FAVOURITES from the golden age of British toy production feature on the latest set of stamps from Royal Mail.

The Transports of Delight stamps celebrate different vehicles that went on to be replicated as toys by well-known manufacturers such as Meccano, Hornby, Dinky, Wells-Brimtoy and Mettoy.

The stamps were launched with the help of Meccano enthusiast and club secretary of the North-East Meccano Society, Ian Mordue, of Meadowfield, Durham, and his model of the Meccano Constructor Biplane - similar to the one which appears on the first class stamp.

Gavin Macrae, director of stamps and collectables at Royal Mail, said: "Toys and stamps can act as wonderful memories in miniature, evoking a sense of time and place, and bringing into focus events in our lives.

"I feel this issue will be seen and enjoyed as the bringing together of two great British traditions."

The collection groups together five stamps featuring much-loved models such as the Meccano Biplane, Hornby's M1 Clockwork Locomotive and Tender, and Dinky Toys' Ford Zephyr.

One man was behind three of the companies, which dominated toy making for most of the last century - Frank Hornby.

Three examples of his companies' work are celebrated as part of the issue - the First Class Meccano Constructor Biplane, the 42p stamp featuring the Hornby M1 Clockwork Locomotive and Tender, and the Dinky Toys Zephyr on the 47p stamp.

The others feature comic hero Dan Dare's Earth-Mars Venus Express and the Clockwork Double-decker Omnibus, made by Wells-Brimtoy.