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Breckland Print's Philp Colchester, left, MD; Julie Armstrong, sales director; and David Medler, general manager; with the Olympic and Paralympic stamps they printed during the Olympics. Picture: Denise Bradley
Wednesday, November 14, 2012
An Norfolk firm has revealed it was one of just six firms in the country selected to produce the Olympic and Paralympics stamps.
Breckland Print, based in Haverscroft Industrial Estate, Attleborough, was one of six regional printing firms chosen by the Royal Mail to produce the commemorative Olympic and Paralympic stamps.
Printers at the plant, which employs 50 people, worked through the night and to tight deadlines to ensure the stamps were available the next day.
Each of the six printers produced all of the stamps which were collected by Royal Mail staff at 6.30am the morning after, and were distributed to post offices.
The contract, which was worth around £85,000 to the firm, was awarded nearly two years ago.
David Medler, general manager, said: “It had to be kept pretty quiet not least because of security reasons. Because we are not a traditional security printer Royal Mail checked the security of the building.”
Breckland Print, which turns over around £3.5m a year, created 29 stamps for the Olympics and 34 for the Paralympics.
Super Saturday which saw Jessica Ennis, Mo Farah and Greg Rutherford claim gold medals on the same day, forced the team to work through the night to produce the stamps.
Royal Mail designers used photos of the athletes, taken by Getty images, to produce a design which was sent to Breckland print, where the workers had 20 minutes to produce a mock-up. They used four plates to print 1,320 sheets of stamps per medallist, with each sheet containing 96 stamps.
Sales director Julie Armstrong said: “Originally we tendered for the work but then we not only undertook a rigorous selection process but also a comprehensive testing program. Part of the reason we were chosen is because we work 24 hours a day. In some ways it was a gamble because we didn’t know how many medallists there were going to be.”