A SOLIHULL-based firm has lifted the lid on its role as one of the official printers of Olympic stamps.
Crescent Press, in Stirling Road, was awarded one of Royal Mail’s contracts to produce hundreds of thousands of limited edition Olympic and Paralympic stamps during London 2012.
Managing director Andy Matthews, who founded Crescent Press in 1997, said: “The whole stamp-printing contract had to be shrouded in secrecy.
“Essentially, we were printing money. The stamps retail at 60 pence each, so we had hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of them on the premises.”The six national sites, which included Preston, London, Edinburgh, Swindon, Norfolk and of course Solihull, were all sworn to secrecy until now, as LOCOG prepares to disband.
Crescent Press also had the added responsibility of being the contingency, in the event of machine or power failure, at four of the other sites.
Sales director Graeme Thurman said it had been an exciting but intensely busy time for the company, and no more so than on August 4 or ‘Super Saturday’ as it became known, which saw British athletes win six gold medals in one day
“We were watching Jessica Ennis being awarded with her medal on the TV as her stamp was being printed, swiftly followed by Greg Rutherford and Mo Farah. It was a euphoric night but probably the one where we were most aware of the pressure.
“Within one hour of a British athlete winning a gold medal, we received the art work. The stamps had to be printed at all sites within an hour of that, then trimmed and collated into the unique gold medal bags and ready for the Royal Mail drivers to collect at 7am the following morning so that they could go on sale at 9am.”
Andrew Hammond, director of Royal Mail stamps and collectibles, praised Crescent’s hard work and said: “The next day stamps could not have happened without the help of a dedicated team of suppliers working together from artwork through to final delivery point. Crescent Press played a key role in that process.”