Friday, 26 September 2014

2nd class Post and Go MA14

Readers will be reassured to know that dealers can get as confused as collectors, so forgive me if this is not news! and John (ATM Informer) McCallum has now confirmed that this is the first sighting of this stamp.

The Post and Go machines at St Vincent Street Glasgow have recently been replaced by NCR Self-Service machines - indeed this may have been posted on the first day.  In which case it may be a first day cover of the stamps as well, as the 2nd class Machin Faststamps have the MA14 year code.  Thanks to the sender for getting the self-inking counter datestamp on these as the slogan doesn't really show the date of 22 September.

Post and Go Royal Navy Museum news - Trafalgar Day!

The NMRN – Trafalgar Day 2014

The A002 kiosk at the NMRN in Portsmouth will have a ‘Trafalgar Day’ inscription on the Union Flag from 10:00 on the 21st October until the end of 10th November 2014.

The Poppy with the ‘The NMRN’ Static location identifier will also be available from the 21st October 2014 replacing the current Machin stamp.

We are not planning to make the trip to Portsmouth to buy these, sorry!  Pictures will be added when available.

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Post and Go at the BPMA

News release, Postal Heritage, 18 September

On 21 October the Poppy Post and Go issue, unveiled at Autumn Stampex, will be available from The British Postal Museum and Archive (BPMA), commemorating Armistice Day and Remembrance events. The Poppy issue will be on sale from a new Post and Go+ machine, which will be installed in the BPMA foyer at Freeling House, London on 17 October.

The Post and Go+ is the standard A001 machine but with an additional “pod” allowing up to four reels of stamps to be vended, and is the first of its kind in the UK. This will allow the BPMA to expand its offer to the philatelic community by creating a greater range of designs available for each underprint.
The Poppy design will be issued alongside the standard Machin, second class Machin and the Union Flag stamps. The text on the 'underprint' will read “The B.P.M.A.” as on previous issues.
Philatelic products featuring the poppy issue will be available from the BPMA online shop. Please check the website, for updates.
The stamp will be available from the BPMA foyer during standard opening hours until 5pm 12 November, being replaced with this year’s Winter Greenery Christmas designs on 13 November.

We are not planning to stock these BPMA stamps.

Examples of the BPMA Airmail Post and Go stamps recently appeared on eBay with 1st class and 1st Large printed on the blue Machin stamps.

An explanation of the software error which caused these is on the blog.

Autumn stamp programme from Royal Mail - Generic Smilers and Commemorative Sheets

Several collectors have remarked that so far 2014 has had no Generic Smilers Sheets and very few Commemorative Sheets.  We can now complete the programme for the rest of the year - special postmarks (if any) for all sheets except Christmas will be shown here as they are announced.

16 October 2014 Commemorative Sheet - Donald Campbell.

It is 50 years since Donald Campbell became the first person to set both water and land speed records in the same year.

Containing 10 x First Class Union Flag stamps, the Commemorative Sheet is packed with key information, images and photos including;
- a timeline of Donald Campbell’s achievements up to and including the Water Speed Record at Lake Dumbleyung, Australia in 1964;
- a summary of his early life and business career prior to becoming a speed record breaker plus a short feature on his father, Sir Malcolm Campbell;
- Technical details of the Bluebird CN7 car and Bluebird K7 boat he developed with Leo Villa for his attempts on the Water Speed Record (WSR) and Land Speed Record (LSR).
- A log of the speeds recorded for both the Bluebird CN7 and Bluebird K7 and where and when they were achieved.

4 November 2014 Christmas Generic Sheet - more details of this issue will be on the website.

Meanwhile, from Royal Mail's 2014 calendar page:

These charming mini tableaux depict various British family traditions – from carol singing and ice skating to posting cards and buying trees.
Christmas: 4th November

11 November 2014 World War I Christmas Truce Commemorative Sheet

The Christmas Truce is seen as a symbolic moment of peace and humanity amidst one of the most violent events in modern history. This Commemorative Sheet explores the events that led to the truce, the activities - decorating the trenches with candles, carol singing, exchanging of gifts and the games of football - supported by eyewitness accounts, from both sides, newspaper articles and artefacts.

