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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

 

News - 2020

  • Two New Westminster PNC Covers  

    The Westminster Collection has announced two new coin covers bearing personalised Smilers stamps, one of which I have never seen before as a Smilers stamp! 

    The first of these covers marks the 100th birth anniversary of Rosalind Franklin, commemorated by a new 50p coin issued by the Royal Mint. The cover bears a new Smilers stamp/label combination commissioned by Westminster Collection and is date stamped 25th July 2020, the 100th anniversary of the birth of Rosalind Franklin. 

    The stamp/label combination has been produced from sheets of 20 Red, White and Blue personalised stamps which can still be ordered from Royal Mail through the trade with a minimum order of 30 sheets.  This cover has a limited edition of 1000 so c. 50 sheets would have been produced to service these covers although none are known to exist as whole sheets.  

    Back in the day when Business Customised stamp sheets were still being produced by Royal Mail and Ridgewood were active in their design and production we produced a design for a DNA themed stamp sheet that never got off the drawing board.  With the issue of this cover from Westminster Collection it seems a fitting opportunity to share this image with other Smilers collectors as a glimpse of what might have been.

    The second cover to emerge from The Westminster Collection this week is something of an enigma in that it sports a Smilers stamp/label combination I have never seen issued before. 

    Issued to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower. the cover incorporates  a new Royal Mint £2 coin and a 1st class stamp/label but this stamp has, to my knowledge, never previously been issued in a Smilers sheet format so it remains to be seen whether this is a genuine combination or a label produced by Westminster Collection stuck alongside an ordinary 1st class stamp.  I have ordered one out of curiosity and when it turns up I will be able to update this article with a definitive answer but until then I wait in anticipation!! (22/09)  

  • 75th Anniversary of British Forces in Germany 

    The British Forces Philatelic Service has issued a second themed Smilers stamp sheet for 2020, commemorating the 75th Anniversary of British Forces in Germany. The sheet is again based on the Red, White and Blue Smilers sheet format with a label featuring the flags of the UK and Germany, commemorating the event. Also available is a limited edition commemorative cover featuring the 1st class Smilers stamp and label tied to cover by a special hand-stamp dated 25th August 2020.

    TS-583

    TS-583-FDC 

    This is the second sheet issued by the BFPS in 2020 who raise funds from the sale of philatelic covers and Smilers sheets in aid of the Forces they represent. Curiously, there is no RM code/customer order number printed in the lower left margin of the sheet which was normal practice. Given the small number of these being produced these days, principally for the philatelic market, RM may have dropped this practice.

    Our price for this sheet is £59.95 + £2.25 (UK) / £9.95 (Overseas) post and packing. Just click on the above image to go directly to our eBay store where we have the last few remaining. (26/08)

  • Sherlock from Royal Mail 

    Royal Mail today announced the release of yet another mega media stamp issue due out on 18th August 2020.  This is the somewhat tenuous reason given for the issue....  

    "On the 10th anniversary of the popular BBC TV series ‘Sherlock’ we celebrate both the unique heritage and contemporary adaptations of this most famous of the “consulting detectives”. In this modernised version of the Conan Doyle characters, using his detective plots, Sherlock Holmes lives in early 21st century London but maintains various elements of the original stories such Dr Watson (who now writes a blog rather than a diary) the Baker Street address and Holmes' adversary Moriarty, whilst still working for private clients as well as Scotland Yard the London Metropolitan Police service."

    Royal Mail have again maximized the collectibles on offer and, in addition to a set of six new stamps and a mini sheet containing another four new stamps, RM will be releasing a Presentation PackFirst Day Covers featuring the stamps set and mini sheet; a set of Maxi Cards; a retail stamp booklet featuring two, Sherlock 1st class stamps ex mini sheet (but self-adhesive) and 4 x 1st class Machin's; at least three medal covers; and a range of other souvenir packs and framed collectibles.

    Also featured in this issue is a brand new generic/collector stamp sheet featuring stamps and labels in an A4 landscape format.

    GS-128

    The collector/smiler sheet includes: 6 x 1st stamps, 2 x £1.48 stamps, 2 x £1.68 stamps Whilst Royal Mail have advised that the sheet will be issued in self-adhesive format, the images provided would indicate otherwise as the illustration is for a gummed and conventionally perforated stamp sheet, similar to the recent James Bond sheet format. Update: Definitely Self Adhesive Sheets as these now in stock and as described by Royal Mail. (06/08)  

    We will, of course, be stocking the collector/smilers sheet priced £19.95 plus p+p and can also offer a set of four First Day Covers bearing all 10 smilers stamps/labels priced at £24.95 +p+p. To pre-order any of the foregoing products please e-mail me and advise your requirements or alternatively to pre-order the Sherlock collector sheet now please click on the sheet image above to visit our web store where this product is available to buy on-line. (04/08)

  • Two New Commemorative Stamp Sheets from Jersey Post

    Jersey Post have announced the issue of two more commemorative stamp sheets in their stamp programme this year stating the official issue date as 8th May 2020.  Whilst the first of these was advertised back in May, the second has only recently been made available and I suspect the official issue date will be revised to mid July.

