Royal Mail’s cover­age of an­niver­sary first class

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS -

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

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