Monthly Archives: January 2011

Architecture as Public Art: Buildings on British Stamps

St Andrew's, Greensted-juxta-Ongar, Essex stamp, 1972

St Andrew's, Greensted-juxta-Ongar, Essex stamp, part of the Village Churches issue designed by Ronald Maddox (1972). And Brian Goodey's favourite stamp.

The conclusion to our Open Day in December last year was a talk given by Professor Brian Goodey, the recently retired Chairman of our Board of Trustees. This talk is now available as a podcast.

Brian Goodey is Professor Emeritus in the Joint Centre for Urban Design at Oxford Brookes University, and his research interests include the evolution of the British townscape and the role of electronic media in re-shaping understandings of place and heritage. He writes on aspects of urban development, and on the role of the artist in public settings. In addition Professor Goodey is an “accumulator of stamps”, and an admirer of the graphic artists who make them. His (dare we call it a) collection is focused on the buildings and structures which have appeared on stamps in both Great Britain and the rest of the world.

In his talk, Professor Goodey gave a personal view on architecture as depicted on British stamps in the last few decades. Introducing the talk he said:

I maintain the belief that stamps are produced as a reflection of design and image change within society, but their appearance is in every way political, and that aside from the stamp production industry they represent a government intention to influence the thinking of, potentially, every member of that society, and the recipients of stamps mailed elsewhere. Simply stated, buildings on stamps are intended to promote the work of architects, builders and developers, and to focus society on vernacular, historic or contemporary design.

There is a caveat here, certainly policies over the period I’ve looked at, which is really to 2006, have changed considerably. Certainly, there was an interesting period of “Cool Britannia” under Mr Blair, and various periods of retrenchment to tradition to sober-up for a while – and some of these will appear.

Professor Goodey feels there is an opportunity to “nation build through the post”, which is fast diminishing as stamp use declines. Do you agree with him? Listen to or download the podcast from our website or iTunes, and leave your comments here.

Digitising the GPO Photograph Library

by Martin Devereux, Deputy Catalogue Manager

Photographs are always exciting to work with. A visual record of the past, they evoke an immediate response from viewers that written records, for the most part, cannot. Their ability to present the past visually makes them such an important part of any archive.

A postman walking alongside the River Swale near Richmond, Yorkshire, 1938.

A postman walking alongside the River Swale near Richmond, Yorkshire, 1938.

BPMA holds approximately 100,000 unique photographic images across both the museum collection and the Royal Mail Archive. From postmen and women on delivery, to bombed-out sorting offices; from mail vans to air mail; from marketing material to reference photographs for sorting office equipment – the Post Office has documented its activities for the last 100 and more years.

Exterior view of Fowey Post Office, Cornwall, 1935.

Exterior view of Fowey Post Office, Cornwall, 1935.

For the most part, these are held as part of POST 118: The GPO Photograph Library. Highlights of this POST class include:

  • Publicity photographs created for public relations activities, such as posters and, in particular, for the Post Office Magazine, from 1934 through to the 1970s. Approximately 2800 survive as part of the collection, from a series which once contained over 10,000 photographs.
  • Photographs commissioned or acquired by the GPO Photograph Library from 1964 through to the late 1990s. Approximately 3000-4000 images survive from this series which once boasted nearly 20,000 documented images.
  • Colour transparencies – mostly dating from the 1970s through to the late 1990s. These images were used mostly for advertising, marketing and communications. This series consists of approximately 30,000 individual photographs.
  • Courier prints – files of photographs used for Royal Mail’s internal staff magazine from the late 1960s through to the 1970s.

At present, only 1868 of these images are currently available for public consultation via the online catalogue, although an additional 1000 will be available shortly.

Postmen load sacks of mail from the Ovaltine factory on to a mail van.

Postmen load sacks of mail from the Ovaltine factory on to a mail van.

