Some news for fortean philatelists and folklorists. On 9th July the Royal Mail will issue a set of stamps depicting ‘Curious Customs’, and a rather odd selection it is.
Two second-class stamps show the ‘Obby ‘Oss of Padstow; and the Burning Of The Clocks in Brighton, an event I have never heard of before. On the two first-class stamps we see Up Helly Aa, the Orkney Islands’ New Year Viking festival; and the very curious World Gurning Championships in Egremont in Cumbria, which is basically pulling funny faces through a horse’s collar.
Stamps at £1.55 show Cheese Rolling in Gloucestershire, perhaps to celebrate its rescue from elf’n’safety fanatics; and Halloween in Londonderry in Northern Ireland. I don’t know why Halloween is particularly connected with Londonderry, but I suppose it would be inadvisable to philatelically depict Northern Ireland’s other famous curious custom, the Orange Lodge marches!
On the £1.60 denomination stamps we find the very traditional Horn Dance at Abbot’s Bromley in Staffordshire and the rather less ancient Bog Snorkelling event at Lanwrtyd Wells in Powys, Wales.
Unfortunately the only illustrations of the designs that I have seen are of very poor quality, but if I find better images I will post them later.