Norvic Philatelics - GB New Stamps and Special Postmarks

Pictorial Faststamps: Winter Fur & Feathers 16 November 2015

Following the success in 2014 of  the Winter Greenery stamps, especially in post office branches' self-service kiosks, Royal Mail is again issuing just four designs, two for 1st class and two for 2nd class stamps.

During the winter months, the UK countryside can lose some of its natural colour, as leaves fall and trees become covered in snow. Yet among the seasonal changes linger some spectacular animals, often hard to see but occasionally revealing themselves with a flash of an underwing or shiny pelt. The robin, for example, is at its most dramatic during the British winter, its colourful red breast standing out from its surroundings, while other creatures, like the mountain hare, stoat and weasel, become completely transformed by their winter ermine.

Some birds and mammals visit British shores only in winter, including species such as the Redwing. During this time of year, the UK becomes a migration hotspot, with millions of animals passing through or taking up temporary residence for a few weeks or months. So, while many animals hibernate and sit out the British winter, the rest of the countryside plays host to some wonderful sights and sounds, making it well worth keeping one’s eyes and ears open during a bracing wintry walk.

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.

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 can be obtained with 6 different service indicators: 1st class up to 100g & 1st class Large up to 100g, a dual-value Europe up to 20g/World up to 10g, Europe 100g, Worldwide 20g, and Worldwide 100g *.  The stamps are dispensed singly or in strips of up to 5 or 6 (depending on the machine) of the same value or various values.  On NCR machines 2nd class and 2nd class Large denominations can be dispensed on the appropriate (blue background) reel.  NCR Self-Service machines also dispense stamps with these designs for many different weights and services including Small Parcels, Special Delivery, and International Tracked and Signed. 

* Once again a Collectors Strip of 6 (non-2nd class) Faststamps will be printed onfox/squirrel alternately.  A complete set of all available Faststamp values on all designs will therefore be only 16 stamps.
The new background text - see below right - ought to ensure that the correct rolls are placed in the appropriate part of the machines. This is designed to avoid last year's situation where 2nd class stamps appeared with 1st class values.

Red Fox Post and Go Faststamp. Red Squirrel Post and Go Faststamp.
Mountain Hare Post and Go Faststamp. Redwing Post and Go Faststamp.

1st class reel: Red Fox and Red Squirrel
2nd class reel: Mountain Hare and Redwing

The Collectors Pack will include the stamps with values as shown.
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The background of the 2nd class stamps:
Fur and Feathers 2nd class background.
and the 1st class:
Fur and Feathers 1st class background.

The stamps in detailPost and Go Winter Fur and Feathers pack.

Mountain Hare -
A true alpine mammal, the mountain hare inhabits upland areas with a height of more than 500 metres. From October onwards, it undergoes a series of remarkable moults, transforming from brown to pure white. During average British winters, this makes the hare virtually invisible.

Redwing -
The smallest member of the thrush family, the redwing is a winter migrant in the UK, first appearing in late September. Easy to identify with its distinctive red flanks, in harsher winters it can be seen in gardens, foraging for berries and other food.

Red Fox -
One of the UK’s most abundant wild animals, the red fox is at home in a wide range of habitats – in both rural and urban areas – and its numbers are on the increase in towns and cities.  With its sleek coat and bushy tail, it is an instantly recognisable and iconic sight.

Red Squirrel -
Most known for its red fur, tufted ears and bushy tail, the red squirrel is one of the UK’s favourite native mammals, although increasingly rare to spot. It is most at home in the coniferous woodlands of Scotland, but also survives in isolated spots in England

Technical details:

Designed by Osborne Ross and illustrated by Robert Gillmor the four 56mm x 25mm stamps are printed in gravure by International Security Printers.   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 2015. This website is copyright Norvic Philatelics 2015.

Products issued

The labels will be used in Post & Go machines at Post Offices around the country.
A mint set of 4 values will also be available from Royal Mail's Tallents House Bureau in a pack similar to a presentation pack. The stamps in the pack will be 1st, 1st Large, 2nd and 2nd Large, as shown above, 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 Post and Go stamps.
Postmark showing Red Squirrel.
Standard Design

* In the Postmark Bulletin these
are numbered FD1522 but that
number has already been
used and FD1527 is correct.

Post and GO Faststamps postmark showing a squirrell.
Ref FD1527TH*
Philatelic Bureau Official Postmark
illustrated with a map of the British Isles
Ref FD1527PL*
Winterley, Sandbach
Ref FD127NP*
Winterley, Sandbach non-pictorial
Ref S13662 Post & Go
Winter Fur & Feathers
Postand GO Faststamps postmark showing a red fox.
Postmark showing a red fox.
Winter Furand Feathers Faststamps postmarks.

Ref M13667
Fur & Feathers
Fox Hill, Birmingham
Ref M13670
Winter Fur & Feathers
Foxley, Towcester
Winter Fur & Feathers,
Feathers Lane, Basingstoke
Ref L13655 Post & Go
Winter Fur & Feathers

This page updated 31 October 2015

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