Bitter Grounds

stamps, espresso & conversation

Royal Mail stamp program 2022

Written by catpaw
January 12, 2022

Well, this is an interesting way to start the Royal Mail’s 2022 stamp program. A rollicking Rolling Stone’s tribute kicks off a year that includes the FA Cup (should I put up a page devoted to this year’s FA?), the Commonwealth Games, cats ‘n birds and a few surprises. An eclectic mix of topics is coming our way.

One thing we can rely on,  is a large volume of high quality cancels. I’m a real cancel hound, and am always looking for new, exciting ones to hunt down. Royal Mail is a gold mine of unique and fun post marks. They offer dozens of sponsored cancels celebrating all sorts of events, not necessarily stamp related. I had more fun than I should have cataloguing the various designs last year.  I’m still torn about spinning them off onto a separate page because of their sheer number.  BUT … if you’d prefer to see special cancels on a separate page, let me know in the comments. I’m open to suggestions. 

 The best stamps of 2021 also included the best cancels. April’s Classic Science Fiction – Iconic authors and their acclaimed novels was a winner in both topic and design. Design firm Webb & Webb worked with 6 illustrators to create this captivating set.

Royal Mail 2021 stamp issues Sci fi cancel in the shape of a clock winding down Royal Mail 2021 stampTallents House cancel

Frankenstein Royal Mail 2021 stamp Royal Mail 2021 stamp issuesTime Machine Royal Mail 2021 stampBrave New World Royal Mail 2021 stamp Royal Mail 2021 stamp issuesDay of the Triffids Royal Mail 2021 stamp Royal Mail 2021 stamp issuesChildhood’s End Royal Mail 2021 stamp Royal Mail 2021 stamp issuesShikasta Royal Mail 2021 stamp 

Four more cancels were issued at the same time, each sponsored by different associations in the UK. 

Frankenstein cancelTriffid cancelSpaceship cancel #15312Sci fi cancel from manchester # 15314

This series tickled me to no end. On my list of favourite B movies is the Day of the Triffids and Time Machine (the original versions) and I think the stamps and cancels do the topics justice. You can see all the details on the 2021 page.  Now, if we could only get the US post office to pay tribute to THEM! and The Thing From Another World, I’d be a happy stamp collector. Well, maybe throw in Reptilicus from Denmark too. Maybe I better stop before I embarrass myself. 

Midway through last year I decided to save my sanity and not post ever single image for some issues. Royal Mail goes a bit overboard with some stamps, occasionally pushing out up to 39 items for a set. Instead of showing everything, I’m including links to the relevant Royal Mail page and keeping the images to essential ones.   




Rolling Stones – Celebrating 60 Years of Iconic Music and Legendary Shows 

It's only rock 'n roll Rolling Stones  cancel one 

Rolling Stones 1 Rolling Stones stamp 8 Well, this is an interesting way to start the Royal Mail's 2022 stamp program. A rollicking Rolling Stone's tribute kicks off a year Rolling Stones 7 Rolling Stones 6 Rolling Stones 5 Rolling Stones 4 Rolling Stones 3 Rolling Stones 2 Well, this is an interesting way to start the Royal Mail's 2022 stamp program. A rollicking Rolling Stone's tribute kicks off a year

Rolling Stones mini sheet  

Rolling Stones Hyde Park Live special sheet Rolling Stones Voodoo Lounge special souvenir sheet 

Rolling Stones presentation pack  Prestige booklet set Rolling Stones

Rolling Stones collector's sheet two Rolling Stones  collector's sheet one

Rolling Stones FDC 2 Rolling Stones FDC

Rolling Stones Numisamatic cover

8 stamps, 4 stamps on a European Tour souvenir sheet, 2 special fan souvenir sheets, presentation pack, prestige presentation pack, 2 collector sheets, 2 FDCs, 2 cancels, 2 medallion covers. Not shown are full sheets, press cuts, booklets, ingots, gold stamp sets and various framed sheets. There are 39 different items available. I’ve included the primary pieces. To see the entire set visit Royal Mail.