    The first commemorative sheet marks the 75th Anniversary of D-Day and the liberation of Europe and more specifically the Channel Islands. The new Commemorative Sheet is made up of 20 x  Jersey Arms Local Letter rate stamps adjoined to pictorial labels.

    The second commemorative sheet marks the 100th anniversary of the first Bouley Bay Hill Climb. 

    The Bouley Bay Hill Climb is a hill-climbing event organised by The Jersey Motorcycle and Light Car Club. Whilst many different venues were used in the early years, Bouley Bay, an idyllic setting on Jersey's north coast, has remained the favourite. The stamp sheet contains 20 x UK Letter rate stamps adjoined to black and white pictorial labels featuring photographs taken at the event, throughout the years.  

    Both sheets are available to buy from us priced at £24.95 per sheet plus £2.25 p+p, just click on the above images to go directly to our eBay store or e-mail me with your requirements.  (14/07) 

  • .... but no Rupert Bear Smilers/Collector Sheet in September

    I have just had it confirmed that there will not be a Rupert Bear Smilers/Collector Sheet issued in September, as I had predicted at the start of this year. You win some, you loose some! (06/07) 

  • Sherlock Smilers/Collector Sheet in August....

    Having just received this months Philatelic Bulletin, I spotted hidden on the back page an announcement that there will be a Sherlock Holmes Collector Sheet issued on 18th August 2020 as part of Royal Mail's special stamp issue featuring Sherlock Holmes. No more details available as yet, but more later. (02/07) 

  • New Peter Pan PNC Collection from Westminster

    The Westminster Collection has announced today the availability of a further set of 6 + 1 Philatelic Numismatic Covers (PNC) bearing Isle of Man Peter Pan commemorative 50p coins and Union Flag (Red, White and Blue) Smilers stamps.

    This collection follows the same format as similar PNC collections released by Westminster Collection over the past couple of years and is priced at £95 plus p+p from The Westminster Collection.  There is also a separate PNC cover available featuring all six new coins, supplied in a presentation folder.

    This cover is priced at £50 plus p+p. Issued today, these collections usually sell out quite quickly so an early visit to Westminster website is recommended.  You can click on the above images to visit the Westminster Collection web site and buy directly from them. Sadly, there are no complete sheets of these stamps available to buy separately.  (01/07)

  • Centenary of Royal Corps of Signals

    The British Forces Philatelic Service has released a new themed Smilers stamp sheet, a somewhat rare event of itself these days, commemorating the Centenary of the Royal Corps of Signals. The sheet uses the Red, White and Blue Smilers sheet design with a label design commemorating the event. Also available is a commemorative cover featuring the 1st class  Smilers stamp and label tied to cover by a special hand-stamp dated 28th June 2020.

    TS-582

    TS-582-FDC

    The sheet is priced £59.95 + £2.25 (UK) / £9.95 (Overseas) post and packing. Just click on the above image to go directly to our eBay store where we have the last of these for sale. (27/06)

  • Music Giants IV - Another One Bites the Dust!

    Royal Mail seem to have taken note of the iconic Queen track  "Don't stop me now" in preparing their latest media-driven stamp issue! 

    Royal Mail is issuing a set of stamps and Miniature Sheet on 9th July to celebrate the band, Queen, one of the UK’s greatest music legends on the 50th anniversary of its formation. With over three decades’ worth of hits to their name it is not surprising that there is a Queen song for everybody. What is extraordinary however is the fact that the time they spent with their iconic frontman, Freddie Mercury, has been eclipsed by the time since he sadly passed away, yet the band remains as popular as ever.

    This issue is probably Royal Mail's biggest ever with every conceivable base covered -  something for everyone but, due to the sheer cost, not everything for someone! 

    In addition to a set of 8 new stamps - 4 x 1st and 4 x £1.63 in the now usual LP style there is a mini sheet sporting another 5 new stamps 3 x 1st and 2 x £1.63 with one of the 1st class stamps being definitive size!  This opens up all sorts of possibilities for other products featuring definitive sized stamps.

    But, before we delve into the detail, let me introduce you to the stamps and mini sheet.

