50 Years of Special Stamps

2015 marked the 50th anniversary of the Special Stamp programme, which celebrates the UK and our national character.

Royal Mail stamps have mirrored the changes in society and culture at large. Stamps in the late 1960s celebrated the technological innovations of Britain, like the 1966 set which included the Jodrell Bank radio telescope, the hovercraft and the car industry. By 1982, stamps were commemorating the growing role of computers with Information Technology stamps depicting the then cutting-edge technology of lasers reading bar codes. This stamp is an early example of computer-assisted design. It remains Britain’s widest-ever stamp.

Popular culture has been charted by stamps. As the Sixties generation grew up, many of their influences, such as pop music, moved into the mainstream. In the 1988 stamps celebrating the bicentenary of Australian settlement, an image of John Lennon appears alongside Shakespeare to represent Britain’s cultural contribution. The Beatles moved centre stage with their own stamp issue in 2007. This featured their classic album sleeves and remains the most popular stamp issue of the last ten years, and was one of the first to feature identifiable living people.

Visit www.rmspecialstamps.com to see the collection >