Friday 30 December 2011

Post and Go v2 - Birds 2 also exists with 40g Worldwide

We reported here on the upgrade and roll-out of Version 2 of the Post and Go software.  Who could have guessed that so many old birds were still lying around in Post Office branch store-rooms?

We've already shown the not-unexpected Birds 4, and the slightly-more-surprising Birds 3, but now we can show Birds 2.  As usual this is a strip of 5 plus a single.  We will be contacting regular customers about these early next month when we have caught up with email and post.

UPDATE 2 January 2012:
Our supplies of Birds 2 came from Grimsby.  I'm told that Plymouth also had some, to be precise:
only 30 strips of 5+1 printed before the roll ran out and was changed to Machin; they come with error of year on receipt 2006.  (Thanks JG for the update).


It is surprising that so many of the previous issues were still in post offices.  This suggests either that usage of the Post and Go machines for take-away stamps (rather than "post it now" labels) has been very low at these offices, or that they used the default Machin head stock, rather than the birds pictorials.  In theory the Birds 2 (issued 24.01.10) should have been used by 19.05.10 when the Birds 3 (Waterbirds) were issued; and they in turn should have been used by the time the 16.09.10 Birds 4 (Seabirds) were issued.   

Of course if one issue had not been exhausted by the time the next was issued, old stock should have been removed from the machines so that collectors could access the new.  It is more than likely that Birds 4 will still be in some machines when the sheep arrive on 24 February!

Thursday 22 December 2011

Festive Greetings! A Merry Christmas !!!

To all our readers, customers, contributors



Our offices will be closed from late tonight, Thursday 22 December, to Tuesday 3 January.

As we remember those who are no longer with us, and 
enjoy the company of the family and friends that we have,
we hope you will be able to enjoy this time with your family and friends as well. 


When we return it is certain that there will be more news - 10 days is a long time in philately! 

All emails will be dealt with as soon as possible after the holidays.
If you order through our online shop ( the stock will be reserved for you.

Wednesday 21 December 2011

Golden Machin Horizon label mark III update

Steve has sent a picture of 4 new labels..... and another showing an earlier date of 21/11/11 17/11/11, so if anybody has an earlier date than this, please let us know!

Also shown below is an FP label that I sent to Australia

Friday 16 December 2011

Diamond Jubilee definitive confusion at Tallents House clarified

We have an update on the situation regarding the Diamond Jubilee definitive distribution, as reported earlier (see below).

Royal Mail have now confirmed at 1445 hrs today:
"As we are sending the Diamond Jubilee Miniature sheet to all regular order DS customers we opted not to send the new Diamond Jubilee 1st Class definitive as an individual item to avoid duplication and additional costs.  We can still fulfill requests from customers requiring individual stamps, formats or colour blocks on an ad-hoc basis  Any orders fulfilled under these circumstances will have the P&P waived."

I had checked the situation with Royal Mail Tallents House on Monday 19th, and was told that the normal 'ad-hoc' order charges would apply to any supplementary orders for the  definitive stamp from sheets.
I welcome this statement of Royal Mail's new position and am pleased that collectors, especially those without access to UK Post Offices will be able to buy the definitive sheet stamp at face value without incurring additional costs.

(Friday December 16th) A reader tells of his experience with Royal Mail's Tallents House 'Philatelic Bureau' on this new stamp.  His standing order statement was 46p short, lacking a single from the counter sheet:

After a certain amount of confusion I was informed that there will be no counter sheets, but they could supply a single from the business sheets, and a block of six if required.

He suggested, not surprisingly, that our website page and this blog might be inaccurate.  I checked the information we had received from Royal Mail Philatelic...

The associated stamp formats are a
POL counter sheet of 1st standard size,
100 x 1st business sheet, 12 x 1st book
as shown here.

As from 6th February 2012 this new
Diamond Jubilee Definitive 12 x 1st
Class book will be available and remain
so throughout the Queen’s jubilee year
thereby replacing the gold Definitive.

Later in March the 4 x 1st Large book, 1st
Large as a POL Counter sheet and the 50 x
1st Large Business sheets will be issued
(POL = Post Office Ltd, ie counters)

Our reporter was told by Tallents House that because of computer problems they could not see his statement at that time. Those same computer problems may have led to the misunderstanding quoted above in blue.

If you have a standing order, or want to order this from Royal Mail, the stock code for the stamps from counter sheets is DS461. Normal 'one-off' handling charges apply. (update 21 December - no further handling charges will apply.)