The 1914 Christmas Truce began on Christmas Eve along the British and German lines around Ypres, Belgium.  The impulse to celebrate the holiday season has been traced to several theories. Among these was the fact that the war was only four months old and the level of animosity between the ranks was not as high as it would be later. This was complimented by sense of shared discomfort as the early trenches lacked amenities and were prone to flooding. Also, the landscape, aside from the newly dug trenches, still appeared relatively normal, with fields and intact villages all of which contributed to a degree of civilization to the proceedings.

19 November 2014 Lunar New Year - Year of the Sheep Generic Sheet

The fourth in the series, following on from the 2014 Year of the Horse sheet in 2013, Year of the Snake sheet in 2013 and Year of the Dragon sheet in 2012. The sheet features 20 Firework stamps from the Smilers range alongside the five elemental Sheep types Water, Wood, Fire, Earth & Metal, celebrations of Chinese communities from around the UK and imagery associated with the celebrations

1 December 2014 Kuala Lumpur 2014 FIP Exhibition Sheet

This will be the first time Malaysia will have hosted an FIP exhibition and to commemorate the show Royal Mail will issue an Exhibition Sheet on the opening day of show which runs from 1st to 6th December 2014 at Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre. The Exhibition Stamp Sheet will feature 20 iconic images relating to the country, including the Convention Centre in which the exhibition is being held, alongside 20 ‘Hello’ 1st Class stamps.

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Invictus Games and Kenneth More slogan postmarks.

Royal Mail marked the Invictus Games with what seems to be a nationwide slogan campaign, as shown here, produced in two types  

Celebrating the / Invictus Games / September / 10th - 14th 2014
Chester Mail Centre


Medway Mail Centre 12-09-2014

From what I can make out this would have been applied from 9 September so as to appear on mail arriving from 10th, the day the games started.  I've seen the first type also from Sheffield and SE Wales mail centres, and the second type also from Peterborough MC.

Today we received another postmark in the Remarkable Lives series for stage and screen actor Kenneth More who died in 1982.

The postmark is intended to appear on mail delivered nationwide on Saturday 20th September, the date of Kenneth’s 100th birthday: the one we have is from Peterborough MC on 18th September.

However, the nationwide application of this may be patchy as the same post brought this Postcode slogan from Gatwick MC also on 18th September.

On the other hand, Swindon were using the slogan on Saturday 20th.

Examples of Ryder Cup Gleneagles slogans have been added to the original post.

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Autumn Stampex update - an ongoing story

This brief message (in black) is a prelude to what will be a more complete story on Friday after I have been to Stampex.
Further news added below in blue.

Today is the first day of issue of the Symbolic Flowers Post and Go Faststamps at Stampex and at Post Office Ltd branches nationwide.

News on this today:
1. Some Post Office branches with Post and Go machines assert that they have not received the Symbolic Flowers stamps.
2. Some offices (with or without machines) have received the 'packs' of bureau-printed stamps.  Apparently in all of West Sussex no branches have blank FDCs.  In Leeds one branch had no stamps, the other had the stamps and the FDC, but with no inserts.
[This was mentioned to the Royal Mail team who promised to follow up as it really is not good enough!]
3.  Gloucester PO was selling Symbolic Flowers from the NCR Post and Go machine on 13 September (see right, from eBay).
4. Leeds and Harrogate have the new stamps for their Wincor-Nixdorf machines.

At Stampex the Royal Mail machines are also dispensing stamps from a solo-Poppy reel with an additional inscription (or overprint) First World War Centenary

According to the Jersey Post Philatelic Website yesterday (16th) they were selling stamps from their bureau (produced by the back-office machine) with a Stampex Autumn 2014 inscription/overprint.  Today the website has changed and no longer indicates what the overprint is.  This is because when they received the stamps to sell the inscription read First World War Centenary.