Photographs are very difficult to store and to organise. They are also particularly difficult to describe in an accurate manner. One of the barriers to the description work is the lack of context – in most cases, very little information survives about the subject, or when the photograph was taken, and by whom.  Funding from the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA) has been used to develop access to the photographic material via three main activities:

  1. Research into the photographs and the context and purpose of their creation. Very early on in the cataloguing we realised that many images featured in the Post Office Magazine which ran from 1934 through to the 1960s (with a small gap during wartime). A recent partnership project with the University of the Third Age (more on this in a future blog) was an attempt to identify connections between articles featured within the Post Office Magazine and the photographs in the collections. Teams of volunteers reviewed the Post Office magazines in the Search Room and compiling a database of articles. Volunteers also searched our catalogue for photographs and, when a photograph matches those in the magazine’s articles, add the reference of the catalogued photograph to the database. It has not been an easy task and, as the online catalogue is incomplete, the fruits of this indexing labour will not be realised for a little while to come. Ultimately, the database will reveal a larger contextual picture of the Post Office and the use of photography in its public relations activities.
  2. Digitisation of glass plate negatives and other photograph material. Up until now, we have scanned only those photographs for which prints exist. Photographs that exist only as glass plate negatives or as transparencies have not been scanned as BPMA has lacked the facilities and expertise to carry this out without harm to the material. The funding from MLA has enabled us to contract the services of a reputable digitisation company to carry this out on our behalf. Over 1500 photographs are currently being scanned and processed to a high resolution and these will shortly be made available via the online catalogue.
  3. Better equipment to create and manage digital photographic images. A significant part of BPMA’s ability to make available to the public its photographic collections comes from its efficient management of digital images. Prior to funding from MLA, images have been managed in a fairly unsophisticated manner.  We now have the appropriate hardware to carry out scanning of larger photographic material and other artwork in the collection. We have also established an Image Management server. This will hold all of our digital images and allow us to search and make available images as they are created or digitised for use by members of the public and by our staff.

Help test our new website

For more than a year we have been working on plans to redevelop our website. Following a tender process which concluded last July we hired Mind Unit, a company with more than 10 years experience in designing websites and developing applications for creative organisations.

Mock-up of new BPMA website homepage

Mock-up of new BPMA website homepage

Throughout the process of building the new website we have tried to keep the needs of users in mind. To make sure we’ve got it right, we’re looking for volunteers to help us test the new website before it goes live in March.

Volunteer testers will be asked to use the new website and give their feedback, either as part of a group testing session in London or via the web from their home computer.

Anyone in the world of any age or ability can take part – you don’t even have to have heard of the BPMA – although we are particularly keen to recruit the following:

  • Philatelists and postal historians
  • Journalists
  • Teachers and educators
  • People employed in the museums and archives sector
  • Those with a general interest in history, art, design and/or culture
  • Family historians and genealogists

As a thank you, all volunteer testers will go into the draw to win one of two £50 Amazon gift vouchers.

If you would like to take part in our new website testing programme, please register you interest by e-mailing blog@postalheritage.org.uk.

Second Post & Go Birds of Britain Set Issued

Today Royal Mail has issued a second set of pictorial stamps for Post & Go machines. Once again they feature commonly seen British birds, illustrated by Robert Gillmor.

The second set of Post & Go stamps, issued 24 January 2011

The second set of Post & Go stamps, issued 24 January 2011

The series will continue in May with a third set featuring birds seen in or around the UK’s rivers, lakes and ponds, and in September with a fourth and final set featuring birds seen around the UK’s coast. The first set was issued in September 2009.

Birds of Britain is the first series of pictorial stamps issued by Post & Go terminals, a self service facility which allows customers to weigh their letters and packets, and pay for and print postage labels.

Post & Go machine, 2007 (Photographed by BPMA Curatorial department)

Post & Go machine, 2007 (Photographed by BPMA Curatorial department)

Initially these pictorial Post & Go stamps are available from Post & Go terminals in 30 branches with subsequent sets being available from all Post & Go terminals.

The first Post & Go machine was installed at The Galleries Post Office in Bristol in 2007; since then over 170 terminals have been installed in around 100 branches.

Two First Day of Issue postmarks are available. Royal Mail says all first day covers posted at the Post Office counter will be cancelled with the Bristol birds nest pictorial postmark regardless of where they are posted.

The first day of issue postmarks which accompany the second set of Post & Go stamps

The first day of issue postmarks which accompany the second set of Post & Go stamps

The Map of Britain postmark is only available from Tallents House (Royal Mail, Tallents House, 21 South Gyle Crescent, Edinburgh EH12 9PB).

