Stamps to mark the 100th edition of the Tour de France

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Widely regarded as the world’s biggest annual sporting event, the Tour de France will mark its 100th edition this year.

To celebrate, Isle of Man Post Office is issuing a set of eight postage stamps honouring its greatest champions and the role that Britain and indeed the Isle of Man has played in adding to the colourful history of the world’s greatest race. The issue date is June 19.

Le Tour as it’s now known, started in 1903 with the first British riders taking part in 1937 but it wasn’t until 1958 that the first Briton, Brian Robinson won a stage. Indeed the Yorkshireman has played a key role in bringing the tour to his home country for the Grand Départ in 2014, so there are several reasons why he has been chosen to feature on one of the values.

The Isle of Man has played its part in generating interest in the Tour too. For more than 50 years Isle of Man International Cycling Week attracted a long list of Tour de France riders including Coppi, Anquetil, Merckx, Simpson, Fignon and Roche. Mark Cavendish, the first and so far only Manx rider to compete in the Tour, has 23 stage wins. He won the Green Jersey in 2011 and Bradley Wiggins became the first Britain to win the Tour outright in 2012. Both of these legendary British riders are depicted on the stamps.

The Yellow Jersey first appeared in the Tour in 1919 so that spectators and the press could easily identify the race leader. Frenchman Eugène Christrophe was the first rider to wear the Maillot Jaune.

In its history only four men have won the Tour five times so it’s fitting that they are each honoured with their own stamp in this issue: Frenchmen Jacques Anquetil and Bernard Hinault, Belgium’s Eddy Merckx and Spain’s Miguel Indurain.

There are just eight images from 100 Tours featured in this stamp issue but each one honours one of its greatest champions.

Please visit our website here to find out more about the Tour de France collection of stamps and products and to pre-order.

Michael Dunlop

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Michael Dunlop and Geoff Corkish

TT winner Michael Dunlop chats with Isle of Man Post Office Chairman Geoff Corkish MBE MLC during the launch of our limited edition Michael Dunlop ‘Ramsey Hairpin’ TT tarmac, a genuine piece of tarmac from the TT course

Funny video about our Isle of Man TT tarmac

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Post Office celebrations receive stamp of approval from McGuiness and Dunlop

Isle of Man TT legend John McGuinness and Isle of Man Post Office Chairman Geoff Corkish MBE MLC

Isle of Man TT legend John McGuinness and Isle of Man Post Office Chairman Geoff Corkish MBE MLC

The racers who have dominated the opening of the 2013 Isle of Man TT have given their stamp of approval to two special products from the Isle of Man Post Office commemorating their incredible performances.

Honda TT Legends racers John McGuinness and Michael Dunlop met Isle of Man Post Office Chairman Geoff Corkish MBE MLC and Isle of Man Stamps and Coins General Manager Maxine Cannon at the TT Grandstand on Tuesday during a break from racing to have their first glimpse of the new products.

One is a portrait print measuring 210mm x 260mm which celebrates the outright lap record set by John on the final lap of Sunday’s Dainese Superbike race. Although he missed out on the win, John took some consolation from increasing the record to 131.671mph. The print features a photo of John in the race by Stephen Davison, with the Joey Dunlop tribute helmet, leathers and livery, a stamp from the 2009 Honda 50 years at the Isle of Man TT collection and a TT Grandstand postmark of June 2nd, 2013, the date of the race. Commentary on the reverse of the print is provided by motorsport journalist Kyle White.

The second product is a genuine piece of tarmac taken from the Mountain Course at the Ramsey Hairpin accompanied by a photo of Michael Dunlop on his way to a dominant victory in Sunday’s Superbike race. It was his first ‘big bike’ TT win and the start of an amazing TT which continued on Monday with wins in both the Supersport and Superstock races. Just 750 pieces will be available.

