I'm now able to show the whole sheet of Poppy stamps issued on 23 October. This was first reported in the Royal Mail Philatelic Bulletin for September but had not at that time been mentioned by any other source, to collectors or dealers.
(Unfortunately I have managed to delete the original post announcing this issue and can't recover it. Apologies to those who added comments.)
Following reports of non-availability at many offices visited by our readers I checked with the Post Office customer service line, and (after being wrongly told that there were none this year), was advised that:
These stamps have been distributed
to around 1000 branches, including all Crown* offices, and those with
philatelic counters. They have also been distributed to selected
offices near military bases and are available to all branches to order
via the Horizon system.
There are fewer than 400 'Crown' offices now. It seemed that remaining 10,800
offices weren't been told about the new stamp, so I don't know
how they are supposed to know that they can order them. It wouldn't be
so bad, of course, if Tallents House standing order customers had had
them distributed automatically, but as the stamp is not regarded as different
enough from the previous versions of this stamp to be regarded as
new, it was not sent to standing orders customers. As the previous versions were gummed in a miniature sheet, and
self-adhesive in an over-face value generic sheet, I don't see how they
can be regarded as the same. To order from Royal Mail, the product code is AS841.
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