Location of Post & Go machines selling Birds of Britain pictorial stamps

East of England
Stevenage – 22-23 Westgate, Stevenage, SG1 1QR
Cambridge – 9-11 St Andrew Street, Cambridge, CB2 3AA
Southend-on-Sea – 199-201 High Street, Southend-On-Sea, SS1 1LL
Colchester – 68-70 North Hill, Colchester, CO1 1PX
Castle Mall, Norwich – 84-85 Castle Meadow Walk, Castle Mall, Norwich, NR1 3DD
Milton Keynes – 17-19 Crown Walk, Milton Keynes, MK9 3AH
Luton – The Arndale Centre, 42-44 Smith Lane, Luton, LU1 2LP

London
Old St – 205 Old Street, London, EC1V 9QN
Trafalgar Sq – 24-28 William IV Street, London, WC2N 4DL
Croydon – 10 High Street, Croydon, CR9 1HT
City of London – 12 Eastcheap, London, EC3M 1AJ
Baker St – 111 Baker Street, London, W1U 6SG
Paddington Quay – Unit 6, West End Quay, 4 Praed Street, London, W2 1JE

Midlands
Nottingham – Queen Street, Nottingham, NG1 2BN
Walsall – Darwall Street, Walsall, WS1 1AA
Birmingham – 1 Pinfold Street, Birmingham, B2 4AA

North
Durham – 33 Silver Street, Durham, DH1 3RE
York – 22 Lendal, York, YO1 8DA
Grimsby – 67-71 Victoria Street, Grimsby, DN31 1AA
Harrogate – 11 Cambridge Road, Harrogate, HG1 1AA
Corn Exchange, Liverpool – India Building, ‘Water Street, Liverpool, L2 0RR

Northern Ireland
Belfast – 12 – 16 Bridge Street, Belfast  BT1 1LT

Scotland
Glasgow – 47 St Vincent Street, Glasgow, G2 5QX
Edinburgh – 8-10 St James Centre, Edinburgh, EH1 3SR

South West
Portsmouth – Slindon Street, Portsmouth, PO1 1AB
Truro – High Cross, Truro, TR1 2AP
Plymouth – 5 St Andrews Cross, St Andrews Cross, Plymouth, PL1 1AB
The Galleries, Bristol – Castle Gallery, Broadmead, Bristol, BS1 3XX
Exeter – 28 Bedford Street, Exeter, EX1 1GJ

Wales
Cardiff – 45-46 Queens Arcade, Queen Street, Cardiff, CF10 2BY

The Post & Go stamps are also available from the Royal Mail website.

Stocktaking at the archive

Regular visitors to the BPMA’s search room will notice that we have been closed for ‘stock take’ since the start of last week and won’t be reopening until next Monday, 24th January.

Why does the BPMA close for stock take and what happens during this period? Stock take gives BPMA staff both the time and almost as importantly the space to concentrate on large sorting or repackaging tasks that would be very difficult to progress otherwise. Up until this year stock take has taken place for two weeks in December; this year we’ve moved it to January but we’re always open to suggestions as to the most sensible time to hold it and haven’t decided for certain when to schedule it into 2012.

Re-housing film stills and checking duplicate posters

Re-housing film stills and checking duplicate posters.

It involves almost all the archivists among the BPMA’s staff, both in the archive and records management and cataloguing teams (about ten staff in all), working on a number of projects.

What tasks have we been doing? This year’s stock take has concentrated on three main activities: the sorting of Second Review registered files from the 1970s and 1980s into an order that reflects the alpha-numeric code on them prior to cataloguing this material; the repackaging of POST 118 film stills into appropriate preservation housing; listing the contents of boxes from the old National Postal Museum library to fill gaps in the BPMA Library and identify duplicates and redundant material. We have also been sorting and identifying duplicate posters, weeding ‘portfolio’ files (files of secondary non-archive information on various subjects held in the search room), taking photographs of large plans using a rostrum camera and a couple of activities involving our philatelic material.

Photographing a large rolled building plan using a rostrum camera.

Photographing a large rolled building plan using a rostrum camera.

One major benefit of many of these activities is that they will create some badly needed space in our very full repository. They should also speed up the process by which we can make archival material available to the public. So far the activities have been going well though as expected they are taking plenty of time and will generally not be complete at the end of the two weeks.

To anyone who has had to postpone a visit to the search room thank you for your patience and we hope you’ll appreciate the importance of this work.

The BPMA Search Room has new opening times in 2011. In response to a survey carried out in 2010 we will be increasing our Saturday openings to one a month. In order to staff our Saturday openings adequately we will be closed on the Mondays following our Saturday openings. Our next Saturday opening will be 12th February. Full details of our new opening hours  can be found our website.

