1984  Centenary of Greenwich Meridian

The UK’s first complete set of astronomy-related stamps was issued in June 1984 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the adoption of the Greenwich Meridian as Longitude Zero for the Earth. Created by Sedley Place Design, the four stamps are bold and attractive.

On the 16p stamp the meridian is superimposed on an Apollo 11 view of the Earth from space, while the 20½p stamp (yes, we still had half pennies in those days) shows the meridian overlying part of an old navigation chart. The 28p stamp shows the Old Royal Observatory from the air, with the meridian line running through the building containing Astronomer Royal Sir George Airy’s transit telescope and heading off through Greenwich park towards what is now the site of the Millennium Dome. A diagram of Airy’s transit telescope itself, which defines the Greenwich meridian, features on the 31p stamp.

Stanley Gibbons nos. 1254-1257