Isle of Man Post Office celebrates the heroes and legends of the TT

As the 2015 Isle of Man TT gets under way, Isle of Man Post Office has unveiled a specially-minted 50p commemorating the Legends of the world-famous motorcycle road racing event.

The legal tender coin features the names of seven of the biggest stars in the event’s history, celebrating their outstanding achievements around the Isle of Man’s iconic Mountain Course.

Isle of Man Post Office has also produced a limited edition collectable featuring the coin and a selection of TT stamps, and there will be just 100 editions signed by four of the riders featured.

The sport’s first ‘superstar’ Geoff Duke, Bob McIntyre, the first to lap the course at more than 100mph, and great rivals Giacomo Agostini and Mike Hailwood are among the names featured. From the modern era are David Jefferies, current ‘King of the Mountain’ John McGuinness and, of course, 26-times TT winner Joey Dunlop.

The coin is available in a wallet, priced £2.95, and in a special collector’s gift pack featuring stunning photos of each of the legends at the TT over the years, priced £5.00.

Isle of Man Post Office’s limited edition collectable celebrates these legends as well as today’s heroes. The TT Heroes set includes images of modern-day heroes Michael Dunlop, Bruce Anstey, Ian Hutchinson, Guy Martin and Dave Molyneux and includes the new 50p, TT stamps featuring the legends and heroes and a selection of stunning photos.

Just 300 will be produced. Of these, 200 are available for £27.50 each, while for the true collector, 100 will be available mounted and accompanied by the autographs of four of the riders featured – McGuinness, Molyneux, Hutchinson and Anstey – priced at £175.00.

Maxine Cannon, General Manager, Isle of Man Stamps & Coins, said: ‘The Isle of Man TT has a history stretching back more than 100 years, and it has produced amazing stories and astonishing racing feats. At the heart of the event are the racers, those who test themselves against the Mountain Course, which is acknowledged to be the ultimate challenge in motorcycle racing.

‘As the 2015 TT gets under way, we believe it is fitting to pay tribute to those men whose courage, determination and skill has made them legends, and favourites to thousands of fans all over the world. The stunning 50p is a fitting celebration, and the special gift pack is an essential collectable for all TT fans.

‘Our limited edition TT Heroes set includes racers from recent years who are on their way to becoming TT legends. Michael Dunlop has continued the winning tradition of his father Robert and uncle Joey, Ian Hutchinson rewrote the history books in 2010 with five TT wins in a week, sidecar star Dave Molyneux is one of the most successful TT racers in any category, Bruce Anstey is currently the TT’s fastest man, with a record lap of 132.298mph last year, and Guy Martin is one of the event’s most recognisable names.

‘We hope fans agree we have produced fitting tributes to the legends and heroes of this incredible road racing event.’

David Cretney MLC, Member of the Department of Economic Development, responsible for Tourism and Motorsports, said: ‘I am delighted with the issue of this new specially-minted Isle of Man 50p coin which celebrates the remarkable careers of seven true TT Legends, starting in the 1950s with six times TT winner Geoff Duke and from the modern era the likes of Joey Dunlop who gained a total 26 victories and John McGuiness who secured his 21st TT victory in 2014.’

The TT Legends 50p and TT Heroes limited edition set can both be ordered now here, the TT Postshops at the Grandstand and in Regent Street, Douglas, or at any Post Office. You can also call 01624 698430 or email

175th Anniversary of Cunard’s first transatlantic service marked by Isle of Man Post Office

Isle of Man Post Office is pleased to celebrate the 175th Anniversary of the Cunard shipping Line’s first transatlantic service with a stunning set of celebratory special edition collectibles, due for release on 25 May. The collectibles can be purchased at and from Liverpool Council’s pop up shops located along the Liverpool Waterfront during Cunard’s 175th Anniversary (24 – 26 May) and the 2015 International Mersey River Festival (5 – 7 June).

Liverpool, forever part of Cunard’s history, also marks the 175th Anniversary of the Cunard Line on 25 May with an unprecedented sighting of all three Cunard ships, the Queen Mary II, Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth, together back where Cunard originated.

The set is comprised of four highly collectible limited edition products. There are three covers, two of which feature artist Robert Lloyd’s homecoming of the three Cunard Queens lined up together on the River Mersey in front of Liverpool’s world-famous UNESCO Word Heritage Site waterfront, with the historic Cunard Building holding pride of place. The covers are available as signed and unsigned versions, postmarked 25 May 2015 and accompanied by three stamps depicting each of the three cruise liners. In addition, collectors have the opportunity to adorn their walls with a personally signed print limited to 175 copies by Robert Lloyd of the three ships lined up, which includes the three stamps and 25 May 2015 postmark.

