Last Saturday I had the opportunity to see the RAF’s most famous plane up close and personal. That’s because on the 24th March I drove up to the historic Duxford Aerodrome to have 800 of the brand new Spitfire £2 coins flown in an original WWII Spitfire.
I arrived at 9am but unfortunately the chance of flying was in doubt because of the poor visibility caused by low lying clouds. The rest of the morning was spent nervously looking at the sky waiting for enough visibility for the pilot to safely take the 74 year old warbird into the air.
Our pilot for the day was Flight Lieutenant Anthony Parkinson MBE, known as Parky. The delay caused by the weather gave me the opportunity to talk with Parky about his time in the RAF and how the Spitfire compares to the modern jets he has flown during his time with the RAF. You can see Parky discussing his career and the Spitfire in the video below.
The wait for take-off also gave me the opportunity to sit in the cockpit of the famous fighter plane and experience some of what it would have been like for the young pilots who sat in the same cockpit to defend Britain in the skies over 70 years ago.
Finally at 2.00pm the cloud cleared enough for a small pocket of visibility to take the Spitfire into the air. We quickly pushed the Spitfire out of the hanger and Parky secured the 800 Spitfire £2 coins into the wing bays which would have once held the plane’s armaments.
At 2.20 Parky prepared the plane for take-off. Standing a few yards from the plane whilst it’s famous Rolls Royce engine fired up was brilliant, and the Spitfire TD314 drew in a crowd nearby while it taxied along the runway.
Parky swiftly took the famous plane into the sky and gave me and the rest of the crowd a fly by. Despite the cloud cover it was still fantastic to see the Spitfire race through the sky at the hands of a former Red Arrows display pilot.
The brand new Spitfire £2 coin is a fantastic commemoration of the famous plane and I am grateful that I had the opportunity to mark the 100th anniversary of the RAF with such a fitting tribute.
Thank you to Ben Perkins, Flight Lieutenant Anthony Parkinson MBE and the rest of the team at Aerolegends for helping to take the Spitfire £2 coins to the sky and for giving me the opportunity to see this famous warbird in the flesh.
If you’re interested
All 800 coins have now been sold. However, we will soon be flying the 4 times as limited ‘signed edition’ Silver Proof £2. Click here to pre-reserve yours now >>
Royal Mail’s Game of Thrones Stamps
officially released today.
Secure yours now by clicking here >>
Revealed for the first time today, Royal Mail are set to release 15 new Game of Thrones stamps celebrating the global-success of the hit fantasy TV show, filmed primarily in the British Isles and featuring a star studded cast brimming with home-grown talent.
Scheduled for release on 23 January 2018, the new stamps will feature 10 of the best loved characters from all seven series’, including Tyrion Lannister, Arya Stark, Jon Snow, Daenerys Targaryen and Ned Stark, as well as an exclusive Miniature Sheet, comprising the Iron Throne, the Night King, Drogon and Ghost.
The stamps are Royal Mail’s first ever Game of Thrones stamp issue, and the first Postage Stamps to feature Game of Thrones, the world over.
Here’s your first look at the new stamps alongside a bit of info about each one…
Eddard Stark’s oldest daughter, Sansa, was held in King’s Landing by the Lannister’s after her father’s murder. Initially naive and trusting, she learned how to play the Game of Thrones by observing the devious Petyr Baelish. Following a battle to reclaim her ancestral home, she became the Lady of Winterfell.
The King in the North is a loyal and honourable man. After joining the Night’s Watch, he rose to become the Lord Commander, but his insistence on making common cause with the wildlings led to mutiny and his demise. Resurrected, he returned to Winterfell and defeated Ramsay Bolton.
The head of the Stark family was an honourable, upright and decent man in a dark world. Asked by his oldest friend Robert Baratheon to govern as Hand of the King, he found himself out-manoeuvred at every turn. His execution on trumped-up charges fuelled the War of the Five Kings.
