Friday, 18 June 2021

Post and Go update, Explosions Museum Gosport.

The Explosion Museum of Naval Firepower in Gosport has reopened and the Post and Go machine was operational from 16 June.  MB reports that the P&G delay was caused by a problem with the SIM card within the kiosk not allowing a network connection.

Machin is MA15 stock with the Flag undated, my thanks to MB for sending these images.



Thursday, 17 June 2021

Comments: relevance and anonymity.

We really do appreciate the comments that our readers make: if it wasn't for the comments we wouldn't know half what we know, and Post & Go collectors especially wouldn't know how many changes there have been to Post Office SSKs.

So a couple of requests.  

1.  Please make comments on the relevant post.  If you want to tell us that a new Machin printing has appeared, make the comment on the latest Machin post, not on the latest commemorative or postmarks post.  This means that people who are interested in Machins but not commemoratives will find it.  OR you can email it to me for an update to the last post or for a new one entirely.

2. A repeat of a request made at least twice before.  Anonymity is welcome, but please use a unique ID.

"Many people choose to remain anonymous when posting their comments on blogs, and of course that is fine - absolutely.  Some may be dealers who want to just sow some seeds of thought, some may work for Royal Mail or Post Office Ltd, or others with inside information, others may work for companies that it might be better not to associate with online activity.

But sometimes with long threads with a lot of comments there are many comments from 'Anonymous' - and they are not all the same person!!  That may lead to confusion among other readers and those who are referring to the posts by 'Anonymous'.

So it would be really useful if readers could use a name - as White Knight does, for example.  You can choose any nom-de-keyboard, initials, etc, that you wish, but it would help to use the same 'name' for all comments."
Even if you use a pseudonym you are still Anonymous unless it is one that you use widely elsewhere! And if you use one that I can identify with your email address because you have sent emails or bought from us, then I may answer you directly by email rather than here - especially useful if I don't allow your comment to go through.

At some time in the future the use of the name 'Anonymous' will be stopped, and all readers must make a decision to use a pseudonym.
 


Tuesday, 15 June 2021

Retail Booklets: thin paper, thick paper, cream pape, white paper.

Twelve months ago I wrote about the thickness of retail booklet covers:

I don't want to start another collecting trend, but....

As readers of the Philatelic Bulletin will know, the Music Giants IV: Queen issue includes a prestige book and a retail booklet.  My retail booklets arrived today.


Some people say you should never touch mint stamps with your hands - well sometimes it's worth it as a hunch sometimes proves right.  I opened the booklet and immediately felt that the backing paper was 'different'.  It felt smoother, and thinner.  

As you can see above, the newer booklet has whiter paper than the previous one. The stamp appears darker, the reflection of the iridescent printing is quite different between the two

 

CH reminded me of this last month when he wrote that the Music Giants V booklets had reverted to cream paper.  Apparently so far we have had:

White paper  PM78 (Fools 'n' Horses) , PM77 (National Parks)
 
Cream Paper PM79 (Paul McCartney)
 
 
As with the thinner paper mentioned last year, this isn't something that I will list in the Checklist, nor will it be mentioned in Gibbons' Concise Catalogue but it is a difference that ought to be included in their GB Specialised, if they ever produce a volume covering the latest security Machins.  

As these booklets are coded MCIL M21L it produces, for those who want to go to that level of detail, two different stamps - and if they appear with both upright and inverted printing on the backing paper.... well maybe four.

As always it is the choice of the collector whether to go to this level; personally I would rather try to find M21L stamps used on cover, especially some of those which have been announced but are not yet available from Tallents House!


Monday, 14 June 2021

Early use of McCartney stamp.

The Music Giants V: Paul McCartney stamps were issued on 28 May, as detailed here.

As mentioned in a comment on the original post, at least one 1st class stamp is recorded as being used two days before the official release date.  NB says that it was "Sent from Colne, Lancs BB8 so presumably bought at Skipton Road PO BB8 0NQ". 


1st class McCartney II stamp posted two days before issue.


Monday, 7 June 2021

June Postmark Slogans - and other postmarks of interest

June hasn't started particularly well, with very mixed results for the first slogan.  But we can only hope that things will get better and that there are other notable events that Royal Mail decides to commemorate with a slogan postmark.  I wonder if the Trooping of the Colour (The Queen's Official Birthday) will be included.

Thanks to MM, KD & JE for these examples of the World Environment Day slogan - between them we can work out the message!

