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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
News - 2021
Music Giants V - Paul McCartney
Royal Mail have announced their latest mega media issue, the latest in
their Music Giants series which began back in 2010 with a stamp series featuring
classic album covers. Then it was about the iconic designs of covers but
today its all about the artist and their work. The latest helping of pop
and rock from Royal Mail is due out on 28th May 2021 and showcases the
talent and work of Sir Paul McCartney. Royal Mail have issued this
statement to coincide with this issue.
"Sir Paul McCartney is an icon of 20th century popular music and
recognised by Guinness World Records as ‘The most successful songwriter
of all time’ having written or co-written 188 charted records in the UK,
of which 91 reached the top 10 and 33 to number one and having been
awarded more than 60 gold discs. In the USA he has composed 32 number-one
singles and is a 21-time Grammy winner.
Over the course of nearly six decades, he has sold more records than
any other artist.
2021 is the 50th anniversary of the formation of solo album RAM and the
formation of the band Wings which achieved huge success as among the
biggest selling acts of the 70s with 27 US top 40 hits (beating Elton John’s
25) and five consecutive no 1 albums. The 1977 Wings single, Mull of
Kintyre, remains the UK’s biggest selling non-charity single.
Half a century after The Beatles’ split, McCartney remains a vital
figure at the centre of rock and pop, an artist whose legacy is immense
but whose work continues to generate attention and acclaim.
In celebration of the UK’s most successful songwriter and greatest
music legends, Royal Mail is releasing a new set of 8 stamps featuring
some of the albums which spanned Paul McCartney’s career and a Miniature
Sheet which reflects his passion for studio recording."
What they failed to mention in the above statement is the
plethora of other products that they are releasing. These
include: a 6 x 1st Retail stamp booklet, a prestige stamp booklet featuring
the 8 stamps new stamps from this issue, the four black and white stamps
from the mini sheet and a Machin pane featuring new M21L Machin
stamps. At least three First Day covers with either the stamps, mini
sheet or Machin Pane, oh and a cuddly toy!
There is also a limited Edition Prestige
Booklet, three fan sheets featuring these new stamps in various formats, Presentation
packs for both the stamps and a separate one for the mini sheet, a
souvenir folder with stamps affixed to unique illustrations of the artist
at work, various framed products which include the stamps and mini sheets
and (drum roll) by no means last (well alright I saved the best bit for
last), a brand new collector sheet or as we like to call them - Generic
Oh, did I mention the framed version of this sheet from
Royal Mail? No, well here it is, priced £29.99.
We will, of course, be stocking this sheet and you can
purchase this sheet by clicking on either of the above images. I
will not post them until 27th May 2021 earliest but you should
receive them in the post on the first day of issue.
Talking of first date of issue, I have also produced a
small quantity of First Day covers featuring these stamps/labels, the mini
sheet and the retail booklet as illustrated above. Just click on the image
to visit my eBay store and buy one (or more) before they all disappear!
Oh, and if you managed to get through all of the above you
might be disappointed to learn that the bit about the "cuddly
toy", well I put that in for fans of the Generation Game because it
seemed RM had overlooked it, but in truth, sadly, there isn't one! (06/05)
95th Birthday of Queen Elizabeth II - Part 2
As I was about to post Part 1 of this news update, I received an e-mail
from the Westminster Collection advising of a brand new Coin cover featuring
a brand new Smilers stamp/label. It seems that the Westminster Collection
have picked up where they left off ten years ago in commemorating the 95th
Birthday of HM Queen Elizabeth II with this beautiful but perhaps
ambitiously priced PNC cover at £95+pp.
You can purchase this cover directly from The Westminster
Collection by clicking on the image above which will take you to their
website where you can purchase this wonderfully designed and presented collectible.
95th Birthday of Queen Elizabeth II - Part 1
In 2011 the Westminster Collection commemorated the Queen's 85th and
Prince Phillip's 90th Birthdays with the issue of a Business Customised
stamp/label sheet under the banner title "Lifetime of
Service". Not quite a lifetime as it has turned out!
Sadly with the recent passing of Prince Phillip no such double celebration
will be repeated this year.
