very nice strip of three London Post c.1839 13p GB commemorative stamps on an envelope above another strip of three Policeman on the Beat 10p GB stamps. What makes this unusual, however, is that I received this envelope in the post the other day – in fact if you look carefully […]

Silver Jubilee 1977

In the opening track of Badly Drawn Boy‘s latest CD Born in the UK there’s a line in it that talks about being a kid in the UK back in the summer of 1977:Vicious and his brothersWere trying to set us freeBut much more than this to you and meThis was the Silver Jubilee This […]