everything for the customised stamp sheet collector....
.... including the UK's largest selection of Smilers
® sheets!


News Archive

Buy 2nd Edition Now!

Skype ME!Follow us ob Twitter!!Keep Smiling Blog on Blogger!

Here in the Smilers News section you will find a current update to our catalogue and listings, providing all the latest Smilers related information, news snippets and anything else we think you might be interested in relating to Smilers and associated label sheets issued by Royal Mail and others!  Full details of all new issues will appear under the New Issues menu option.

Earlier News Reports are provided in Adobe Acrobat pdf file format and are generally available during the first couple of weeks following the preceding period. Click on this link News Archive to go to the Smilers News Archive page.


Notify me
We keep your email private

News - 2023

  • The 2024 Stamp Programme from Royal Mail      

    The 2024 Royal Mail stamp programme has been released to the stamp trade but is embargoed until 5th January 2024.  So why don't you tell me what you want, what you really, really want, to see as the first issue in January! Keep Smiling! (13/11)  

  • Christmas 2023 Collector Sheet      

    The Christmas stamp issue has arrived as an early Christmas present for some Smilers collectors, issued on 2nd November 2023, just as yours truly was setting off on a two week break, my apologies for the delay in posting details of this issue due in part to  Royal Mail's publicity embargo dates coinciding with my winter jollies!

    The Christmas 2023 set of stamps has been inspired by Christmas carols and caroling. One of the great joys of the caroling tradition in the UK is that it has been open to many different musical and cultural influences. From the riches of British and European folk song to stirring hymns and village ‘wassail’ songs, many of our best-loved and most popular Christmas carols have a rich and varied history.

    The set of five special stamps features brand new illustrations by artist Tom Duxbury, who specialises in the techniques of block printing to depict both vintage and modern scenes and lines from some of the most popular Christmas carols. The five new stamps are:

    • 2nd Class              O Holy Night 
    • 1st Class               O Little Town of Bethlehem 
    • 2nd Class Large     Silent Night 
    • 1st Class Large      Away in a Manger 
    • £2.20                   We Three Kings

    Royal Mail have stuck with the nativity theme design for the stamps which maybe the reason I see similarities in design to last years issue, with lines of verse from well known Christmas Carols featuring on the stamps themselves and on the attached labels of the Collector Sheet. Of particular note is the appearance of King Charles III silhouette on these stamps, the first of his reign on British Christmas Stamps.

    Royal Mail have restricted the stamps included in the Collector sheet design to the three most widely used values (2nd, 1st and £2.20 overseas letter rate) which has, in my opinion, improved the symmetry in design.  It's one of the nicest Christmas Collector/Smilers sheets I think Royal Mail have produced and if history is anything to go by will surely be a sell out well before the withdrawal date. 

    We have produced a couple of first day covers featuring these stamps/labels from the new sheet and these and the collector sheet are available to order through our eBay store, please click on the images above. 

    Finally, may I wish all my readers a very peaceful and reflective festive period and a prosperous and happy New Year for the year ahead, remember Keep Smiling! (12/11)

  • The Wizarding World of Harry Potter     

    October sees the return of new Harry Potter themed stamps with Royal Mail's latest stamp issue, due out on 19th October 2023.  Royal Mail celebrates the wonderful wizarding world of Harry Potter with a new set of 10 Special Stamps and Miniature Sheet of six stamps.

    In keeping with recent "media-based" stamp issues from Royal Mail there is a huge hoard of collectibles to collect including FDC's (2),  Fan Sheets (3), Prestige Booklets (2), Presentation Pack, Coin Covers, Postcards, etc., etc., not least of which includes a Wizarding World Collector Sheet. 


    The collector sheet includes all ten new stamps from the stamp set paired with still images of the final films and the battle that ensued between good and evil. The background features Hogwarts protected by charms to create a fortress and includes characters Ron Weasley, The Weasley Twins, Minerva McGonagall, Kingsley Shacklebolt, Harry Potter, Ginny Weasley, Neville Longbottom, Luna Lovegood, Hermione Granger, Molly Weasley, Bellatrix Lestrange, Narcissa Malfoy, Fenrir Greyback, Scabior, Lord Voldemort, a Death Eater, Severus Snape, Alecto Carrow, Draco Malfoy and Gregory Goyle. The Sheet is printed in Litho by Carter Security Printers on self-adhesive paper which is different from the stamps in the set which are Litho and conventional PVA Gum. 