Click on above image to "buy-it-now"
The Queen is remarkable in many ways for her many achievements and accomplishments
but her fortitude and Lifetime of Service to this country and other realms
will set her apart as perhaps our greatest Monarch. It is fitting,
therefore, that Royal Mail and others mark her 95th Birthday with muted
celebration this year, just days after the passing of Prince Phillip.
Royal Mail are issuing a commemorative coin cover (PNC) featuring a
pane of eight stamps and central label, all of which have been issued
before, with the exception of 1st class Machin head which bears the iridescent
year code M21L. It will no doubt appear in Prestige Booklets to be issued
later this year so will no doubt be readily available to collectors, but
as it stands to date it is the only source of this new variety.
I have produced a very few special hand-stamp covers
featuring this pane and these are now available for purchase through my eBay
shop. Just click on the image below to access the buy-it-now
Sympathetically designed to acknowledge the recent passing
of Prince Phillip the cover picks up on the theme from ten years ago, a
celebrates a lifetime of service of both the Queen and Prince Phillip.
I have also produced two other collectibles featuring the
Smilers stamps/labels from Westminster's sheet of 10 years ago.
These are also available for purchase through my eBay shop and further
details of each are featured on the buy-it-now pages for each of these
items, which can be accessed by clicking on the images below. (20/04)
Commemorative cover featuring Royal Mail
hand-stamp dated 21st April 2021
Customised Stamp Presentation Pack
50th Anniversary of Decimalisation - Part 2
Following the airing of Part 1 of this article, see below, I was
contacted by a keen Smilers collector/contributor lamenting the inability
of marking this event with a new Smilers sheet and suggested I might like
to overprint one of the 40th Anniversary sheet instead. I think I resisted
for about 10 minutes and later that day was able to post out an
overprinted version to him. I have put a few of these on eBay and if
interested you can buy one now by clicking on the image below. Keep
50th Anniversary of Decimalisation - Part 1
It is fifty years since Britain gave up its £ s d for £ p and as one
of the last generation taught to add up in £ s d I am glad we did!
Ten years ago The Westminster Collection produced a Royal Mail Business
Customised Stamp sheet commemorating the 40th Anniversary of Britain's
Decimalisation and used this stamp/label on a series of commemorative coin
In 2014 I secured a quantity of these sheets, left over from the cover
production, and have made them available since them through this website
and my eBay store - click on the above image if interested.
You may imagine my surprise, therefore, when I spotted a set of these
coin covers for sale on eBay recently! Having the good fortune
to secure these, I thought you might like to see what they looked
The set comprised seven covers, each bearing a pre-decimal
coin and the equivalent of pre-decimal stamps, in addition to the Smilers
stamp/label tied to the cover with a special hand-stamp dated 15 February
For the 50th Anniversary, The Westminster Collection
revived this design and issued a commemorative cover featuring the newly
minted 50p commemorative coin, sadly minus the Smilers stamp/label.
This seems to have been a sell out, as recently I have
noted an alternate design available featuring a Guernsey £5 coin, similarly
priced at £25 per cover with a more expensive option available with a
sterling silver coin priced at £95.
It seemed to me to be a missed opportunity that a Smilers
stamp was not featured as part of this years 50th anniversary commemoration
so I decided to produce a pair of commemorative covers featuring both the
old 2 1/2p postcard rate and the 3p letter rate prevailing on 15th
February 1976, together with a Smilers stamp taken from the above 40th
Anniversary Business Customised Stamp sheet.
These are illustrated below and are available for
immediate purchase through m eBay web store, priced at a more modest
£4.95 per cover +pp. If these are of interest to you just click on
either of the images below to visit my eBay store! Enjoy!
Charles Dickens £2 Coin Cover Collection
The Westminster Collection have released their latest Smilers PNC Cover
collection in the guise of commemorating the 150th anniversary of the
death of Charles Dickens. The Charles Dickens Complete £2 Coin
Cover Collection combines all five official Charles Dickens £2 coins
issued by Jersey covering the great man himself and some of his most
famous novels: Great Expectations, Oliver Twist, David Copperfield, and A
Christmas Carol together with specially commissioned Royal Mail Charles
Dickens Smilers stamps/labels.