The Business Sheet is DS961, and the booklet is UB340.  These last two of course can only be supplied as complete sheets or booklets by Royal Mail, but we will be supplying them as singles if you don't want to shell out £46 and £5.52.  And we'll have the Large Letter versions in March.

Thursday 15 December 2011

2010 2nd class self-adhesive coil - nobody has any!

We have had several enquiries for the 2010 self-adhesive 2nd class coil stamp recently - people are missing it from their collections.

A reminder, then, that the reason you - and I - are missing it from our collections is that only FIVE copies are known, all used.

This is how we reported it back in July.  Apart from the few more that have been found after this one, as far as we know, nobody has any mint examples.  We'd love to be able to supply them to you, mint or used, at any price.  I've handled one of the used copies, but even that isn't mine.

Richard P has kindly sent this image of a 2010 2nd class self-adhesive coil MA10 MRIL on a direct mailshot.

This is a new find and suggests that the 1st class might also be out there.  We have reason to believe, from information supplied by Royal Mail, that the 2011 versions also exist. However, we have no way of knowing whether the part of Royal Mail which supplies these to the mailing houses has yet sold, or even received, any of the 2011 versions - which have been produced for both 1st and  2nd class values.

Christmas stamps with matrix removed

We mentioned the self-adhesive Christmas stamps with intact matrix in an earlier post.

We've now listed our stock from 2003 to date for customers on our e-commerce site here.


Olympic / Paralympic definitives update

As expected the colour of the new 1st class definitives is almost exactly the same as the 'flame' colour previously used for the Machin 1st class.

As indicated by Royal Mail, the 1st class stamps are in sheets of 50 with gutters.  This gives only one cylinder block and one printing date block per 50.  The 20g stamps are issued in sheets of 25, two different layouts matching the two panes of the 1st class.  But because there are two sheets there are two cylinder and date blocks per 50 stamps.  However because of the different layout of the stamps on the two panes, the set is actually three different cylinder blocks and three different date blocks.

The length of the sheet is just longer than A4 so the images are slightly cropped.

The stamps in the Presentation Pack appear to be torn from ordinary sheets rather than being cut.

While on the subject of cylinders I was disappointed that the two packs of 50 booklets yielded no cylinder numbers.  Although we know the two different booklets were printed side by side on the same web, the packing dates are 3rd & 7th November 2011. 

Friday 9 December 2011

Cross-blog promotion

A new post from Roy on MachinMania reminding his readers to look here for information about the new Machin stamps prompts me to remind you, my readers, to follow MachinMania where you often have background information and historic information about this long series.  MachinMania concentrates almost exclusively on Machins, but not just British ones, and there is much to be gained from dropping in their now and then.

Similarly for information on Faststamps and Post & Go in general, you should also have Brian Sinnott's Postagelabelsuk blog on your list.  Brian isn't always completely up to date and the requirements of his day job prevent him from updating as often as I'm sure he would like, but when he does post, there is always something groundbreaking.  

Today he has written about the 40g Faststamps for Birds 3 (but he hasn't got the Scottish offices on his list), and introduces us to the new 'Premier' PO in Birmingham which is almost exclusively self-service from what we can see.  10 Post and Go machines result in one having kiosk ID=0, and "a new, foldable, ‘mini’ date stamp, currently reserved for ‘customer side’ use on Post and Go receipts."  Certainly different.

Anybody interested in Smilers who isn't already aware of Graham Howard's website is missing out on all the latest news.  Not a blog as such, so without the usual search and keyword cluster features, you can keep updated on Smilers Info News by using the Change Detection box which we also use on the Norvic Philatelics webpages.

The British Postal Museum and Archive blog is full of interesting snippets (follow them on twitter as well), and if you are interested in GB Postal History - the stamped variety - and postage rates the Great Britain Philately blog is for you!

Post and Go v2 produces 40g Birds 4 - and Birds 3!

As reported here, the 40g Faststamps are rolling out.  

Thanks to a correspondent in cold and snowy Scotland we can now report that machine 2 at the St James Centre, Edinburgh PO, was dispensing Birds 3 earlier this week (shown below at left).  At the same time machine 3 at the St Vincent Street, Glasgow, PO was dispensing Birds 4 with the original Wincor font, thus printing over the picture.

Let us know of any other errors found after the v2 update!

Wednesday 7 December 2011

Golden Machin Horizon label mark III now in use.

The recent batch of Mark II Horizon labels were incompletely cut, resulting in a 5-8mm portion at the top of each label remaining on the backing if the label was removed from the foot.  Because of this many offices reverted to white labels - giving rise to many 'rare' narrow font labels and labels with the new VAT codes appearing on eBay.