    We have produced a few sets of first day covers featuring the stamps/labels from this new sheet and these and the collector sheet are available to pre-order through our eBay store, please click on the images above. (12/10)

  • It's all about the Bassey!!   

    Due out on the 21st September 2021 is the eighth issue in the Royal Mail Stamp series, Music Giants, and Royal Mail has chosen to celebrate the unique voice and iconic status of Dame Shirley Bassey,  70 years on from the start of her career in 1953 with a set of eight new stamps (4 x 1st + 4 x £2) capturing her performances over the years. 

    A Miniature Sheet with an additional four stamps shows a more natural side of Dame Shirley with photographs taken during recording sessions and rehearsals. 

    The issue also includes a variety of other collectibles including a Presentation Pack including all eight new stamps, a fan sheet, an uncut press sheet, a prestige stamp booklet, three different coin covers, First Day covers for both the stamp set and miniature sheet, framed collectibles and (of course) a Collector Sheet featuring all eight new stamps attached to labels with additional images of Dame Shirley Bassey. 


    The stamp sheet features all eight new stamps (4 x 1st + 4 x £2). The collector sheet is self adhesive and thus the only source of these stamps in this format. The sheet stamps are issued se-tenant pairs on gummed paper.  The above collector sheet is available to order through our eBay store, please click on the image above... (12/09)

  • Happy Birthday Paddington!  

    Issued today, the 5th September 2023 is a brand new stamp set from Royal Mail celebrating the 65th birthday of Peru’s most famous bear - Paddington! 

    The marmalade-loving bear first appeared in October 1958 in A Bear Called Paddington, written by English author Thomas Michael Bond CBE.  Paddington’s adventures have now been translated into more than 40 languages, with over 35 million copies sold worldwide, and the friendly bear has also featured in several TV series, two blockbuster films - with a third in development, not to mention cameo appearances with certain British Royalty (my personal favourite appearance - see below)! 

    A new set of six new stamps feature Ivor Wood’s strip cartoons of Paddington, originally published in the London Evening News newspaper in the late 1970s and comprise 2 x 1st, 2 x £2 and 2 x £2.20.  There is also a delightful miniature sheet with four new stamps taken from the 1975 TV series, also by Ivor Wood.

    In addition to the usual offerings of First Day Covers, Presentation Packs, Press Sheets and other Royal Mail collectibles there is also a rather nice Collector/Generic Smilers  sheet featuring the two first class stamps (5 of each design) with accompanying labels also illustrated by Ivor Wood.  All stamps and accompanying labels are Litho and self-adhesive, this is different from the stamp set which are Litho and Gum.


    As usual we are carrying stocks of this latest collector sheet and you can buy it through our e-bay shop by clicking on the above image. 

    Finally, as we approach the first anniversary of our late Queen's death on 8th September 2023  I thought this a fitting tribute to our much loved, Queen Elizabeth II....

    ..... I mentioned earlier that Paddington Bear had appeared in a cameo appearance with British Royalty - to relive this moment just click on the following image for a joyous snapshot in time. Enjoy!  (05/09)

  • Terry Prachett's Discworld  

    Released on 10th August 2023, Royal Mail's latest stamp issue features some of the characters from Terry Prachett's Discworld.  

    Sir Terry Pratchett, OBE (1948–2015) is regarded as one of the UK’s greatest fantasy writers. His defining work is the Discworld series, which spans 41 novels that have been translated into over 40 languages, with more than a hundred million copies sold worldwide. A flat, circular planet revolving atop a vast star turtle called the Great A’Tuin, Discworld is the fictional setting of Terry Pratchett’s iconic series and inspiration for this Royal Mail Special Issue.

