The British Postal Museum & Archive is to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the issue of UK regional stamps, with an exhibition launching next month.
Opening on the 6 May and set to run for a year, Lions, Leopards, Unicorns & Dragons: The first Regional Stamps will explore the 15 official stamp designs issued in 1958, as well as previously unadopted ones.
Curator Douglas Muir explains that the idea for regional stamps grew out of a need to raise aspirations and morale.
‘The first ideas for regional stamps arose shortly after the end of World War II as a celebratory gesture. The intention was to revive British tourism – promoting national future aspiration through local celebration,’ he says.
To mark the occasion, Royal Mail has commissioned Sedley Place designer and philatelic specialist Rupert Denyer to created a prestige stamp book and miniature sheet, which will be released this autumn.
Denyer has also styled the exhibition graphics and promotional collateral.
He has previously worked for Royal Mail in 2000 on its English Country definitive stamp.
The BPMA, which combines the Royal Mail archive and the museum store, houses philatelic collections, staff records, poster designs, photography, transport and telegrams and is intended as an archive resource for all aspects for British postal history.
The exhibition will open at the BPMA public search room, Freeling House, Phoenix Place, London WC1.