In Blog 798 I moaned about the fact that Royal Mail is to issue a set of 10 stamps to commemorate that tremendously important anniversary - the 45th anniversary of the Mr. Men books - and to only commemorate that truly important anniversary - the 950th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings which changed the course of England's history - with one of those expensive and tiresome Commemorative sheets.
The designs of the various items have now been revealed to the public and, actually, against my better judgement, I rather like the Mr. Men stamps even though a set of 10 is plainly excessive especially as the basic set will be accompanied by a self-adhesive booklet and 6 different sheets for personalisation and a generic sheet. It all makes the output from some of the oft criticised philatelic agencies look positively conservative. Rating:- *.
The item to be issued rather like an afterthought, which will commemorate the defeat of King Harold II, the last monarch of England (except, perhaps Edgar Aethling) to be descended in the male line from English rulers (everyone else who followed was descended from Normans, Frenchmen, Welshmen, Scotsmen, Dutchmen or Germans) - the commemorative sheet costing £14.99p although the total face value of the stamps contained in it amounts to only £6.40p - will be released on the actual anniversary of the Battle of Hastings, 14 October 2016. It contains 10 x 1st St. George's flag stamps with attached labels which depict details from the Bayeux Tapestry. Rating:- *.
A collaboration between Royal Mail and Eddie Stobart Group (known for its fleet of lorries) has resulted in the issue of yet another Commemorative sheet of 10 x 1st class Union Jack stamps with attached labels depicting, er .... lorries. Again, despite the total face value of the stamps being only £6.40p the sheet is being sold for £14.99p and of course in a "limited edition" of 5000. The date of issue was 30 August 2016. Rating:- 0. No doubt this item will be sought after by those interested in lorries.
Something rather more profound - Ghana Post has either recently issued or is about to issue, 5 stamps on the subject of "Peace" emphasising the need for a peaceful run up to its upcoming national elections. At the moment I have not seen good quality illustrations of the 5 stamps but 2 of them are illustrated below:-
Pakistan Post issued a se-tenant strip of 3 circular stamps on 6 September 2016 to commemorate the centenary of DGTR House - the old Custom House Building in Karachi. The issue was designed by Liaqat Ali and lithographed by Pakistan Printing Corporation Karachi and perforated 13. Rating:- ***.
A long list of new issues is being released by Philatelic Collector Inc., the US-based self-named "Boutique Philatelic agency" in the names of its 3 client postal administrations, Samoa Post, Tonga Post and the Cook Islands Post Office. A few of the issues are fairly reasonable apart from another appallingly expensive Express Postal Service issue, this time from Tonga, which, for some reason is issued in 3 different formats giving it a total face value of T$516 (£170.10p) which the agency is selling on its website for US$232.20c.
Samoa has also been singled out for an enormous issue of 20 stamps titled "Animals of the World" which seems to feature creatures which are not found in Samoa itself, many living thousands of miles away from the small Pacific territory. The justification for such an issue, total face value $28.40c (£8.40p), sold for US$11.04c is difficult to understand (admittedly, not so expensive but on a subject which is wholly irrelevant to Samoa).
Samoa - 2 September 2016 - Samoa's participation in the Rio De Janeiro Olympic Games - 5 stamps. Rating:- **.
7 September 2016 - Animals of the World - 20 stamps issued in 5 se-tenant blocks each of 4 different stamps. Designed from photographs by Joel Sartore. Rating:- 0.
Tonga - 5 September 2016 - Tonga's participation in the Rio De Janeiro Olympic Games - 8 stamps. Rating:- **.
10 June 2016 -150th anniversary of Tuppu College - 1 miniature sheet containing 2 different stamps. Rating:- ***.
4 January 2016 - EMS postal rates - 2 stamps and 3 miniature sheets (see note above) Rating:- 0.
Tonga, issues inscribed "Niuafo'ou" - 150th anniversary of Tupou College - 1 miniature sheet containing 2 different stamps. Rating:- *.
Cook Islands - 6 September 2016 - Cook Islands participation in the Rio De Janeiro Olympic Games - 5 stamps in a se-tenant strip. Rating:- ***.