A postbox plaque for our Cathedral

Plaque shows stamp from 1969 British Cathedrals issue

What does Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral have in common with William Shakespeare, Blackpool Tower and the Beano? All are the subject of special postbox plaques unveiled around the country to mark the 50th anniversary of the Royal Mail's special-edition stamps.

Fifty plaques have been installed in locations with a particular connection with a featured stamp from years gone by – and in the case of the Metropolitan Cathedral, the new plaque on a postbox on Hope Street shows a stamp which appeared in 1969 as part of the British Cathedrals issue.

Archbishop Malcolm McMahon was present at the unveiling on 8 June and said: "I am delighted that Royal Mail has chosen this unique way to celebrate a special local landmark through a stamp on a local postbox, giving the community an opportunity to share in the tribute."

York Minster, which appeared in that same Cathedrals collection from 46 years ago – along with Canterbury, Durham, St Paul's, and St Giles' in Edinburgh – was also selected. The eclectic range includes everything from tennis player Andy Murray to Llandudno Pier via Bagpuss, the saggy old cloth cat from the classic 1970s BBC children's series.

There have been 2,663 special stamps issued in total since July 1965 when the very first collection appeared to mark the death of Winston Churchill. The centenary of the Salvation Army and the 25th anniversary of the Battle of Britain were also among the nine collections issued in that first year.

The special stamps programme, introduced by the late Tony Benn during his time as Postmaster General, serves to commemorate important anniversaries or events of national importance and also to reflect significant contributions made to British life and mirror changes in society and culture at large. Every new stamp design has been approved by Queen Elizabeth II prior to being issued.

Speaking of the Metropolitan Cathedral plaque on Hope Street, Tony Baxter, the delivery director of the Royal Mail, said: "The UK's towns and cities have influenced stamp designs over the past 50 years. We are proud that one of our postboxes in Liverpool features the stamp of our famous tower. We hope that all our customers and visitors to Liverpool enjoy this special stamp plaque and might even take their own selfie as a memento."

A special online gallery showing every single special stamp is available to view at www.rmspecialstamps.com.