What do you get when you combine a cricket artist, a top-secret wartime location and a postage stamp? Answer; a rather special piece of cricket memorabilia. To commemorate England Captain Andrew Strauss’s benefit year, artist Christina Pierce and Bletchley Park Post Office have created a specially designed envelope and postage stamp. Only 500 of these collector’s items will be issued on 30th November, which just happens to be St Andrew’s Day. The commemorative cover and its companion stamp sheet can be previewed on the web site at www.bletchleycovers.com.
When shown the proofs for the cover and stamp sheet at a private dinner on 7th October Andrew Strauss commented,” These are amazing and I am so proud to be associated with them.”
Christina Pierce is well known for her cricket studies ranging from village cricket scenes to portraits of the world’s top players. Whilst the first day and commemorative covers from the Post Office at Bletchley Park, home of the wartime “Enigma” code breakers, are sought after by collectors across the Globe. Its MCC series are a feature at Lord’s on match days.
Christina’s specially commissioned painting of England celebrating an “Ashes” win forms the envelope (or ‘cover’) design. Alongside the “England Lion” stamp is portrait of Andrew Strauss, also by Christina. This stamp is to be cancelled by Royal Mail using a special postmark for the benefit year.
Each cover is hand prepared which is why only a limited number will be issued. At £12.50 plus £1.50 post and packing it is a very affordable little piece of cricket art and history. The sheet of 20 stamps will also be a limited edition at £40 plus £3 post and packing.
The cover and stamps can be ordered from the website at www.bletchleycovers.com calling 01908 272690 or by post from Strauss Benefit Cover, Bletchley Park Post Office, The Mansion, Bletchley Park, Milton Keynes, MK3 6EB