Celebrating icons on 50th anniversary

Sports star: Chorley-based Olympic hero Bradley Wiggins

Sports star: Chorley-based Olympic hero Bradley Wiggins

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Local names immortalised on stamps

Iconic landmarks, people and places from across the North West are to be celebrated in the 50th anniversary of special stamps.

50 years of special stamps in the north west - Inventor Richard Arkwright, Preston

50 years of special stamps in the north west - Inventor Richard Arkwright, Preston

2015 marks the 50th year of Royal Mail’s special stamp programme, commemorating events and anniversaries and including key images of the region.

They include Chorley’s 2012 Olympic gold medallist Bradley Wiggins, and Preston inventor Richard Arkwright.

And as part of the 50th anniversary celebrations, Royal Mail has launched an online gallery of every special stamp issued since July 1965.

The top 10 North West special stamps issued are Blackpool Pier, Manchester’s Imperial War Museum, Liverpool’s John Archer, The Beatles Abbey Road in Liverpool, Manchester Town Hall, Preston inventor Richard Arkwright, Manchester’s Commonwealth Games, Liverpool Steeplechase, 2012 Olympic gold medallist cyclist Jason Kenny from Bolton, and 2012 Olympic gold medallist Bradley Wiggins from Chorley.

The online gallery, which includes images of the stamps featuring the iconic buildings and landscapes of the North West, can be viewed from today.

Visitors to the site at www.rmspecialstamps.com can browse through the stamps by the decade, and also view the stamps that were issued in the year they were born.

Criteria for the creation of special stamps to celebrate events and commemorate anniversaries relevant to UK heritage and life was devised in 1965 by the then Postmaster General, Tony Benn.

The stamp of Sir Winston Churchill, issued in July of that year, was the first under Benn’s administration.

It was the first British stamp to feature a contemporary individual, and set the scene for the future.

Including these, a total of 2,663 special stamps have been issued.