    Other products include: Presentation Pack; Prestige Stamp Book; three different First Day Covers featuring stamps, mini sheet and the definitive pane from the prestige stamp booklet; a set of Maxi Cards,  a press sheet featuring 15 mini sheets; a retail stamp booklet featuring 2 of the LP stamps (but self-adhesive) and 4 x  1st class Machin's; two fan sheets, at least three coin covers; and other souvenir packs featuring these stamps plus (drum roll), and this is what you have been waiting for, two generic/collector stamp sheets featuring stamps and labels in A4 sized sheet formats.

    GS-126

    GS-127

    Whilst we are pretty sure that we didn't see a cuddly toy in the above list of new products (it covers just about everything else) I wouldn't rule one out at some point!

    The two Fan sheets announced are in the style of previously issued stylized LP covers and we will stock both of these in addition to the two generic sheets shown above.

    All four sheets are available to pre-order from our Ridgewood Stamp Shop website.  Just click on any of the four images above to go to the relevant web page.  We will dispatch them on 8th July ensuring that these reach you at the earliest opportunity.  (23/06) 

  • Spring Stampex Sheet released!

    As you may be aware the very last Business Customised Smilers sheet produced by Royal Mail for the PTS was scheduled to be issued during London 2020 which, due to the Corona Virus outbreak, was postponed to 2022 earlier this year.  The PTS then decided to hold it over until Autumn Stampex 2020 but that too has sadly been cancelled.

    As a result the PTS have decided to release the sheet for sale to the general public and I can now offer this sheet for £19.95 +pp - just click on the image below to visit our online shop and to buy your sheet whilst stocks last.

    BC-522

  • Rovers Return!

    No, not the return of premiership football to our screen but another Royal Mail mega media issue announcement commemorating the 60th anniversary of the UK's oldest running TV soap Coronation Street.  The issue, due out on 28th May 2020 includes a set of eight stamps 2 x 2nd, 2 x 1st, 2 x £1.42 and 2 x £1.63. Also a mini sheet featuring four different stamps - 2 x 1st and 2 x £1.42.  There is a Presentation Pack, retail booklet, various first day covers and, of particular interest to this column, a Generic "Collector" stamp sheet featuring the 2 x 1st class stamps from the set of eight. 

      

    GS-125

    The Collector Sheet is printed in Litho and Self Adhesive, whereas the same stamps in the stamps set are Litho and water activated gummed. There are also three so-called character sheets which collectors may confuse with the Collector Sheet. These are effectively mini sheets of single stamp designs from the set, and designed to appeal to Corrie fans everywhere.  Additionally there is a press sheet for folks with big albums and deep pockets and various other collectibles to keep you happy through these strange times.  We will, of course, be stocking the collector sheet which can be found in our eBay store or at our on-line web store.  (12/05)

  • George Kreizler/Rushstamps - New Finds?

    In the previous paragraph I featured four proofs of Themed sheet designs proposed by  George Kriezler/Rushstamps.  For some readers this topic may not be that familiar so I thought I would offer a brief re-cap of these interesting stamps sheets.

    George Kriezler is an employee of Rushstamps who, we understand from that source, was responsible for the design, production and marketing of all the overprinted themed sheets to come out of the Xmerimental and Artizan stables during the period 2006-2012. Not wishing to personally handle the sales, George Kriezler arranged for these sheets to be sold through a third party, Gary Harrop,  principally through eBay but also from a dedicated but now defunct website - The GB Stamp Centre (GBSC).  

    Gary Harrop provided each sheet design sold by him, with a unique identifier which comprised a combination of letters and numerals and differed from the Smilers Catalogue Themed Sheet reference numbers I allocated to all such sheets when issued.  Later, as an aid to collectors who sometimes struggled to identify the sheet from the Smilers Cat reference alone, I produced a listing of all known sheets and matched the Harrop numbering system (GBSC) to my own and this was last updated in mid-2010. It has been available as a download from this website for some time but has not been updated since then.

    A keen Themed sheet collector reader wrote to me last year and provided me with additional information on four, apparently unrecorded, sheets not included in my list. Here is a summary of that information.

    Four sheets identified as follows:

    Easter 2012 - a Russian version. I got this one two years ago and was told then it was A110. The RM number is 4385737b from a "print run" of 12. (TSL 228 A104 has the same RM number but with letter a) rather than b)

    520th Discovery of America 4419190a from a "print run" of 10 (TSL 216 A93 has the same number but with letter c)

    520th Discovery of America 4385730e from a "print run" of 10 (TSL 220 A98 has the same number but with letter g and TSL 243 A108 with with letter a)

    200th Anniversary of Charles Dickens 4385730f from a "print run" of 5 and came with a typical folder (for when sheets are issued with a folder).

