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Abbots Bromley Horn Dancers to star in new Royal Mail commemorative stamps set

Horn dancers from Abbots Bromley are set to star in a new series of Royal Mail stamps.

The group were joined by Lichfield MP Michael Fabricant for the launch.

Michael Fabricant (centre) with Jeff Bradbury and Jester Terry Bailey with one of the new stamp designs
Michael Fabricant (centre) with Jeff Bradbury and Jester Terry Bailey with one of the new stamp designs

The new Curious Customs commemorative stamps are part of a series which depicts traditions from communities across the UK.

Mr Fabricant said: “The Royal Mail has launched eight colourful and engaging illustrations, depicting and capturing the spirit of well-known, and some not so well-known, annual customs that take place around the UK.

“One of them is our beloved Abbots Bromley Horn Dance.

The new Curious Customs stamps
The new Curious Customs stamps

“I was pleased to help launch the stamp with Horn Dancers from Abbots Bromley. 

“It will promote the northern part of the Lichfield Parliamentary constituency as a tourist destination. 

“The antlers shown in the photo have been carbon dated and are at least 1,000 years old.”

The other customs depicted on the stamps are:

  • Burning the Clocks, Brighton
  • ‘Obby ‘Oss, Padstow
  • World Gurning Championship, Egremont
  • Up Helly Aa, Lerwick
  • Cheese Rolling, Cooper’s Hill, Brockworth
  • Halloween, Derry/Londonderry
  • Bog Snorkelling, Llanwrtyd Wells

Philip Parker, from the 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.

“The Horn Dance is unique in Europe. Six men carrying huge reindeer antlers plus characters dressed as Maid Marian, Fool, Hobby Horse and Bowman, celebrate ancient hunting rites.

“They perambulate the Staffordshire parish and at set places perform a dance.

“The design of the costumes and the dance have been preserved for hundreds of years, with the earliest reference to the horns dating from the 1630s, but they have been carbon dated to around 1000 AD.”

For more information about the stamps, visit the Royal Mail website.

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