Royal Mail recognises Brighton event in new stamp set

MP for Brighton Caroline Lucas and artistic director of Same Sky John Varah with a copy of the stamp. Photograph: Tony Kershaw/ SWNS
MP for Brighton Caroline Lucas and artistic director of Same Sky John Varah with a copy of the stamp. Photograph: Tony Kershaw/ SWNS

Brighton's winter solstice event Burning the Clocks has been recognised as part of a stamp series issued by Royal Mail.

The set, released today (July 9), depicts eight annual customs that take place in the UK, including the lantern parade organised by community arts charity Same Sky.

In a statement, artistic director of the charity John Varah said: “Each year Burning the Clocks is kept alive through the generosity of local residents, businesses, sponsors and volunteers.

“It is, and continues to be, an event for the community, by the community – and an uplifting antidote to the excesses of a commercial Christmas.

“All of the stamps in the Royal Mail’s latest series serve as a reminder of this community spirit and of the power of bringing people together.

“Burning the Clocks is a relatively modern custom but one that we hope will continue for years to come, so we’re delighted this has been recognised and celebrated within this
unique collection.”

Royal Mail says it worked with folklorist Steve Roud on the stamps and has also commissioned a poem by performance poet Matt Harvey titled Customs to celebrate and commemorate the customs featured.

The other customs depicted are ‘Obby ‘Oss, Padstow; World Gurning Championship, Egremont; Up Helly Aa, Lerwick; Cheese Rolling, Cooper’s Hill, Brockworth; Halloween, Derry/Londonderry; Horn Dance, Abbots Bromley; and Bog Snorkelling, Llanwrtyd Wells.

Philip Parker, of Royal Mail, said: “Communities throughout the UK have been coming together for centuries to share distinctive traditions and mark key dates of the year.

"These customs continue to evolve, and our new stamps celebrate their diversity and the communities that maintain them."