    Given that these were (probably) produced towards the end of George's "active" period, I did attempt to verify the information surrounding these sheets from Rushstamps (Allan Grant) but have been advised that all information surrounding these sheets was handed over to a private collector/dealer.  

    Given that these sheets had not previously appeared on the market I have concluded, rightly or wrongly,  that these sheets were probably never made available to the general stamp buying public by either George Kriezler or Gary Harrop and have since "emerged" from the third party collector/dealer. 

    Whilst I can appreciate their artistry I will continue to classify them as one-off's similar to the many thousands of unique personalised sheets produced by and for the general public using the erstwhile Royal Mail Smilers service. If I have this wrong, please write to me and advise who you purchased the sheet from and when and if possible the price you paid, and I will reconsider adding this to the reference list of these sheets. (17/04)    

  • More Smilers Proofs ... 

    Last year in this column (see archives) I featured a number of proof designs of Business Customised sheets that didn't happen for one reason or another. This week I want to feature four designs sent to me featuring ideas for Themed Sheet designs that didn't make the cut.  

    Some of the proposed designs are marked Xmerimental Marketing others Artizan - all  come from the George Kreizler/Rushstamps stable. I hope seeing these images brightens up your day and if anyone has any other stories, information or images they wish to share with the readership of these columns please feel free to contact me and I will happily post for the benefit of all.  (11/04)

  • Coronation Sheet! 

    Trade information relating to Royal Mail's Coronation Street issue planned for May continues to emerge and as a result I have had to update my predictions for the issue of collector/generic sheets for 2020, as published at the foot of this page.  

    I will leave you to draw your own conclusions but due to Royal Mail's stamp issue embargo, in place until 12th May 2020, I am sworn to secrecy! More later! (27/03)

  • VE Day PNC Collection from Westminster

    The Westminster Collection appear to have been quite busy with another coin cover collection just announced. Today they have announced a set of seven coin covers bearing Isle of Man 75th Anniversary of VE Day commemorative 50p coins and specially commissioned Red, White and Blue (Union Flag) Smilers stamps.

    This collection follows the same format of recent PNC/Smiler Cover collections released by Westminster Collection and is priced at £90 +pp from The Westminster Collection.  You can click on the above image to visit the Westminster Collection web-page. (24/03)

  • Rupert Bear PNC Collection from Westminster

    The Westminster Collection has announced today the availability of a new set of five coin covers bearing Isle of Man Rupert the Bear commemorative 50p coins and what looks like Northern Ireland Smilers stamps.

    This collection follows the format of similar PNC/Smiler Cover collections released by Westminster Collection over the past couple of years and is priced at £70 +pp from The Westminster Collection.  These covers are normally a sell out so, if this is your thing, better getting cracking. You can click on the above image to visit the Westminster Collection web-page. (09/03)

  • Keep Smiling and carry on!

    Whilst acknowledging the valiant efforts of all our emergency services in tackling the threat posed by the Coronovirus, I have to say that I am pretty miffed at all the panic, doom and gloom spouted by the news media in this country.  So, in an effort to lighten the tone just a smidgen I thought I would share this little ditty from the late, great Spike Milligan.

    SMILE by Spike Milligan

    Smiling is infectious, You can catch it like the flu

    When someone smiled at me today, I started smiling too

    I walked around the corner, and someone saw me grin

    When he smiled I realised, I had passed it on to him

    I thought about the smile, and then realised its worth

    A single smile like mine, could travel round the earth

    So if you feel a smile begin, don’t leave it undetected

    Start an epidemic, and get the world infected.

    In other words, Keep Smiling!  (05/03)

  • Bicentenary of the Royal Astronomical Society

    Encouraged by the Royal Mail Visions of the Universe stamp issue earlier this month commemorating the 200th Anniversary of the Royal Astronomical Society, we at Ridgewood have been inspired to produce our own tribute in the form of a new Customised Smilers Pack which is now available from our web-store.

      

    BC-521

    We have produced a limited edition Customised Smilers Pack commemorating the Bicentenary of the Royal Astronomical Society featuring the stamps and labels that originally appeared on our 2009 International Year of Astronomy business sheet. Each sheet comes with an informative information card with historical details of the Society and its plans to  commemorate its Bicentennial year.

    The Customised Smilers Pack is available for immediate dispatch and is priced at £39.95 +pp and is available for purchase from our web-store. Just click on either of the above images to go to the appropriate web page at our Ridgewood Stamp Sheets web store. (28/02)

  • London 2020 - the Last Business Customised Stamp Sheet?