The Mark III golden label is now in use.  This has die-cut curves at the left and right, and semi-circular ones in the corners, but no slits at all at the top and foot.   The serial number printed on the back of the one I used this morning is U082597507. I hope somebody will be able to provide a picture soon.

The picture here compares the Mk II version at the top, with the Mk III version below.

The concave (inward pointing) semi-circle starts immediately above the 'A' in the top image, two convex (outward pointing) semi-circles run below the ends of the concave one.  The one on the left runs through the A, just at the top of the triangle, the one on the right is in a similar position in the coronet, with the right end pointing to the cut in the corner.

In the lower example, the corner cuts are present but the other three are not.  This applies to the top and bottom of the label, but the similar cuts at left and right remain.

Tuesday 6 December 2011

Machin M11L code continues in 2012 with Dahl PSB

Just when we thought we would see a new year code early in January in the Roald Dahl Prestige Stamp Book we find that they have the M11L code for 2011!

The conventionally gummed PSB pane has 2p, 10p & 68p stamps in, with the 68p having security features. The image shows all the stamps with security slits but that would only happen if they were self-adhesive.

So your 2011 Machin collection isn't finished yet!  The good thing from all points of view is that each pane provides 4 of these stamps with little postage left over. (Thanks to Richard P for the picture)

See Comments below about printing process and printer for this pane.

Post and Go version 2 update brings 40g for Birds 4

The delayed upgrade of Post and Go machines to software version 2 is now under way in earnest.  We're told that about half of the machines have now been upgraded in bulk by an internet download, rather than the attendance of an engineer to each machine.

Although many offices are using Machin Faststamps we have received Birds 4 and we're hoping to get Birds 3 later this week.  Just how many offices have Birds 4 is unknown, although as distribution was originally very limited (due to stock-control errors at Swindon which were later corrected) many offices will be back on Birds 4 after having initial stocks exhausted.  Just how many still have Birds 3 is more difficult to determine.  We had very few reports of Bird 3 continuing until September.

With version 2, the scanning equipment is now operative, so customers can purchase non-stamp products such as stationery which are on sale at many offices.  Shown here alongside the Birds 4 40g stamps is a receipt for a roll of tape from Old Street machine 1.

Spotted on eBay: Birds 3 40g from Ludgate Circus PO in London - 7/12/11.
Birds 3 also reported (10/12/11) from Dartford machine no 1. (Thanks KH)

December week 1.  - see separate blog entry for images
St Vincent Edinburgh dispensing Birds 3
St James Glasgow dispensing Birds 4 but with original font, printing over image.

6/12/11 - Paignton, Plymouth & Exeter on v2, but Paignton shut down on the same day - see Comment.

Further update 11/12/11 (thanks Malcolm)
Barnet EN5 5UU dispensing Birds 4
The following are dispensing Machins
Holloway N7 6HY,   Upper Holloway N19 5TA   Golders Green NW11 8RT
Balham SW12 9AF and Hampstead NW3 1QL
Clapham Common SW4 7ST is still version 1 dispensing Machins
Norwich both machines converted, one at least has Birds 4. (thanks to IS)
DR Confirms that Boston has 40g but no Birds.

Dartford v2 dispensing Birds 3
Orpington v2 dispensing Machin but wrong typeface (up to 40g seems correct though, see attachment)
Clapham Common still v1
Blackfriars Road and London Bridge v2 dispensing machins
Acton v2 dispensing birds 3
Sutton v1 dispensing birds 4

Christmas 2011 - staff bonus

For several years Royal Mail and Post Office employees (and sub-postmasters who are neither) have received a Christmas card from the organisation together with 50 1st class Christmas stamps.  

Since at least 2003 the self-adhesive Christmas stamps on sale to the public have had the paper surrounding the stamps (or 'matrix') removed to make it easier to remove the stamps from the sheets, and to make them easier to separate into singles/blocks at the PO counter.  But the 'staff' versions have been sent out with the matrix intact, providing a collectable variation.  Employees are not permitted to sell their stamps, but many are available to collectors either by exchange or through dealers.

We understand that there were production problems with the 2011 Christmas stamps.  Although most of the 1st class were printed in June and the 2nd class in July, we're told that some were printed in November.  And the ones included in Christmas cards - which are always split into two sheets of 25 - might be any combination of top sheet (with printing date and sheet number) and lower sheet (with cylinder numbers) - and more seem to exist with matrix removed than intact.  Despite the warnings to staff of dire consequences some have appeared on eBay, and we have seen 17/06/11 and 20/06/11 with both matrix removed and matrix intact.  