Sharp of tongue and fierce of wit, Olenna Tyrell was the matriarch of the Tyrell family. After losing almost all her family in an explosion orchestrated by Cersei Lannister, Olenna vowed revenge and joined forces with Daenerys Targaryen hoping to bring the Lannister lions to their knees.
The head of the Lannister family was a consummate tactician who ruled his adult children with an iron will. Having engineered victory in the War of the Five Kings thanks to his astute military tactics, Tywin was later undone by his refusal to respect and appreciate Tyrion Lannister.
The youngest Lannister, Tyrion spent most of his life shunned by his family, who failed to appreciate his sharp political mind. Falsely accused of poisoning Joffrey, he was freed by his brother Jaime only to then murder their father. He has pledged his allegiance to Daenerys Targaryen.
Robert Baratheon’s widow spent years hiding a dark secret: her three children were not Robert’s but the product of a long-standing relationship with her twin brother Jaime. Now all three children are dead, and Cersei sits on the Iron Throne in King’s Landing. She is determined to see off all other contenders.
Eddard and Catelyn Stark’s youngest daughter was more interested in learning to fight than becoming a lady. After her father’s death, she survived on her wits, eventually training with the Faceless Men in the Free City of Braavos. She subsequently returned home to Winterfell and reunited with her siblings.
Cersei’s cynical twin brother has a major flaw – his love for his sister. Captured early on in the War of the Five Kings by Robb and Catelyn Stark, he was freed by the latter against her son’s wishes. Increasingly troubled by Cersei’s behaviour, he was last seen leaving King’s Landing.
Revered by her followers as the mother of dragons, Daenerys Targaryen recently landed in Westeros to claim the Iron Throne. Shortly after her arrival, Jon Snow, hoping to convince her to help him fight the forces beyond the Wall, offers the support of the north.
Winter is here with Royal Mail’s official Game of Thrones stamps
The issue consists of independently custom-designed stamps, with unprecedented detail to showcase 10 central Game of Thrones personalities, 4 non-human characters and the Iron Throne itself.
The set of ten best-loved character stamps show exclusive photographic representations of central characters from across all seven seasons in the Game of Thrones’ series. Each stamp is centred on an individual character and is a complex montage of multiple images from the series; creating ten bespoke images that embody the crux of each character’s story. Each individual design is assigned a ‘colour identity’, aligned with the character and their environment, as well as being a reflection of the production values and themes of the series.
The Miniature Sheet centres on the non-human characters in the Game of Thrones series with a very different emphasis to the mint stamps. Despite this, they adhere to a similar design concept; creating distinctive backgrounds through an overlay of imagery to provide insight into the character’s stories. All 4 stamps are carefully constructed in a way that reflects the characters’ environments; however, they are all united by the Iron Throne Definitive at the centre of the sheet, mirroring what lies at the heart of the season as winter comes.
If you’re interested…
You can own all of the new Game of Thrones stamps right now on a limited edition Collector Card – professionally framed and ready to hang.
4th May sees the release of Royal Mail’s stunning new Songbird stamps. As soon as we heard about the release of the stamps, we discussed who we could work with to create the ultimate presentation for collectors.
It didn’t take long for us to unanimously agree that Chris Packham was our man!
Chris is one of today’s most highly respected television naturalists presenting BBC’s Springwatch, Autumnwatch & Winterwatch. And adding further to his CV, he proudly serves as Vice President of the RSPB.
Shortly after contacting him, we were delighted to hear Chris had agreed to sign 500 framed Songbirds stamp sets for us. Here he is at home signing the first of the collector cards.
Once these arrive back with us, they’ll be sent off to Royal Mail to have the stamps specially postmarked with the first day of issue postmark and then returned to us once again to have them professionally framed.
The full set of stamps features the Nightingale, Wren, Blackcap, Cuckoo, Yellowhammer, Great Tit, Goldcrest, Willow Warbler, Song Thrush and Skylark.
We’re now taking pre-orders for the special Chris Packham Signed Edition. Just 500 will be made featuring all the Songbirds stamps on a Framed Collector Card, postmarked with their first day of issue…
So if you want one, click here for details before they sell out.