    In this, the 20th Anniversary year of advent of the Smilers stamp sheets, The Philatelic Traders Society (PTS), has unveiled what may prove to be the last ever Business Customised Stamp sheet due for issue at the London 2020 International Stamp Exhibition to be held at the Business Design Centre, London between 2-9 May 2020. 

    BC-522

    The sheet was commissioned in the months before the withdrawal of the Business Customised Stamp sheet service and at a time when Spring Stampex 2020 was still on the cards.  It is clear from the sheet design that the producers originally intended to make this sheet available at the Spring STAMPEX 2020 event, originally scheduled to be held this month.  This event was subsequently cancelled so the sheet has been held back until the London 2020 event.  Some of us mourn the demise of these business sheets, others may celebrate, but given the shows international appeal I hope they will generate renewed interest in these products and encourage Royal Mail to reintroduce some form of personalised postage in the years to come. (28/02)

  • The One That Got Away! 

    A hitherto unidentified Business Smilers sheet was sold on eBay about two months ago  and was bought by a keen collector for c. £20!  He got a bargain in our view.  When we learned of this sheet we did a bit of digging to see if we could uncover the story and identify further examples. We have had it confirmed by the China Construction Bank (London) Ltd. that the sheet was indeed commissioned by them around August 2014 and was given away to invitees at the opening of the Bank's subsidiary in London in the Autumn of 2014.  

    BC-520

    The seller of the sheet was a former bank relationship manager who was invited to the opening of the London subsidiary of the China Construction Bank and this sheet was given out as a gift to all invitees. There were c. 200 people at the event so potentially 200 copies could have been printed at a guess. However, according to the seller, and in his opinion, most of the sheets would have been used or destroyed. They were apparently given out as part of a bundle of publicity material and many delegates may not even know they existed. That's life!  For the benefit of the lucky buyer of this sheet we have given it a reference number BC-520 but for everyone else, don't hold your breath. (28/02)

  • Royal Mail's Smilers Leaflets - Updated Listing 

    It has been a while since I mentioned Smilers Order Form/Publicity Leaflets, yet alone updated the list in my catalogue or the Smilers Note No. 6. For those not familiar with the term, Smilers Publicity Leaflets are those counter leaflets,  available from the Post Office/Royal Mail, setting out the range and cost of personalised Smilers sheets and providing details of how to order these by post. Initially with just a single stamp sheet design to choose from the need for an informative leaflet was not that great but as the issues increased so did the choice and with it the need for a process by which customers could select and order their chosen personalised stamp sheets. 

    The first of these Smiler Leaflets/order forms was issued in May 2002 although a few "special" forms pre-dated even this leaflet.  This was soon followed by an updated leaflet in September 2002 which now included the 2002 Christmas cracker stamp. 

           

    Two Smilers leaflets from 2002

    Since that date Royal Mail has updated these leaflets periodically including details of new personalised stamps as these became available and/or revising the tariffs as the cost of the personalised sheets changed.  

    The second edition of the Smilers Catalogue included an illustrated section covering these leaflets up to the time of publication in 2010 and Royal Mail continued to issue these leaflets up to about 2014 when they seemed to disappear. What you might not realise is that there are over 50 different versions of these leaflets to collect including Welsh language versions and these leaflets make an interesting addition to any Smilers collection. 

    As an aide to collectors I have had a go at updating my initial list of these leaflets and provide the following by way of an update.  

    I have also listed some of these for sale in my e-shop. If these are of interest to you please take a look at my e-shop Smilers Publicity Leaflets web page.

