Royal Mail’s coverage of anniversary first class
AVID stamp collectors may be delighted to hear that a very special set of six new stamps was released on Friday September 2 to commemorate 350 years since the Great Fire of London.
The unique Royal Mail stamps show key scenes from the huge blaze that devastated the city for four days from September 2 1666.
More than 13,000 houses and 87 churches were obliterated in the fire, including St Paul’s Cathedral.
To mark the anniversary, a huge model sculpture of London’s skyline in 1666 was also set alight on the River Thames.
Philip Parker from the Royal Mail said: “The Great Fire of London is one of the most infamous events in the history of London.
“Despite the terrible devastation caused by the great fire, it provided an opportunity for the regeneration of large swathes of the city and shaped the London we know today.
“It is fitting that we mark the anniversary of the fire with an innovative set of stamps that re-imagine the events.”
Designed by the esteemed comic book artist and writer John Higgins, who has worked on Judge Dredd and Watchmen comics, the stamps also mark the first time a British stamp will adopt a graphichi novel l style.l
The six stamps depict the start, spread and aftermath of the great fire.
Mr Higgins said: “It is an honour to illustrate these stamps and to commemorate this moment in history 350
Cyears on. Capturingi theh story of the Great Fire of London in just six special stamps was a wonderful challenge.
“I am thrilled to have been chosen to bring the graphicnovel style.”
The fire started in Pudding Lane ini centrall Londond afterf a dry hot summer had left many of the city’s wooden buildings as dry as tinder.
The stamps will be available from www.royalmail.com/ greatfire and from 8,000 post offices.
n FIERY TALE: (Clockwise from left) – A fire breaks out in a bakery on Pudding Lane. Thomas Farriner, the baker, and his daughter escape through a window;
– The fire spreads rapidly and many people flee to the river with their possessions; – Houses are pulled down to create breaks and stop the fire from spreading; – As the fire reaches St Paul’s, citizens witness the cathedral’s destruction. Belongings stored inside fuel the flames; – The fire dies down and many gather at Moorfields. Temporary food markets are set up across London; – Christopher Wren develops plans for the regeneration of the city and presents them to the King
n UP IN SMOKE: (Above) The model is placed on the Thames; (left) a close-up of the model; (right) the Great Fire re-enactment