All-Party Group visit the BPMA

by Adrian Steel, Director

Today we were pleased to welcome members of the All-Party Parliamentry Arts and Heritage Group, led by Lord Crathorne (Chair). The attendees were: Lord Crathorne, Lord Boswell, Lord Selkirk, Lord Brooke of Sutton Mandeville, Hugh Bayley MP, Andrew Dismore and Tom Levitt (former MPs). 

Adrian Steel welcomes the All-Party Group to the BPMA

Adrian Steel welcomes the All-Party Group to the BPMA

The group’s visit coincides with the discussion of the Postal Services Bill in Parliament. This Bill has cleared its Commons stages and has now moved on to the Lords.

The group spoke to staff and trustees, were given a tour of the archive search room and repository, and saw some of the philatelic gems including Penny Blacks, and work done preparing for Edward VIII’s coronation stamp issue that was never completed.

The group tours the repository

The group tours the repository

Curator of Philately Douglas Muir shows the group some stamp artwork.

Curator of Philately Douglas Muir shows the group some stamp artwork.

Among other items in the collection the group saw were Ulysses, Sergeant Knight‘s VC, and some posters, as well as some of our education packs and material from the handling collection. 

Viewing items from the handling collection.

Viewing items from the handling collection.

The group were particularly pleased to hear we passed 3000 annual search room visitors for the first time in 2010.

New Wilkinson Collection Records: Cigarette Cards

by Emma Harper, Cataloguer (Collections)

Amongst the records recently added to our online catalogue were groups of cigarette cards that are part of the Wilkinson Collection. These had previously been kept as part of the Secondary Collection however, after doing a bit more research it was decided that they would be a welcome addition to the catalogue. Whilst the quality of the images on these cards is, inevitably, not always the best, they are often very interesting, giving a flavour of life in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries.

Cigarette cards are trading cards introduced by tobacco companies to stiffen cigarette packaging as well as to advertise different brands of tobacco. On one side of the cards would be a picture, ranging from the famous actors or sports personalities of the day, through to city views and landscapes. Cards were normally produced in sets of 25 or 50 for customers to collect and you could also buy albums to put the cards in. These cost just a shilling, which would have been viable at least for the middle classes, and possibly for some of the working class as well.

It may surprise some readers to learn that quite a few of the sets released had postal themes. These cards showed a range of subjects relating to the postal service both in Britain and across the British Empire, including historical events or figures, stamps from different countries, as well as technological advances in delivering the mail. This range can be shown in the following cards from our collection.

Number 31 of a series of 50 Wills cigarette cards, entitled ‘English Military Post Office (Foreign Service)’

Number 31 of a series of 50 Wills cigarette cards, entitled ‘English Military Post Office (Foreign Service)’ (2010-0383/31)

The first card shows a Foreign Service Post Office with men dressed in khaki military uniform opening mail bags in front of their tents. This is probably a depiction of a Post Office from either the Boer or First World War. On the back of each card there is always some information about the subject depicted and I think this one speaks for itself:

No one realizes the benefit and blessing of Post Office activity and resource more than the soldier and his relatives in war time. The Post Office enables him to keep in touch with the old home…the postal officials share the hardships, inconveniences and dangers of the campaign.

Number 16 of the ‘Romance of the Royal Mail’ series entitled ‘An Early Mail Van’

Number 16 of the ‘Romance of the Royal Mail’ series entitled ‘An Early Mail Van’ (2010-0384/16)

The second card I’ve chosen is part of the ‘Romance of the Royal Mail’ series produced jointly by Royal Mail and W.H. & J. Woods Ltd which shows an early motorised mail van. The Post Office was among the first of the public services to take advantage of motor transport. In 1898 motor vans were tried on the London to Brighton services and by 1911 had superseded horse vehicles on all the Parcel Coach Services between London and provincial towns. They also enabled longer distances to be covered.

These are just two from almost 190 cigarette cards in the Wilkinson Collection so please do take a look at some of our others on the online catalogue – pictures to be uploaded soon!

Postmen caricatures

Each month we present an item from the Morten Collection on this blog. The Morten Collection is a nationally important postal history collection currently held at Bruce Castle, Tottenham.

As part of a Heritage Lottery Funded project, Pistols, Packets and Postmen, the BPMA, Bruce Castle Museum and the Communication Workers Union (the owner of the Collection) have been working together to widen access to and develop educational resources for the Morten Collection.