    Seq.  PO /RM reference Description Issued
    1 01CA HGFEDC8 Christmas 2000 leaflet with reply paid envelope Nov-00
    2 02AAE  Smilers - a first class idea Jan-01
    3 N/A WH Smith / personalise your stamps Feb-01
    4 02CCAA  With Occasions from Royal Mail  May-01
    5 02 QVA Go Crackers with Smilers for Christmas  Nov-01
    6 V1/750k/MW/May02/03JCAA So what special story would you tell with your Smilers May-02
    7 V1/750k/MW/May02/03JDAA So what special story would you tell with your Smilers May-02
    8 V2/3.72m/MW/Sept02/03JAB Give Your Stamps a personal touch Sep-02
    9 V2/3.72m/MW/Sept02/03JAC Give Your Stamps a personal touch Sep-02
    10 03UMA 10/02 Smilers, make Christmas or any occasion special Oct-02
    11 V3/1.6m/MW/Dec02/03JAN Give Your Stamps that really personal touch Dec-02
    12 V3/1.6m/MW/Dec02/03JAU Give Your Stamps that really personal touch Dec-02
    13 V3/1.6m/MW/Dec02/03JAV Give Your Stamps that really personal touch Dec-02
    14 V4/605k/SE/Jun03   S&C324DL Put a Smiler on it May-03
    15 V5/1137k/SE/Sep03   S&C347DL Smilers - New Christmas Stamps Sep-03
    16 V5/950k/SE/Jan04   S&C357DL Put a Smiler on it Jan-04
    17 V6/950/TL/Jun04   RMMKG003DL Smilers- with us its personal Feb-04
    18 945/TL/September04. RMMKG020DL Smilers - Your image, Your Stamp Sep-04
    19 100/TL/March05. RMMKG074DL Smilers - Your favourite photo with real stamps Mar-05
    20 560/PJM/June05. RMMKH001DL Smilers - Your favourite photo with real stamps Apr-05
    21 560/PJM/June05. RMMKH002DL Smilers - Your favourite photo with real stamps (Welsh)  Apr-05
    22 924/PM/Nov05. RMMH053 06 GMA Smilers - Turn a Special Moment into a Special Stamp (red) Apr-05
    23 924/PM/Nov05. RMMH053 06 GJA Smilers - Turn a Special Moment into a Special Stamp (red) Apr-05
    24 924/PM/Nov05. RMMH054 Smilers - Turn a Special Moment into a Special Stamp (English/Welsh) Apr-05
    25 62/PM/Feb06, 06 JIA Smilers - Turn a Special Moment into a Special Stamp (white) Feb-06
    26 62/PM/Feb06, 06 JJA Smilers - Turn a Special Moment into a Special Stamp (white) Feb-06
    27 62/PM/Feb06, 06 JKA Smilers - Turn a Special Moment into a Special Stamp (white) Feb-06
    28 150/PM/May06, RMH092, 07 JCA Smilers - Turn a Special Moment into a Special Stamp (white + Robin) May-06
    29 150/PM/May06, RMH093, 07 JCA Smilers - Turn a Special Moment into a Special Stamp (white + Robin) (English/Welsh) May-06
    30 150/PM/Sept06, RMJ046DL, 07 JLA Smilers - Turn a Special Moment into a Special Stamp (Thanks stamp on front)  Sep-06
    31 150/PM/Sept06, RMJ046DL, 07 JNA Smilers - Turn a Special Moment into a Special Stamp (Thanks stamp on front)  Sep-06
    32 RMJ101DL 08JCA Smilers - Turn a Special Moment into a Special Stamp (Harry Potter Stamp)  May-07
    33 RMJ102DL  08JBA Smilers - Turn a Special Moment into a Special Stamp (Harry Potter Stamp) (Welsh) May-07
    34 RMJ117DL 08JLN Smilers - Share your Magical Christmas Moments with Smilers Oct-07
    35 RMJ118DL 08JLN Smilers - Share your Magical Christmas Moments with Smilers (Welsh) Oct-07
    36 RMP 005 DL  08JLN Smilers - Share a Special Moment Jun-08
    37 RMP 006 DL  08JLN Smilers - Share a Special Moment (Welsh) Jun-08
    38 RM116  09JAB Smilers - Starring You…. Oct-08
    39 RM509 DL  09JLN Smilers - Share a Special Moment May-09
    40 RM510 DL  09JLN Smilers - Share a Special Moment (Welsh) Jun-09
    41 RMX20 DL  10JAB Smilers - Let it Shine Oct-09
    42 RMX21 DL  10JAB Smilers - Let it Shine (Welsh) Oct-09
    43 RMSMIL01 10JBB Smilers - Share a Special Moment (Happy Birthday Stamp and Cut-out) Jan-10
    44 RMSMIL02 10JBB Smilers - Share a Special Moment (Happy Birthday Stamp and Cut-out) (Welsh) Jan-10
    45 RMSMIL03 10JBB Smilers - Share a Special Moment (Hello Stamp and Cut-out) May-10
    46 RMSMIL04 10JBB Smilers - Share a Special Moment (Hello Stamp and Cut-out) (Welsh) May-10
    47 RMSMIL2010 11JBB Smilers - Share a Special Moment (Walace and Gromit Stamp and Cut-out) Oct-10
    48 RMSMIL2010W 11JBB Smilers - Share a Special Moment (Walace and Gromit Stamp and Cut-out) (Welsh) Oct-10
    49 RMSMIL05 12JLN Smilers - Share a Special Moment (Hello Stamp and Cut-out) May-10
    50 RMSMIL2011 12JAB Smilers - Share a Special Moment (2011 Christmas Stamp and Cut-out) Oct-11
    51 RMSMIL2011W 12JAB Smilers - Share a Special Moment (2011 Christmas Stamp and Cut-out)  (Welsh) Oct-11
    52 RMSMIL2012 13JAB Smilers - Share a Special Moment (2012 Christmas Stamp and Cut-out) Oct-12
    53 NIL REF  14JAB Smilers - Sending smiles is easy - and now available for iphone and Android (Best Wishes) Oct-13
    54 NIL REF  Smilers - Sending smiles is easy - and now available for iphone and Android (LOVE) May-14
    55 NIL REF  Smilers - Sending smiles is easy - and now available for iphone and Android (Christmas 2014) Oct-14