    Royal Mail commemorate the 40th Anniversary of the publication of the first Discworld book, The Colour of Magic, with eight new stamps featuring artwork by Terry Pratchett’s illustrator of choice, Paul Kidby. The stamps include characters Rincewind, The Librarian, Granny Weatherwax, Sam Vimes, and Great A’Tuin, as well as specially commissioned artworks of Death and Mort, Tiffany Aching and Moist von Lipwig. 

    The new issue includes a new Smilers / Collector Sheet from Royal Mail. 


    The stamp sheet features all of the eight new stamps with the 1st class pair duplicated. The collector sheet is self adhesive and thus the only source of these stamps in this format. The sheet stamps are issued se-tenant pairs on gummed paper.  The above new sheet is available to buy through our eBay store, please click on the image above... (10/08)

  • River Wildlife  

    On 13th July 2023 Royal Mail released their latest stamp issue to include a Smilers / Collector Sheet offering. The stamp issue comprises a set of ten stamps featuring River Wildlife (5 x 2nd and 5 x 1st) which are repeated in the collector sheet attached to labels with additional images of river wildlife. The collector sheet is self adhesive and thus the only source of these stamps in this format. The sheet stamps are issued se-tenant in strips of 5 on gummed paper. 


    We have produced a pair of first day covers featuring these stamps/labels, cancelled using a special first day of issue hand stamp. To purchase either this collector sheet or the set of first day covers please click on the relevant image. (16/07)

  • Security Backing Paper (SBP)  

    This week I received an interesting e-mail from long-time collector and contributor to these columns,  John Gray, who provided the following observation (and challenge) for us Smilers sheet collectors to consider, now that the nights are drawing in ....

    " I am aware that all the Royal Mail Collectors sheets issued since DC Collections in 2021 have been printed on Security Backing Paper and that over the 18 different sheets issued both types of Security Backing Paper (SBP2u and SBP2i) have been detected. What I don’t know is if any of the Collectors sheets have been issued on two different papers.

    I have put together a listing with the sheets and relevant Security Backing Papers in my collection.

    Sheet No. Sheet Name Sheet orientation SBP orientation SBP type
    GS137 DC collection Portrait  Horizontal SBP2i
    GS138 Christmas 2021 Landscape Vertical SBP2u
    GS139 Lunar Year of the Tiger Landscape Vertical SBP2u
    GS140 Rolling Stones Hyde park Landscape Vertical SBP2i
    GS141 Rolling Stones on Tour Landscape Vertical SBP2i
    GS142 London 2020 Landscape Vertical SBP2u
    GS143 Cats Portrait  Vertical SBP2u
    GS144 PRIDE Landscape Horizontal SBP2i
    GS145 Transformers Landscape Horizontal SBP2u
    GS146 Aardman Classics Portrait  Horizontal SBP2i
    GS147 Christmas 2022 Landscape Horizontal SBP2u
    GS148 Lunar Year of the Rabbit Landscape Vertical SBP2u
    GS149 Iron Maiden Live Landscape Vertical SBP2u
    GS150 Iron Maiden Landscape Vertical SBP2u
    GS151 X-men Portrait  Horizontal SBP2i
    GS152 King Charles III Portrait  Vertical SBP2i
    GS153 Blackadder Landscape Horizontal SBP2u
    GS154 Warhammer Landscape Vertical SBP2u

    The orientation of the lettering of the SBP can be seen by looking directly at a pale-coloured part of the sheet with illumination from the back. The Cats sheet is a good sheet to start with as there is a lot of white and a pale background. The lines of text can be seen to run either horizontally or vertically (vertically on the Cats sheet) when the sheet is looked at from the front with the sheet in its normal orientation. The lines of text are curved, but it is easy to distinguish the horizontal or vertical orientation.

    The rolls of SBP used to print the sheets may be introduced into the printer units in two different orientations, originally called SBP2u (upright) or SPB2I (inverted). John Deering of Gibbons Stamp Monthly has introduced another description, Ls (Large over small) or sL (small over Large), when looking at two adjacent lines of text in the same orientation. The SBP2u (or Ls) and SBP2i (or sL) orientations are shown below. The text must be looked at from the front of the stamp in its normal orientation.

    However, this causes a slight problem when the text is running vertically through the sheet as in sheets issued in Landscape format.  The solution is to turn the sheet so the right-hand side is at the top and then read which type of SBP has been used. This gives the types I have recorded for my sheets.

