Quatermass and the Post

A collection of six Isle of Man stamps depicting Nigel Kneale and his work.

You might recall that this time last year, I wrote a piece for the excellent  Manx website Gef, to mark the centenary of one of the Isle of Man’s greatest writers, Nigel Kneale.

If you don’t recall it – well, I’m mortified, frankly. You can take a look here. Hurry along now:  https://gef.im/2022/04/24/the-godfather-of-sci-fi/

So, I was delighted to learn that as the 101st anniversary of his birth approaches, Nigel Kneale is still being celebrated. The lovely people at Isle of Man Post Office have just launched a set of stamps devoted to him, The Kneale Archives. Each one shows a portrait of Kneale at different stages of his life, and images from some of his best work. The set has accompanying notes by acting/baking national treasure Jane Asher, who appeared in Kneale’s frankly pants-dampeningly terrifying TV play, The Stone Tape, and now pops up on the £2.31 stamp.

Jane Asher, both holding, and appearing on, a giant Manx stamp.

If you remember the strange fascination of the David Bowie stamps that Isle of Man Post Office unleashed last year, you’ll know their eye for superb design and detail. Here, they riff on the frequent Nigel Kneale theme of hidden secrets. Scan these stamps with ultraviolet light, and a cryptic message will appear.  Although it’s probably best if you wait until you get home to do that if the post office is busy. 

A brilliantly-designed tribute to a Manx hero and still very influential writer, these are likely to become super-collectable. I’ve already received mail with NK’s lovably lugubrious face in the corner of the envelope. You can find out more at:


One set even comes with an ultraviolet torch for reading those creepy messages, a hi-tech detail that I feel Mr Kneale would appreciate.

A stamp valued at £1.51 showing details from the various series of Quatermass.

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