“I feel that the whole centre of the UK greeting card industry shifted to the Isle of Man this week!” Chris Beards, co-owner of award-winning independent card and gift shop, Mantons, based in Port Erin confided to PG Buzz after a jam-packed two-day programme of events to launch the Isle of Man’s Christmas stamps yesterday and the day before.
What started with Chris appearing on the island’s leading radio station talking about the importance of sending cards sparked a chain of events that resulted in Isle of Man working with the GCA to create a collection of Christmas stamps based on Christmas card designs by leading greeting card publishers.
With this week being the official start of the Isle of Man Post Office’s Christmas season, a great fanfare was arranged by the tenacious team at Isle of Man post office to launch the ‘Christmas Cards – The Spirit of Christmas collection and get not just the island’s population revved up about the festive stamp issue, but philatelists all over the world pretty excited too.
With their designs among those to feature in the stamp collection Rachel Hare (md of Belly Button, and president of the GCA), Marina Brook (founder of Marina B), John Partridge (director of Peartree Heybridge), Grace Elphinstone (marketing manager of Carte Blanche) and Amelia Strawson (marketing manager of Ling Design) flew across to the island for the launch as did the GCA’s ceo Amanda Fergusson and PG’s editor Jakki Brown.
“I can’t thank Maxine Cannon and the team at Isle of Man post office enough for really going to town on this launch. It is a wonderful example of how you can create something very special when people work together together.” said Amanda Fergusson. The Isle of Man Post Office team arranged radio broadcasts, TV filming, photocalls at Mantons, a visit to a children’s ward, a reception with a parliamentary member, a meeting with senior executives of Isle of Man post office – and even the chance for the visiting publishers to post mail featuring their own stamp designs.
Click here to see and hear the interview Isle of Man Post Office’s Maxine Cannon, Mantons’ Chris Beards and PG’s Jakki Brown did on Manx Radio.
Also making the trip from Carte Blanche was Tatty Teddy who received a very warm welcome wherever he appeared, delighting shoppers in Manton’s as well as cheering up the children in Nobles Hospital in Strang.
As a passionate believer in the power of sending cards and letters, Maxine Cannon, general manager of stamps & coins for Isle of Man Post Office told PG she could not be happier about the collaboration. “Anything that encourages people to put pen to paper is fabulous. As I tell everyone who will listen ‘you can’t put a text message on a mantlepiece’. And my new one is, ‘Don’t be hard, send a card!’”
Top: (left-right) John Partridge (Peartree Heybridge), Amelia Strawson (Ling), Maxine Cannon (Isle of Man Post Office), Chris Beards (Mantons), Amanda Fergusson (GCA), Rachel Hare (Belly Button), Marina Brook (Marina B), Grace Elphinstone (Carte Blanche) and Lisa Walster (Mantons).