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So far Tony Lester has created 68 blog entries.

Shakespeare 400th Anniversary Stamps

Shakespeare is renowned as being the most famous and celebrated writer of all time. His work is studied and praised all over the world and although he died exactly 400 years ago, his work today is as popular as it ever has been. So, in light of all the other celebrations that are taking place this year to commemorate the great bard, it is no surprise that the Royal Mail has decided to mark this important anniversary with a special collection of stamps. […]

90th Birthday stamps for the Queen

At the start of the year we saw the brand new limited edition cover that was issued to celebrate the beginning of the Queen’s 90th Birthday year. Queen Elizabeth II has now surpassed Queen Victoria to become our Longest Reigning Monarch and this limited edition commemorative cover featured Royal Mail’s official Crown Jewels stamps, hand-stamped with an official one-day-only commemorative postmark dated 1st January 2016. […]

A brief guide to postal history

Before the 15th century, the vast majority of letters were simply government official communications or royal communications delivered by official state messengers. Of course, only a small percentage of people were actually literate and knew how to write a letter and read a letter, so most of the letters that we can find today from that period were created by lawyers, judges, priests, merchants and aristocrats. In the 15th century the early origins of the postal network in Great Britain and Europe started and people had to pay a certain fee for receiving letters based on the distance between the sender and receiver and the weight. […]

Celebrating the 175th anniversary of the Penny Red stamp

The Penny Red Stamp is one of the most famous stamps in the world. In order to learn more about this stamp we must focus on the history of the Penny Black stamp and how this led to the Penny Red being created. The first Penny Black stamp was available in the Post Office on May 6th, 1840. This stamp could be cancelled at any post office where the letter was posted with the help of a Maltese cross (which was actually a type of obliterating stamp) form of cancellation. To do this, workers had to use ink based on a red colour so that everyone knew that the stamp couldn’t be used again. The post office workers even got instructions about how to prepare the red ink. They had to mix 1 lb of printer’s red ink, one pint of linseed oil and 0.5 pint of sweet oil’s dropping. The instructions were sent to all post offices on April 25th, 1840. […]

The stories behind some of the most valuable and error-ridden stamps in the world!

We live in a digital age where the art of letter writing has been virtually lost and people rarely send traditional post any more. However, stamp collecting is still an interesting hobby for millions of people across the world. Rare and unique stamps fetch hundreds or even thousands of pounds across the globe. We have created a short list of some of the most valuable stamps in the world which have become valuable because of mistakes. Here’s a whistle-stop tour of the stories behind them. […]