Finally, is a special limited edition large format cover featuring artist Robert Lloyd’s impression of Cunard Line’s RMS Lusitania on the Mersey which is postmarked 7 May 2015. This edition is personally signed and numbered by the artist and then accompanied by a single stamp from John Halsall’s Maritime History miniature sheet which depicts the sinking of the Lusitania with rescue boat the Peel Wanderer PL11.

Robert Lloyd is a marine artist with a worldwide reputation for producing beautiful technically accurate paintings for the marine industry, for private individuals and museum collections. Born in 1968, Robert’s interest in the sea started at an early age. What started as a break from his profession as a graphic designer soon developed into a full time career. Robert is now one of Europe’s most sought after marine artists.

Maxine Cannon, General Manager of Isle of Man Stamps and Coins said: “We are pleased to celebrate Cunard Line’s remarkable 175th Anniversary and illustrious history with the issue of our very special edition collectibles that beautifully depict images of the Three Queens and Lusitania using paintings by talented and highly sought after artist Robert Lloyd.”

Isle of Man Post Office releases limited edition Penny Black Mulready collectible

Isle of Man Post Office in conjunction with Mulready Philatelics is pleased to present a striking limited edition compilation for collectors of postal stationery. This unique folder which is due for release on May 6 celebrates the 175th Anniversary of the Penny Black, Twopenny Blue and Mulready Envelopes.

As part of Rowland Hill’s uniform postage reforms from 1839-1840, a national Treasury Competition was held for the public to suggest ideas for postal ‘covers’; several entries were received for the prepayment of postage. Over 2,600 entries were submitted by the public, including ideas from James Chalmers, Charles Whiting and William Mulready. In his report that followed, Hill decided that postage should be prepaid by means of stamped covers, stamped envelopes and adhesive labels.

The Penny Black and Twopenny Blue adhesive stamps, or ‘labels’ as they were known, were released for sale on May 1, 1840, valid for use from May 6.

At the same time the Post Office also commissioned postal stationery lettersheets and envelopes designed by William Mulready RA and these went on sale at the same time as the stamps and were valid for postage from May 6, 1840. These were sold at 1¼d and 2¼d respectively. The elaborately illustrated lettersheets were cut into rectangles, folded over and sealed or tucked in. The envelopes of the same design were pre-cut to a diamond or lozenge shape and folded to form a rectangular enclosure that could be held together by a wax seal at the apex of the topmost flap. The plates for the Mulready lettersheets and envelopes were engraved by John Thompson and printed by William Clowes on security, silk-thread cream paper made by John Dickinson. Two values were issued; the 1d printed in black and the 2d printed in blue.

It was perceived by stationery manufacturers that their livelihood was threatened by Mulready’s newly issued lettersheets and envelopes. Consequently they were widely caricatured, or lampooned, and the official Mulready stationery had to be withdrawn and replaced swiftly; the 1d pink was introduced the following year. However this was not before a number of eminent caricatures and printers of the time had come up with designs that viciously parodied the Mulready, and they proved extremely popular throughout the rest of 1840.

Isle of Man Post Office has produced the ultimate postal history compilation, limited to just 1000 items; it includes a set of two reproduction Mulready envelopes, four caricature envelopes plus a specially designed postal history stamp sheet, with words and pictures supplied by Robin Cassell of Mulready Philatelics.

Robin Cassell of Mulready Philatelics said: “6th May 1840 is the most important day in philatelic history – the issue date of the first stamps, the Penny Black and the Twopenny Blue, together with a prepaid envelope and lettersheet of the same values by the Irish artist William Mulready. The Isle of Man Post Office have produced a wonderful set of six stamps to commemorate the 175th Anniversary of this historic date, together with a set of six envelopes accurately producing both the Mulready envelope and contemporary caricatures by artists such as John Leech and Dickie Doyle that ridiculed the design, which was seen as inappropriate by the Victorian public. Now we appreciate these items for their true beauty and classic design, and they remain highly collectable to this day.”

Mike Southall MBE MCGI said: “The first postage paid envelopes and lettersheets were introduced by William Mulready RA. They were expected to be standard method of prepayment of postage but were very much ridiculed by the general public and there were a number of satirical caricatures made of Mulready’s designs. As a result postage stamps took precedence and still remain today.”

First commemorative Royal Baby postal tribute is unveiled by Isle of Man Post Office

Royal Baby Princess Folder CollectionIn celebration of the birth of HRH Princess Charlotte of Cambridge, Isle of Man Post Office has produced Royal memorabilia items to mark this key moment in British history.