    If anyone has others not listed and issued since 2002 please get in touch and if possible  provide a scan of the leaflet back and front. Also, I would particularly like to hear from anyone with a spare copy of Item 53 in the above list.

    Although I have a digital image of this leaflet I do not have a physical copy and it would be great to complete my collection of these interesting Smilers ephemera! (22/02)

  • New James Bond Stamp issue announced 

    The 25th James Bond film is due for release in April 2020. To mark this event Royal Mail has announced another mega media issue in the guise of new James Bond stamps and collectibles. The basic stamp issue comprises a set of six stamps - 3 x 1st and 3 x £1.60. In addition to this there is a plethora of other goodies on offer including:  a mini sheet; a retail booklet; a presentation pack; a prestige stamp booklet; a limited edition prestige booklet, various framed incarnations of the foregoing and an A4 landscape collector/smiler sheet comprising 10 of Royal Mail’s new James Bond stamps,  surprisingly in a gummed paper format, accompanied by an attached label featuring an iconic moment and vehicle from across the films. 

     

     

    GS-124

    The collector/smiler sheet includes: 3 x 1st Daniel Craig stamps, 3 x £1.60 Sean Connery stamps, 1 x 1st Pierce Brosnan stamp, 1 x 1st Timothy Dalton stamp, 1 x £1.60 Roger Moore stamp and 1 x £1.60 George Lazenby stamp The background is taken from the opening title sequence of Casino Royale and has the official 007 logo. 

    We will of course be stocking the collector/smilers sheet priced £19.95 plus p+p and can also offer a set of four First Day Covers bearing all 10 smilers stamps/labels priced at £24.95 +p+p. To pre-order any of the foregoing products please e-mail me and advise your requirements or alternatively to buy the Smilers sheet now please click on the collector sheet image to visit our e-shop where this product is available on-line. (18/02)

  • 20th Anniversary of Royal Mail Smilers  

    With London 2020 fast approaching, it is perhaps timely to note that the Post Office, as it was back then,  introduced the Smilers personalised stamp sheets 20 years ago this year! Can it really be that long?  

    Despite their recent demise (I am still hopefully they will back a comeback at some point in the future) they are still avidly collected by a small but keen band of dedicated collectors who perhaps delight in their difference and quirkiness.  Less staid perhaps than their Victorian and Edwardian predecessors and for sure more bulky to house and collect.  It was perhaps their popularity that was the cause of their demise!  At the peak of collector interest the volume and frequency that these collectible Smilers sheets were being produced was probably what caused their ultimate downfall, proving that you can have too much of a good thing! 

    But enough of the past, looking to the present, the issue for us now was how to mark the 20th Anniversary of Smilers when Royal Mail have ceased production!  Well we at Ridgewood love a challenge and have produced a limited edition (20) Smilers Presentation packs containing an overprinted "Smiles" sheet (GS005) with additional border printing. We have also included an information card providing details of the Smilers Story to date, all individually numbered on the sheet and on the A4 card, and protected in a cellophane sleeve.

       

    To find out more,  or to buy this sheet,  please click on either of the above images to go directly to our web shop. This Smilers Stamp Pack is priced at £49.95 - not bad when you think an ordinary GS005 sheet is catalogued by Gibbons at £160! Until Royal Mail bring back the personalised Smilers may I suggest you Keep Smiling! (12/02)   

  • London 2020 

    As you know later this year the PTS will be hosting the London 2020 International Stamp Exhibition at the Business Design Centre in London. Consequently there will be no Spring Stampex 2020 this month to tempt us out of our self imposed winter hibernation.  Instead, for those of us suffering from a taste of the winter blues I hope the following news will brighten your day.

    I have produced a limited edition Themed Smilers sheet celebrating the impending arrival of London 2020 and can now offer these for sale priced £39.95. Each sheet is individually numbered and features a London 2020 label, also reproduced in the margin.

    The Smilers stamps are also available in a limited edition Smilers Presentation pack priced £9.95 and both items are available to buy on-line now by clicking on the images above. 

