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Nativity stamp inspired by Tyneside angels

They may not be members of the House of Windsor but pupils from a Tyneside primary school have been given a decidedly regal air - courtesy of the Royal Mail.

The group of children from West Jesmond infants school near Newcastle were used by local illustrator Yvonne Gilbert as models for this year's Christmas stamps which depict the Nativity.

"We've been advised to describe the children as being the 'inspiration' for the illustrations," said headteacher Ros Nicholson. "Apparently the only living people who may feature in person on stamps are members of the royal family. "

Though unwilling to comment upon her pupil's cherubic qualities in real life, Mrs Nicholson said the colourful depictions of angels, the three kings, shepherds, and Mary and Joseph had thrilled both pupils and staff.

News that pupils including four- year-old Ajaz Rafi, sister Hana (six) and Charlotte Conway (six) were to grace the stamps was a total surprise.

Mrs Nicholson said: "It has been wonderful for the children, a fantastic experience.

"They have loved being involved and we think it is great knowing they have been captured for posterity."

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