The Christmas Crackers series celebrates the 150th anniversary of the invention of crackers by confectioner Tom Smith at his Finsbury Square premises in 1847. Victorian images of the new stamps took designer John Gorham, of Bramley in Surrey, three years to develop and led him to the archives of the Tom Smith company now based in Norwich. "I had to trawl through material from the original company until I came across brochures advertising what were then known as snap-crackers," said John. "Obviously, it was alot of sweat and worry to get the designs right but, now they're out, it's terrific."
Consumer Mail marketing manager Rowena Robson said "The Cracker has become a symbol of Christmas tradition just like the turkey dinner. The 150th birthday is a perfect opportunity for the Royal Mail to celebrate this unique British contribution to Yuletide festivities."