Friday, 31 January 2014

Spring Stampex - changes to announced Post and Go set-up

The main programme for Post and Go machines in 2014 is on this post.


UPDATE:
The Union Flag stamp was not originally intended to be provided from the Back-Office machines (B1 & B2).  However as these machines are new, showing a new datastring, Royal Mail have made the Union Flag available from machine B2.

I don't know whether this will be on all four days.

Recap:
According to the Postagelabelsuk blog new 'Series B' machines will be in use in 2014, starting at Stampex.  These will be taller and have improved capabilities.  The datastring will be

B2GB14 A001-0000-001

B indicating series B, and A001 being the machine number.  Machines A002, A003, and A004 will be the self-service machines at Stampex.



Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Amazing misregistration on 2013 Christmas stamp

We were used to seeing misregistration of various degrees from Walsall retail booklets during 2013 so when Graham sent me this image I thought it was another - albeit extreme - example of Walsall's work.


But in fact this comes from a De La Rue sheet of 50 !

The cyan and black are in one register and the magenta and yellow in another which has produced a really strange effect - pass the 3-D glasses !

If you would like one of these we have a few, please contact us ian@norphil.co.uk
The price is £19.95 and it's available from our shop.

If anybody finds anything like this in kiloware, or unused, we will be interested to hear about it. (Thanks Graham - see more of his work here.)


Monday, 27 January 2014

Cricket and the Royal Marines are subjects of spring Commemorative Sheets.

Royal Mail will issue two Commemorative Sheets this spring.  February will mark the 150th Anniversary of the founding of Middlesex County Cricket Club.  In March a second premium priced sheet will mark the 350th Anniversary of the Royal Marines.

Middlesex County Cricket Club whose patron is HRH Prince Philip was founded in February 1864 and is one of the 18 county clubs that make up the English and Welsh domestic cricket league. They play most of their home games at Lord’s Cricket Ground in St John’s Wood, which is the Home of Cricket.

To mark its 150th anniversary Royal Mail has created a Commemorative Sheet in close liaison with Middlesex County Cricket Club that features the great players who have represented the club. It also provides details of the key moments in the club’s history on the backing card to complete the story. This is the first time Royal Mail has featured a cricket club in its Commemorative Sheet programme: issue date 25 February 2014.

Two special postmarks will be in use on the date of issue both from Royal Mail's London Special Handstamp Centre:



The Royal Marines, which is a crucial part of the Naval Service acting as the United Kingdom’s Commando Forces and the Royal Navy’s amphibious troops, was founded in 1664. Prince Philip, His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh and Captain General of the Royal Marines is quoted as saying, “The whole value and essence of Royal Marines Commandos is that they can undertake any kind of military or security job under any conditions anywhere In the world at a moment’s notice”.

Royal Mail is marking the 350th anniversary of the Royal Marines with a special ‘By Sea, by Land’ Commemorate Sheet which tells the story of the regiment from its formation to the present day. Produced in collaboration with the Royal Marines an istorians, it provides an insight into the command structure of the regiment and contains contemporary illustrations and pictures of the Royal Marines in action during key moments in its history.  The sheet will be issued on 25 March 2014.

UPDATE 10 March 2014:
These special postmarks have been announced for this sheet:


13059 - London Handstamp Centre, Mount Pleasant
13066 - Wales and West Handstamp Centre, Cardiff
13064 - Midland Handstamp Centre, Birmingham

Sunday, 26 January 2014

Surprise new 2nd class coil stamp discovered !

It's the start of 2014 and we thought we knew about all of the stamps were issued - or discovered - in 2013, and they included some surprise 2012 printings.  

In July last we reported the fact that the 2012 2nd class coil (which had been available mint for a while) had now been found used on a bulk mailing.


But now a new version of the 2nd class MRIL has been discovered in kiloware.

UPDATE 28 JAN 14
We understand that this and the 1st class red were printed by Walsall Security Printers in the second half of 2012.  (The 1st class distributed by Royal Mail Tallents House were MA12, from Enschede.)


