The British Millennium on Stamps

Numerous countries put their best on for the turn of the millennium, and Royal Mail is no exception. Millennium collections are usually large sets of stamps, separated into subsets, that approach, thematically or randomly the events of the previous millennium, from the perspective of the issuing country, or globally.

The British Millennium collection of stamps was issued between 1999-2000. Each design includes the inscription ‘Millennium’, the year of issue and a serial number. The designs for 1999 looked back over the previous millennium under 12 different themes. The designs for 2000 highlighted projects undertaken to celebrate the millennium.


 

The 1999 Issues

Set I – The Inventor’s Tale  

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Timekeeping: Greenwich Meridian and clock face | (20p) Steam Power: worker and blast furnace (26p) | Photography: photograph of leaves  | (43p) Computers: computer inside head (63p)

Set II –  The Traveller’s Tale 

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Jet Travel: globe surrounded by aircraft (20p) | Liberation By Bike: woman on bicycle (26p) | Linking The Nation: railway station (43p) | Cook’s Endeavour: Captain Cook and man (63p)

Set III – The Patient’s Tale  

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Test Tube Baby: sculpture of baby (63p) | Fleming’s Penicillin: penicillin mould (43p)  | Nursing Care: patient on trolley (26p) | Jenner’s Vaccination: cow with markings of vaccinated child (20p)

Set IV – The Settler’s Tale 

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Migration To UK: face superimposed on hummingbird (63p) | Destination Australia: sailing ship and aspects of settlement (43p) | Pilgrim Fathers: settlers and Red Indian (26p) | Migration To Scotland: Norman settler and dove (20p)

Set V – The Worker’s Tale 

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City Finance: Lloyd’s Building, London (64p) | Shipbuilding: hull on slipway (44p)  | Mill Towns: Salts Mill, Saltaire (26p) | Weaver’s Craft: woven threads (19p)

Set VI – The Entertainer’s Tale  

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Mercury’s Magic: Freddie Mercury of Queen on stage (19p) | World Cup: Bobby Moore holding the trophy (26p) | Doctor Who: dalek (44p) | Chaplin’s Genius: Charlie Chaplin (64p)

Set VII – The Citizen’s Tale 

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First Rights: Magna Carta (64p) | Right To Learn: children at school (44p) | Right To Health: tap (26p) | Equal Rights: suffragette behind bars (19p)

Set VIII – The Scientist’s Tale 

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Decoding DNA: molecular structures (19p) | Darwin’s Theory: Galapagos finch and skeleton (26p) | Faraday’s Electricity: light polarised by magnetism (44p) | Newton: Saturn, from Hubble Space Telescope (64p)

One of the stamps from the Scientist’s Tale (Newton: Saturn, from Hubble Space Telescope) was also released as a sheet on the occasion of the Total Eclipse of 11.08.1999.

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Set IX –  The Farmer’s Tale 

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Food From Afar: peeling potato (44p) | Mechanical Farming: horse-drawn seed drill (26p) | Strip Farming: upland landscape (19p) | Satellite Agriculture: combine harvester in field (64p)

Set X – The Soldier’s Tale 

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Bannockburn: Robert the Bruce (19p) | Civil War: cavalier and horse (26p) | World Wars: war graves (44p) | Peace-Keeping: soldiers with boy (64p)

Set XI – The Christian’s Tale 

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First Christmas: nativity (64p) | St.Andrews Pilgrimage: St.Andrews Cathedral, Fife (44p) |  King James Bible: King James I and Authorised Version (26p) | Wesley:‘Hark the Herald Angels Sing’ (19p)

Set XII – The Artist’s Tale 

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World Of The Stage: dancers behind curtain (19p) | World Of Music: coloured stripes (26p) | World Of Literature: untitled book (44p) | New Worlds: rainbow abstract (64p)

The 2000 Issues 

Set XIII – Above and Beyond 

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Third Millennium, Muncaster: barn owl (19p) | National Space Centre, Leicester: night sky (26p) | Torrs Walkway, New Mills: River Goyt and textile mills (44p) | Seabird Centre, North Berwick: cape gannets (64p)

Set XIV – Fire and Light 

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Beacons Across The Land: millennium beacon (19p) | Rheilffordd Eryri, Snowdonia: Garratt locomotive and train (26p) | Dynamic Earth Centre, Edinburgh: lightning (44p) |
Lighting Croydon’s Skyline: floodlighting (64p)

