I still enjoy collecting new issue stamps from across The Commonwealth but there is much going on that tends to spoil one's enjoyment. In the past it was a great pleasure to collect the stamps of the offshore British islands - Guernsey, Alderney, Jersey and Isle Of Man - but sadly that pleasure has long been dissipated by the constant flood of new issues emanating from the postal administrations of these territories. The latest news of philatelic products coming from the Isle Of Man is bleak - the territory is now releasing 2 or even 3 issues per month and that is without even being involved in the issue of "Post and Go" labels with which the other offshore islands plague collectors.
The Isle Of Man postal administration will issue a set of 17 stamps on 15 June 2016 which feature the parish churches of the Manx Telecom Parish Walk. The illustrations used in the set are photographs taken by the Manx photographer, Peter Killey. The stamps were designed by EJC and lithographed by BDT International and perforated 14.
The depicted churches are Holy Trinity (Patrick), St. German's Cathedral (Peel), St. Michael's (Michael), St. Patrick's (Jurby), Marown Parish Church, Maughold Parish Church, St. Bridget's (Bride), St. Lupus (Malew), St. Brendan's (Braddan), All Saints (Lonan), St. Andrew's (Andreas), St. Sanctain's (Santon), Kirk Christ (Lezayre), St. Columba's (Arbory), St. Mary's (Ballaugh), St. Peter's (Onchan) and Holy Trinity (Rushen).
I like the stamps but the issue is clearly excessive and of questionable necessity. Rating:- **.
In Blog 744 I detailed the set of 6 stamps which the Isle Of Man postal service issued on 9 May 2016 to commemorate the 300th anniversary of the Royal Artillery. Now it has been revealed that a "Prestige booklet", cost £14.60p, will be released on 1 June 2016 on the same subject. The booklet will contain 4 different panes making up 2 complete sets of the 6 stamps. One of the panes, made up of 6 self-adhesive stamps, will be issued as a separate item at a price of £7.30p. Rating:- *.
Just a fortnight after the "Parish churches" issue, on 1 July 2016, the Isle Of Man post office will issue a "sheetlet" depicting war memorials to commemorate the centenary of the Battle of The Somme. The sheetlet will be released to mark the service of National Remembrance and Reconciliation to be held at the Thiepval Monument which itself will be depicted on one of the Royal Mail First World War centenary stamps to be issued on 25 June 2016 (see Blog 763).
On the same day the Isle Of Man postal service will also issue a set of 6 stamps to commemorate "One Hundred Years of Relativity". Why? Those who are charged with the job of extracting money from stamp collectors and people who don't know any better are really starting to scrape the bottom of the barrel. I can't imagine that the island has many loyal "one of everything" collectors left now.
The self-styled "World's Most Respected Philatelic Agency" (though some might call it the "World's Most Notorious Philatelic Agency"), IGPC, is making the most of having a major philatelic exhibition taking place in its hometown (NY 2016 Philatelic Exhibition) and letting rip with a flood of philatelic items with its client territories' names printed on them. It has announced proudly that on 29 May 2016 it will launch at the exhibition a series of 6 miniature sheets, each with a different territory's name printed on it so that 3 of the items make up a composite picture of the New York skyline by day and the other 3 achieving the same result but by night. The Commonwealth territories which find their names honoured by these issues are Grenada, Nevis, Ghana and Tuvalu. The other 2 sheets have the name of non-Commonwealth territories printed on them (The Gambia and Palau).
The items will be sold at the philatelic exhibition signed by the ambassadors of the relevant territories and designers of these items. I guess that just makes them unmissable. Rating:- 0.