Today sees the release of a set of stamps which marks the end of Royal Mail's 'British Journey' series. The series began in 2003 and ends its journey throughout the British Isles with a set for England. Curiously, a previous set was issued for South West England - other sets were issued for Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales - suggesting that Royal Mail views this area as somewhat, ummm, different.
St. Paul's, of course, has been used many a time on stamps, mainly to commemorate war victories. Quoth the BBC:
Its iconic appearance was first used by Royal Mail in 1965, complete with patterns of fighter plane vapour trails, to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Battle of Britain.
Last year it re-issued a stamp featuring St. Paul's and the wartime searchlights, to mark 60 years of the end of World War II.
This time round, we're getting a modern view of St. Paul's, showing it in the midst of the City lights. We hope the photo was taken on a dark winter's afternoon rather than late in the evening because the first thing we thought of on seeing the stamp was how wasteful of electricity it was to leave so many lights on (in the offices, that is; St. Paul's is pretty enough to warrant the lighting).
Iconic though St. Paul's is, we've had a look at the other stamps and can't help feeling London's been somewhat let down, as the colour and vibrancy of the stamps featuring other parts of the country are inspired and inspiring. Seen as a full set, the St. Paul's stamp looks like a dank hole compared to the other designs.
One explanation may be that the "designers, Phelan Barker, viewed thousands of photographs for England, before narrowing their selection down to just six." There seems to be ten stamps in the series so did the Royal Mail chuck in four extra images rejected by Phelan Barker?