Royal Mail continues its series of miniature sheets featuring the golden age of steam with Classic Locomotives of Northern Ireland, to be issued on June 18.

Two stamps in colour and two in black and white depict locos from the 1930s to the 1960s. The monochrome border illustrates a train pulled by the UTA Class Z No27 Lough Erne crossing Glynn Lagoon on the Larne line in 1968.
Like the previous issues covering English and Scottish locos in 2011 and 2012, the sheet was designed by Delaney Design Consultants and printed in lithography by Cartor.

VERDICT

COMMEMORATIVE WORTH 
Ticks only the boxes marked ‘popular theme’ and ‘regional interest’

QUALITY OF DESIGN 
As with previous sheets, it’s the evocative backdrop that shines


WOW FACTOR Sure to please railway enthusiasts, but perhaps few others

1st class UTA W No103
Thomas Somerset is shown hauling a Belfast-bound express between the two tunnels at Downhill, west of Castlerock, around 1950.

78p UTA SG3 No35
The SG3 class engine was photographed shunting wagons at Portadown station in 1963.

88p Peckett No2
This industrial workhorse can be seen reversing wagons into the British Aluminium Works at Larne in 1937.

£1.28 CDRJC Class 5 No4
The locomotive Meenglas shunts a passenger carriage at Strabane in 1959.

OTHER PRODUCTS
The presentation pack is written by Northern Ireland railways expert Norman Johnston, who also helped to select the images used on the miniature sheet.

The pack was printed by Walsall.

A first day cover and stamp cards are available as usual, and there is a special cover which includes a replica enamelled nameplate of the Duchess of Sutherland, in a limited edition of 3,000.

A retail stamp book to be issued later this year will comprise two of the 1st class designs (in this case self-adhesive and printed in gravure) alongside four 1st class Machin definitives.

PRICES

Miniature sheet  £3.54
Presentation pack  £4.05
Stamp cards  £2.25
First day envelope  £0.30
First day cover  £4.73
Retail stamp book  £3.60
TOTAL  £18.47