This month, Haringey resident Ken Gay chooses some caricatures showing postmen in uniform. Ken’s father worked as a postman in Stratford where the family then lived and these caricatures remind Ken of his father:

My father was born in 1888 and left school at 14 to work as a post office messenger boy in Whitechapel. He became a postman, mostly serving at Stratford E15 office. His brother, my uncle George, worked as a postman at Forest Gate E7 office. Born in 1923, I grew up in a post office family. My father wore a dark blue issue uniform with a red stripe along the sides of his trousers. He wore a helmet called a ‘shako’, a sort of peaked helmet. (I later learnt it was based on a Hungarian military helmet). In about 1936 the post office replaced these by a peaked cap. These smart uniforms seem to have vanished.

Caricatures of postmen from the Morten Collection

Caricatures of postmen from the Morten Collection

My father delivered letters in his round, or ‘walk’ from a white canvas sack he carried over his shoulder. Sometimes he brought one home empty after his work was finished. He worked shifts and at one time did an evening delivery, getting home about two in the afternoon. I came home from school after four and often found him asleep in his armchair. But this did not stop me waking him to ask for sixpence to go to the cinema with.

As an undergraduate I worked for two Christmases at my father’s Stratford office, working as a van boy on a hired vehicle delivering seasonal parcels. My son in his turn did this Christmas temporary work when he was a student, at Wood Green N22. So the family tradition has been kept up.

Designing the postcode: sorting machines, psychology and Sir Gordon Radley

In this series of blog posts, Peter Sutton, PhD candidate researching the post-war history of technology and industrial relations in the British Postal Service, offers some reflections on the history of the modern postcode. The significance of the postcode and its origins in the post-1945 era are considered followed by some archival examples tracing different aspects of its design along its journey from a specialised engineering concept to a universally recognised geographical referencing tool.

As mentioned in previous posts, the GPO’s design of the modern postcode became, after the Second World War, a systematic, long-term project which was part of wider attempts at designing sorting machines for a future national sorting system based on new technology. The vision outlined by leading engineers and postal experts in 1946, when sorting was predominantly done by hand at the sorting frame, was of a future system in which the national flow of mail would pass through large, mechanised sorting offices containing machines capable of “reading” each address. Their ultimate goal was to have human labour largely replaced within a generation by the new system, in which the public would cooperate by adding a code when addressing their letters to enable both interpretation and handling to be processed by machines.

As we have seen, as both postmen’s wages and the national volume of mail continued to rise over this period, there was good incentive to pursue these aims and to make what was termed the “code-sort concept” a reality. In the 1950s, the formative years of postal coding theory and practice, new lines of research pursued by GPO engineers helped lock particular characteristics into today’s familiar alpha-numeric postcode, as records held by the BPMA make clear. In particular the files of the Mechanical Aids Committee (MAC) and its subcommittees, which guided GPO policy on letter mechanisation and postcoding, show that choosing from many possible alternative code designs was no simple business.

A colour print of Mount Pleasant sorting office. The print is done in a comical style, portraying the 'un-pleasant' nature of the sorting office with its electronic sorting machine. Post, post bags and postmen are being flung through the office while two managers in suits stand in the middle. Outside is a post van with 'ER' on the side.

A colour print of Mount Pleasant sorting office. The print is done in a comical style, portraying the 'un-pleasant' nature of the sorting office with its electronic sorting machine. Post, post bags and postmen are being flung through the office while two managers in suits stand in the middle. Outside is a post van with 'ER' on the side. (Circa 1965)

One aspect of 1950s postal engineering involved trying to understand the psychological processes at work during the act of sorting letters when operating the new experimental machines then being trialled. This was an important step in both the development of the postcode and also in the GPO’s understanding of the so-called “man-machine interface”. Although at the outset it was hoped optical character recognition technology (OCR) might develop to the point of being able to reliably “read” handwritten postcodes, it was known early on that this was decades away at best. Machines for preparing and stacking the mail were then in development and, through an intricate arrangement of rollers, belts, diverters and memory storage, there were excellent prospects for an economical and reliable automatic sorting machine.

The problem was uniting these two phases of sorting – initial preparation of mail entering a sorting office into uniform piles followed by automatic sorting of that mail for particular destinations. In the absence of OCR, people stationed at keyboards (the man-machine interface) would still be needed to read the postcodes on letters and mark each with the correct machine-readable binary imprint. In any national code-sort system this would mean many millions of keystrokes every working day which placed a great financial premium on finding the most efficient arrangement of characters when designing the optimal postcode. A format acceptable to the public and major commercial mail users and also capable of accommodating the required address information was needed. But of no less importance was arriving at a format agreeable to the postman at his keyboard. An optimal format needed to encourage the most efficient possible coordination of hand, eye and brain.