Set XV – Water and Coast 

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Turning The Tide, Durham: beach pebbles (19p) | National Pondlife Centre, Merseyside: frog’s legs and lilies (26p) | Parc Arfordirol, Llanelli: cliff boardwalk (44p) | Portsmouth Harbour: reflections in water (64p)

Set XVI – Life and Earth 

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Web Of Life, London Zoo: leaf-cutter ants (1st) | ECOS, Ballymena: River Braid reed beds (2nd) | Earth Centre, Doncaster: solar sensors (44p) | Project Suzy,Teesside: hydroponic leaves (64p)

Set XVII – Art and Craft 

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Ceramica Museum, Stoke-on-Trent: pottery glaze (2nd) | Tate Modern, London: bankside galleries (1st) | Cycle Network: road markings for bicycles (45p) | Lowry Centre, Salford: people in Salford (65p)

Single issue

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National Space Centre, Leicester: night sky (1st) – previously issued in Set XIII (Above and Beyond, with a value of 26p).

Set XVIII – People and Places

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On The Meridian Line: African hut and thatched cottage (65p) | Mile End Park, London: daisies (45p) | Millennium Bridge, Gateshead: bridge (1st) | Millennium Greens Project: children playing (2nd)

Set XIX – Stone and Soil 

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Strangford Stone, Killyleagh: raising the stone (2nd) | Trans-Pennine Trail, Derbyshire: horse’s hooves (1st) | Kingdom Of Fife Cycle Ways: cyclist and reflection (45p) | Groundwork’s Changing Places: bluebell wood (65p)

Set XX – Tree and Leaf 

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Forest For Scotland: highland forest (65p) | Eden Project,St.Austrell:sunflower (1st) |Millennium Seed Bank, Ardingly: sycamore seeds (45p) | Yews For The Millennium: tree roots (2nd)

Set XXI – Mind and Matter

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Wildscreen At Bristol: head of ant (2nd) | Norfolk & Norwich Project: gathering water lilies on Broads (1st) | Millennium Point, Birmingham: X-ray of hand on mouse (45p) | Scottish Cultural Resources Network: tartan wool holder (65p)

Set XXII – Body and Bone 

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Bath Spa Project: bather (45p) | Hampden Park, Glasgow: footballers (1st) | Body Zone, Millennium Dome: acrobats (2nd) | Centre For Life, Newcastle: hen’s egg under magnification (65p)

Set XXIII – Spirit and Faith 

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Mystery Plays,York Minster: Chapter House ceiling (65p) | St. Patrick Centre, Downpatrick: Latin gradual (45p) | Church Floodlighting: St. Peter and St. Paul, Overstowey (1st) | St. Edmundsbury Cathedral, Suffolk: stained glass window (2nd)

Set XXIV – Sound and Vision 

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Ringing In The Millennium: church bells (2nd) | Year Of The Artist: eye (1st) |
Canolfan Mileniwm, Cardiff: top of a harp (45p) | Talent & Skills 2000: figure in latticework (65p)


Stamps featured in post: 97; Period: contemporary (1999-2000); Pricing: low; Availability: available, but hard to assemble in an entire collection.

Michel catalogue no’s (price for mint in € in brackets): Set I: MiNr: 1777-1780 (5.5€); Set II: MiNr: 1782-1785 (5.5€); Set III: MiNr: 1789-1792 (5.5€); Set IV: MiNr: 1797-1800 (5.5€); Set V: MiNr: 1805-1808 (5.5€); Set VI: MiNr: 1809-1812 (5.5€); Set VII: MiNr: 1815-1818 (5.5€); Set VIII: MiNr: 1819-1822 (5.5€); the Total Eclipse sheet – Block 7 (25€); Set IX: MiNr: 1823-1826 (6€); Set X: MiNr: 1827-1830 (5.5€); Set XI: MiNr: 1831-1834 (5.5€); Set XII: MiNr: 1835-1838 (5.5€); Set XIII: MiNr: 1844-1847 (5.5€); Set XIV: MiNr: 1848-1851 (5.5€); Set XV: MiNr: 1853-1856 (5.5€); Set XVI: MiNr: 1857-1860 (6.5€); Set XVII: MiNr: 1867-1879 (6.5€); single: MiNr 1872 (6€); Set XVIII: MiNr: 1873-1876 (6.5€); Set XIX: MiNr: 1877-1884 (6.5€); Set XX: MiNr: 1881-1884 (6.5€); Set XXI: MiNr: 1889-1892 (6.5€); Set XXII: MiNr: 1893-1896 (6.5€); Set XXIII: MiNr: 1897-1900 (6.5€); Set XVII: MiNr: 1901-1904 (6.5€).

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