Cancels: Dartford and Talents House


  • July 1969: London, UK
  • August 2019: East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA
  • August 1995, Rotterdam, Netherlands
  • March 1995, Tokyo, Japan
  • July 1972, New York City, USA
  • May 2014, Oslo, Norway
  • August 1976, Hertfordshire, UK
  • October 2017, Düsseldorf, Germany

Souvenir sheet shows different tour posters

Designer: Baxter & Bailey Baxter & Bailey – Brand design that makes a difference (
Baxter & Bailey designed the 2019 D-Day Anniversary stamps and the 2020 Queen – Music Giants

Release date: January 20, 2022


Barcoded Definitive


barcoded-nvi-stamp-letter-2nd-class-193x151 barcoded-nvi-stamp-letter-1st-class-193x151 barcoded-nvi-stamp-large-letter-2nd-class-193x151 barcoded-nvi-stamp-large-letter-1st-class-194x151 


ub453-1-barcode-8x1st-class-stamp-book ub452-1-barcode-4x1st-class-stamp-book


4 barcoded stamps, FDC, 2 cancels, FDC, presentation pack, 4 booklets of 8 and 4 

When the barcode is scanned (with Royal Mail app), a special cartoon featuring Shaun the Sheep will be available to watch, using a smart phone. Future issues will connect to different videos. All non-barcoded stamps will be removed from circulation by January 31, 2023. The stamps can be swapped for barcode stamps starting March 31, 2022.

Cancels: Windsor and Talents House

Release date: February 1, 2022

Her Majesty The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee

af482-4-hmqueen-fdc-th-handstamp af482-8-hmqueen-fdc-alt-handstamp

as8100-2-hmqueen-stamp-set as8100-3-hmqueen-stamp-setas8100-4-hmqueen-stamp-setas8100-5-hmqueen-stamp-setas8100-6-hmqueen-stamp-setas8100-7-hmqueen-stamp-setas8100-8-hmqueen-stamp-setas8100-9-hmqueen-stamp-set 

ap501-2-hmqueen-presentation-pk-closed af482-9-hmqueen-fdc-filler-card_2 

af482-3-hmqueen-fdc-th-address an203-1-hmqueen-bu-coin-envelope 

an203-6-hmqueen-bu-coin-handstampan203-4-hmqueen-bu-coin-reverse an203-5-hmqueen-bu-coin-obverse 


8 stamps, 3 cancels, 2 FDCs, 2 numismatic cover (silver proof & platinum proof cover), presentation pack, prestige booklet, 8 Machins, limited edition book (1,952  issues), framed stamps, 8 postcards. I’ve included the primary pieces. To see the entire set visit Royal Mail.

Cancels: London and Talents House

Booklets contain all Platinum Jubilee stamps in pane format, and a full pane of Machin definitive stamps as well as four previously issued stamps.

Designer: John Bergdahl

Release date: February 4, 2022

Stamp Designs of David Gentleman

mf168-4-gentleman-fdc-th-handstamp mf168-8-gentleman-fdc-alt-handstamp

mz172-2-gentleman-minisheet_2 mz172-7-gentleman-minisheet_2 mz172-6-gentleman-minisheet_2 mz172-5-gentleman-minisheet_2 mz172-4-gentleman-minisheet_2 mz172-3-gentleman-minisheet_2 




6 stamps, 2 FDCs, 2 cancels, souvenir sheet, presentation pack, special sheet for London 2022,  press sheets, 6 postcards. To see the entire set visit Royal Mail.

Cancels: London and Talents House

  • 1962: National Productivity Year Second Class
  • 1969: British Ships Second Class
  • 1973: British Trees First Class
  • 1976: Social Reformers First Class
  • 1966: 900th Anniversary of the Battle of Hastings £1.70
  • 1965: 25th Anniversary of the Battle of Britain £1.70

David Gentleman designed 103 stamps for Royal Mail, more than any designer, between 1962 and 2000.  This set will feature a handful of his most well known stamps. Royal Mail tapped Gentleman to help in picking the stamps. 

