🇬🇧 Royal Mail -
For those who feel inclined to spend a lot of money on next year’s basic products (stamps and miniature sheets) Royal Mail is promoting the sale of its 2024 year set of such items at a total cost of £221.35p. This offer is only available until the 10 January 2024, the day before the first issue of the year will be released - another one of those tiresome ‘’Music Giants’ collection of products. Of course, at this stage collectors do not know what they’re buying for that price as Royal Mail steadfastly refuses to release next year’s stamp programme to ordinary collectors. Doubtless there will be the usual mix of worthy issues and the inconsequential with the latter, otherwise known as trash, usually proving to be more expensive than the worthwhile.
It is impossible to predict which subjects will be featured on the issues of 2024 as the same regime is in control of the stamp issuing programme. There is little evidence that those who decide these things have any love of Britain itself, being content to celebrate foreign comic characters, foreign movie actors and trivial subjects and ‘celebrities’ who will not be worthy of a mention in the history books in 200 years time while ignoring the important events and figures of British history particularly if, when they are viewed in a modern context, their commemoration would enrage the woke section of the population.
Royal Mail will, I suppose, continue to emphasise its sympathy with identity politics and at the same time continue to feature subjects which evoke a nostalgia for, and appeal to, the elderly age group who make up the majority of stamp collectors or of the general public who might be attracted by the nostalgia of such stamps and who buy them in the hope of passing them on as an investment to their grandchildren though they will never have an interest in collecting little bits of sticky paper for which they see no practical use.
Out of interest we might quickly look at what subjects (anniversaries and events) would be worthy of commemoration were it not necessary to make money from eye-wateringly expensive additional products (collectors sheets, prestige booklets, ‘fan sheets’, ‘gold’ stamps, ingots, coin covers and so on) on the subjects of veteran popular musicians, fantasy and science fiction, children’s book characters, popular television series, American comics, new ‘blockbuster’ movie releases and other such fripperies.
Notable British anniversaries and events, 2024 -
5 January2019 - The bakery chain, Greggs launched its vegetarian sausage. (well, why not?)
20 January 2024 - Launch of the Queen Mary 2 (no ‘ship’ issues recently)
22 January 1964 - Release of the movie Zulu (that will never happen)
12 February 1974 - First television broadcast of the children’s television animated programme Bagpuss (that’s a possible)
4 April 1949 - First signing of the NATO Treaty (75th anniversary)
5 April 1874 - First civic public park was opened in Birkenhead (150th anniversary)
27 April 1749 - First performance of Handel’s Music for the Royal Fireworks took place in Green Park, London (275th anniversary)(Music Giants issue? - probably not)
10 May 1824 - Opening of the National Gallery in London (Bicentenary - worthy subject for a stamp issue)
15 July 1964 - Completion of the building of the Post Office Tower in London (60th anniversary)
9 October 2004 - The Scottish Parliament building, designed by architect, Enric Moralles, was opened in Edinburgh
2 November 1924 - The first British newspaper crossword was published in The Daily Express
30 November 1874 - Birth of Sir Winston Churchill (150th anniversary)
Other Commonwealth Countries
Significant Independence anniversaries. Some countries may issue stamps to commemorate more notable anniversaries of the granting of their Independence. The following countries will celebrate significant independence anniversaries during 2024 -
7 February Grenada 50th anniversary
22 February Saint Lucia 45th anniversary
23 February Brunei Darussalam 40th anniversary
6 July Malawi 60th anniversary
12 July Kiribati 45th anniversary
21 September Malta 60th anniversary
24 October Zambia 60th anniversary
27 October St Vincent And The Grenadines 45th anniversary
🇺🇳 150th anniversary of the Universal Postal Union (UPU).
The Universal Postal Union (UPU) will commemorate its 150th anniversary on 9 October 2024 and it is to be expected that a number of Commonwealth postal administrations or their agents will issue stamps to commemorate the event. There are now 192 member states in the organisation (one less than the number of members of the United Nations - UN members Palau and the Marshall Islands are not UPU members while the Vatican City, not a UN member, is a member of the UPU) - with 24 countries having originally signed the Treaty of Bern back on 9 October 1874 which established what was then the General Postal Union.
The UPU, which in the recent past chose to stop recognising the stamps of the British Indian Ocean Territory, claiming that the territory was part of Mauritius, has sent out a proposed design, remarkably, tasteless and ugly, to its member postal administrations intending them to use the ghastly design as a basis for any commemorative stamp they choose to release to note the UPU’s anniversary. There is one good thing about the new issues released by Royal Mail and that is that they almost certainly would not include among them a stamp with such a vile, crass design.