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Punch & Judy

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Following the closure of Bletchley Park Post Office, the once secret mail room of the Enigma code breakers during World War II, Covent Garden has become the focus of an interesting piece of art and history.When Bletchley Park Post Office opened to the public in 1994 it issued limited edition first day covers and one such cover was issued for the Royal Mail’s Punch and Judy stamps. The specially commissioned artwork depicts Samuel Pepys enjoying a Punch and Judy show at Covent Garden. The complete set of stamps was cancelled with a Covent Garden first day of issue postmark exclusive to Bletchley Park Post Office.

50 have been found left over from the limited edition of just 300. They will make fascinating display pieces for anyone with an interest in Punch and Judy or Covent Garden. Visit www.bletchleycovers.com now, priced at just £15 they will not be around for long.

The perfect family day out in the open air during May just has to be the annual May Fayre and Puppet Festival which takes place in the garden of St Paul’s Church, close to the spot where Samuel Pepys first saw Mr Punch in May 1662.Punch and Judy Professors and Puppeteers from all over the country will be performing throughout the day and everyone is invited to come and enjoy the shows and celebrate Mr Punch’s 354th birthday. The day begins at 11.00 as a grand procession with a brass band makes its way around Covent Garden finishing at the Punch and Judy plaque on the church wall for a birthday toast to Mr Punch.

This is followed by a service with Mr Punch in the pulpit at 12.00 then from 12.30 -17.30 it’s out into the garden for Punch and Judy Shows, puppet workshops, folk music, maypole dancing, clowns, stalls, refreshments and generally just lots of fun. This grand day out takes place on 8 May, admission is free.

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