    In addition, I can reveal that Royal Mail are planning the issue of a new  exhibition/ Smilers generic sheet to coincide with the show in a similar format and design to previous Royal mail exhibition souvenir sheets. The sheet design contains the show logo and 20 x First Class ‘Hello’ stamps with adjoining labels featuring images of Mail Rail, the Post Office Underground Railway and set against a background of the same. The sheet is A4 size.  

    GS-TBA

    Issue date is assumed to be 2nd May 2020 but this has yet to be confirmed. Our price for this sheet is likely to be c. £22.95 +pp ( a Royal mail tariff price rise is expected at the end of March and this may affect our price slightly) and any reader wishing to reserve a copy of this sheet for their collection should contact me by e-mail . Just click on the link provided in the first instance and advise your requirements. (01/02) 

    Post Note: Following the postponement of London 2020 this sheet has been postponed until 2022 when the show is expected to occur. More news later (12/05) 

  • Shaken not stirred! 

    Information relating to Royal Mail's mega March issue (James Bond) continues to emerge and as a result I have had to update my predictions for the issue of collector/generic sheets at the foot of the page.  I will leave you to draw whatever conclusions you might wish to make until the lifting of Royal Mail's information embargo date of 18th February 2020! More later! (01/02)

  • Tomb Raider Generic Sheet 

    Royal Mail's first issue for 2020 celebrates classic Video Games! Honestly!

    Clearly nothing of significant interest happened in history to fire Royal Mail's imagination sufficiently so they have adopted yet another pop-culture theme for their first issue of 2020,  presumably in the hope that this will add to their bottom line rather than perhaps the birth bicentenary of Florence Nightingale or Beethoven, not to mention artist Sir John Tenniel, original illustrator of Alice in Wonderland!  Casting even further back 2020 is the 500th anniversary of the birth of Renaissance Master, Raphael. 

    According to Royal Mail ....

    "The roots of Britain’s £4 billion video game industry can be traced back to the very early 1980s. In this stamp issue we look at some of the best loved games, many of which were worldwide successes, and mark the UK contribution to ‘gaming’ during the 80’s and 90’s and up to the modern day. This classic video games issue will evoke nostalgia and celebrate the joy of gaming through landmark UK-designed games."

    It's yet another expensive issue for the GB collector and I think you will be lucky to see any of the stamps and other products in use on mail.  There is the usual multi- denominational stamp issue, mini sheet, presentation pack and retail booklet and a collector/generic sheet based on the stamps only available in the mini sheet.  

    The collector/generic sheet is based on the Tomb Raider theme and contains 10 of the miniature sheet stamps and 10 labels. The labels all feature Tomb Raiders main character Lara Croft in different scenes from the video game.  The sheet is produced as a self-adhesive sheet printed in Litho by ISP/Cartor making these stamps different varieties to the mini-sheet gummed issue but Gibbons will not list them as they are sold at a premium over face value.  I wouldn't mind if Gibbons were consistent but they are not on this point.   Yet another example of Neanderthal thinking imposed by Gibbons on the British collecting pubic.  Royal Mail are moving towards more and more premium products whilst Gibbons refuse to list them - how daft! 

    GS-123

    Whilst I am sure this foray into pop-culture by Royal Mail is not sustainable or even desirable, it is nevertheless a collectible stamp sheet and as such we can supply this from stock priced at £19.95 plus p+p. Please click on the above image to go to you web-store to purchase this sheet. (07/01) 

  • Royal Mail Stamp Programme 2020   

    Royal Mail have announced details of their proposed 2020 stamp issue programme as follows. 

    • Video Games - 21/01/20 
    • Visions of the Universe - 11/02/20 
    • James Bond - 17/03/20 
    • The Romantic Poets - 07/04/20 
    • End of the Second World War - 08/05/20 
    • London 2020 - 08/05/20 
    • Coronation Street - 28/05/20 
    • Roman Britain - 18/06/20 
    • Queen - 09/07/20 
    • The Palace of Westminster - 30/07/20 
    • Sherlock - 18/08/20 
    • Rupert Bear - 03/09/20 
    • Brilliant Bugs - 01/10/20 
    • Christmas - 03/11/20
    • Star Trek - 13/11/20 
    • Lunar New Year Generic Sheet - Year of the Ox (not officially acknowledged at time of writing but likely in my view)

    Other 2020 Exhibition products include; London2020 mini-sheet plus a Declaration of Arbroath mini-sheet but apparently neither of these will contain new stamps. 

    The issues highlighted in bold are those with possible interest for Smilers Collectors - my guess and not an official confirmation.  No further details exist so we shall all have to wait and see what 2020 brings! (07/01)

Smilers® is a trademark of Royal Mail Group Limited

Keep Smiling!

 
                                    Last updated: September 22, 2020