World Environment
Day
Saturday
5 June 2021
#GenerationRestoration

World Environment Day slogan Dorset & S.W.Hants 02-06-2021

World Environment Day slogan Peterborough Mail Centre 02?-06-2021

World Environment Day slogan Lancashire and South Lakes 02/06/2021
 


UPDATE 14 June: Thanks to KD for the latest slogan which publicises LONELINESS AWARENESS WEEK.  This is the same slogan as used in 2020, here used on 11 June at Edinburgh Mail Centre.

LONELINESS
AWARENESS
WEEK  2021  

#LetsTalkLoneliness

Loneliness Awareness Week 2021 - Edinburgh Mail Centre 11-06-2021


UPDATE 16 June.  There's another new slogan in use reminding those who need to be reminded that it is Father's Day on Sunday.  At least, that's what we assume from a very poor example from Home Counties North Mail Centre forwarded by MM.  It's so poor that it won't grace this page until we get a better example.




This will be where all the June slogans that you tell me about will appear.


I'll also add other postmarks which may be unusual, or interesting.

Such as this one.  We are used to seeing slogan elements reversed, on square envelopes where the stamp is detected in the top left corner because the envelope has been rotated 90º.  This appears to be a case of the machine detecting the Machin definitive at the centre-left on a DL envelope, and treating it in the same way.  This is Tyneside Mail Centre on 01/06/2021.

Tyneside default slogan reversed on DL envelope.

The CDS at Blackwell, Darlington, is dated 29 May, which was the Saturday of the holiday weekend. Maybe it was posted after the last collection for the week.

Blackwell, Darlington CDS 29 MY 21


Remember, all postmarks in June will be added to this post, so check here before you spend time scanning and emailing.  I'll try to add new ones as quickly as possible but for this week we are off to Derbyshire.  Back next Monday!



Wednesday, 2 June 2021

Time for another break

I'm sorry I omitted to record here that we were away from 17-24 May.  I don't think anything really important cropped up that wasn't recorded in the notes/comments by our regular contributors.

We're away for another week from 7 to 14 June.  Emails will be read, and some replies sent; blog comments will be processed, but not always on the same day.  I don't know how the wifi is where we are going and mobile signals may also be limited.

I hope to have news of June slogan postmarks and a summary of new discoveries.  I'll also produce a new version of the checklist now that we have the new 2021 Gibbons Great Britain Concise catalogue.  One thing I do know, I still won't be able to show the Dennis & Gnasher stamps!



Dennis and Gnasher, Wild Coasts stamp issues coming in July.

After the Prince Philip Memorial MS on 24 June the next issue of stamps, on 1st July, is for 'Dennis and Gnasher' another comic cartoon and another 70th anniversary - it seems that they have to act before the centenary so that there are still some people alive who remember.

I can't write much about them until much later this month but the Philatelic Bulletin this month reveals that it is a set of six stamps (3 x 1st class and 3 x £1.70) accompanied (as always it seems) by a miniature sheet of 4 (two of each value).

There will be the usual assortment of philatelic material - FDC, presentation pack, stamp cards, A4 collectors sheet, and a retail stamp book.

And there will be framed products of course for those who are fans.

Three weeks later the Wild Coasts issue on 22 July has a set of 10 x 1st class and a miniature sheet of four (2 x 1st class, 2 x £1.70). 

Again there will be the usual assortment of philatelic material - FDC, presentation pack, stamp cards, A4 collectors sheet, and a retail stamp book.

And there will be framed products.

All in all another expensive month. 

UPDATE 17 June: Pictures of the Dennis & Gnasher stamps are now on cover producers' websites and on the other blog that you follow for just this eventuality!



Friday, 14 May 2021

London's Postal Museum re-opens with Post and Go fundraiser.

 Press Release

 

The Postal Museum announces the reopening of its Post & Go machines with new commemorative overprints 

LONDON, 14 May 2021 – The Postal Museum is set to resume the operation of its two Post & Go machines as the Museum reopens to the public on 20 May 2021. Both kiosks will be in their usual locations The Postal Museum’s Welcome Space and Mail Rail entrance, no admission ticket will be required to access the services.

Additional safety measures are being introduced such as a hand sanitizer station, a queuing system and information on how to scan the NHS Test and Trace QR code located near the machines.

The machine in the Welcome Space will vend a collector’s strip of 1st and 2nd class Machin stamps with an overprint “Wish You Were Here” and a distinctive postcard symbol celebrating The Postal Museum’s new exhibition marking 151 years of the British postcard.