    I would like to know if any of the sheets were printed with two different orientations of the SBP. Many of the definitive stamp printings for counter sheets, booklets and business sheets are known with both types, as are minisheets of special stamps, but this might be expected with large printing runs requiring changes of the paper rolls. With the relatively small print runs for Collectors sheets, are changes of the paper rolls likely?"

    John's challenge, should you choose to accept it, is to look at your sheets and if you find any at variance with John's findings please send me an e-mail with a note of the variation. As is usual in such "covert missions", this message will self destruct after reading!  

    I cannot find any variations to John's list from my own stock and collection and would support John's hypothesis that given the relatively small print runs of these sheets it is likely that variations in SBP orientation, for a given issue, may not exist.  However, we await your findings with interest. (21/06)

  • Warhammer  

    When I read that Royal Mail were planning to release a set of stamps on the 8th June based on something called Warhammer I immediately envisioned that the issue would feature that well known Scandinavian detective played by Kenneth Branagh. Apparently his name is Wallander not Warhammer which left be scratching my head wondering what nationality Warhammer was!! Turns out he (or more correctly "it") is not a detective at all!  

    First produced in 1983 by British manufacturer Games Workshop, Warhammer originally started out as a tabletop wargame but over the past 40 years has grown into something infinitely larger (or smaller depending upon your point of view). I must admit feeling a bit like Rip Van Winkle when I discovered this. Where had I been for 40 years? How could this phenomena have passed be by?

    As Royal Mail outlined in their publicity statement .....

    "For millions of hobbyists around the world, Warhammer is more than just a game – it is a way of life. From collecting, customising and painting model figures to constructing battlefields and landscapes for them to rampage through, and from playing online games and reading novels set in these huge fantastical universes to joining fellow enthusiasts for mammoth tabletop battles decided on the roll of a dice, Warhammer is an endlessly creative, competitive and collaborative hobby."

    For those of you that were awake 40 years ago, discovering that Warhammer would be  the latest Royal Mail special stamp issue commemorating this "British" institution must have come as welcome news, let's hope so for their sake! 

    The latest stamp issue includes a set of six new stamps, a mini sheet featuring four more new stamps, a presentation pack, a variety of first day covers, medal covers, fan sheets, ingots and of course the ubiquitous collector sheet. These are just some of the collectibles on offer from Royal Mail. 


    Of particular interest to smilers/label sheet collectors will be the Warhammer collector sheet which comprises the complete collection of ten Warhammer stamps – six stamps in the main set featuring miniatures spanning three different worlds of the game, plus the additional four stamps in the Miniature Sheet celebrating the artistic interpretations of Warhammer. 

    Each of the stamps is paired with a self-adhesive label with artwork of other characters in the same fantastical world.  All stamps and accompanying labels are printed in Litho and Self-adhesive, making these different from the stamp set which are Litho and PVA Gum.  The sheet is available through our eBay store, just click on the above image to view/purchase.  Also available are two sets of first day covers. 

    The first set comprises four Royal Mail First Day covers bearing all ten stamps/labels from the sheet. 

    The second set is a pair of A5 size First Day Covers each with one half of the new collector sheet tied with a special hand-stamp dated 8th June 2023.

    Please click on the either of the above First Day Cover images to visit our eBay shop. (08/06)

  • BC398 Coronation Procession - an update  

    Recently I received an e-mail from long-time smilers sleuth, Chris, who pointed out to me an apparent new sheet from the house of Bradbury.  

    It seemed that Adrian Bradbury had, somehow, breathed life into the coronation event by announcing a new Business Customised Stamp sheet. However, upon receipt of the actual product it became clear that this "new issue" was in fact an adaptation of the earlier sheet which had been updated for King Charles III coronation by the addition of a cleverly placed sticker.