This clearly shows M12L - MRIL.  We will be interested to hear of any further findings, especially on whole cover, or enough to show the source, so that we can all look out for them!

UPDATE 6 February 2014
Thanks to John for sending this cover from Christian Aid.  You can't see the iridescent overprint, but John assures me that it is the new M12L MRIL


UPDATE 13 February 2014
Another example has been sent, from Queen Elizabeth's Foundation for Disabled People.   Thanks to 'Boweevil' for this.


UPDATE 14 April 2014
Closer to home, a further example has now been received from the British Heart Foundation, with the same postmark as the Christian Aid one.  The return address is Melksham SN12 6WF

UPDATE 21 June 2014
The Centrepoint charity is also using this new stamp, with the same postmark as the QEF one.  Centrepoint's mailing house has used other 2nd class coils - and also M11L business sheet and 2nd Large MA12 business sheet.

UPDATE February 2015
Latest mailshots from CentrePoint are using pre-security coils with ordinary gum.


Monday, 20 January 2014

Stamps mark 300 years of Buckingham Palace

Stamps recording the three hundred year existence of Buckingham Palace - previously Buckingham House - will be issued on 15 April 2014.  The 6 x 1st class stamps in ordinary sheets show the exterior of the building over the centuries, and the miniature sheet and retail booklet show the opulence of the interior.

Two of the six stamps showing the exterior views:



The Miniature Sheet


The retail booklet


Technical details:

The 6 x1st class sheet stamps are 60 x 30 mm (same size as Olympic Welcome stamps) and will be in sheets of 18/36.  Printed by Cartor SP in lithography.

The miniature sheet is 115 x 74 mm with stamps 41 x 30 mm printed by Joh Enschede in lithography.

The retail booklet with 2 x Buckingham Palace stamps and 4 x 1st class red Machins is printed by Walsall Security Printers in gravure.

The Prestige Stamp Book will contain three panes each of 4 x 1st class stamps, and one pane of Machin definitives.  The last will contain 2 each of 10p and £1 stamps, and 4 x 20p (making the usual 8 stamps and a label.


The other panes:

UPDATE 14 JUNE
It's so long since stamps in a Prestige Book were different in a major way from those in sheets that there's a tendency not to check.  Fortunately the catalogue editors at Stanley Gibbons do just that, and we can confirm that the 6 x 1st class stamps in the PSB are perforated 14 x 13½, while those in counter sheets are perf 14½.  The sheet stamps are numbered 3589-94 and the PSB stamps 3589b-3594b. 





More details on our website.

UPDATE 8 APRIL

We can now show the definitive stamps from the retail booklet and the PSB:







Friday, 17 January 2014

Faststamp Additions to stock

Latest additions to our webstore:

Union Flag Faststamps MA13 from Post Office (Wincor) machine



Back in stock: the 2nd class Faststamp MA13 pair from the touring Pop-Up Post Office


Limited supplies, so if you are still looking for these, now is your chance.


Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Jersey Post and Go at Spring Stampex

Jersey Post have announced that they will be introducing Post and Go stamps from 19 February 2014.

Jersey Post introduced new Fujitsu self-service post and pay kiosks in 2009.  Using these customers have been able to weigh, stamp and pay for packages to be posted quickly and efficiently, all at one small space-saving kiosk. Initially three kiosks were installed in post office branches and then one at the Jersey Electricity Company’s Power House store in St Helier.

A Jersey Post statement said: "These Post and Go stamps represent a new and very exciting way to begin or enhance a stamp collection."  The first designs to be used feature the Jersey flag.

At this stage no self-service machines will be placed in Jersey Post branches.

At Spring Stampex Jersey Post will use a Royal Mail Post and Go Royal Mail Series II* machine to produce stamps in six different values:

Local letter  - 45p
UK letter - 55p
Europe - 60p
Local large - 68p
International - 80p
     UK large - 88p


No exact details of the inscriptions have been provided but there will be two versions.  Those known as 'B series' will be printed on a back-office machine at the Jersey Philatelic Bureau.  The ones at Stampex will be 'J series'. Only J series will be available at Stampex.