It follows the news the world had been waiting for, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge saw the arrival of their second child a baby girl on Saturday (May 2nd) at St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington, London. Named Charlotte Elizabeth Diana, the Princess was born at 8.34am on Saturday, just 154 minutes after the Duchess was admitted to the Lindo Wing at shortly after 6.00am and weighing 8lbs 3oz – just 3oz less than Prince George when he arrived in July 2013.

Following news of the birth of HRH Princess Charlotte the Manx Government passed its congratulations to the Royal Family with a letter of congratulations being sent to Clarence House this week.

The premium product is a pink celebration folder priced at £22.50. It contains the memorabilia items which can also be purchased individually as follows: a specially issued mint condition sheet of label sets priced at £8, an exclusive first day cover featuring the label set and an exclusive postmark for local Manx Post Office ‘Windsor Road’ with a full colour information card, priced £8.50 along with a highly collectible slogan die envelope using a special postmark and the Prince William and Kate Middleton Royal Wedding stamps, priced £6.50. This special collectible also includes photos of the proud parents the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge accompanied by details of the birth of HRH Princess Charlotte of Cambridge and specially-commissioned text written by leading royal journalist and biographer Claudia Joseph.

Graham Cregeen MHK, Isle of Man Post Office Chairman said: “We were thrilled to hear the news of the safe arrival of the Royal Baby, HRH Princess Charlotte of Cambridge. Her birth marks yet another historic occasion for the British Royal family and therefore we wanted to celebrate this with a very special postal tribute that marks the day. These products are always popular with collectors of Royal memorabilia around the world and we send our warm congratulations to the Royal couple.”

200th Anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo marked by Isle of Man Post Office in collaboration with Waterloo 200

Isle of Man Post Office together with Waterloo 200 is pleased to present a set of four se-tenant pairs of stamps to celebrate the Bicentenary Anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo. The stamps due for release on May 8 use images that depict various stages of the Battle from both sides.

The Battle of Waterloo marked the end of the Revolutionary (1792-1803) and Napoleonic (1804-1815) wars. These long conflicts cost Britain dear financially and also resulted in a greater proportional loss of population than WW1.

In March 1815 Napoleon Bonaparte made a surprise return to France following his abdication in 1814 and as a result four armies, the British/German and Dutch army, the Prussian force, also the distant Russian and Austrian armies were mobilised against him. Anticipating an allied invasion, Bonaparte advanced rapidly with 125,500 men to the border of France with the Netherlands (now Belgium). Napoleon Bonaparte and the Duke of Wellington had never faced each other in battle until this point.

War broke out on June 16 following two preliminary battles, and by June 18 a three mile allied line with three defended farms in front (Hougoumont, on the right, La Haye Sainte and Papelotte) waited for Bonaparte’s first move. At 11.30am Hougoumont was attacked, the first of several assaults that lasted all day. At around 12.45pm a 64-gun battery fired on Wellington’s left centre, followed by a 17,000 strong infantry assault which was repelled by a strong but wasteful British heavy cavalry attack, countered by French cavalry. Fighting continued on both sides all day, then by around 7.30pm victory was complete and Prussian cavalry pursued the French off the battlefield. The victory was momentous but the butcher’s bill high with 55,000 men killed, wounded or missing.

Isle of Man Post Office has produced four evocative se-tenant pairs of stamps that capture in striking detail images of The Battle of Waterloo from both sides and the resulting victory for the Duke. Together these stamps tell the story of the battle by capturing its key stages including the preliminary battle at Quatre-Bras, the fighting at La Haye-Sainte, defence of Chateau de Hougoumont and an image of General Hill who was thrown into combat at the last minute to salvage victory for Bonaparte but could not break the British centre and was forced to retreat, with victory for the Duke.

Waterloo 200 organiser Mick Crumplin said: “As education lead for Waterloo 200 and a military historian, I was delighted with the Isle of Man’s decision to commemorate one of Britain and Europe’s most important historical events – the Bicentenary of the Battle of Waterloo. The stamps splendidly portray various stages in the action of the 18 June 1815. This issue will remain a treasured memorial for collectors and the general public.”

Tim Cooke Chairman of Waterloo 200 said:” Waterloo 200 is a registered charity with a vision to deliver an appropriate international commemoration of the 200th Anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo and its consequences for the history of Europe.”

Commenting on Waterloo 200’s collaboration with Isle of Man Post Office, he continues: “As the Chairman of Waterloo 200 we are delighted to be in partnership with Isle of Man Post Office, Stamps and Coins division.”

Blooming great rose scented stamps to mark Women’s Institute (WI) centenary

PRESS IMAGE (WI STAMPS)Isle of Man Post Office has been working in collaboration with the Isle of Man WI Federation to mark the Institutes centenary anniversary celebration with a brand new rose scented stamp issue due for release April 25, 2015.