John said: “During the Superbike race I made a mistake in the pit stop, that was my fault, so the absolute lap record was a bit of a consolation. But I’m proud to have done it, especially in the Joey Dunlop colours, and I would have been really disappointed if I’d got nothing out of it.

“When you win, your name goes on the trophy and that can never be taken away. Lap records aren’t the same, because someone else could take them away. I’ve held the outright lap record here for many years, and while it’s the wins I’m after, I’m always proud to be the fastest and I’m delighted the Post Office has commemorated my lap on Sunday liken this, so it has gone down in history.”

Mr Corkish presented two pieces of Michael Dunlop Ramsey Hairpin tarmac at the Grandstand; piece number 1 to Honda and piece number 6 to Michael, recognising the race number he carried in the Superbike race.

Michael said: “Everything has been going good, the results have been coming and everyone has been really good to me. It’s always nice to be recognised for what you are doing out there, so I’m really pleased my Superbike win has been marked like this.”

Mr Corkish said: “The TT is a major part of Island life and is growing every year, you just have to look at the thousands of fans who are here and the many more thousands of fans following the action from around the world.

“Sunday’s Superbike race was filled with drama, and after watching Michael storm to victory and John smash the lap record in the way he did, we felt we simply had to commemorate the incredible performances of both. I’m delighted John and Michael were able to find time today in what must a truly hectic schedule to join us in launching these two important new products, which I know TT fans and collectors all over the globe will want.”

The Michael Dunlop “Ramsey Hairpin” tarmac, costing £4.50 (limited edition of 750) and John McGuinness print, costing £12.50, can both be purchased from the Regent Street Post Shop in Douglas, Joey Dunlop Foundation stand behind the TT Grandstand or online at http://www.iomstamps.com.

Get the latest Isle of Man Stamps and Coins news at http://www.Facebook.com/IsleofManStampsandCoins

Post Office & Joey Dunlop Foundation join forces at the Isle of Man TT Grandstand

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The Joey Dunlop Foundation, an Isle of Man Registered charity, has joined forces with the Isle of Man Post Office for the Isle of Man TT Festival.

Isle of Man Post Office has issued special celebration products for Joey Dunlop’s achievements at the TT in collaboration with Honda, and also a 90th birthday sheet to celebrate Geoff Duke’s illustrious career.

Kevin Quirk, Trustee of the Joey Dunlop Foundation said: “We are delighted to have teamed up with the Post Office to promote these very special items in addition to our own Joey Dunlop memorabilia and motorcycle tombola which is synonymous with the TT. We were at the North West 200 in the paddock area and will be at the back of the TT Grandstand during TT fortnight. The stand will be run by Joey Dunlop Foundation volunteers and we hope to see friends old and new.”

Maxine Cannon, General Manager, Isle of Man Stamps and Coins, added: “For many years the Isle of Man Post Office has supported the TT with a retail presence and our association with the Joey Dunlop Foundation will ensure this continues for many years to come. The charity’s specialist accommodation at Braddan Bridge is a wonderful holiday complex that caters for people with a wide range of disabilities. With plans to construct two extra apartments by TT 2014, a huge amount of income needs to be generated in 2013 to ensure both the construction and equipping of the apartments. The support of all Joey Dunlop and in particular TT fans is paramount to its continued success.

“We have worked with Honda and Joey’s family on the new product and we are delighted to have one of Joey’s red trademark t-shirts, kindly donated by the family, which forms part of the limited edition Joey folder. The limited edition is 300 and they are selling fast – there’s only one T-shirt so we cannot repeat the collection. Don’t forget all our products are also on sale at Regent Street Postshop in Douglas town centre, just off the promenade”

To view the Geoff Duke and Joey Dunlop special products and to order now please visit the website.

Tribute to Robin Gibb CBE

Tribute to Robin Gibb CBE

Robin Gibb Stamps and Sheets

Tribute to Robin Gibb CBE

The wonderfully colourful, fascinating and showbiz life of singer and songwriter Robin Gibb CBE is celebrated through a new set of stamps reflecting on this legendary Manxman and coincides with the posthumous release of Robin’s album ‘50 St Catherine’s Drive’ later this year.

