Collecting GB stamps – the story behind the 13p 150th Anniversary of Metropolitan Police stamp 1979

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1979-metropolitan-police-stamp-3-13751.png Policeman on the beat stam - 10p
Discover how WPC Marion Jones and her horse Yolande came to be depicted on a 13p British stamp in 1979

Stamp: 13p Mounted Police Woman; 150th Anniversary of Metropolitan Police series, 1979

From his office overlooking the Windmill Theatre, Brian Sanders would often see WPC Marion Jones and her horse Yolande, as she rode through the bustling streets of Soho, writes Paula Hammond.

Marion was a notable figure in 1970s London and even featured on the introduction to the popular TV magazine show Nationwide.

So Brain was asked to design stamps to commemorate the anniversary of the Metropolitan Police, he knew immediately that Marion had to be part of the series.

'I knew you're not meant to have portraits', he says, 'but I’d seen her around and decided to do an illustration of a policewoman on horseback. Well, they asked me to take her off the horse and put her with children, which I refused to do, and I jolly nearly lost the commission!'

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'I worked in Artists Partners and we had a group of young women there who’d seen what I was working on and I didn't want to explain to them why I was changing it!' he laughs.

'This was quite a while ago – there was a move towards feminism at that time – but artists have always been treated exactly the same. It doesn't matter whether you're male or female, if you can do they job and I felt that about the police force as well. I mean, the young woman was on horseback and she looked wonderful.'

Luckily, after much debate, the Post Office agreed.

GB stamp details
150th Anniversary of Metropolitan Police
Issue date: 26 September, 1979
Design: Brian Saunders
Printer: Harrison & Sons Ltd
10p - Policeman on the beat
11½p - Policeman directing traffic
13p - Mounted Policewoman
15p - River Patrol Boat

Read more about GB Stamps in our dedicated GB pages…

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