The set of six stamps, marks 100 years of camaraderie and campaigning work, depicts a range of images of both the current Isle of Man WI chapter as well as some of the WIs most famous campaigns over the past 100 years, and a selection of Island members. Each stamp is set on special rose scented paper with the pink rose emblem which represents 100 years of contribution.

The WI was established in 1915 in Llanfairpwll on Anglesey with the aim of revitalising rural life and educating and inspiring women where ever their life leads them. Nowadays, the aims have widened but many WI members still join primarily to make new friends, learn and develop skills and make positive changes to their local – and in many cases national – community and the activities members engage with have changed. WI is the largest women’s voluntary membership organisation in the UK and currently has over 212,000 members in 6,600 WIs across England, Wales and the Islands.

Every WI belongs to a Federation, of which there are 69 in total. The Isle of Man Federation was formed in 1950 and currently has 750 members in 30 WIs. Its members have always taken an active interest in Island life and getting involved in a huge range of activities.

Dympna Connolly, Isle of Man Federation of Women’s Institutes Board of Trustees member said: “I am delighted that WI and its campaigns were chosen for the stamps. We have covered various topics in our campaigns from Equal Pay for Women, Fair Deals for Farmers, and Keep Britain Tidy to Organ Donation.”

“There are no hero women in the Institute just ladies who do what they can for WI, colleagues and society, and they don’t expect to get put on a pedestal. There are currently 30 WIs on Island – springs from localism and recognising you start from where you are.”

“Many members are not originally from the Isle of Man but we are all committed to the Island, its heritage, agriculture, culture and language.”

Maxine Cannon, General Manager of Isle of Man Stamps and Coins said: “It’s hard to think of a cause over the last century that the WI haven’t directly influenced. Their energy and resolve is infectious and is quite clearly as strong as it has always been, and it’s for this reason we wanted to capture the WI of today by working with as many members and Institutes as possible on the stamp issue. It has been great fun compiling the issue and I believe it will be very well received. I’d like to thank all the members involved and invite all public and collectors to sample this truly unique rose scented edition.”

Isle of Man Post Office celebrates a piece of Manx historical narrative

TynwaldTapestry_SetIsle of Man Post Office has produced a set of 10 beautiful stamps reproducing panels from the Millennium Tapestry which was created and presented to Tynwald in 1979 by the Isle of Man’s branch of the Womens Institute (WI) who celebrate their 65th Anniversary in 2015. The stamp issue due for release on April 10 will be officially launched on the day in the afternoon by Madam President, the Hon Clare Christian MLC at the Legislative Buildings.

The Millennium Tapestry consists of 78 embroidered squares which were created by embroiderers in the Isle of Man during the spring of 1977 to April 1979. The work was widely publicised, and any person of either sex who was skilled with a needle could apply for cloth and design.

Financed through the Millennium committee of Tynwald, the tapestry uses a basic design laid out along the lines of a traditional American patchwork, where many needle workers contribute to one piece of work. The tapestry marks 1000 years of Tynwald and the main historical events in the life of Tynwald are given pride of place.

A total of 10 stamps were hand selected from this and include the following highlights: The Viking Arrival – the Norse invasions began in 800AD and remained under Norse rule until 1266AD. The Manx Bill of Rights – passed in 1737 to ensure fair trial. The TT – the races celebrated their centenary in 2007. Tynwald Hill – 12ft high and said to be made of soil brought from each of the 17 parishes on the Island. Transport – the Steam Railway originally built in the late1800s, the unique Manx Electric Railway built between 1893 and 1899, and the Island bus operation which was introduced later as the Railway Company began to falter. The stamps capture the uniqueness of the tapestry, the detail and its texture, as well as a glimpse of the most pivotal events in a history of the Isle of Man.

President of Tynwald, the Hon Clare Christian MLC said: “The images selected by Isle of Man Stamps & Coins show the skills of the members of the Women’s Institute who, with their strands of embroidery thread, have depicted strands of a thousand years of parliamentary history and Island life. Since it was gifted for the Tynwald Millennium the tapestry has been housed in the Legislative Building where it is enjoyed and admired by all our visitors. Through the medium of this stamp issue Tynwald is very proud to share images from the Millennium Tapestry with the wider world.”

Maxine Cannon, General Manager of Isle of Man Post Office said: “When we embarked on this project we were incredibly confident of the wealth of historical milestones to draw upon. This was a unique opportunity not only to celebrate this fine piece of work but also to mark our continuing celebrations of the WI centenary and of course the Isle of Man Federation on its 65th Anniversary.”

The Millennium Tynwald Tapestry is on display on the ground floor in the Legislative Buildings on Finch Road Douglas, Monday to Friday 09.00 – 17.00 (excluding public holidays) for those interested in viewing it.

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