Monday 28 November 2011

Royal Mail 2013 new issue programme leaked.

It appears that the new issue programme of Royal Mail, the British Post Office, may have ben leaked several months before it was due to be outlined on 1st April 2012. The programme appears to have a heavy emphasis on 3 themes for the year - links with Europe, music and the 50th anniversary of Dr. Who - the longest running science fiction television programme made by the BBC and popular with children and adults alike. Initial details of the planned new issues throughout the year suggest that there will be an unprecedented 27 issues as well as 6 prestige booklets, commemorative sheets, "smilers" sheets, counter booklets, a separate programme of "Post & Go" and "Horizon" labels as well as a new series of postage due labels and temporary "Dr. Who" definitives. Other themes included in the programme are said to be British nature to commemorate the 50th anniversary of National Nature Week (see illustration), "Favourite Celebrities" in line with the new policy of featuring living individuals, "British ballroom dancing" to celebrate another television programme, "Strictly Come Dancing", Scottish universities to commemorate the 600th anniversary of St. Andrew's University, links with the countries of the Balkan area, marking the centenary of the signing of the Treaty Of London which ended the First Balkan War in 1913, British breeds of sheep which commemorates the 240th anniversary of the first release of sheep in New Zealand and, as well as the links with Europe series, probably to counterbalance the political implications of such a series, there will be an American anniversaries set which will commemorate the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President Kennedy and the 500th anniversary of the settlement of Florida, "where so many British families pass their vacations in the summer". Another set of note will be "The Honourable Gentleman" set which will feature notable parliamentarians including recent prime ministers such as Tony Blair and John Major and this coincides with the 410th birth anniversary of Sir Harbottle Grimstone who was member of parliament for Colchester and speaker of The House Of Commons after the English Civil War in the Convention Parliament of 1660 ( see illustration). All the details are clearly not available in this apparent leak of information but I summarise what we appear to know so far:-

3 January 2013 "Dr. Who Year" 11 stamps, each featuring a different Doctor with a 12th depicting The Tardis (Dr. Who's time machine). There will also be a miniature sheet produced in the same way as the "Thunderbirds" sheet of 2011 giving a 3D effect of The Tardis and 3 monsters - a Dalek (as featured on the 1999 Millenium stamp - see illustration), a Cyberman and an Ice Warrior. There will also be a 4 pane "Prestige Booklet" which will include 1 pane of the new temporary "Dr Who" definitives (details not yet available) and a "smilers" sheet depicting various villains and monsters which have appeared in the programme.
3 January 2013 "Dr. Who Year" 4 "Temporary" definitives.
10 January 2013 "Links With Europe" - European music composers' anniversaries - including 1000th anniversary of the birth of Hermann of Reichenau, birth bicentenary of Giuseppe Verdi, birth bicentenary of Richard Wagner, 150th birth anniversary of Mieczyslaw Soltys, birth bicentenary of Stephen Istvan Heller and 150th birth anniversary of Ernesto Nazareth (12 stamps in total).
17 January 2013 Scottish Universities - 6 stamps & 2 miniature sheets & 1 prestige booklet.
24 January 2013 "Smilers" sheet featuring British coastal scenery.
7 February 2013 "Dr. Who Year" 2 sheets each of 16 stamps depicting the Doctor's companions.
28 February 2013 "The Honourable Gentleman" 6 stamps depicting former speakers of The House Of Commons and a miniature sheet of 4 stamps depicting and honouring recent prime ministers. An accompanying "Smilers"sheet depicts notable parliamentarians of the 20th century.
14 March 2013 "Links With Europe" European capitals - a sheet of 30 stamps depicting views of the the capitals of the member states of The European Union. This issue is the 2013 contribution to the Europa theme stamps.
21 March 2013 British Music - Birth centenary of Benjamin Britten & 450th birth anniversary of Giles Farnaby (10 stamps and 1 prestige booklet and 1 "Smilers" sheet).
28 March 2013 British breeds of sheep - 10 stamps.
4 April 2013 Favourite British Celebrities of 2012 (4 different strips of 5 se-tenant stamps, each featuring a different celebrity).
8 April 2013 Favourite celebrities & music - AC/DC 40th anniversary World Tour 6 stamps and a souvenir sheet.
11 April 2013 Children's Favourites, "Dr. Who Year" - "Behind The Sofa" moments (most frightening moments in the Dr. Who television programme) 10 stamps.
18 April 2013 "Dr. Who Year" - 3 Business sheets illustrating scenes from the television programme.
18 April 2013 "Remembering the London Olympics" 1 Business sheet recalling further memorable moments from the 2012 Olympic games.
25 April 2013 "Man's Best Friend" 20 stamps featuring the 20 most popular breeds of dog in Britain. A prestige booklet accompanies the issue.
25 April 2013 Postage Due labels - 22 values ranging from 1p to £25.
29 April 2013 Royal Children - 10 stamps featuring the younger members of the Royal Family.
29 April 2013 Classic Locomotives - 1 miniature sheet of 4 stamps in the continuing series.
10 May 2013 "Australia 2013" International Philatelic Exhibition, Melbourne - 2 "Smilers" sheets.
15 May 2013 50th anniversary of National Nature Week - 25 stamps depicting the rarest birds, mammals and wild flowers of The United Kingdom.
21 May 2013 "Links with Europe" - The Balkans, Centenary of The Treaty Of London (10 stamps & 1 miniature sheet which depicts a map of the Balkan area.
18 June 2013 "Links with Europe" The Nobel Peace Prize - European winners commemorating the centenary of the award of the prize to the Belgian, Henri Lafontaine (6 stamps).
2 July 2013 50th anniversary of National Nature Week (II) - a further 25 stamps depicting the rarest amphibians, reptiles, fish and insects of The United Kingdom.
16 July 2013 50th anniversary of the return home of the inhabitants of Tristan Da Cunha following the volcano which forced them to evacuate the island (5 stamps and 1 miniature sheet).
16 July 2013 British Islands - 1 "Smilers" sheet depicting British islands around the world including Tristan da Cunha.
13 August 2013. British medicine - advances in medicine discovered in The United Kingdom (6 stamps & 1 miniature sheet).
8 September 2013. "Links with Europe" - "Great art of European Galleries" 20 stamps and 1 "Smilers" sheet.
22 September 2013 "Links With Europe" - "Great art of European Galleries (II)" a further 20 stamps and 1 more "Smilers" sheet.
6 November 2013 "Ties to The United States" - US anniversaries including the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President JF Kennedy - 6 stamps, 1 miniature sheet and 1 prestige booklet.
20 November 2013 "Dr. Who Year" - 50th anniversary of Dr. Who. (20 stamps, 1 miniature sheet, 1 prestige booklet, 1 "Smilers" sheet and 1 set of "Post & Go" labels.
24 November 2013 Christmas - scenes from "Dr. Who" Christmas specials (7 stamps, 2 counter booklets, 1 miniature sheet and 2 "Smilers" sheets.
27 November 2013 "Strictly Come Dancing" - British ballroom dancing (12 stamps, 1 miniature sheet, 1 "Smilers" sheet).

The Post & Go and Horizon label programme do not feature on the above list. All I can say is, if this "leak" is correct, I shall need to take out a mortgage to buy this enthusiastic outpouring.

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