    It's good to see these surplus sheets refreshed and brought to life with new meaning. I have placed a couple on eBay if anyone is interested priced £36, which is a significant discount on the original price of this sheet when issued 10 years ago (£50). Just click on the image above to visit my eBay store. Keep Smiling!! (19/05)

  • Blackadder 

    Royal Mail released a set of eight stamps and a mini sheet on 17th May 2023 celebrating the 40th Anniversary of the BBC TV comedy show, Blackadder.  Launched in 1983 by writer Richard Curtis and star Rowan Atkinson the Blackadder stamp issue also includes a cunning Collector Sheet which includes ten stamps/labels (the 1st class values are duplicated) from the stamp set which capture timeless moments from all four series of Blackadder. Each stamp is paired with either a memorable quote or a film still from the same series. All stamps and accompanying labels are printed in Litho and are self-adhesive, making these different from the issued stamps which are water activated PVA Gum. We have this sheet in stock priced £22.50 and it is available from our ebay store - click on image below. (19/05)


  • A New Reign and Missed Opportunity Perhaps!

    Following yesterday's rather soggy Coronation Day celebration in London, and the issue of Royal Mail's Miniature sheet featuring four new stamps depicting aspects of King Charles III - A New Reign, I can now reveal the design of the forthcoming Collector Sheet which was initially intended to be issued on 6th May 2023 but which will now be available from 15th May 2023, we understand.  Whether this is due to a late design change or production problems is unclear.

    If, as I suspect, this issue has now been delayed it seems a missed opportunity by Royal Mail not to have planned it so, and to have included images of the actual coronation celebrations in place of proposed label designs. We have this sheet in stock priced £21.50 and it is available from our ebay store - click on image below. 



    Contrast this to the plans of Isle of Man Post Office who seem to be right on the ball and may have caused the odd red face at Royal Mail by announcing the issue of a customised collector sheet which DOES feature stamps and images from the actual day of celebrations and is scheduled for release by the end of May. 

    According to Isle of Man Post....

    " Photographers present at the coronation will rush through images of this historic moment as soon as they are taken, which will then be placed in eight special postage paid stamp labels. These will accompany the four King Charles Cypher stamps on this beautiful souvenir sheet. This sheet is housed within a deluxe wrap packed with pictures from the extraordinary day. The story of the coronation is told through issue text written by best-selling author and royal correspondent for the Evening Standard, Robert Jobson. Each sheet is individually numbered.  Image is a visual representation, product will differ from that shown. The sheet has been created in collaboration with Stanley Gibbons and features their logo."  

    Perhaps its time for a new reign at talent-less house, Royal Mail. (06/05) 

  • New Collector Sheets on the Horizon

    It has been a relatively busy year for Royal Mail on the new issue front so far this year with new definitive issues, tariff changes, special issues etc., and given the planned issues, going forward, I sense that the new monarch has not had a significant impact on Royal Mail's stamp issuing policy, despite a hopeful start with the recent Flowers issue.  I thought this to be a refreshing change from the somewhat darker preceding issues of Iron Maiden and X-Men and at least Robin Hood is traditionally British!  

    So far this year we have seen three Collector/Generic Smilers Sheets issued during 2023 but that is about to be doubled with the issue of three more new sheets during the period of 6th May to 8th June 2023.  

    Whist I cannot share with you (yet) the embargoed stamp images of these issues I can tell you that a collector sheet is planned to be issued for the following three issues.

    • King Charles III Coronation - 6 May 2023
    • Blackadder - 17th May 2023
    • Warhammer - 8th June 2023

    I particularly like the KC3 collector sheet which features 2 x 4 of the New Reign stamps attached to images of the new King and Queen. 

    I am less taken with the "cunning" Blackadder sheet, although no doubt it will be well received by its huge fan base, but I have to admit to being a little bemused by the proposed Warhammer issue and accompanying collector sheet - I had never heard of this apparent gaming phenomena and cannot understand, for the life of me, how this one has made it into the stamp issue schedule of Royal Mail. Let us hope KC3 can have more influence going forward. (20/04)

  • Universal Mail UK are back!

    Following a number of telephone calls, e-mails and voicemails to UM-UK enquiring as to the status of their operations here in the UK, I was pleasantly surprised to finally hear that their UK operations were again up and running and that some 33 Universal Mail strips had been reprinted, all dated 07/22.