Thanks to Chris we have this picture from Stampex:

I asked the Jersey bureau if the Union Flag stamp from the JE01 machine would have the same inscription and the answer was an uncertain positive.  When I pointed out that the Royal Mail machines selling the Union Flag would not have this inscription, that was changed to an uncertain negative.

Update 19 September:
1. The Union Flag stamps sold from JE01 did not have the World War 1 inscription (as we suspected, really).
2. The Union Flag stamps that I have are all undated.
3. The Machin stamps from A3 and MA13 and those from B001 are undated.

It was good to meet up with friends old and new yesterday: Thomas - ATM specialist from Germany, Chris, Tony, Vince, Bob, Graham (Smilers) Howard, Brian, Torsten Weller and Michael Eastick from Australia, and the Royal Mail team (sorry for anybody I've missed from that list).

Royal Mail Stamp Programme for 2015. in brief:

6 January - Alice in Wonderland
20 January - new Smilers designs in MS and retail booklet
18 February - Post and Go: Working Sail
19 February - Inventive Britons
5 March - Bridges
1 April - Comedy Greats
6 May - 175th Anniversary of Penny Black MS
13 May - Post and Go: Heraldic Beasts
14 May - First World War Centenary
2 June - Magna Carta
18 June - Battle of Waterloo
16 July - Battle of Britain
18 August - Bees
16 September - Post and Go: Sea Travel
18 September - Rugby World Cup
6 October - details awaited
3 November - Christmas
16 November - Post and Go: Winter Fur and Feathers

Plus Generic Smilers and Commemorative Sheets. Further details will be announced in due course.

And lastly, Julia Lee leaves Stamp Magazine today for a new job outside philately.  We've been blessed to have had her hand on the GB tiller at the mag for several years now, and on twitter and the SM forum.  Good luck, Julia, and thanks !

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Post and Go Stamps at Autumn Stampex 2014

Royal Mail have at last formaly told us what will be available from Post and Go machines at Stampex.

Kiosk A003:                    Reel A - flag, Reel B - Machin
Kiosk A004 and A005:   Symbolic Flowers / Solo Poppy*

Kiosk JE01:                     A Jersey Flag, B Union Flag

Pre-orders§ from B001   Flag, Machin, Symbolic Flowers, Solo Poppy*
(The Bureau Pack of Symbolic Flowers is printed on machine C001 and all are 1st class.)

*We know from the Philatelic Bulletin that the solo Poppy Post and Go stamp will be available from Post and Go Kiosks from 21 October.

But we now know that it will first be available on 17 September, but only with a  

First World War 

additional caption from machines A004 and A005.

§ Pre-orders: from past experience it is likely that stamps from the B machine will not be available on demand at Royal Mail's Stampex counter.   There is a minimum order level of £150 for pre-orders; ask for details.

UPDATE 4 September

Looking at the Jersey Stamps website today I find that they have listed:

Jersey Post & Go Jersey Flag Stampex Autumn 2014 Overprint - Mint Set 

As far as I know, nobody has mentioned an Overprint on the Jersey Flag and the site doesn't indicate what it reads.  This will be sold for 12 months subject to availability.

(Other new output is also listed on the site.)

Post and Go in central London - any Wincor-Nixdorf left?

A correspondent has been looking at various blog posts about the change from Wincor-Nixdorf Post and Go machines to NCR Self Service in London, and can't find the answer to this question.

Can anybody tell me whether there are any Wincors left - starting from Islington (Stampex) and working through the central London area? 

Many thanks

Saturday, 30 August 2014

Post & Go arrives in Jersey Broad Street St Helier Post Office

From Post and Parcel  (I couldn't find a Jersey Post press release on this)

A new Post and Go machine will be installed at Jersey’s main Broad Street post office in St Helier next week.  Jersey’s first static Post and Go machine, the JE02 series machine, powered by Royal Mail, will go live on Thursday 4 September 2014.