Described as one of the best white soul voices ever, Robin Gibb is one of the Isle of Man’s most famous citizens. Although worldly known as a member of the Bee Gees along with his two brothers, Robin also carved an impressive solo career. Starting with Robin’s Reign in 1970, Robin created a distinctive body of work separate from the usually more famous Bee Gees recordings.

In the early 1980s, when the Bee Gees took a well-earned hiatus from group activity, Robin pursued his solo work with three more albums (How Old Are You?, Secret Agent and Walls Have Eyes). Award-winning director and producer David Leaf provides the accompanying text to this issue and describes Robin’s last piece of music – The Titanic Requiem, which was composed and created by Robin and his son Robin John. He says on hearing an advance copy of this monumental work he thought “if this was to be Robin’s last musical effort, it was one worthy of his legend.”

Spirit of Love – Tribute to Robin Gibb CBE

Robin will be remembered as a songwriter, a singer, an artist, a man whose slender physique was underscored by his immense determination, personal strength, courage and spirit of love. Robin’s voice was so unlike anything else that graced the radio, timeless and yet somehow, decade after decade, in tune with the times so that he made anything he sang simultaneously sound contemporary classic, epic and now, sadly mythic.

Throughout their career, nobody could figure out where the Bee Gees were from. Some fans were certain they were Australian. Others would say England. When asked, Robin never hesitated, he would answer sweetly and proudly that he was from the Isle of Man.

50 St Catherine’s Drive – Tribute to Robin Gib CBE

Robin’s last solo record, recorded in 2008/9 and due for release later this year, 50 St Catherine’s Drive was given that name by Robin to commemorate his first home on the Isle.

Please visit our website at www.iomstamps.com to find out more about Robin Gibb – 50 St Catherine’s Drive collection of stamps and products and to pre-order.

New stamps celebrate our nationality

Three Legs Mint Set

New stamps have been issued that feature the most recognised symbol on the Isle of Man – the Three Legs of Man. This national emblem can be seen everywhere on the Island from buildings and monuments to chocolate bars and tattoos. But what is the origin of this unusual emblem, Isle of Man Post Office reveals all.

For upwards of a thousand years and probably more, the Three Legs of Man has been the symbol of Manxness yet the origin remains uncertain. In Ireland, stylistic spiral three legs were carved in stone in Neolithic times.

Throughout the world the mythology of threes has played a significant role, notably in India, China, Korea, ancient Greece and Rome – and among native North Americans. It should not be surprising therefore to note that the Manx Parliament consists of three divisions – the House of Keys, Legislative Council and Tynwald. Nor the fact that the ancient open-air Tynwald ceremony at St John’s used to occur to greet the rising sun on Midsummer’s Day. The three-legged symbol, which indicated rotary movement, was regarded as representing the three-spoked wheel of the sun god’s chariot as it crossed the sky.

The Three Legs of Man is often known as the triskele and throughout the Island it can be found in a variety of places however not always consistently the same. Some turn correctly to the right, others the left; some kneel as if acknowledging the supremacy of nearby England or Scotland and some are on tip toe, implying fleetness of foot.

A Latin motto accompanies the Island’s Three Legs of Man ‘Quocunque Jeceris Stabit’ which emphasises the Island’s resilience. Translations have varied – Wheresoever you cast it, it will find its feet or Whithersoever you throw it, it will stand, but the meaning has remained clear: no matter how ‘storm-tossed’ the Island might be, it can survive.

Look out for a competition coming very soon on the Isle of Man Stamps & Coins Facebook page where you can take part in a quiz to try and identify the locations of the Three Legs of Man emblems which feature on the new stamps. The winner will receive a bumper gift pack of this colourful issue.

Please visit our website at www.iomstamps.com to find out more about the Three Legs of Man collection of stamps and products and to order.