Designer: Brian Webb using David Gentleman stamp designs

Release date: February 18, 2022


FA Cup

 FA CUP cancerFA Cup Coin cover post mark


FA Cup miniature sheet

FA CupFA CupFA CupFA Cup  

cover FA CUP

£2 cover FA CUP £2 cover FA CUP FA Cup coin 

silver £2 Coin Cover silver £2 Coin Cover

 FA CUP presentation pack

8 stamps, 4 stamps on a souvenir sheet, FDC, cancel, £2 cover, silver £2 Coin Cover, presentation pack. Not shown are full sheets . Also available is a Rugby Union Framed Print signed by Jonny Wilkinson. To see the entire set visit Royal Mail.


  • Two First Class stamps, two £1.70 stamps and two £2.55 stamps presented as three vertical se-tenant pairs.
  • Lifting The Cup: Arsenal players Charlie George and Frank McLintock parade the trophy in 1971. Arsenal have won The FA Cup a record 14 times.
  • Wembley Stadium: Crowds spill on to the pitch during the 1923 FA Cup Final, the first to be held at the original Wembley Stadium.
  • A Big Day Out: West Bromwich Albion supporters cheer their team on to a 1-0 victory against Everton in the 1968 Final.
  • Classic Finals: Keith Houchen equalises for Coventry City with a spectacular diving header against Tottenham Hotspur in the 1987 Final.
  • FA Cup Upsets: Lincoln City become the first non-league side for 103 years to reach The FA Cup Quarter-Finals after beating Burnley 1-0 in 2017.
  • Royal Patronage: King George VI and Queen Elizabeth present the cup to Sunderland captain Raich Carter after his team’s victory at Wembley in 1937. 

Souvenir sheet shows memorabilia held by The National Football Museum in Manchester

 Cancels: Wembley and Manchester 

Presentation pack write up by sports journalist Richard Rae

Release date: March 8, 2022

Heroes of the Covid Pandemic

Heroes of the Covid Pandemic ROYAL MAIL 2022  cancel heart shapped Heroes of the Covid Pandemic ROYAL MAIL 2022 cancel 

Heroes of the Covid Pandemic ROYAL MAIL 2022  ambulance Heroes of the Covid Pandemic ROYAL MAIL 2022 Heroes of the Covid Pandemic ROYAL MAIL 2022 Heroes of the Covid Pandemic ROYAL MAIL 2022 Heroes of the Covid Pandemic ROYAL MAIL 2022 Heroes of the Covid Pandemic ROYAL MAIL 2022 Heroes of the Covid Pandemic ROYAL MAIL 2022 Heroes of the Covid Pandemic ROYAL MAIL 2022

Designer: Royal Mail Group 

Heroes of the Covid Pandemic Royal mail 2022 presentation pack

8 stamps, FDC, 2 cancels, presentation pack
Not shown are full sheets, half sheets, postcards

Postmarks: London and Tallents House

Designer: Royal Mail Group

Release date: March 23, 2022


Migratory Birds


as8400-2-birds-stamp-set as8400-11-birds-stamp-set as8400-10-birds-stamp-set as8400-9-birds-stamp-set as8400-8-birds-stamp-set as8400-7-birds-stamp-set as8400-6-birds-stamp-set as8400-5-birds-stamp-set as8400-4-birds-stamp-set as8400-3-birds-stamp-set 


Migratory birds presentation pack

10 stamps, FDCs, cancels, presentation packs

  • Nightjar, Caprimulgus europaeus
  • Pied Flycatcher, Ficedula hypoleuca
  • Swift, Apus apus
  • Yellow Wagtail, Motacilla flava
  • Arctic Skua, Stercorarius parasiticus
  • Stone-curlew, Burhinus oedicnemus
  • Arctic Tern, Sterna paradisaea
  • Swallow, Hirundo rustica
  • Turtle Dove, Streptopelia turtur
  • Montagu’s Harrier, Circus pygargus

Illustrator: Killian Mullarney
Mullarney is an ornithologist and artist from County Wexford, Ireland. His bird art has previously appeared on stamps for An Post. He is considered one of the leading bird authorities in Europe. Mullarney co-authored Birds of Europe.

