Norvic Philatelics - GB New Stamps and Special Postmarks

Celebrating Northern Ireland - 11 March 2008

The third country miniature sheet, Celebrating Northern Ireland, and the last in the series of Smiler / Generic sheets for the home nations, Glorious Northern Ireland, will be issued simultaneously on 11 March 2007. Other sheets have been issued on the country's saints' days but Celebrating Northern Ireland will be issued a week earlier at the request of the Northern Ireland Office to enable St Patrick's Day cards to be posted to destinations overseas for the big day.

See below the postmark panel for illustrations of some interesting 'flaws' on this miniature sheet.

Celebrating England Miniature sheet issued 11 March 2008.
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The stamps on the miniature sheet show:
1st Class - Carrickfergus Castle Photograph by David Lyons, 78p - St Patrick Illustration by Clare Melinsky,
78p - Queen's Bridge and Friendship Beacon Photograph by Tony Pleavin 1st Class - Giant's Causeway Photograph by Ric Ergenbright.
Background: Cushenden Hills Getty Images/Gavin Hellier

Glorious Northern Ireland Smilers Sheet of stamps issued 11 March 2008.
Scenes depicted on the labels (column 1, then column 2)
Belfast City Hall, Carrick-a-rede rope bridge North Antrim, Slieve Binnian, Killnasaggart Stone, Ulster American Folk Park
'Hands across the divide' Craigavon Bridge Derry, Devenish Island, Tievebulliagh, Strangford Lough, Castle Coole.
Background - The Giant's Causeway. Click on the image for a large version.

Technical details:

The miniature sheet is designed by Silk Pearce and is printed by De La Rue Security Print in litho - sheet size 123 x 70mm.

The A4 Smilers Sheet is designed by Rodney Miller Associates and is printed by Cartor Security Printing in lithography on self-adhesive paper. Photographic credits have not been provided by Royal Mail.

Norvic Exclusive First Day Covers

We will have two limited edition first day covers for this issue.

The cover for the miniature sheet shows views of Carrickfergus Castle, Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge and Cushendun, all in County Antrim.
The cover will be postmarked with S10902 Carrickfergus or S10900 Queen's Bridge Belfast, priced at 6.95 each.
Norvic FDC for the Celebrating Northern Ireland miniature sheet issued
 11 March 2008.

A pair of covers will be used for a half-sheet of the Smilers Sheet. This cover has views of the Giants Causeway, a field system in the Torr Head area, both in County Antrim, and Hares' Gap in the Mountains of Mourne, County Down.
The price is 10.00 for the pair of covers, postmarked with S10905 (Downpatrick) and S10906 (Bushmills).
('Label' images shown are from original publicity pictures and some have been replaced in the actual sheet.)
Norvic FDC for Glorious Northern Ireland Smilers sheet issued 
11 March 2008.

Royal Mail Celebrating Northern Ireland presentation packRoyal Mail fdc for Celebrating Northern Ireland MS Products issued:

Mint miniature sheet
MS Presentation Pack 
Set of 5 Stamp Cards unused
Smilers Sheet

Special Postmarks
First day of issue postmarks are shown here - these may not be to scale. These postmarks cannot be obtained after the date of issue.

Tallents House postmark with text as shown. Downpatrick postmark with text as shown. Downpatrick, Co Down, First Day of Issue postmark. Postmark illustrated with a cown over hand of Ulster. Postmark illustrated with a harp.
Ref FD807
Philatelic Bureau Official Postmark, "A plenteous place is Ireland for hospitable cheer" - Samuel Ferguson
Ref FD808
Downpatrick, Co Down, Official Postmark, "To be back where the dark Mourne sweeps down to the sea" Percy French
Ref FD808NP
Downpatrick, Co Down, Official non-pictorial Postmark
Ref M10893
St Patrick's Close, Birmingham
Ref M10892
The Harp, Bridgnorth
Public House
Postmark illustrated with Red Hand of Ulster badge. Postmark illustrated with Seahorse from Belfast city coat of arms. Postmark illustrated with St George and the dragon. Postmark illustrated with St George and the dragon. Postmark illustrated with St George and the dragon.
Ref S10900
Queen's Bridge, Belfast (Red hand of Ulster)
Ref S10901
Queen's Island, Belfast (Seahorse from City Coat of Arms
Ref S10902
Carrickfergus, County Antrim (County coat of arms)
Ref S10903
Downpatrick, County Down (Celtic Cross)
Ref S10904
Cushenden, Ballymena (Compass)
Postmark illustrated with Celtic knot. Postmark illustrated with shamrock. Postmark illustrated with Belfast City Hall. Carrickfergus operational-style postmark. Belfast double-ring operational-style postmark.
Ref S10905
Downpatrick, County Down
Ref S10906
Bushmills, County Antrim
Ref S4641
Permanent postmark iluustrated with Belfast City Hall
Ref S4188
Carrickfergus SHC operational-style postmark.
Ref S6039
Belfast double-ring operational-style postmark.
Belfast SHC (operational-style) cancel. Postmark showing the Giant's Causeway .
Ref S4187
Belfast SHC (operational-style) cancel
Ref S4414 (new)
Giant's Causeway, Bushmills, Northern Ireland.

Flaws on the Miniature Sheet

enlargement of 78p Queen's bridge stamp showing 'shooting stars'

We have noticed what appear to be some interesting printing variations on this miniature sheet which are most noticeable on the Queen's Bridge stamp, and below the Giant's Causeway design. All these sheets are on FDCs but there appear to be no surface scratches or marks on any of them, All the flaws seem to be in the printing.

These enlargements show 3 versions of the 'shooting stars' plus one scan of a sheet which does not show the flaws. The first shows the street light approximately in the centre of the stamp design. The top-left 'scratch' is much longer than the other two, but the top-right image is unaffected.

shooting star against right-most light on stamp. shooting star against central light on stamp.scratches on Giant's Causeway stamp.

The second image shows the right-most complete light with a similar flaw. The marks are very similar but they do not all seem to 'end' at the same place. Again the top-right image does not show the flaw.

The last image shows marks below the design of the Giant's Causeway stamp. These are all very similar and other sheets do not show these marks.

I would be very interested to know if anybody else has sheets which exhibit any or all of these flaws, and to know their source. Please use the link below.

If your sheets have any similar - or different flaws, please email us.
NB: emails will normally be acknowledged in 1-2 days. If you do not receive an acknowledgement please email us from a different address (eg hotmail, gmail).

This page updated 7 April 2008

2008 stamp issues
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Ian Fleming's James Bond
15 Definitive LOVE booklet
15 New Smilers stamps
Working Dogs
28 Kings and Queens I
28 Greetings retail booklet
Celebrating Northern Ireland MS and Glorious Northern Ireland Smiler Sheet
13 Mayday - Rescue at Sea
Rate change Machin & Country stamps
1 Territorial Army commemorative sheet
15 Endangered Species - Insects
13 Retail booklet - summer
Classic Films
Air Displays, powered flight
24 Olympics commemorative sheet
Beijing Expo 2008 Smilers Sheet
22 Olympics handover Joint issue
18 British Military Uniforms (II - Royal Air Force)
29 50th Anniv. regional stamps MS
29 Glorious UK Smilers sheet
Women of Distinction
28 Smilers for Kids
Christmas (Pantomime)
6 Lest We Forget
tba 60th Birthday of HRH Prince Wales

2009 programme


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Norvic Philatelics, PO Box 119, Dereham, NR20 3YN, GB. -- UK Phone: 08450 090939 -- Skype:ian.billings-norvic