In addition to Post & Go stamps, a First Day Cover and a Presentation Pack containing both 1st and 2nd class Machins with “Wish You Were Here” overprint will be available to purchase from the museum’s shop and online at shop.postalmuseum.org from 20 May.

Both Post & Go machines are available at The Postal Museum from 10.30 and throughout the museum’s opening hours (Thursdays to Sundays). Please check the full revised opening hours at www.postalmuseum.org/visit-us/.

The Postal Museum Post & Go stamp with re-opening "Wish You Were Here" inscription.

 

UPDATE 25 May: My thanks to MC for providing these images from the machines at The Postal Museum, and this commentary.

Year coding on TPM Machins is 'unclear' as the 'postcard' part of the overprint design obliterates the coding! At least one dealer on site reported the situation.

The Mail Rail kiosk, still AO12, is now back in the Mail Rail area over the road (when I got over there after TPM, it was apparent that there had been a delayed start due to 'technical issues'). 

First day covers were available on site at TPM (limited edition of 300 but, unusually, not individually numbered) but Presentation Packs (similarly, 300 issue) were only available to order via the web due to 'production issues'. Staff did, however, provide a code to interested attendees for web ordering so that there will be free postage when despatched, hopefully next week.

 

Mail Coach, Union Flag, and PO Underground Railway Post and Go strips from the Postal Museum's machine A001 with first 2021 service indicators.

Machin Post and Go strips (1st & 2nd) from the Postal Museum's machine A001 with first 2021 service indicators.

Post & Go strips from the Mail Rail machine (A012) at The Postal Museum with first 2021 service indicators.

These are posted for the online record, but we are not stocking them.


Thursday, 13 May 2021

HRH Prince Philip - In Memoriam - stamp miniature sheet 24 June 2021

Royal Mail will issue a miniature sheet of four stamps marking the life of His Royal Highness Prince Philip who died two months short of his 100th birthday, on 9 April 2021.

The Duke of Edinburgh, the longest-serving consort to a monarch in British history, whom the Queen described as her "strength and stay" during her record-breaking reign, passed away at Windsor Castle.

The appropriately black-and-white miniature sheet commemorates the Duke with four portrait stamps, each featuring a photo of Prince Philip from over the years. 

 

HRH Prince Philip In Memoriam miniature sheet issued by Royal Mail 24 June 2021.


2nd class Photograph of HRH The Prince Philip, taken by the photographer Baron.
1st class Photograph of HRH The Prince Philip attending the passing out parade of Prince Andrew at Dartmouth Naval College, Devon.
£1.70 Photograph of HRH The Prince Philip at the Royal Windsor Horse Show.
£2.55 Photograph of HRH The Prince Philip taken by the photographer Terry O’Neill.

Technical Details
The 190 x 67 mm sheet was designed by Kate Stephens and Royal Mail Group, and was printed by International Security Printers in litho. The stamps are 35 mm x 37 mm with all over phosphor except on the 2nd class which has one phosphor band. 
Acknowledgements: 2nd class – photograph by Baron © Camera Press London; 1st class – photograph © Keystone/Getty Images; £1.70 – photograph by Richard Gillard © Camera Press London; £2.55 – photograph © Terry O’Neill/Iconic Images

Products
Miniature sheet, presentation pack, first day cover.


Monday, 10 May 2021

This is why forgers produced an 'impossible' stamp.

The forgeries of 1st class Machin definitives are often shown to be 'impossible', whether by the perforations, the iridescent security print, or the phosphor bands.  If it's only the phosphor one has to see the actual stamp to positively say that it is wrong.

But in the case of other 'errors' many collectors and dealers can tell from even a poor scan or photo that it is wrong. One such is this:

Now collectors of Machin definitives with security prints know that the 1st class red was introduced in 2012 with code M12L on counter sheets - indicated by the MAIL at the top right.  So why was this produced as MA12.

Royal Mail's mock-ups of mixed-content retail booklets also have this impossible coding, as shown here from the Music Giants V booklet:


Of course that doesn't explain the many other give-away errors in the forgeries, but it does explain the major oddity.

Addition: As Gwen notes, in the comments, some of these forgeries are collectable - given that there are so many collecting them mint is easier than postally used.  We have some of each for sale here.


UPDATE 14 MAY:

The image for the ebay listing in today's comment:

Forged 1st class Large stamps with 9 diagonal (not wavy) lines of text on the stamp and text on the backing paper rotated through 90º - and straight-sided elliptical perforations!