Monday 27 July 2009

New Horizon Label Indicators!

As of today some indicators change as follows:

1LL becomes 1LG

2LL becomes 2LG

BLL becomes BLG

AX becomes AAX

BLL is British Forces but counters need a BFPO number to input to the system, or else a zero label might be produced (for the forces that are in active service areas, like Iraq and Afghanistan).

AX/AAX are Airsure designations. If anybody reading this receives an Airsure item with the new AAX label I'd like a picture of the label and cover to put on our webpage for Horizon labels. Please email me at

Wednesday 22 July 2009

Security Machins update - Code R = Rolls !!

This month's surprise new stamps are the 1st & 2nd Machin definitives with security features from rolls or coils.

As with the Business Sheets and booklet stamps these have security codes, in this case 'R' - MRIL, as shown in the picture:

But if you're a collector with a Bureau standing order for 'visible changes', you won't get these despite there being a quite obviously visible change, because this is not a philatelic product. The rolls are available only from Royal Mail Direct in Edinburgh (ie the room next to the Tallents House bureau), and exist only as rolls of 10,000. So if you have the price of a small car - £6,900 - you can buy 10,000 of each. The rolls have sequence numbers every 10th stamp, so the way to collect will probably be in strips of 3/5/10/11.

Here's a picture of the coils including the bar-codes. (All pics courtesy of AW.)


EDIT: These are not on philatelic release. They were discovered on a mailshot from a financial institution, and only by the addressee spotting the new code. Therefore there are NO first day covers.
We will, however, have some strips with and without serial numbers, and single stamps will also be available. We'll be writing to regular customers about these in the next couple of days, and welcome enquiries from other collectors.

We now have these together with all the other security definitives in our online shop. If the combination you want isn't there, please email from the site and we will do our best to supply you.

Monday 13 July 2009

Security stamp variations now on our online shop

At long last I've had time to scan in detail all the various stamps, together with the security codes on the NVIs. The 1st class gold just doesn't seem to scan as well as the 2nd class blue because of the metallic factor of the ink, so I haven't got a picture of the C code, the stamp from the mixed/custom/commemorative booklets of 6 - Design Classics and NAFAS, or the S code, the 1st class book of 6.

So here are the four Business Sheet stamps


and here are the five normal booklet stamps - books of 6, 12 & 4 (Large)

All these, and the 'C code' and sheet stamps can be ordered at our online shop. Note, postage and packing is 80p extra and we don't yet have automated payment facilities (eg PayPal) because we like getting stamps on letters containing cheques - but we do take PayPal, & UK and European bank transfers.

We also have some Business Sheet top panels for some of the Security stamps; many of these have yet to reach post offices while stocks of the old sheets are being used up.


Wednesday 8 July 2009

Design Classics retail booklet update - not numbered!

I mentioned on the latest site update that unlike booklet 2, booklets 3 & 4 had that number on the edge.

Well, that was on the publicity pictures - for what they are worth. I now have the Concorde booklet and there is no number; the edge caption is the same as on books 1 & 2.

Wednesday 1 July 2009

When in July 1969 did Apollo 11 land on the moon?

Royal Mail is issuing a 10-stamp commemorative sheet marking the 40th anniversary of the first manned moon landing. The sheet is issued on 21 July. Internetstamps are producing a similar Business Smilers Sheet and they have sponsored a pictorial postmark for the 20th July for covers that they are producing. That postmark of course can't be used on the Royal Mail sheet which is issued the following day.

This all comes down to the fact that the moonlanding was a night-time affair, grabbing prime television audiences. I remember watching through to the early hours of 21 July as Neil Armstrong stepped onto the moon's surface. In Houston it was still 20 July, which is why wikipedia records that "On July 20, Armstrong and Aldrin became the first humans to land on the Moon, while Collins orbited above".


Post and Go labels - version 3

We can't expect any prior announcements about Post and Go labels ("they're not stamps, we're not interested," a Royal Mail spokesman might have said), but another change seems to have taken place yesterday.

First issued in new machines in October, they've already undergone one change with the addition of 'perforations' on the upper and lower edges. Now there is a completely new design in the style of postage that can be generated from the home or business computer, which is marketed under the names of 'Online Postage' and 'Smartstamps'.

This is the first version of Smartstamps as produced in 2004, later changed:

And this is the new version of the Post and Go Label (not the Faststamps), which seems to have been put into use at Derby yesterday (30 June):

Now all we need is for the all forms of computer-produced postage to have the Machin head and collectors will really be pleased!