Norvic Philatelics - GB New Stamps and Special Postmarks

Christmas - 2 November 2004

Best-selling cartoonist and author Raymond Briggs has created brand new illustrations of one of his most famous characters for this year's Christmas stamps.
Raymond Briggs was born in 1934 in London, and was educated at the local grammar school and the local art school. Following army service he went on to the Slade School of Fine Art and since leaving in 1957 he has been a freelance illustrator, book designer and writer.

His bibliography starts with The Strange House in 1961 and he had several other successes including Jim and the Beanstalk in 1970, but one of his biggest successes has been Father Christmas in 1973. Brigg's Father Christmas is a working class character, rather than a regal Santa on a throne or the owner of a factory staffed by elves. In Father Christmas Goes on Holiday (1975) our hero realises his dream of visiting warmer places. Other children's favourites include Fungus the Bogeyman (1977) which was followed in 1978 by The Snowman. The Snowman was made into an animated film in 1982 and is a firm favourite on television every year.

Although mainly regarded as writing for children, Briggs also wrote and illustrated When the Wind Blows in 1982, the story of nuclear holocaust and the unreadiness of governments, and Ethel and Ernest a biographical account of his parents' life, which is now used in schools to teach 20th century history.

Links: Toonhound Briggs FansitePenguin Books site - What Briggs says about his work and what others say about him

Christmas stamps 2004 - Father Christmas Raymond Briggs Father Christmas miniature sheet
Raymond Briggs' Father Christmas going about his work: the stamps on the miniature sheet are in the order of the story. Father Christmas starts the task of delivering presents in a calm moonlit night (2nd class), but then has to battle through windy weather (40p), use an umbrella in the rain (57p), and a torch in foggy weather (68p); he shelters from snow and hail (1.12), but by sunrise on Christmas Day all is calm again (1st class).

Father Christmas Smilers sheet All images are taken from Royal Mail's Philatelic Bulletin and Postmark Bulletin, Christmas publicity material and are Copyright 2004 by Royal Mail.

This stamp issue will consist of:
a. six self-adhesive stamps, 2nd class, 1st class, 40p, 57p, 68p, 1.12
b. conventionally-gummed miniature sheet - containing all six stamps arranged in the order of the story, rather than in value order.
c. 1st class book/sheetlet of 12 self-adhesive stamps
d. 2nd class book/sheetlet 24 self-adhesive stamps
e. 'Smilers' self-adhesive sheet of 20 containing 10 x 1st class and 10 x 2nd class Christmas stamps with just 10 different labels, although the order of labels on the right-hand 2nd class stamps differs from that on the left of the sheet. This is the first time stamps of two different values have been mixed in a Smilers sheet.
g. presentation pack with 6 sheet stamps (see below)
h. stamp cards
i. Christmas air letter in English and Welsh language versions (see below)
j. Christmas Greetings cards - these are without the face value or Queen's head: size 170x120mm.

Christmas greetings cards set of 6

Technical details: The stamps are printed in gravure by De La Rue, size 32x30mm in sheets of 50. The perforation is 14 x 14 die cut. The conventionally gummed miniature sheet is 115x105mm with conventional perforation in the same measurement.

Santa Claus distributing presents from an aeroplane ca. 1908Santa Claus, circa 1910 Norvic Exclusive First Day Covers

We have several different exclusive FDCs for this issue, for stamps, miniature sheet, and Smilers strips or singles. 

Set of 6 on Norvic FDC with postmark FD324 or W9311 - 8.95
Miniature sheet on Norvic FDC with postmark FD324 or M9307 - 8.95
Smilers pair (1 each 1st and 2nd class) on Norvic FDC with postmark W9311 - 3.95
Smilers strip of 5 1st and 5 2nd on two Norvic covers with L9304/M9307 - 9.95
Smilers strip of 5 1st and 5 2nd on two Norvic covers with Buckingham Palace postmarks - 12.95

Other products - see illustration of some at foot of page:
Mint set of 6 or Miniature Sheet - 4.25 each
Presentation pack (with set of 6) - 4.95
Booklets 1st class (12) - 4.40; 2nd class (24) - 5.95
Mint Smilers sheets 1st & 2nd class mixed - 6.95
Aerogramme, English or Welsh - 0.75
Some PO FDCs also available - 5.25.
Stamp cards 147x105mm with reproductions of the stamps (about 100x100mm) - 2.75 per set.
Christmas Greetings Cards - reproducing the stamp designs without the value and Queen's head, with the message "With best wishes for Christmas and the New Year". Size 170mm x 120mm - price 4.50 per set of 6.

All prices exclude postage & packing. Please email us.

The postmarks were available on the day of issue:
The postmarks shown here cannot be obtained after 2 November unless stated (e.g. W7102).

Father Christmas by Raymond Briggs

Father Christmas by Raymond Briggs

Father Christmas/Santa Claus

Reindeer pulling sleigh

Reindeer pulling sleigh

Ref FD323
Bureau Official Postmark: "Blooming Christmas"

Ref FD324
Bethlehem, Llandeilo Official Postmark: "Happy Christmas"

Ref L9302
Saint Nicholas & Xmas 2004 St Nicholas Road London SE18

Ref L9303
Bloomsbury London WC1

Ref L9304
Christmas Common, Watlington, Oxon


Reindeer pulling sleigh

Father Christmas/Santa Claus


Father Christmas/Santa Claus

Ref L9305
Merry Christmas and a Happy 2005 Angel Street London EC1

Ref L9306
Cold Christmas, Ware

Ref M9307
Snow Hill Birmingham

Ref N9308
Reindeer Close, Horncastle

Ref W9311
St Nicholas, Cardiff

Father Christmas

Father Christmas and chimney

Father Christmas at hearth

Father Christmas and toysack

Father Christmas on sleigh

Ref W9339
Christmas 2004, St Nicholas, Goodwick

Ref N9337
Christmas 2004, Winterley, Sandbach

Ref L9331
Christmas 2004, Christmas Street, London SE1

Ref L9332
Christmas 2004, Yule Tide Close, London, NW10

Ref L9333
Christmas 2004, Rudolph Road, London E13


 '4C' Logo

Plum Pudding

Santa and toys


Ref L9327
Noel Road, London N1

Ref L9328
Charity Christmas Card Council 4C for Charity London N1

Ref M9336
The Plum Pudding, Armitage, Rugeley Public House/Inn

Ref L9334
Christmas 2004, Toys Hill, Edenbridge

Ref W7102
Seasons Greetings, Cyfarchion Y Tymor, Bethlehem Llandeilo
In use 2 Nov - 21 Dec


Ref T9340
Father Christmas, Royal Mail, Edinburgh

Other products

Design on Royal Mail Christmas 2004 first day cover by Raymond Briggs

Part of Christmas 2004 presentation pack with cartoon story by by Raymond Briggs

Christmas 2004 air letter showing illustration by Raymond Briggs

Royal Mail FDC design by Raymond Briggs

(above) Part of Christmas 2004 presentation pack with cartoon story by by Raymond Briggs
(right) Christmas 2004 air letter showing illustration by Raymond Briggs

This page updated 22 November 2004 [16.1.05]

Any questions? please e-mail us.
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