Sir Gordon Radley

Sir Gordon Radley

A key figure in this regard was Sir Gordon Radley who took over the Mechanical Aids Committee (MAC) in 1955. This coincided with his appointment as Director General (Secretary to the Post Office), the first engineer to hold this office. Born in Birmingham in 1898, Radley gained his Doctorate in Engineering and served with the Royal Engineers during WWI. He joined the GPO in 1920 where he gained successive promotions through the Engineering Department. During WWII he and fellow telephone engineer Tommy Flowers made significant contributions to code-breaking at Bletchley Park and the design of “Colossus”. He spent ten years as Controller of Dollis Hill Research Station, the GPO centre for technological research, where he earned international fame for leading the development of the first transatlantic submarine cable and helping to invent the hearing aid.

When Radley chaired his first MAC meeting on 16 November 1955, he spoke of injecting more efficiency and pro-activity into the mechanisation field, issuing tighter deadlines and drafting in more senior staff. He oversaw the continuation of various long-term lines of technical enquiry and wished to see quicker progress in the development of postcodes, identifying the coding of letters by fluorescent marks as a priority project. Here, he encouraged Mr. A. Crisswell, a Deputy Regional Postal Director who headed the coding study group, to take a more liberal approach and worry less about the financial prospects of new ideas. Crisswell was directed to increase collaboration with operational experts in the Postal Services Department and to specify the desired characteristics of a code and to consult mathematicians specialising in coding theory.

Radley’s personal intervention into developing codes came as a series of questions posed in April 1956. A series of field trials with the Single Position Letter Sorting Machine (SPLSM) were then underway at Bath. There, postmen were trained to operate the machine’s keyboard to which letters were presented for processing, in which a memorised list of two-letter codes (denoting counties and towns) were added to the letters based on their addresses at between 32 and 52 items per minute. Their movements were filmed and then timed and analysed, prompting a series of questions on the MAC about how to deal with this data, with Radley leading the way. “Which kinds of codes are easiest to learn and use?” he asked. “What is the relationship between number of codes in a series and learning time?”, “What is the relationship between coding time and the number of possible codes to choose from?”, “How long does plural coding take relative to simple coding?” and “What is the best training method?”.

Single Position Letter Sorting Machine

Single Position Letter Sorting Machine (1956-1986)

Such precise questions were used to direct new lines of research on the MAC as they sought to evolve better and better machines for letter sorting, of which the coding position was a vital “link”. The Bath trials and the manner in which their results were put to use by GPO engineers is just one early episode in a long history of ergonomic design for coding desks and added to a body of research into the physical and mental demands made upon postmen who sorted the mail. Radley’s questions might also be seen as illustrating the diversity of factors at play in choosing the most suitable code for the British postal service.

FAB: The Genius of Gerry Anderson

Royal Mail’s first stamp issue of 2011 celebrates the pioneering work of Gerry Anderson. Gerry Anderson is best known for 1960s children TV series such as Joe 90, Captain Scarlet, Stingray and Thunderbirds, all made using specially designed marionettes.

FAB: The Genius of Gerry Anderson stamp issue

FAB: The Genius of Gerry Anderson stamp issue

The set of stamps also includes Royal Mail’s first ‘motion stamps’ on a miniature sheet using micro lenticular printing.

FAB: The Genius of Gerry Anderson miniature sheet

FAB: The Genius of Gerry Anderson miniature sheet

Several seconds of the original Thunderbirds footage, which plays at 30 frames per second, were re-edited to 36 key frames for the project. Further details on the design and production process can be found on the Creative Review blog.

Two First Day of Issue postmarks are available showing characters and vehicles from Thunderbirds.

FAB: The Genius of Gerry Anderson first day of issue postmarks

FAB: The Genius of Gerry Anderson first day of issue postmarks

Stringray stamp from 1996 50th Anniversary of Children’s Television issue, 1996

Stringray stamp from 1996 50th Anniversary of Children’s Television issue, 1996

And if you want to complete your Gerry Anderson on stamps collection, track down the 1996 50th Anniversary of Children’s Television issue, which includes a stamp commemorating the programme Stingray.

The Gerry Anderson stamps are available from the Royal Mail website.