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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.

 

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News - 2024

  • Royal Mail - Gone to the Dogs?  

    In the month Royal Mail accepted a take-over offer by Czech Billionaire Daniel Kretínský, Royal Mail  announced that their next special stamp issue would feature ten of the UK's most popular breeds of dog.  Their latest issue subject neatly reflects the plight that Royal Mail find themselves in but that is a subject for others to pick over! 

    Five first class and five second class stamps make up the new issue which is due out on the 6th June 2024 and depicts images of some of the most popular dog pet breeds in the UK. The stamps are issued se-tenant in sheets of 50 and printed by Cartor on water activated gummed paper in Lithography.

    The special issue includes the usual collectible offerings such as Presentation Pack, First Day Covers, maxi-cards pack and framed stamps sets. Additionally it includes a Collectors Sheet containing all 10 stamps accompanied by labels showing ‘fetching’ images of each of the breeds featured in the set whilst enjoying the outdoors. All stamps and accompanying labels are Litho printed on self-adhesive paper, and so are different from the stamp set.

    GS-164

    Whilst nobody can deny these stamps are cute, even likeable, no one is suggesting that they are anything other an attempt to cash- in on philatelic interest in British Stamps whose days may be numbered given the interest from Daniel Kretínský. Mad dogs and Englishmen .....

    That said, we are stocking this Collector Sheet and you can buy it through our eBay store by double clicking on the above image.  We have also produced a pair of First Day Covers featuring these smilers stamps/labels and these are also also available through our eBay store - please double-click on image below if interested. (04/06)

  • Centenary of British Commemorative Stamps   

    Royal Mail's next issue, due out on the 16th April 2024, "celebrates 100 years since the United Kingdom issued its first commemorative stamp in 1924". 

    At the risk of being labeled a pedant (and it wouldn't be this first time)  one could argue that since the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland didn't come into being until 1927 it can hardly claim this anniversary as its own.  But such is Royal Mail's ability to warp the truth, along with its sister company - the Post Office, mere facts such as these can easily be swept under the carpet in the hope that no one notices. 

    It is however, 100 year since the issue of a set of commemorative stamps to mark the British Empire Exhibition, which took place at Wembley Park in London in 1924/25.  King George V was a keen stamp collector but he was somewhat unsure about the idea of a commemorative stamp issue, however, despite his initial reluctance the first British commemorative set, with designs by Harold Nelson, was issued on 23 April 1924, the first day of the exhibition.

    In the early days, there were few commemorative issues. King George V got a commemorative stamp set for his Silver Jubilee in 1935. Numbers of commemoratives remained low in the 1950s, with only five issues. These were produced to mark some of the major events of the decade, most notably the Festival of Britain. The 1960s saw a marked change in stamp production and a period of great expansion in designs and approaches especially following the reforms to Commemorative Stamp issues initiated in 1964.

    Today things have developed to a point where hardly any stamps are issued to commemorate or mark worthwhile national events or anniversaries with most such issues now falling into the category of "special stamps", a term coined by Royal Mail to distinguish them from definitive stamp issues, such as the recent Spice Girls issue!

    Some senior stamp collectors may welcome this issue as a brief return to a more familiar territory , however some may think that Royal Mail have gone overboard in issuing another 10 x 1st class series when perhaps 4 would have sufficed - but then it would have been difficult to fill a new collector sheet with only 4 new designs......

    GS-163

    The ten new self-adhesive stamps incorporated in this sheet design are the same ten designs as the normal issue printed in Litho on gummed paper. As such, they will vary from the normal issue. The stamps are attached to illustrated labels showing a hand-stamp from the time of the stamp featured in the new design. 

    Other products include : Presentation Pack, First Day Cover, Maxicards, and framed collectibles. The sheet will be available to purchase from the 16th April via our eBay store (click on image above) as are First Day Covers bearing these stamp/label combinations. (10/04) 

  • Spice Up Your Life!   

    Royal Mail are celebrating the biggest girl group of all time – the Spice Girls – on their 30th anniversary of their formation in 1994. Music Giants IX is the first stamp issue for 2024 due out on 11th January. The stamp issue comprises 10 x 1st class stamps, a mini sheet, comprising a further 5 x 1st class stamp designs and a plethora of other collectibles too large for me to do them justice in this column. Of specific interest are two new collector sheets, the first includes all 10 x 1st class stamps from the Music Giants IX issue, set against a colourful background and attached to themed labels with further images of this successful girl band. The second includes two sets of the 5 x 1st class stamps featured in the mini sheet we are calling it the "the pink sheet"!!   

     

    GS-161

    GS-162

    As has been the practice of Royal Mail in similar media based issues, the first of the two collector sheets is printed in Litho on self adhesive and thus the only source of the self adhesive format stamps. The second sheet features self adhesive stamps printed in Litho similar to those featured on the mini sheet.  The sheet stamps are issued in se-tenant strips of 5 and on gummed paper.  The above collector sheets are now available to order through our eBay store, if interested please click on the images above to order. (06/01)

  • Royal Mail Stamp Programme 2024   

    Royal Mail have announced details of their proposed 2024 stamp issue programme as follows. 

    Stamp Issue

    Date of Issue

    Music Giants IX: Spice Girls 11-Jan-2024
    Weather 01-Feb-2024
    Vikings 20-Feb-2024
    Dinosaurs 12-Mar-2024 
    Centenary of Commemorative Stamps 16-Apr-2024
    Peppa Pig 16-May-2024
    Dogs 06-Jun-2024
    Red Arrows 60th Anniversary 20-Jun-2024
    Dungeons & Dragons 25-Jul-2024 
    Tower of London 13-Aug-2024
    Porridge 03-Sep-2024
    Spiders 26-Sep-2024 
    Music Giants X -The Who 17-Oct-2024 
    Christmas 2024 05-Nov-2024 
    Winston Churchill 30-Nov-2024

    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 2024 brings! (06/01)

  • 2023 News Archive    

    I have now archived the 2023 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 2023 and hopefully have not made too many mistakes!  You can find these updated listed under the New Issues menu item at top left.  (04/01)

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                                    Last updated: June 04, 2024