It’s difficult to imagine the wonderful children’s story The Gruffalo was created 20 years ago. To celebrate, Royal Mail have issued six special stamps with colourful illustrations of The Gruffalo characters in a chronological story across two horizontal se-tenant strips of three stamps.
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Modelled on America’s “Liberty Bell”, the 10-ton “Bell of Freedom and Peace” featured on those stamps arrived at Schöneberg Town Hall (then in the Western Sector of Berlin) on October 21, 1950, having travelled from the United States via Bremerhaven and the military train station in Lichterfelde-West.
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1981 was proclaimed by the General Assembly of the United Nations to be the International Year of Disabled Persons.
Although many countries issued stamps featuring various disabilities that year, they were by no means the first stamps issued regarding the subject.
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The Phare de Ténès (1997 Algerian stamp above left) is the oldest lighthouse in Algeria. Built in 1861 on a rocky Mediterranean coastal site, the lighthouse rises to 57 meters above the sea. This lighthouse has withstood the two earthquakes that shook the region in 1954 and 1980. The other stamp shows the Phare du Cap Caxine, built 1868.
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The bird is adapted to live in the harsh high landscape of the Pyrenean mountain range from Navarre to Catalonia.
Its anatomy is unmistakable. This huge bird can reach wingspans of up to 2.80 metres. Its Spanish name, “quebrantahuesos” (bone-breaker) comes from its way of feeding. Among other things it feeds on bones which it drops from a height onto rocks to crack them into smaller pieces. It does this in areas known in Spanish as “rompederos”.
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Each summer a small island in the Irish Sea becomes the focus of motorcycling enthusiasts from around the world.
The Isle of Man is a self-governing British Crown Dependency between Great Britain and Ireland. The island is about 32 miles long and, at its widest, 14 miles wide. It has been inhabited for more than eight thousand years. English is the main language spoken but the island has its own Celtic origin language (Manx). The Isle of Man’s Tynwald (parliament), is believed to be the oldest continuous parliamentary body in the world.
The island used British stamps until 1958 when Great Britain’s regional issues began. The Isle of Man Post Office was founded in 1973 to secure postal independence and, since then, the island has issued its own stamps.
The first issue was a fifteen pence commemorative which depicted the Vikings landing on the island in 938.
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The following article was written by one of the contributors to our Dutch-language ‘Postzegelblog’ website, Randy Koo:
The polling stations are closed. And for the 16th year the six-minute and six-second mini rock opera song Bohemian Rhapsody (1975) by the band Queen is number 1 in the TOP2000. Meanwhile, a film (biopic) with the same title has recently appeared in the cinema. How did Queen come into being and why is Freddie Mercury so important to the music world?
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It can also be the subject of interest to the stamp collector as images of young animals are often printed on postage stamps.
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The stamps shown below were issued by the German state of Saarland which, following the Second World War, from 1947 to 1956 was a French-occupied territory (the “Saar Protectorate”) separate from the rest of Germany. You may notice two values shown on each stamp.
The reason being the postal tariffs were adapted to French postage rates – mail to France was to be franked at the domestic postage, mail to Allied-occupied Germany at the foreign tariff.
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