Products available from the Bureau will be a mint set of 6 at £3.96, and a first day cover and presentation pack at £5.11 each. 

At the time of writing these are not on the Jersey Post website, but customers will be able to order from the Jersey Philatelic Bureau, either by phone, email or online at www.jerseystamps.com
Telephone from UK 01534 516320, from outside the UK +44 15 34 51 63 20.
Email: stamps@jerseypost.com
Jersey Philatelic Bureau, POHQ, Jersey JE1 1AB

More details will be added here as we get them.

* Updated: This is the type of machine also known as Hytech so we can expect the datastring layout to be similar to the Hytech/Series II machines seen at events in the UK. 

Update 16 January from Postagelabelsuk blog.

At Spring Stampex Jersey Post will join the Post and Go club and will taken ownership of their own ‘Series B’ machine- number J001 - that will vend a unique Jersey Flag  stamp with six relevant NVI values  on one reel alongside a GB Union flag stamp on the other - a truly unique, modern and innovative way of producing a joint stamp issue.

This is even more ridiculous than at first it appears.   We do know that some post offices on the Channel Islands sell UK stamps for the use of their residents when the visit the UK.  But to have them both in one Post and Go machine does seem extreme!

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Stamp booklet in February will be Football not Locos

As many readers will now have their Philatelic Bulletin for January I thought I would clarify some of the information it contains.

The retail booklet issued on 20 February (see page 130) will contain 4 x 1st Machins and 2 x 1st Footballers, not Locomotives.  (The retail booklet is not mentioned on pages 133/4).

For the Spring Blooms Faststamps (page 135) the Post and Go terminals in '146 branches of the Post Office' will dispense Faststamps with their usual branch code, not a 'philatelic Post and Go Code'.

Also, on page 140, John Holman's write-up says that the Spring Blooms are issued on the third day of Stampex: they are actually issued on the first day of Stampex. (Thanks Doug for pointing this out.)

For those interested in PO Training School material here is a different registration label to that shown on page 151 of the Bulletin, and a SPECIMEN postmark.






Thursday, 2 January 2014

Post and Go Faststamps on the road 2014 - exhibition programme

In September last Royal Mail provided details of the 2014 Exhibitions at which
there would be Post and Go machines dispensing Faststamps.  At the time there was some doubt about the accuracy of the list, not least as they provided April dates for the autumn Stafford Stamp Show.  A new list has now been provided in Royal Mail's Philatelic Bulletin, but I am not totally convinced that this will prove to be completely accurate.


In this post I re-publish the original information with the new details in blue.

Machines A2, A3 and A4 are public access machines; Machines B1 and B2 are used in the back-office at Stampex and Faststamps are sold over the counter on the Royal Mail stand.
Note where only two machines are in use, A4 is only listed for January at York, being replaced by A2 for all others.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

NOTE: We have no reason to believe that MA14 codes will appear early in the year, eg at Spring Stampex.  Bear in mind that the MA13 printings appeared only in the second part of the year it seems likely that the MA14 will not appear until the middle of this year.  (Of course the flowers stamps should have MA14 codes if any.)


2014
York 17 - 18 January
Reel A Flag, Reel B Machin in both A3 and A4 machines on both days

Spring Stampex 19-22 February - contents the same on all 4 days

Machines A2 and A3 - A: Spring Blooms, B: Machin with additional inscription
Machine A4* - A: Union Flag;    B: Machin with additional inscription, 4 days
Machine B1 - Spring Blooms on both reels, all 4 days
Machine B2 - Machin with additional inscription on both reels, all 4 days.
* Bulletin shows this as A3 as well, which must be an error

UPDATE 16 January: Royal Mail have advised that the overprint will be
Stampex 2014

19-22 February

Machines: According to the Postagelabelsuk blog new 'Series B' machines will be in use in 2014, starting at Stampex.  These will be taller and have improved capabilities.  The datastring will be 

B2GB14 A001-0000-001

B indicating series B, and A001 being the machine number.  Machines A002, A003, and A004 will be the self-service machines at Stampex.