    For collectors with standing orders for these strips I am in the process of  procuring and supplying these latest re-prints and have updated our collectors guide for these strips to reflect these new issues.

    The re-printed strips are as follows, all dated 07/22.

    • UK0001 International Postcard Stamp - London Day 

    • UK0002 International Postcard Stamp - London Night 

    • UK0003 International Postcard Stamp - London Icons 

    • UK0020 International Postcard Stamp - Scotland 

    • UK0029 International Postcard Stamp - Historic Scotland - Edinburgh 

    • UK0030 International Postcard Stamp - Historic Scotland - Sterling 

    • UK0032 International Postcard Stamp - Historic Royal Palaces - Tower of London 

    • UK0033 International Postcard Stamp - Historic Royal Palaces - Palaces 

    • UK0036 International Postcard Stamp - Historic Scotland - Central 

    • UK0038 International Postcard Stamp - Historic Scotland - North 

    • UK0050 International Postcard Stamp - East England 

    • UK0052 International Postcard Stamp - North East England 

    • UK0053 International Postcard Stamp - North West England 

    • UK0057 International Postcard Stamp - Animals of Scotland 

    • UK0058 International Postcard Stamp - Scottish Icons 

    • UK0063 International Postcard Stamp - Isle of Skye 

    • UK0066 International Postcard Stamp - The National Gallery 

    • UK0070 International Postcard Stamp - The Roman Baths, Bath 

    • UK0074 International Postcard Stamp - Stonehenge, Colour 

    • UK0075 International Postcard Stamp - Stonehenge, Black and White 

    • UK0094 International Postcard Stamp - The Lake District 

    • UK0100 International Postcard Stamp - Wiltshire 

    • UK0115 International Postcard Stamp - York Minster 

    • UK0120 International Postcard Stamp - Cornwall 

    • UK0122 International Postcard Stamp - Titanic Belfast 

    • UK0127 International Postcard Stamp - National Trust 

    • UK0129 International Postcard Stamp - National Railway Museum 

    • UK0152 International Postcard Stamp - Windsor 

    • UK0153 International Postcard Stamp - Tower Bridge 

    • UK0180 International Postcard Stamp - Westminster Abbey 

    • UK0190 International Postcard Stamp - Official Queen Elizabeth II 

    • UK0194 International Postcard Stamp - University of Glasgow

    The above strips are available individually priced at £12.50.  Please advise interest by e-mail in the first instance. (01/04)

  • X-Men went to ...

    You know you are getting old when you interpret the latest Royal Mail mega media bundle as a rather large mowing party!  In fact Royal Mail's next stamp issue features  another marvel from the Marvel Comics stable - X-Men!  According to Royal Mail, their pop-culture themed stamps and collectibles continue to be very popular with a broad range of pop-culture fans.  I guess that makes me not a fan of pop-culture stamp issues!! 

    The Marvel Universe is the inspiration for Royal Mail's latest stamp issue, due out on 16th February 2023.  The X-Men franchise celebrates its 60th anniversary in 2023 with their first comic book appearance in The X-Men #1 in 1963. 

    A set of 12 stamps celebrating some of the X-Men superheroes to have featured in the comic book franchise since 1963. 

    An additional set of 5 stamps are included on the Miniature Sheet, featuring five of the mutant enemies faced by the X-Men. All 17 stamps in the X-Men collection are original illustrations created exclusively for Royal Mail by renowned British comic book artists: Mike McKone (stamp set) and Lee Garbett (minisheet). 

    Plus, each of the 12 stamps in the main set has a unique Augmented Reality animation which shows the artwork being created from pencil sketches through to the finished colourised stamps. This can be activated by downloading the Royal Mail App and scanning the stamp with a smart phone or tablet.

    In addition to the 12 stamp set and mini-sheet,  this issue from Royal Mail includes the following additional collectibles. 

    • Presentation Pack
    • First Day Covers (3)
    • Set of Stamp Cards (17)
    • Prestige Stamp Book
    • Limited Edition Prestige Stamp Book
    • Fan Sheets (2)
    • Silver Plated Ingot - Professor X
    • Silver Plated Ingot - Wolverine
    • Silver Plated Medal Cover - Professor X 
    • Silver Plated Medal Cover - Magneto
    • X-Men branded stamp packs (4)
    • Uncut Press Sheet c/w 12 X-Men Miniature Sheets
    • Framed X-Men stamps and mini-sheet
    • Framed X-Men Fan Sheet

    and last, but not least (fanfare), a new Collector/Generic Stamp Sheet!


