Bike racers put their stamp on the Isle of Man
The Isle of Man Post Office has released a collection of eight stamps entitled Celebrating 100 Years of the Manx Grand Prix. The collection was issued on 15th May, 2023 and features some of the riders who have raced on the world-famous 37¾-mile Isle of Man Mountain Course since 1923.
From left to right: Len Randles (1923), Albert Moule (1937), Ron Langston (1955), Chas Mortimer (1968), John Knowles (1976), Dave Roper (1990), Carolynn Sells (2009) and Nathan Harrison (2019)
The MGP, as it is now known, was originally called the Amateur Motorcycle Championship and was intended for amateur riders, rather than the mostly professional riders who competed in the Tourist Trophy (TT) races.
The first stamp in the collection is of the 500cc side-valve Sunbeam that won the 1923 Manx Grand Prix.
A century later, on the same world-famous 37¾ mile Isle of Man Mountain Course, the race has become a well-anticipated event, crowning motorcycle legends, including Geoff Duke, Phil Read, Carl Fogarty, Steve Hislop and Michael Dunlop.
At the launch of the new stamp collection, John McBride, Chairman of Manx Motor Cycle Club said:
“Commemorating the centenary of the Manx Grand Prix is important to honour the history and significance that the event has played in the Island’s road racing history and the stamps, adorned with some of the event’s motorcyclists from across the decades, do just that.
“It’s a year filled with celebration for the Manx Grand Prix and the Manx Motor Cycle Club is delighted that this unique collection will be available to fans as it allows them to hold on to their own piece of Manx Grand Prix history.
“In addition to the stamps, there are a number of other special events taking place to mark the centenary celebrations including the Legends of the Manx Grand Prix parade lap that pays tribute to some those who have graduated from the races since 1923,” he said.
Isle of Man Stamps and Coins General Manager, Maxine Cannon added:
“We are thrilled to be a part of marking an exciting period in the history of the Manx Grand Prix, which to many people, including myself, is a must-see, memorable event.
“I’m looking forward to hearing the roaring sounds of the machines flying around Mountain course this year,” she said.
Stamps marked with the name of the Isle of Man were first issued in 1971 and since 1973 only Manx stamps have been valid on the Island. Manx stamps are not valid for postage in the UK or elsewhere, but have become popular with philatelists.
The stamp collection was produced in collaboration with author David Wright and local graphic designer and illustrator Tracey Dean.
Pictured above (from left to right): Tracey Dean, John McBride (chairman of Manx Motorcycle Club [MMCC]), Ned Bowers (MMCC financial director and former MGP competitor and travelling marshal), Dean Harrison (former MGP competitor and travelling marshal – Nathan Harrison’s father), Nathan Harrison, Phil Taubman (MMCC director and former clerk of the course), Maxine Cannon and Carolynn Sells.
The set consists of four se-tenant pairs with the following values 80p, £1.28, £1.51 and £1.75. Within the collection is a Set, Sheet Set, Presentation Pack (limited to 1100), First Day Cover (limited to 1500), Prestige Booklet and a Booklet Pane. The full collection can be seen here: iompost.com/MGP100