Norvic Philatelics - GB New Stamps and Special Postmarks

Great Britons - 16 April 2013

Continuing the series of stamp issues depicting famous personalities, Royal Mail honours 'Great Britons' in 2013.   Britons of Distinction celebrates another selection of distinguished individuals from the realms of sport, journalism, architecture, politics and the arts.

Born in 1913 - Norman Parkinson, Vivien Leigh, Peter Cushing, Elizabeth David, Benjamin Britten, Bill Shankly, Mary Leakey, and Richard Dimbleby.
Born in 1863 - Politicians David Lloyd George and John Archer.

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The Ten Stamps

Set of 10 stamps featuring Great Britons stamps.

Row 1: Norman Parkinson, Vivien Leigh, Peter Cushing, David Lloyd George, Elizabeth David.
Row 2: John Archer, Benjamin Britten, Mary Leakey, Bill Shankly, Richard Dimbleby

The stamps - all 1st Class

Norman Parkinson (1913-1990) – photographer
Born Ronald William Parkinson Smith in 1913, he was one of the world’s most celebrated portrait and fashion photographers. In the 1930s Parkinson opened a studio with business partner, Norman Kibblewhite. When the pair split, Parkinson changed his name to that of the business – Norman Parkinson.

Vivien Leigh (1913-1967) - actress

Vivien Leigh was an English actress who won Oscars for her performances as Scarlett O’Hara in Gone With the Wind (1939) and as Blanche DuBois in A Streetcar Named Desire (1951). In 1960 Leigh married fellow actor Lawrence Olivier, reinforcing their position as one of the most powerful couples in show-business.

Peter Cushing (1913-1994) – actor

Cushing was a British actor perhaps best known for his portrayal of Sherlock Holmes for the BBC and in Hammer Film Production’s The Hound of the Baskervilles. He also played Baron Frankenstein and Dracula’s nemesis Van Helsing in several Hammer Horror Films.

Mary Leakey (1913-1996) - archaeologist and anthropologist

An eminent archaeologist and anthropologist, Leakey’s discoveries include the first Proconsul’africanus in 1948 and in 1959 the Zinjanthropus boisei (now known as Australopithecus boisei.) So significant were her finds they forced scientists to change long held views on human evolution.

David Lloyd George (1863-1945) – politician
George was Prime Minister from 1916 to 1922 and was one of politics’ most controversial radicals. Although he was born in Manchester, he was the first and only Welshman to hold the office of PM.

Benjamin Britten (1913-1936) – composer

Without doubt one of the UK’s foremost classical composers, Britten's compositions include the operas Peter Grimes (1945), The Turn of the Screw (1954) and Death in Venice (1973) and the War Requiem
first performed at the consecration of Coventry Cathedral in 1962.

John Archer (1863-1932) – politician, photographer

Archer was the first black London mayor. Born in Liverpool of Barbadian descent, he was elected Mayor of Battersea in 1913. As well as being a politician he was, for a time, a medical student and a prizewinning photographer. In his younger days, he travelled the world at least three times – meeting his wife Bertha in Canada. In the 1890s they returned to Britain and settled in Battersea.

William Shankly (1913-1981) – footballer and football manager
William ‘Bill’ Shankly was a Scottish footballer and manager, most notably of Liverpool FC. Regarded as one of football’s most successful and respected managers, Shankly was manager of Liverpool
from 1959 to 1974 leading them to triumph as First Division champions in 1964, 1966 and 1973, FA Cup winners in 1965 and 1974 and UEFA Cup winners in 1974.

Elizabeth David (1913-1992) - cookery writer

Elizabeth David was a British cookery writer whose ground-breaking cookbooks introduced the post-war British audience to such exotic ingredients as avocados, pasta, olive oil and red peppers. As a student at the Sorbonne and living at the home of a local family, she discovered her taste for French cuisine. Upon her return to England she decided to learn how to cook to enable her to recreate the food she had come to love in France. She went on to live in France, Italy, Greece, Egypt and India, where she immersed herself in local culture, learning how to cook the local dishes in her own kitchen.

Richard Dimbleby (1913-1965) – journalist and broadcaster

Richard Dimbleby was a broadcaster and journalist widely acknowledged as one of the greatest figures in British broadcasting history. He was the anchor of the BBC flagship Panorama from 1955 until 1965. He was the first live news reporter hired by the BBC and went onto become the nation's most respected commentator. Both of Dimbleby’s sons, David and Jonathan followed him into the world of broadcasting and work in news/current affairs.

Technical details and details of background images:

The stamps were designed by Together Design and are printed by Cartor Security Printing in lithography.  The 35mm square stamps are perf 14.5 in sheets of 25/50 with a phosphor background screen.  
The stamps will be issued in two sheets of 25/50 with five se-tenant designs per sheet, enabling customers to buy a vertical strip of five of any individual.


Norman Parkinson portrait © Roger George Clark/National Portrait Gallery, London, Young Velvets, Young Prices © Norman Parkinson Ltd/courtesy Norman Parkinson Archive;
Vivien Leigh portrait © Sasha/Hulton Archive/Getty Images, Gone with the Wind signage © 2002 Topham Picturepoint;
Peter Cushing portrait © Photos 12/Alamy, background imagery © Matt Stuart 2012;
David Lloyd George portrait © The Granger Collection/TopFoto, Westminster scene © Mary Evans Picture Library;
Elizabeth David portrait © 2005 TopFoto, background imagery © Melanie Acevedo;
John Archer portrait © Royal Mail 2012, Battersea Town Hall © Mary Evans Picture Library/Francis Firth;
Benjamin Britten portrait © Camera Press/Yousuf Karsh, background imagery © Britten-Pears Foundation, © Copyright 1945 by Boosey & Hawkes Music Publishers Ltd. Reproduced by permission of Boosey & Hawkes Music Publishers Ltd;
Mary Leakey portrait © LA Times, courtesy The Leakey Foundation, background imagery © Robert IM Campbell/National Geographic Stock;
Bill Shankly portrait © Central Press/Getty Images, Tommy Smith background image © Liverpool FC via Getty Images;
Richard Dimbleby portrait and background image ©

Products issued, available from Royal Mail: 

Set of 10 stamps (2 strips of 5) -- Strip of 5 from sheet 1 or sheet 2, or vertical strip of 5 of any single stamp
First day cover -- Presentation pack -- Stamp cards (set of 10)

Special Postmarks

Postmarks available for the day of issue are shown here.  These postmarks cannot be obtained after the date of issue.  The images shown here may not be to scale.

official first day postmark.

postmark with text as below.

non-pictorial Great Ness postmark.

postmark showing photographer.

postmark showing a crown.

Ref FD1312TH "I have been impelled by Curiosity" Mary Leakey, Philatelic Bureau Official Postmark

Ref FD1312PL "LIberty has restraints but no frontiers" David Lloud George Great News, Shrewsbury Official Postmark

Ref FD11312NP
Great Ness, Shrewsbury Official non-pictorial Postmark

Ref L12830
Great Britons, London SE1

Ref L12831
Great Britons London SW1

Postmark showing Sherlock Holmes.

Postmark with text as below.

Postmark with shield.

Postmark illustrated with musical score and grasshopper.

Ref M12826
Great Britons Holmes Close Birmingham

Ref L12823 'After all tomorrow is another day' A Tribute to Vivien Leigh, Brighton

Ref N12827
A Tribute to Bill Shankly - You'll Never Walk Alone

Ref L12822 Fairfield 1928-30 Benjamin Britten Centenary, Holt, Norfolk


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This page updated 3 July 2013

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