    The X-Men collectors sheet is a celebration of the comic book artwork of the famous mutant superheroes. It Includes all twelve X-Men Superhero stamps featuring original illustrations exclusive to Royal Mail.  Each character is paired with a comic book clipping as an attached label alongside the stamp.  The Sheet is printed in Litho by Cartor Security Printer on self-adhesive backed paper which is different from the stamps in the set (Litho/PVA Gum). 

    We will be stocking the sheet and a limited number of First Day Covers of the Collector Sheet stamps/labels.  Please click on the above image to pre-order a copy of the above Collector Sheet from our eBay store. (11/02)

  • Gong Hei Fat Choy!  

    Chinese New Year is upon us and we have now entered the Year of the Rabbit!  The Westminster Collection have produced another in their delightful annual PNC cover collection celebrating Chinese New Year.

    Bearing a Smilers stamp/label from the recent Royal Mail Lunar New Year stamp sheet and a sponsored special hand-stamp dated 22nd January 2023,  the cover includes a UK 2023 Year of the Rabbit £5 coin.  It's disappointing that Westminster choose to use a Royal Mail stamp/label this year as opposed to their own personalised version and this move has not helped keep prices down!  Westminster have increased the cost of this cover from £25 last year to £35 +pp, a 40% increase. (21/01)

  • Music Giants VII - Iron Maiden  

    To mark the 40th anniversary of their studio album Piece of Mind, Royal Mail has issued a set of eight special stamps which focus on some of the band’s renowned and iconic live performances. They range from the 1980s until more recent years and feature all 6 current band members.. 

    An extensive range of officially licensed Iron Maiden collectibles is also available with this issue including a Minisheet, FDC, Presentation Pack, Postcards, Frames, Collector Sheet x 2, Fan Sheet x 2, uncut press sheet, gold stamps set, etc., etc..

    As noted above and of perhaps special interest to Stamp sheet collectors will be the Collector and Fan sheets illustrated below.



    Both of the above stamp sheets are currently available to purchase from our eBay store. In addition we have sets of the Smilers stamps/labels on Royal Mail First Day covers - sets of 2 covers per sheet (4 in total) priced at £35.00 for the set of 4. Please e-mail me if any of the above are of interest. (21/01)

  • Royal Mail Stamp Programme 2023   

    Royal Mail have announced details of their proposed 2023 stamp issue programme as follows. 

    Stamp Issue

    Date of Issue

    Music Giants VII: Iron Maiden 12-Jan-2023
    X-Men 16-Feb-2023
    Flying Scotsman 09-Mar-2023
    Flowers 23-Mar-2023 
    The Legend of Robin Hood 13-Apr-2023
    HM King Charles III: A New Reign 06-May-2023
    Blackadder 17-May-2023
    Warhammer 08-Jun-2023
    Windrush: 75 Years 22-Jun-2023 
    River Wildlife 13-Jul-2023
    Terry Pratchett's Discworld 10-Aug-2023
    Paddington 05-Sep-2023 
    Music Giants VIII : Dame Shirley Bassey  21-Sep-2023 
    Harry Potter 19-Oct-2023 
    Christmas 02-Nov-2023

    The issues highlighted in red are those with potential interest for Smilers Sheet Collectors.  No further details exist so we shall all have to wait and see what 2023 brings! (21/01)

  • 2022 News Archive    

    I have now archived the 2022 Smilers News and you may now download this in Adobe Acrobat .pdf format by clicking on the above link. Keep Smiling in 2023! 

    I have also updated  details of all generic, collector, themed and business customised stamp sheets issued during 2022 and hopefully have not made too many mistakes!  You can find these updated listed under the New Issues menu item at top left.  (21/01)

Smilers® is a trademark of Royal Mail Group Limited

Keep Smiling!

                                    Last updated: November 13, 2023