Procol Harum

Beyond
the Pale

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Procol Harum honoured by British Post Office

and BtP's Mystery Guest revealed


Who says 'philately will get you nowhere'? On this page, links to a first glimpse of the new Whiter Shade of Pale commemorative stamps as mentioned at BtP a while back. At last, substantial Royal Mail recognition in their own country for these fantastic musicians, who are so widely celebrated elsewhere!

This publication also represent quite an accolade for webmaster Jens Anders Ravnaas who is, apparently, the first Norwegian photographer whose images have appeared on British stamps (though his work has been used philatelically in Scandinavia, notably the  undersea crab-shots in the Kysten's Skalldyr (coastal crustaceans) series. The contemporary Procol Harum pictures were taken using a Nikon D4s with the not-yet-released Nikon 24-70 f2.8G ED VRII lens prototype.

The connection came about through PH biographer Henry Scott-Irvine, whose many high-profile friends include the current British Postmaster General, a Procol fan since 1968. We believe the illustration of the AWSoP sheet-music (a historical item that does not list the full songwriting credits) comes from his personal collection. The PMG is to be our VIP Attraction (no longer the 'Mystery Guest', as we've been advertising him) at the 'Echoes in the Night' Convention at the end of this week in Wuppertal, where he will be giving a talk about aspects of his career, and signing specimen-sheets of the Procol stamps (36 stamps on each sheet) which Palers will be able to buy at face-value from the BtP merchandise counter.

That is a one-day-only privileged offer, for people who have booked their Convention places: but of course the Procol stamps will later be on sale, individually, to the public in British Post-Offices: so if any overseas stamp-collectors want BtP to send you a franked postcard using them  so you'll have used copies to paste into your albums just click postmaster@procolharum.com (most overseas mail will require at least two stamps, so you should specify which of the musicians' images you particularly want to for your collection).

These historic stamps will not be officially published until 12 May (36 years from the release of the great record). For the moment, therefore, BtP can show you only the following proof 'Specimen' sheets that were issued by Her Majesty's Stationery Office. You can save the pdfs by right-clicking on them, or just view them with an ordinary click (be aware: they are not blank, they just take a while to download, but they're worth it).

hmso-lighter-proofsheet1-restriction.pdf  hmso-lighter-proofsheet2-restriction.pdf hmso-lighter-proofsheet3-restriction.pdf
hmso-lighter-proofsheet4-restriction.pdf hmso-lighter-proofsheet5-restriction.pdf hmso-lighter-proofsheet6-restriction.pdf

But please don't try to print and use them as that would be very definitely not 'in the spirit in which they were made' available to us.

Watch out for more from the UK's rockin' Postmaster General, who we understand is writing the celebrity foreword, and also the afterword, to Henry's hotly-anticipated (as-yet untitled) autobiography.


Features at BtP

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