Royal Mail has revealed images of 10 new stamps to mark the centenary of its British commemorative stamps.

The so-called special stamps have helped to celebrate significant events in the UK’s history and national life.

Each of the 10 includes a selection of three images of previously issued commemorative stamps – including the first, released in 1924.

That year, on April 23, the first UK special stamp was issued to commemorate the opening of the British Empire Exhibition at Wembley Park in London.

East London and West Essex Guardian Series:

Over the past century, artists and designers have been commissioned to commemorate and celebrate important anniversaries and events.

The themes and topics covered range from the tiniest of insects to the far reaches of outer space.

Over the past century, popular subjects have included literature, film and television, music, transport, the natural world, influential people and royalty.

David Gold, Royal Mail’s director of external affairs and policy, said: “British commemorative stamps have mirrored the changes in society and culture at large for the past century.

“They celebrate the best of the UK, our people and our national character. Everyone will have their own favourites, but this set shows the diversity of the stamps programme and how design and subject matter have evolved in a century.”

Royal Mail stamp fines

Royal Mail is investigating issues with its new barcoded stamps as customers are being wrongly fined for receiving letters, reports suggest.

Members of the public have been complaining to Royal Mail that they are having to pay £5 to collect post which has been deemed to have counterfeit stamps on it.

It is alleged that fake stamps were purchased from Royal Mail directly, leading to fears they are being wrongly labelled as counterfeit.

The Telegraph reports that a formal investigation has not been launched, but that Royal Mail is working with retailers to identify the “source of the problem”.

A Post Office spokesman told the Telegraph: “Any allegation that fake stamps have been purchased at a Post Office are extremely serious.

“The implication of such an allegation is that one of our postmasters, or a member of their staff, has obtained fake stamps and has chosen to sell them to customers rather than selling legitimate stamps that have come from Royal Mail’s secure printers.

“This is why we insist that any customer who thinks they may have purchased a fake stamp from a Post Office must produce an itemised receipt so that this can be looked into further.”

A Royal Mail spokesman added: “When a customer reports to us that they bought a stamp from a retailer that is subsequently found to be counterfeit, we will always look into the circumstances of that case.

“We also work closely with retailers and law enforcement agencies, and actively seek the prosecution of those who produce counterfeit stamps. We reaffirmed that policy to the minister today.”