Virtual Advent Calendar – 24th December

In the lead-up to Christmas we are showcasing some of the festive items in our collection across our social networks. Behind the door of our virtual advent calendar today is…

Triple Arch from West Front (1989)

Triple Arch from West Front (1989)

One of five stamps issued by Royal Mail in 1989 to commemorate both Christmas and the 800th Anniversary of Ely Cathedral.

This stamp is a “semi-postal”, meaning that a charity surcharge (of 1p) was added to the price of the stamp.

Designer: David Gentleman

See larger images of all the items in our Virtual Advent Calendar on Flickr.

2 responses to “Virtual Advent Calendar – 24th December

  1. I would like to know what charities benefited from the surcharge and how much was raised

    • Thanks Clare, this is an interesting question. Having had a trawl through the Archive, we can find the following information:

      In terms of charities that benefitted from sales of the stamp, this isn’t information we have at hand. We can tell you that, according to our records, the money raised was distributed by the Charities Aid Foundation, who still exist ( Charities had to apply directly to the CAF for consideration for grants from the scheme, so you may wish to contact them directly for more information.

      As for how much was raised- from the January- February 1990 issues of Royal Mail staff Magazine, The Courier, we understand that £1m was expected to be raised. By the time the February issue was published, £350,000 had already been earmarked for local charities.

      In addition, 180,000 Christmas packs including stamps were sent out to Royal Mail staff, raising another £36,000.

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