Monday 30 September 2019

1514. ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง Gruffalo Stamps From Royal Mail On 10 October.

  ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง Displayed here now are much better illustrations of Royal Mail’s upcoming issue which commemorates the 20th anniversary of the publication of Julia Donaldson’s children’s book, The Gruffalo. The issue is made up of 6 stamps (2 se-tenant strips of 3), 1 miniature sheet containing 4 different stamps and a ‘Genetic/Collectors sheet’ to be sold for £11.50p. The issue will be released on 10 October 2019 and was designed by Rose and lithographed by International Security Printers and perforated 14. A pleasant if inconsequential issue. Rating:- **.

๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡บ Australia Post will issue a single stamp on 1 October 2019 to commemorate the Australian cricket team’s success in drawing the Ashes series with the English team. As a result of the two teams winning two matches each and drawing one, the Australian team retained the Ashes trophy. The English men’s team had of course already won the Cricket World Cup this summer, following in the footsteps of the English women’s team’s victory in 2017 so the retention of the Ashes is viewed as a minor compensation in Australia for its defeat on the World Cups.
  The stamp was designed by SEP and lithographed by RA Printing and perforated 14.5. Rating:- ***.

There are one or two items to add to the list of philatelic products which have been released recently by the New York-based agency, IGPC:-

๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ฒ The Gambia - ‘Beautiful beaches of The Gambia’ - additional miniature sheet containing 4 different stamps (see Blog 1502):-

๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ฉ Grenada - 30 August 2019 - Birth of Archie Mountbatten Windsor, son of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex - 1 miniature sheet containing 4 different stamps:-

30 August 2019 - 50th Anniversary of the first manned lunar landing - an additional miniature sheet containing 4 different stamps (see Blog 1502):-

Sunday 29 September 2019

1513. ๐Ÿ‡ญ๐Ÿ‡ฐ Hong Kong Post To Commemorate 70th Anniversary Of Chinese People’s Republic.

 ๐Ÿ‡ญ๐Ÿ‡ฐ Whilst there is a state of absolute mayhem on the streets of Hong Kong presently with protesters demonstrating against the government of the special administrative region as well as the Chinese central government, Hong Kong Post plans to release on 1 October 2019 four triangular stamps, 1 miniature sheet containing the 4 stamps and another miniature sheet containing a single stamp to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the founding of The People’s Republic Of China. Additionally the single stamp miniature sheet will also be included in a special pack containing 3 miniature sheets released by The People’s Republic and Macao to commemorate the anniversary.
  The colourful and attractive issue was designed by Bon Kwan. Rating:- *****.

 With 3 months of the year left and autumn settling in very nicely with its mists and mellow fruitfulness, here is an update of the list of postal administrations which have not so far released any stamps during 2019 (see Blogs 1361 and 1445):-

British Antarctic Territory
British Indian Ocean Territory
British Virgin Islands
Cayman Islands
Gibraltar (Swiss Post)
St Helena
St. Kitts
Solomon Islands
Turks And Caicos Islands

  Thus 21 Commonwealth postal administrations/services/philatelic entities are yet to release stamps
in 2019 (as far as we know) including 6 British Overseas Territories. It will be interesting to see what happens during the closing months of 2019. I expect that we will soon be reading news of this year’s stamp issues from British Antarctic Territory which mostly all appear together about November of each year. Seychelles is said to be going to release a Gandhi commemorative and it will be surprising if nothing appears from Cayman Islands, Penrhyn and St Helena.

Saturday 28 September 2019

1512. ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง New Postal Museum Stamps Glamorising Brutal Crime?

๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง The Postal Museum in London will issue new Royal Mail Post and Go stamps on 11 October 2019 to tie in with the museum’s new exhibition ‘The Great Train Robbery:Crime and The Post’ which centres on the  ‘Great Train Robbery’, then the biggest crime in British history which resulted in the unfortunate train driver being severely injured and the criminals becoming unacceptably glamourised subsequently. The crime took place on 8 August 1963 when the mail train travelling from Glasgow to London was held up at Ledbury in Buckinghamshire and the thieves got away with £2.6 million. In the course of the crime the train driver, Jack Mills, was beaten over the head with a metal bar and his injuries were so severe that he was forced to give up his work. Although the criminals were later glamourised as Robin Hood-like characters (which of course they were not) by the popular press, the gang was eventually rounded up and the ringleaders rightly sentenced to 30 years in prison.
  To coincide with the exhibition The Postal Museum will dispense from 11 October 2019 from kiosk A001 the ‘Mail Coach’ stamps with the additional inscription ‘Crime & the Post’. Additionally strips of the ‘Mail by Train’ stamps will be sold in ‘limited edition’ packs (but NOT dispensed from the kiosk) with the added inscription ‘Great Train Robbery’ (mock-up depicted below). The packs may be pre-ordered from the Postal Museum from 4 October 2019. I do not yet know the price of the packs but such products from the museum are usually sold well above face value and as the packs will be the only source of the ‘Great Train Robbery’ stamps I find it hard to think of them as postage stamps given their very limited availability and more as yet another ‘collectible’ to be inflicted on stamp collectors.
  And while I appreciate that these products are released to publicise the museum’s new exhibition, they may also be interpreted as being a philatelic glamorisation of a major and vicious crime which at the very least is a misjudgement by those who decide on the subjects to be featured on Royal Mail and Postal Museum Post and Go stamp issues. Rating:- 0.

๐Ÿ‡ฏ๐Ÿ‡ช  Jersey Post Post and Go kiosk JE03 will be moved temporarily from its home in the Jersey Post Headquarters in St Helier to the Radisson Blu Waterfront in St Helier where the 2019 PostEurop Plenary Assembly will be held from 8 to 11 October 2019. The Jersey Flag stamps will be dispensed from JE03 there and have the additional inscription ‘PostEurop Jersey 2019’. Rating:- **. A mock-up is depicted below:-

๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ฟ Thanks to Gene W for being good enough to draw my attention to information on the Internet from the Belize government about the new set of stamps which celebrates the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations by Belize with The Republic Of China (Taiwan). The art includes very good illustrations of the two stamps and 1 miniature sheet containing 2 different stamps which I previously mentioned in Blog 1465. These are attractive items and the issue was apparently released on 12 September 2019. Rating:- *****.

๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡น T and T Post, the postal service of Trinidad And Tobago joined a number of other postal authorities in issuing a single stamp on 10 September 2019 to commemorate the Express Mail Service (EMS). This was the first stamp issue of the 2019 to have been issued by the Trinidad And Tobago postal service. Other territories normally featured in Commonwealth Stamps Opinion which are known so far to have released stamps in this worldwide joint issue include Cyprus, Malta, Maldives and Sri Lanka.Rating:- ***.

๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง I wonder why the shade of red used in the two Royal Mail miniature sheets issued on 26 September 2019 for the Queen’s head and cross of St George varies so much between the 2 sheets. While the shade of red used for the Women team’s victory is lighter and brighter, that on the Mens team’s victory is much darker. This is obviously intentional since the women’s stamp has its value printed in blue and the men’s stamp is in black. Interesting design choice.

Thursday 26 September 2019

1511. ๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ธ Bahamas Commemorates National Trust Anniversary.

๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ผ The collecting of new stamp issues from Commonwealth postal administrations is frequently difficult and depressing - some postal services and some philatelic agencies produce floods of new stamps often poorly designed and printed and irrelevant in subject matter to the country whose name is printed on the stamps, often ridiculously expensive and sometimes very hard to track down. 
  I remember as a teenager in the sixties Commonwealth new issues mostly arrived at my stamp dealer’s shop with relative ease, were affordable (apart from the high face value definitives which needed to be obtained as special birthday or Christmas presents from kind and close relatives - one aunt specialised in buying for me the three or four sets of free-form self-adhesive stamps issued per year by Tonga at which experienced collectors then looked down their noses but which she found to be amusing items which solved the problem of what to buy her nephew on special occasions (and much appreciated they were too).
  Now things are not so easy and a favourite aunt might baulk at the price of buying all the issues released in a year from many Commonwealth territories. But there are still some bright spots and possibly the brightest are those issues which are marketed by Pobjoy Stamps and the production of which is carried out by Creative Direction. The quality of production of these issues is excellent with frequently wonderful designs. Although some designs are mainly based on photographs rather than original art, the designer usually chooses wonderful photographs to be used in the designs and generally the stamps from this producer and agency rarely fail to delight.
  Two new sets have been announced - one from Tristan Da Cunha (featured below) - and the other from the Bahamas postal service. The latter will be released on 10 October 2019 and will commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Bahamas National Trust. The set is made up of 4 stamps featuring some superb photographs and was designed by Bee Design and lithographed by Cartor and perforated 13.5. Rating:- *****.

๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ฒ The postal service of Myanmar will release a single stamp on 2 October 2019 to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the birth of Mahatma Gandhi. An attractive and straightforward issue. Rating:- ****.

๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ญ The postal service of Tristan Da Cunha will issue a charming set of 4 stamps on 1 October 2019 which will feature children’s artwork on the subject of ‘Through Their Eyes’ - life and scenery around the island as depicted by local children. This is a very pleasing set and was designed by Bee Design and lithographed by Cartor and perforated 13.5. Rating:- ****.
  Thanks to Juliet Warner of Pobjoy Stamps for information about the Bahamas and Tristan Da Cunha issues.

Wednesday 25 September 2019

1510. ๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ‡ฐ Sri Lanka Post To Commemorate Gandhi.

๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ‡ฐ Sri Lanka Post has announced two upcoming issues:-

2 October 2019 - 150th anniversary of the Birth of Mahatma Gandhi - 2 stamps and 1 miniature sheet. Rating:- ***.

5 October 2019 - Wildlife of Sri Lanka, National Stamp Exhibition- 6 stamps. Rating:- ****.

๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ฒ The tenth stamp in Myanmar Post’s ongoing Months of the Myanmar Calendar series will feature the Thidingyut Festival Of Lights. The flower of the nelumbo nocifera will also be depicted on the stamp. I do not yet know the precise date of issue. The previous issue (Blog 1493) was released on 30 August 2019.
  The stamp was designed by Wai Zin Paing and lithographed by Myanmar Security Printing Works and perforated 14. Rating:- *****.

๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡นMaltaPost will issue 2 related sets, each of 3 stamps, on 27 September 2019. Each set commemorates Maltese entertainers, the first featuring the ‘Stage Commandos’ which was a theatrical group which originated during the Second World War in the dockyards of the Cottonera area to keep up the morale of the dock yard workers.
  The second issue commemorates three Maltese comedy actors. Both sets were designed from drawings by the cardiothoracic surgeon Alex Manchรฉ and lithographed by Printex and perforated 14. An interesting insight into Maltese local culture but the designs are rather dull. Rating:- **.

‘Stage Commandos’:-


๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ฒ I am always pleased to see postal services issuing stamps of great local interest particularly if they are not subjects which might be considered to be tediously popular. Hence a stamp issue from Isle Of Man Post Office commemorating the Manxman Sir Frank Gill (1866 - 1950) who was an engineer and pioneer in telephony. The problem is that there doesn’t seem to be any particular reason as far as I can see for commemorating this notable Manxman just now. I can not find any particular anniversaries associated with him which would justify a set of stamps at present except the rather minor Centenary of him becoming European chief engineer of International Western Electric in 1919. It’s as though those who decide on Isle Of Man’s stamp Issues have been rather desperate to find subjects on their multitudinous philatelic releases and one of them came up with the idea, “Er, what about Frank Gill?”
  Isle Of Man Post Office releases far too many stamp issues and sadly I won’t be adding these 6 unnecessary stamps to my collection. The issue was designed by Andrew Robinson and EJC Design and lithographed by Lowe Martin and perforated 14. Rating:- **.