Priced at £95 per set of five covers, the collection is
not cheap but they do appear to sell well and if this is of interest to
you then an early purchase from the Westminster
Collection will avoid disappointment. (22/02)
Quelle Surprise! Only Fools and Horses
Oh mon dieu! Another mega media bundle on the horizon from
Royal Mail - due out in two weeks! Lovely Jubbly I can hear some
say - others may not be so keen. Whatever your feelings are about
Royal Mail's recent "nice little earners" stamp issues you cannot help but love their
latest subject - Only Fools and
Horses is truly a British icon and this year it celebrates its 40th anniversary.
To mark the occasion Royal Mail will be releasing a variety of stamps and
collectibles to tempt us from our furlough payments - this time
next year they'll be millionaires!
Due out on 16th February 2021, Royal Mail's code-name for
this issue was "Project Dave" which is worthy of the
subject and brought a smile to my lips when I first heard about
Trigger is just one of the many characters appearing in
this issue of eight new stamps and a mini sheet, as above. Also
included are a presentation pack, various first day covers, retail,
prestige and limited edition prestige booklets, coin covers, framed
collectibles, and a stack of knocked-off brief cases apparently. And
of course, no such issue would be complete without a Smilers event ....
Featuring two of the four new stamps from the above mini
sheet, this latest collector/Smilers sheet from Royal Mail comprises 10 x
1st class stamps and labels and in my view captures the essence of the
show perfectly. I am sure it will prove to be popular with both
stamp sheet collectors and OFAH fans alike.
We have managed to get hold of few "cushty"
stamp sheets and you can buy them now on-line from our eBay store for
delivery from 16th February by clicking on the above sheet image. They are
priced at £14.95 + pp - you know it makes sense!
Finally an apology to all the non-Brits reading this
missive, the innuendos and catch phrases will, I am sure, be totally lost
on most of you, some of which are captured in the stamp artwork - what a
"plonker" Rodney!! (02/02)
Soroptimist International Centenary
A little known organisation celebrates its centenary this year - Soroptimist
International - an international charity organisation with a UK base
in Stockport. It is a worldwide volunteer service organisation for women
who work for peace, and in particular to improve the lives of women and
Two themed Smilers sheets have been produced recently to mark this
event, together with two souvenir Smilers covers bearing the
Smiler stamps and what appears to be a special event hand-stamp dated 1st
The hand-stamp does not appear in the Royal Mail January Postmarks bulletin
nor does it appear on the Royal Mail postmarks website
so it is questionable whether this is an official hand stamp of a laser
The stamp sheets and covers have been produced my Anne
Rogers, who is John Chapman's partner (John Chapman ex: Bletchley Park
Post Office). Anne, who supports the Charity, contacted me recently and
confirmed that with John's help and his talented designer Simon, Anne had
produced the stamp sheets and envelopes to commemorate the occasion.
We will not be holding stocks of these sheets but if you would like to
order any of the above collectibles then may I suggest you contact Anne
Rogers directly on the e-mail link provided above.
A great start to the New Year and helping us to keep smiling into
Royal Mail Stamp Programme 2021
Royal Mail have announced details of their proposed 2021 stamp issue
programme as follows.
- National Parks - 14/01/21
- United Kingdom: A Celebration - 26/01/21
- Only Fools and Horses - 16/02/21
- The Legend of King Arthur - 16/03/21
- Classic Science Fiction - 15/04/21
- The Wars of the Roses - 04/05/21
- Musical Giants - Paul McCartney 26/05/21
- Dennis and Gnasher - 01/07/21
- Wild Coasts - 22/07/21
- Industrial Revolutions - 12/08/21
- British Army Vehicles - 02/09/21
- To Be Announced - 17/09/21
- Rugby Union - 19/10/21
- Christmas - 02/11/21
- Lunar New Year Generic Sheet - Year of the Tiger (not officially acknowledged
at time of writing but likely in my view)
Other 2021 Smilers sheets may include a London 2021 generic
sheet, if the planned event goes ahead. Also, the European Cup and Olympics
are scheduled to be held in 2021 (Covid-19 willing) so these may also
generate additional issues.
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 2021
2020 News Archive
I have now archived the 2020 Smilers News and
you may now download this in Adobe Acrobat .pdf format by clicking on the
above link. Keep Smiling in 2021!
I have also updated details of all generic, collector, themed and
business customised stamp sheets issued during 2020 and hopefully have not
made too many mistakes! You can find these updated listed under the New
Issues menu item at top left. (07/01)
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