UPDATE 31 January:
The Union Flag stamp was not originally intended to be provided from the Back-Office machines (B1 & B2).  However as these machines are new, showing a new datastring, Royal Mail have made the Union Flag available from machine B2
I don't know whether this will be on all four days.



Salisbury 14-15 March
A2 and A3 - A: Spring Blooms, B: Machin (no added inscription) on both days

Perth - 85th Scottish Congress 11 - 12 April
Machines A2 and A3:  A: Union Flag, B: Machin on both days
Added inscription on both stamps for the 85th Scottish Congress

York 18 - 19 July
Reel A Flag, Reel B Machin in both A2 and A3 machines on both days
UPDATE 10 June: Units A003 and A004 will be at York: the Union Flag and Machin stamps will have the new Euro 20g / World 10g printed on the 97p stamp.

Philakorea Seoul 7 - 12 August (Bulletin table shows only 'Day 1' and 'Day 2')
A2 and A3 - A: Flag, B: Machin on all days, with Philakorea 2014 inscription on both stamps.  GB versions of both will be available from Tallents House.
UPDATE 10 June: Units A003 and A004 and Jersey's J001 will be at Seoul.  See more here.

Autumn Stampex 17-20 September ('Flowers' = Symbolic Flowers, first day 17 Sept.)

Wednesday 17 September
Machine
Reel A
Reel B
Reel A
Reel B
A2
Flowers
Union Flag ≠
Flowers
≠ Union Flag
A3
Flowers
Union Flag *
Flowers
Union Flag *
A4
Union Flag ≠
Machin ≠
≠ Union Flag
≠ Machin
B1
Flowers
Flowers
Flowers
Flowers
B2
Union Flag ≠
Machin *
≠ Union Flag
Machin *
≠ The original information indicates that the only Flag stamp with additional overprint will be available from a public-access machine (A3B), and the only Machin stamp with additional overprint will be from the back-office machine (B2B).  This is unchanged in the Bulletin.
If this is so there will be added pressure on the queues at the Royal Mail stand with customers requiring the overprinted Machin stamps.


Thursday 18 September
Machine
Reel A
Reel B
Reel A
Reel B
A2
Flowers
Union Flag *
Flowers
Union Flag *
A3
Flowers
Union Flag *
Flowers
Union Flag *
A4
Union Flag *
Machin
Union Flag *
Machin
B1
Flowers
Flowers
Flowers
Flowers
B2
Union Flag *
Union Flag *
Union Flag *
Union Flag *
No overprinted Machins available from any machine, which seems odd as this is the day of the Seaside architecture new issue.  No unoverprinted Flags.


Friday 19 September
Machine
Reel A
Reel B
Reel A
Reel B
A2
Flowers
Union Flag *
Flowers
Union Flag *
A3
Flowers
Union Flag *
Flowers
Union Flag *
A4
Union Flag *
Machin
Union Flag *
Machin
B1
Flowers
Flowers
Flowers
Flowers
B2
Union Flag *
Machin *
Union Flag *
Machin *
No unoverprinted Flags from any machine.
Saturday 20 September
Machine
Reel A
Reel B
Reel A
Reel B
A2
Flowers
Union Flag *
Flowers
Union Flag *
A3
Flowers
Union Flag *
Flowers
Union Flag *
A4
Union Flag *
Machin
Union Flag *
Machin
B1
Flowers
Flowers
Flowers
Flowers
B2
Union Flag *
Machin *
Union Flag *
Union Flag *
This updated information shows the Flag in B2B, meaning that there is no overprinted Machin stamp available from the public machines, only from the counter of the Royal Mail stand.  No unoverprinted Flags from any machine.


Stafford - 7 - 8 November (dates from organiser's website)

A2 - A: Winter Greenery, B: Machin on both days
A3 - A: Symbolic Flowers, B: Winter Greenery on both days

The Bulletin does not show a date for the Stafford Show.  As mentioned in a comment on the original post, the Winter Greenery stamps are due to be issued on 13 November, so should not be available at Stafford unless either the date of issue or the dates of the show are changed.

(Last September's blogpost is now closed for comments.)