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Special Covers to mark the Red Arrows 50th Display Season
The British Forces Philatelic Bureau has produced a special commemorative cover to celebrate the The Red Arrows 50ᵗʰ Display Season. The Team’s opening season was in 1965. As is tradition, it is the number of display seasons being marked in 2014, rather than the Team’s anniversary or formation.
The cover has three versions, two of these are numbered limited editions, including one signed by the nine pilots. The main image is action-packed and shows the Red Arrows flying in close formation. A red 1ˢᵗ class stamp will be cancelled by a unique BFPS numbered handstamp. Each cover comes complete with an A4 information sheet about the Team.
Squadron Leader Ruth Shackleton, Team Manager Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, said “I would like to congratulate the British Forces Philatelic Service for creating such a unique and memorable item, which I am sure will hold much appeal for both collectors and supporters of the Armed Forces community alike, giving them the opportunity to own a piece of history. The money raised from the sale of the covers will help to continue the vital work of the RAFBF and other Service charities and The Red Arrows are delighted to support BFPS in this project.”
The covers may be purchased from the BFPS online shop (www.bfps.org.uk/shop) and cost £6 for the standard commemorative cover, £12 for the flown numbered limited edition and £24 for the flown and pilot-signed numbered limited edition. They are available now to order on a strictly first-come-first-served basis. The covers are also available by post by sending a cheque (payable to ‘BFPS CIC’) to BFPS The Old Post Office Links Place Elie Fife KY9 1AX (all prices include UK/BFPO p&p).
Images of the special covers and handstamp are attached.
The British Forces Philatelic Service (BFPS) fundraises for Service charities through philately and is a not-for-profit organisation run by volunteers. BFPS was specially set up to ensure that the Forces Philatelic Bureau survives and thrives. BFPS is a registered Community Interest Company (CIC), which is a type of limited company designed specifically to operate for the benefit of the community.
The Forces Philatelic Bureau, operated by BFPS, designs and produces special handstamps and commemorative covers to mark British State and Armed Forces events. They are unique and specific to the occasion. The special handstamp will carry the British Forces Postal Service number obtainable only from the Bureau.
The British Forces Post Office (BFPO) has had responsibility for all aspects of military mail, including philatelic matters, since its formation in 1882. More recently, as part of a Strategic Defence and Security Review, BFPO was reorganised and as a result of this the Forces Philatelic Bureau was transferred to BFPS as the sole authorised body empowered to deal with all matters concerning the Forces Philatelic Bureau.
BFPS is managed by two retired career Army officers, each of whom has had extensive experience working within the BFPO in general and the Forces Philatelic Bureau in particular. The third member of the management team is an ex Royal Engineer Warrant Officer who has a passion for Forces philately. All are volunteers and are dedicated to keeping the Forces Philatelic Bureau alive and are working hard to ensure the future of this important area of BFPO operations is secure and flourishes.