Norvic Philatelics - GB New Stamps and Special Postmarks

Pictorial Faststamps: British Flora - Spring Blooms 19 February 2014

In 2014 the Post & Go pictorial Faststamps series will be British Flora.   The three sets of Post & Go stamps being issued in 2014 will celebrate UK wild flowers and plants.

Pictorial Post & Go stamps appear in machines in UK Post Offices for defined periods of time in the year and this series is intended to provide attractive stamps that are appropriate for the season in which they are issued.

Spring Blooms
Springtime flowers mark the most profound change from the chilled depths of winter to the rebirth of spring. Every year, no matter how harsh the winter, spring flowers appear, sometimes peeking through the snow, reminding us that a new season beckons. As well as being a source of great joy and injecting colour into the countryside, these plants are vital sources of food for animals that hibernate over winter in the UK.

Sadly, each year many of these species are reducing in number, victims of changing weather and competition from more common species which thrive in polluted ecosystems. You can help rare plants by reducing your impact on the planet and joining a conservation organisation with a mission to protect them.

There will be three sets of stamps in the year.  The second set in September will show Symbolic Flowers, and the third issue will show Winter Greenery.   Post & Go terminals allow customers to weigh their letters and packets, pay for and print postage labels and stamps without the need to visit the counter. The first Post & Go machine was trialled in The Galleries Post Office® in Bristol in 2008.  The labels will be used in Post & Go machines at Post Offices around the country, and from new Royal Mail Series II machines at Spring Stampex.  The labels can be obtained with 6 different service indicators: 1st class up to 100g & 1st class Large up to 100g, Europe up to 20g, Worldwide up to 10g and 20g, and the new Worldwide 40g.  The stamps are dispensed singly or in strips of up to 5 of the same value or various values. Thus there are 36 different value/design combinations in total.   

Post and Go stamp showing Primroses Faststamp showing Snowdrops. Faststamp illustrated with Lesser Celandine. Post and Go stamp with Dog Violet. Faststamp picturing Wild daffodil. Post and Go stamp showing Blackthorn.
From top left: Primrose, Snowdrop, Lesser Celandine, Dog Violet, Wild Daffodil, Blackthorn.
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The stamps in detail

Snowdrop (Galanthus nivalis) can flower from January: Snowdrops have delicate flowers that hang down like lanterns. Although appearing white, closer inspection reveals green tips on the inner petals. The plants possess natural antifreeze compounds, enabling them to thrive in harsh springs and even grow in snow.

Dog Violet (Viola riviniana): The heart-shaped leaves of this plant can be seen throughout the year but in spring their delicate purple blooms first appear. The flowers have large backward-pointing spurs, full of nectar for pollinators emerging from winter hibernation.

Wild daffodil (Narcissus pseudonarcissus): An emblem of Wales and beloved by poets and artists, these swaying blooms with a yellow ‘trumpet’ surrounded by six paler-yellow petals flower from February to April. They are native to the south and west of the UK, growing on woodland banks and in glades.

Primrose (Primula vulgaris): Primroses can form dense carpets of yellow in woodland glades, hedgebanks and spring meadows. Their name derives from being one of the first flowers of spring. The flowers form two distinct types, ‘pins’ and ‘thrums’, which need each other to cross-pollinate.

Lesser Celandine (Ranunculus ficaria): Wordsworth’s favourite flower, called ‘spring messenger’ that reputedly always flowers on 21 Feb. One of the true heralds of spring, these tiny buttercups form yellow carpets in town parks, moist grasslands and riverbanks. The flowers open their widest on sunny days when they are most likely to be pollinated by passing insects.

Blackthorn (Prunus spinosa): A white flowering plant, the Blackthorn is a common sight in UK hedgerows. These shrubs flower before they grow leaves, giving them the whole summer to grow and ripen their large sloe berries. Belonging to the Rose family, their blossom can transform whole landscapes in late March.

Spring blooms official first day cover.

Technical details:

Designed by Kate Stephens and illustrated by Julia Trickey the six 56mm x 25mm stamps are printed in gravure by Walsall Security Printers, with two phosphor bars.  The stamps in the pack will have the service indicator and other detail printed in gravure.   All images are by kind permission of Royal Mail, Copyright 2014. This website is copyright Norvic Philatelics 2014.

Products issuedSpring flowers presentation pack.

The labels will be used in Post & Go machines at Post Offices around the country, and from the Royal Mail Series II machines at Spring Stampex.
A mint set of 6 x 1st will also be available from Royal Mail's Tallents House Bureau in a pack similar to a presentation pack. All values in the pack are 1st Class with a philatelic branch code.

Royal Mail will again produce a First Day Cover and official First Day Postmarks for these.

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

Official first day postmark for spring blooms stamps.
Official Primrose Hill postmark for spring blooms stamps.
Non-pictorial Primrose Hill postmark.
Postmark showing snowdrops.
Ref FD1403TH
Philatelic Bureau Official Postmark illustrated with a map of the British Isles
Ref FD1403PL
Primrose Hill, Huddersfield
Ref FD1403NP
Primrose Hill, Huddersfield
Ref W13036 - Bristol
Postmrk showing dog violet.
Postmark showing primrose. Postmark showing single snowdrop.
Stampex postmarks for Spring Blooms Faststamps.
Ref N13029 - Newark

Ref M13030 - Primrose Avenue, Birmingham Ref M13031 - Flore, Daventry
L 13046 Generic Spring Stampex postmark
L 13047 Spring Stampex Spring Blooms first day postmark London N1

This page updated 3 March 2014

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