The machine will vend stamps featuring Jersey’s first Post and Go design, the Jersey flag, as well as Royal Mail stamps depicting the Union flag. Both stamp designs will carry the unique location identifier ‘Broad Street’.

To celebrate Jersey’s annual International Air Display which takes place on 11th September this year, the Jersey flag Post and Go stamps will be printed with special air display overprints from 11th September until 11th October. The Union flag stamps will not carry the overprints but will continue to feature the ‘Broad Street’ identifier.

Jersey Post’s Senior Philatelic Manager, Melanie Gouzinis, is sure Jersey’s new Post and Go products will prove popular with collectors: “We have seen a lot of interest in our Post and Go stamps to date following our launch at Spring Stampex earlier in the year and our overprinted stamps at PhilaKorea World Stamp Exhibition this month. The next step was to bring a Post and Go machine to Jersey’s Broad Street post office and we’re really looking forward to seeing it go live next week.”

Mrs Gouzinis continued: “We have exciting plans to widen our Post and Go product range as we move into 2015 with some beautiful new stamp designs, enabling our collectors to further enhance their collections of this next generation of stamps.”

Just like Royal Mail's, Jersey's Post and Go stamps carry unique identification numbers depending on the machine and session number of where and when they were issued. All Jersey Post and Go stamps will be supplied with a dedicated receipt.

UPDATE 4 September
Thanks to Mike for pointing out that both the Broad Street and Air Display stamps (and a Stampex Overprint(!)) are listed on the Jersey Stamps webshop.  Well, that saves you all a trip to Jersey!

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

FORE!! Advance notice of Ryder Cup slogan postmark.

From 23 September Royal Mail will be selling "a stunning limited edition Medal Cover" which they hope will appeal to golfers worldwide.  The cover commemorates the 40th Ryder Cup being held this year at Gleneagles in Scotland. 

UPDATE 28 August: Although it seems that the logo is on a label affixed to the stamp (Smilers-style) no Smilers sheets or Commemorative sheets have been produced for sale.

Of additional interest to postmark collectors, especially those who have sport or golfing as one of their collecting areas, is the advance news that a special slogan postmark will be in use nationwide "from 15 to 29 September".  (NB, this usually means"mail delivered on.." these dates, so it is lilely that the slogan will be in use on Friday 12/Saturday 13 September.)

The image in the Press Release shows the Ryder Cup logo (and the 'Delivered by Royal Mail' slogan) with a postmark from Edinburgh Mail Centre, but sthe cancelling machines at Edinburgh don't have the capability of printing logos.  They did print the 'Homecoming Scotland' slogan in April, but not the Commonwealth Games Logo slogan in July.  (Thanks to Adrian for pointing this out.) 

So it seems likely that there will be two versions of this slogan, one with an one without a logo - let us know what you find. 

In the United Kingdom there are two types of ink-jet cancelling machines in use.  The 'Delivered by Royal Mail' add-on, and slogans with logos, are generally applied by Integrated Mail Processors (IMP).

Intelligent Letter Sorting Machines (iLSM) generally do not include logos and don't add the 'Delivered by ..' slogan, although they do produce Prostate Cancer slogans with the figure of a man, and did produce the boxed script 'Homecoming Scotland' slogan, with the remainder being just text.

More about postmarking later.  Meanwhile thanks again to Royal Mail's media department for giving us 3 weeks' notice of this slogan!

The special handstamp being used on the commemorative cover has now appeared in the Postmark Bulletin.  Collectors can obtain this from the Scotland & Northern Ireland Handstamp Centre at Royal Mail, Tallents House Edinburgh, reference number 13226

UPDATE 22 September
Several examples of the Ryder Cup slogan have been found, and they show that the logo is now produced by both types of machine.  Unfortunately postmarks don't show on Post and Go stamps and labels, so the North & West Yorkshire MC slogan (17 September) is illegible.