Royal Mail unveils stamps featuring historic
trading ships from the Cutty Sark to the Arctic
Convoys in tribute to sailor
- Collection of six stamps celebrates the work of Merchant Navy servicemen over past two centuries
- Veterans invited to launch the series aboard Cutty Sark in Greenwich, London today
- A miniature collection of black and white photographs also released to honour war time Merchant Navy ships
A collection of stamps featuring historic trading ships has gone on sale to commemorate the Merchant Navy.
The Royal Mail has created the series of Mint stamps to pay tribute to the contribution of Merchant Navy sailors to the country over the last two centuries.
The collection was launched today aboard one of its featured vessels, the Cutty Sark in Greenwich, London, with a handful of Merchant Navy veterans there to see their efforts recognized.
The historic tea clipper Cutty Sark is among the collection of paintings which honour Merchant Navy servicemen
The Clan Matheson is among the ships featured in the collection. It was bought and sold several times before being purchased by the Ministry of Transport in 1955 under the name Empire Claire
The RMS Britannia was among the first ships to be built by Robert Duncan & Company in 1840, and famously carried Charles Dickens across to the US in 1842
Among the ships are two Royal Mail ships, the Britannia and the Queen Elizabeth, which were used to shuttle mail in and out of British ports in the 19th and 20th centuries.
The collection is accompanied by a miniature sheet of four additional black and white photographs which depict the service personnel who sailed in Atlantic and Arctic convoys during the Second World War.
The famous ships each hold a special history which is celebrated in the collection which costs £5.20.
RMS Britannia was a large vessel for its time, measuring 207 feet long and 34 feet across the beam, with three masts.
East Indiaman Atlas made its maiden voyage in 1813 to India and made at least nine more journeys thereafter until 1830
The Bulk Carrier Lord Hinton was launched in 1986, measuring 508ft in length and 79ft in breadth
Contracted to carry Royal Mail post for over two years the RMS Queen Elizabeth became a luxury mode of transport, taking those aboard from Southampton to New York
Boasting paddle wheels and a two-cylinder side-lever engine the ship was relatively fast with an average speed of around 8.5 knots.
While the Britannia had room for only 115 passengers, RMS Queen Elizabeth held a crew of 400 on her maiden voyage from Clydebank to Southampton.
The gearless Lord Hinton bulk carrier was last active in 2004 and measured 508ft by 79 ft.
War veterans Sid Hunt, 89, Leslie Taylor, 89, Don Staddon, 88, Captain Gwilym Williams, 98, Derek Ings, 88, and Stanley Mayes, 88 celebrate the stamps' launch in Greenwich today
Captain Gwilym Williams, 98 took part in Atlantic Convoys during WWII. He was honoured today alongside other veterans abord the Cutty Sark in Greenwich, where the paintings have been turned into flags and raised on the ship's mast
The East Indiaman Atlas took its maiden voyage in 1813 to India with a crew of 130 men. The ship was sold in 1931 for breaking after changing hands numerous times.
Aboard the Cutty Sark, the last known tea clipper which now serves as a monument to war time Navy personnel,the paintings have been turned into flags and are flown on the ship's mast.
A spokesman for the Royal Mail said: 'This collection salutes the heritage of Britain's trading fleet of ships, which exported and imported goods from around the world, as well as transported passengers - and continues to do so to this day.'
Costing £1.28 each, the stamps are available on the Royal Mail's website.
The collection salutes the work of maritime servicemen in WWII who sailed in the Atlantic and Arctic convoys of WWII
One of the four black and white photographs depicts a Merchant Navy North Sea Convoy during the Second World War
Merchant Navy HMS Vanoc takes part in an Atlantic convoy during the war in which many lost their lives at sea
Servicemen shovel snow from the deck of HMS King George during an Arctic convoy
Source: Daily Mail, UK.