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Monday, 29 January, 2001, 18:53 GMT
Sticky stamps have got gum licked
stamps
Gummed stamps will now only be sold separately
Self-adhesive stamps have gone on sale to the general public for the first time.

Before Monday, "sticky" stamps were only available to businesses in rolls of 200 or more.

But post offices across Britain are now selling them - in booklets - after a survey showed that 93% of people would prefer not to lick their stamps.

Gummed stamps will not be completely discontinued by the Post Office but will now only be sold separately.

vanessa feltz
Vanessa: 'Marvellous'
Launching the stamps at central London's Trafalgar Square Post Office, television host Vanessa Feltz said they were a "marvellous invention".

"It is amazing that these new stamps have not been brought in before, really," she said, adding that licking a gummed stamp meant consuming 5.9 Calories a time.

"Imagine posting all those letters at Christmas.

"It is very exciting. You can now just peel off a stamp, stick it on the envelope and still have room for the cake."

Royal Mail stamps product manager Matthew Gibbs said: "These new stamps look exactly the same as traditional gummed stamps, but all you have to do is peel them off the stamp book cover and stick them on the envelope.


Just flick 'em and stick 'em

Postman, Terry Austen
"They are an easy-to-use product, combining the state-of-the-art stamp manufacturing technology with the traditional and distinctive values of the British postage stamp."

Terry Austen, 43, who has been a regular postman for the Trafalgar Square Post Office branch for 23 years, said the new stamps were a brilliant idea.

"I am sure they will be a great success.

"The old stamps were a lot more time consuming for us and the public, particularly as we had to use them in such large quantities.

"These are fantastic.

"Just flick 'em and stick 'em."

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See also:

19 Jan 01 | Business
Price 'freeze' on stamps
23 Apr 00 | UK
First class stamps to rise
14 Jan 99 | UK
Second class stamps down
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