Norvic Philatelics - GB New Stamps and Special Postmarks

A British Journey - Northern Ireland - 16 March 2004

The second in a series of 10 sets of stamps in the series 'A British Journey' takes our journey over the water to Northern Ireland. The first set was The Beauty of Scotland issue in 2003, and a set featuring the landscape of Wales was be issued on 15 June 2004, and the series moved into England in January 2005.

Ely Island, Lower Lough Erne The Giant's Causeway, Antrim Coast Slemish Valley, Antrim Mountains
2nd class - Ely Island, Lower Lough Erne 1st class - The Giant's Causeway, Antrim Coast 'E' rate - Slemish Valley, Antrim Mountains
Banns Road, Mourne Mountains Glenelly Valley, Sperrins Islandmore, Strangford Lough
42p Banns Road, Mourne Mountains 47p Glenelly Valley, Sperrins 68p Islandmore, Strangford Lough

The first 'special' stamps with Northern Ireland subjects were issued in 1966 and showed the Antrim Mountains on the 6d value. Previously, in 1964, the Geographical Congress issue included a stamp showing the Belfast shipbuilding yards, and these were followed by the 1970 Cottage Architecture (Ulster Thatch). Carrickfergus Castle appears on the 2/6d definitive and was later to be repeated on the 1 decimal castles.
The first commemorative stamps issued after decimalisation in 1971 were the 'Ulster Paintings' issue for the Ulster Exhibition in Belfast. It seems that political sensitivities precluded an Irish connection in some issues, including the Medieval Warriors of 1974, and European Architectural Heritage Year in 1975. As Northern Ireland is not part of Great Britain, there was no 'Irish' stamp in the British Cultural Traditions set of 1976, nor the 1978 British Architecture set. The 1979 Dogs included an Irish Setter, and the Giant's Causeway was shown on the 22p National Trusts 1981 stamp, later to be repeated as a 35p imprinted stamp on a postcard included in the Northern Ireland Prestige Book. The Irish Guards are shown in the 1983 Army set and an Irish Moiled Cow in a set entitled 'British' Cattle in 1984. The Bicentenary of the Mail Coach included the Holyhead and Liverpool coach which carried the mail to Ireland. The 1986 Christmas stamps included Welsh and Scottish but not Irish scenes. The first set almost totally devoted to Northern Ireland was the 1990 set commemorating the Bicentenary of the Armagh Observatory and the centenary of the British Astronomical Association. 1994 paintings by Prince Charles included the Mourne Mountains in County Down (30p), but the Summertime Events later that year were confined to English, Welsh and Scottish scenes. The post office at Ballyroney, County Down, featured in the 1997 Sub-Post Office set and the lighthouse at St John's Point also in County Down, appeared in 1998. The 2000 series of Millennium Projects included the ECOS Project at Ballymena, the Strangford Stone at Killyleagh, the St Patrick Centre at Downpatrick and several nationwide projects. The 2002 'British' Coastlines issue included a view of the rocky coast of Portrush, County Antrim and the Irish explorer Ernest Shackleton was shown on the 2003 Extreme Endeavours 42p stamp.

Self-adhesive book

The self-adhesive book will contain 2 x Giant's Causeway 1st class stamps and 4 x 1st class gold Machin definitives.
This is (officially) the last self-adhesive book which Royal Mail will cancel on First Day Covers as they have decided that the quality of the postmark reproduction on the booklets is not up to the required standard.

Technical details:
The stamps are printed in gravure by Joh Enschede en Zonen, perf 14.5, with PVA gum.
All images except FDCs are taken from Royal Mail's Philatelic Bulletin and Postmark Bulletin, and are Copyright 2004 by Royal Mail.

Norvic Exclusive First Day Cover

We have an exclusive FDC for this issue with a design complimenting that used for the The Beauty of Scotland issue in 2003, with a choice of postmarks.

Norvic Philatelics FDC for the British Journey Northern Ireland stamps

Cover with 6 stamps from sheets - 6.75.

Also available for thematic or topical collectors who want something other than FDCs:
Mint set of 6 - 3.50       Booklet - 2.95; cylinder booklet 3.50
PO FDCs also available - price on request.

All prices exclude postage & packing. If you have any questions - please email us.

Special Postmarks
These postmarks were available for the date of issue and all should be available on first day covers. However some will be more plentiful than others, and some may only be available on specific 'official covers', with a very few on PO fdcs in collections. It may be many years before these appear on the resale market.

On the same day Royal Mail issue a Prestige Stamp Book entitled 'Letters by Night' paying tribute to the Travelling Post Office service. Postmarks on that page could also be used on covers for the stamps shown on this page.

flax text Irish harp Celtic design Crowned 'hand of Ulster' symbol
Ref FD409
Philatelic Bureau Official Postmark
Ref FD410
Garrison, Enniskillen Official FD Postmark *
Ref S8975
Beautiful Britain, Belfast, Northern Ireland
Ref S8973
White Park Bay, Bushmills Antrim, The National Trust
Ref S8974
Self-adhesives - N Ireland NVI Stamp Book, Bushmills
shamrock shamrock shamrock on map flag above Giant's Causeway shamrock
Ref L8989
A British Journey - Ireland Place, London N22
Ref M8990
The Causeway, Birmingham
Ref S8994
The Glens of Antrim, Glengariff
Ref S8995
Bushmills, Northern Ireland
Ref S8998
musical instruments Northern Ireland Coat of Arms 'Red Hand' of Northern Ireland Celtic cross four leafed clover
Ref S9029
N Ireland A British Journey - Omagh, County Tyrone
Ref S9024
N Ireland A British Journey - Ballymena, Co. Antrim
Ref S9025
N Ireland A British Journey - Bushmills, Co. Antrim
Ref S9026
N Ireland A British Journey - Newcastle, Co Down
Ref S9028
N Ireland A British Journey - Downpatrick, Co Down
Carved figure Giant's Causeway - rock formation tower Belfast City Hall Hunt Class warship
Ref S9027
N Ireland A British Journey - Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh
Ref S4414
Giant's Causeway, Bushmills, Northern Ireland (permanent variable date postmark
Ref L9003
Saint Molaise, Tower Hill, London EC3
Ref S4641
Royal Mail Belfast permanent variable date postmark
Ref S9023
Northern Ireland Squadron - Hunt Class - Belfast

* "Garrison was chosen as the special handstamp design because the post office branch is the most westerly in the UK and Northern Ireland" according to a Royal Mail spokesman. See Impartial Reporter.

This page updated 7 March 2004 [17.1.05]

2004 stamp issues
13 January Classic Steam Locomotives 30 January Hong Kong Stamp Expo 2004 Smilers Sheet 3 February Occasions/Greetings stamps and Smilers sheet 26 February Lord of the Rings 16 March Letters by Night Prestige Book (TPOs)
A British Journey - Northern Ireland
1 April New definitives, including airmail postcard book of stamps 6 April Centenary of the Entente Cordiale 13 April Ocean Liners 11 May 40p Country definitives 25 May Royal Horticultural Society
15 June British Journey - Wales 29 July Rule Britannia Smilers Sheet 10 August Royal Society of Arts 16 September Woodland Animals 5 October Scottish Parliament Building
12 October Crimean War 2 November Father Christmas