And again Isle of Man Post Office has added a collectable to their assortment. This time a Tribute Sheet for the brand "Norton". This iconic brand is already from the beginning part of the TT‑legend, starting with the victory in the first TT‑race in 1907 for 2‑cilinders. The company, based in the among motorsport enthusiasts well‑known Donington, is still one of the most successful brands in the TT‑history, with more than 93 victories. The head office (Hasting House) and the factory (Donington Hall) both lie on short distance of the Donington Circuit and airport.
The sheet has been presented on August 29th 2015 during the celebration of the
Rotary Years of Norton, with a parade over the circuit of Nortons throughout the years and not less than 20 Rotary racing motorcycles from various musea. Unfortunately there are no rotary Nortons on the sheet.
In the sheet are 8 stamps, but none of them is new. All stamps in the Tribute sheet, executed as block of A4‑format, have been chosen from older series. New is that the stamps from different issues now form adherent pairs, with extra labels between the stamps. Some stamps now have a slightly different format and other perforation than the original, just like in the older 100 years TT sheets.
On the large image we see Cameron Donald on a Norton SG4 in the 2015 TT and on the inserted picture the present Norton boss (CEO) Stuart Garner, who also races himself, on a SG1.
The same Stuart Garner we find again on the bottom of the sheet, on the label between the 2 stamps from the 2011 series "Famous racing duels", and another time on the upper image of the strip of labels and stamps at the right side of the sheet.
Famous racing duels: Woods - Guthrie
Famous racing duels: Hislop - Fogarty
Below this in the strip on the right side the stamp from the block of the 2011 series, with an image of the winning duel Hislop versus Fogarty, with another perforation than in the block.
Again famous racing duels: Hislop - Fogarty
Next a stamp from the series "Irish Manx TT winners" from 1996, with exactly the same dimensions as the original stamp. On the label beneath it an image of the SG3 of Cameron Donald, as ridden in the 2013 Man‑TT.
From the following stamp, the Freddie Frith stamp from 1974, both the size and the perforation have been changed, and from the stamp with the Manx Kneeler beneath it only the perforation has been changed. Next a label with Mick Grant on a Manx-TT 2013 SG2.
Norton Manx Kneeler
They did not dare to tinker with the stamp of Mike Hailwood, so its dimensions and perforation are unchanged compared to the series from 1982.
But the stamp underneath it from Peter Williams from 1975 had to be changed in perforation and size. On the bottom of the strip finally a label with the motorcycle that Ian Mackman rode in the 2013 TT, a SG1.
Fortunately the old franking stamps are all still valid, and my expectation is that on short notice, just like with the earlier stamps with differences in perforation, stationery will enter the market where both variants are used for franking.
Hans de Kloet
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