Release date: April 7, 2022


Unsung Heroes: Women of World War II


as8500-2-www2-stamp-set_1 as8500-11-www2-stamp-set_1 as8500-10-www2-stamp-set_1 as8500-9-www2-stamp-set_1 as8500-8-www2-stamp-set_1 as8500-7-www2-stamp-set_1 as8500-6-www2-stamp-set_1 as8500-5-www2-stamp-set_1 as8500-4-www2-stamp-set_1 as8500-3-www2-stamp-set_1 


ap506-1-www2-presentation-pack Prestige booklet


10 stamps, mini sheet, presentation pack, prestige booklet, FDCs, cancels, 10 postcards, framed sheets, press sheets

  • Protecting Civilians: Air Raid Precautions
  • Nursing On The Front Line: Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Military Nursing Service
  • Repairing Army Vehicles : Auxiliary Te rritorial Service
  • Arming The Fleet: Women’s Royal Naval Service
  • Powering The War Effort: Factory Worker
  • Deciphering Enemy Messages: Codebreakers
  • Supplying Military Production: Women’s Voluntary Services
  • Lighting The Way To Victory: Auxiliary Territorial Service
  • Maintaining RAF Aircraft: Women’s Auxiliary Airforce
  • Meeting Britain’s Demand: Women’s Land Army

Historian Professor Lucy Noakes supplied the writeups in the prestige pack. Noakes is the current Rab Butler Professor of Modern History at the University of Essex. She focuses her research on the time period from the start of WW1 to post WW2 society. She explores modern British identity and gender roles, specifically dealing with the war years. 

Professor Noakes has written 4 books that may be worth looking into if this period interests you. I’ve tagged two that I find the most interesting.

British Cultural Memory and the Second World War (Bloomsbury, 2013) with Juliette Pattinson British Cultural Memory and the Second World War: : Lucy Noakes: Bloomsbury Academic  This book is also available in Kindle format.
New Directions in Social and Cultural History (Bloomsbury, 2017)  with Sasha Handley and Rohan McWilliam
Women in the British Army: War and the ‘Gentle Sex’, 1907–1948 (Routledge, 2008) Women in the British Army | War and the Gentle Sex, 1907–1948 | Lucy N (
War and the British: Gender and National Identity, 1939–1991 (I.B. Tauris, 1997) 

She is currently working on a project that explores grief and bereavement in WW2. This work is linked to a recent monogram she wrote titled Dying for the Nation: Death, Grief and Bereavement in Second World War Britain  Manchester University Press January 2020, which is available through JSTOR if you have an account with them. Prof. Noakes recently gave a talk about this book (May 6, 2022) at the National Army Museum. 


Release date: May 5, 2022



Royal Mail cancel "PURRR"

Royal Mail cat stamp siameseRoyal Mail cat stamp  grey tabby playing Royal Mail cat stamp  marmalade tabbyRoyal Mail cat stamp  grey cat sleepingRoyal Mail cat stamp maine cooneRoyal Mail cat stamp tuxedoRoyal Mail cat stamp  bengal Royal Mail cat stamp  stretching cat

Royal Mail cat stamp  collector's sheet Royal Mail cat stamp  presentation packRoyal Mail cat stamp  FDC

8 stamps, collector’s sheet, presentation pack, FDC, cancel, sheets & half sheets, 8 postcards, framed stamps


  • Siamese grooming
  • Tabby stalking
  • Ginger cat playing
  • British Shorthair sleeping
  • Maine Coon staring
  • Black-and-white cat on alert
  • Bengal being curious
  • Tabby-and-white stretching

Designer: Studio Up

Release date: June 9, 2022

The stamps for July to December can be found here Royal Mail 2022 – July to December

See all Royal Mail 2021 stamps & special cancels.

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Bitter Grounds Magazine
All Right Reserved

Nope, it's not your imagination.

I haven't managed any updates for November. Humble apologies, but I had a slight accident that has given me double vision. I will be back posting new stamps in about 2 weeks after a bit of surgery to pop my eye back into its correct position.

Sigh .... life can be embarrassing at times. 


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