To celebrate the centenary of the birth of the Reverend Wilbert Awdry, the Royal Mail has issued a set of ten ‘Thomas & Friends’ stamps featuring Thomas and other favorite engines. From Tuesday, 14 June, the little blue engine and his friends will send thousands of letters steaming to their destinations in the UK and around the world.
The collection comprises six long-format stamps and a miniature sheet of four stamps. The long stamps feature images of popular engines from the ‘Thomas & Friends’ TV series, while the mini sheet covers original illustrations from The Railway Series books, first published over 65 years ago.
• Thomas takes pride of place on the first class letter
• James will be on the 66p basic rate worldwide
• Percy will be on the 68p Europe up to 20gm
• Daisy will be on the 76p basic airmail rate to 10gm
• Toby will be on the rest of world airmail up to 20gm
• Gordon will be on the £1.10 rest of world 20gm
The Rev W. Awdry was born at 5.22am on 15th June 1911 at Ampfield Vicarage in Romsey, Hampshire. He followed his father Vere into the church and shared his passion for the railways. When Wilbert’s young son Christopher was bed-bound with measles the Rev W Awdry decided to help cheer him up by telling him some stories about a group of steam engines.
The stories made it into print in 1945 and now almost seven decades later, Thomas has become an international phenomenon loved the world over. ‘Thomas & Friends’ is the UK’s number one preschool toy property, a position it has held for the past 11 consecutive years.