If you've seen any other dates - for staff freebies or those over the counter or from the Bureau - we'd be interested to know.

Christmas Madonnas - how many printings?

The Christmas Madonna stamps introduced in 2007 were "produced in reaction to a popular demand for stamps bearing an overtly Christian image" - this despite the fact that the main design for Christmas 2007 was Angels.

And each year since, these stamps have been reissued, with Royal Mail Philatelic telling us that "they are the same stamps as were issued in 2007."  But how many stamps can be printed from one set of cylinders, and how many did they stockpile originally?  We now know that there were reprints in 2008 and 2010 - does anybody have any other printing dates?

A close examination of the three lots that we have shows no appreciable variation, although colour mis-registration does produce slight differences.

Dates reported:

- 15/05/08 - Tallents House Dec 11
- 02/06/09 - Cambridge Nov 10, Enfield
- 08/08/10 - Dereham, Cambridge, Enfield Dec 11

- 19/05/08 - Tallents House Dec 11
- 18/05/09 - Enfield
- 24/07/10 - Enfield
- 26/07/10 - Cambridge Nov 10, Dereham, Cambridge Dec 11

Saturday 26 November 2011

Christmas 2011 Personalised Smilers - update

I mentioned earlier the confusion about what was available this year and where to get them from. 

The confusion was not aided by Royal Mail's website being down for maintenance last weekend with problems affecting various modules all week.

Graham Howard, on his Smilers-info website has probably now cracked it, though we would still be interested in the experience of other Smiler-seekers.

In brief, Snapfish are producing Smilers sheets, known there as Photostamps, for the 2nd & 1st class values only.  No personalised Smilers sheets are available through Royal Mail's website, but all four values (including the 68p & £1.10 airmail stamps) can be obtained from Royal Mail Tallents House, by phone, e-mail or written application form (which ought to be available at POs though I haven't yet seen any.

Sunday 20 November 2011

Post and Go Faststamps for 2012 - dates and subjects

Royal Mail's Stamp Programme mini-calendar lists some definitives and Faststamps as well as the expected commemorative issues.

Dates and subjects for Faststamps are as follows:

24 February - Sheep (by Robert Gillmor)
24 April - Pigs (by Robert Gillmor)
21 May - Union Flag (design as used in PSBs and Smilers Sheets)*
28 September - Cattle (by Robert Gillmor)

 The Union flag could be very useful for the Diamond Jubilee and the Olympics.  Maybe other flags will follow with a White Ensign Post and Go machine at Portsmouth and Chatham Historic Dockyard!

Christmas 2011 Personalised Smilers - how and which?

Christmas is supposed to be one of the most popular times for people to get personalised stamps - Smilers.  Sometimes they use the Christmas stamps, sometimes they use one of the many greetings stamp alternatives.  But this year they could have a problem (especially today as Royal Mail's website is totally unavailable!).

As we know, Royal Mail philatelic have produced the usual Generic Smilers Sheet containing 2nd & 1st class stamps and the two airmail rates 68p & £1.10.  The Christmas catalogue shows the inland stamps personalised in sheets of 10 & 20.  The philatelic listing also mentions these but not the airmail stamps.

Go to as usual and there is no sign of the 2011 Christmas stamps at all!  So what's happening?  Have we actually got a pair of philatelic stamps (the 68p & £1.10) that are in a generic sheet but which are NOT available for personalisation?  

Has anybody ordered - better still received - any Smilers stamps this Christmas?  How did you get them??

As I expected, Graham Howard at is on top of this (click on 'News').  Royal Mail won't answer any questions about the Snapfish part of the operation, even a simple one like "why only 1st & 2nd class?".  I would have expected the principal to this contract (rather than the sub-contractor) to say, "yes the airmail values should be available and we will contact Snapfish and make sure it is so."  

And, says Graham, the ordering process at Snapfish is not entirely without its problems. 

Update 2:

This morning's post brought proof that this year's Smilers so exist!

Sunday 13 November 2011

Lest We Forget

Friday 11 November 2011

Diamond Blue 1st class Machin for Jubilee, and coin/banknote link

We can now show the stamps which will be issued next year to mark the Diamond Jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.  The definitive will be 'diamond blue' and the preliminary images show the words 'DIAMOND JUBILEE' continuously in the style of the current security print, but on the background only.

If we have correctly understood the information provided the following will be issued on 6 February 2012:
Counter sheet, Business sheet x 100, 12 x 1st booklet. The booklet will be on sale throughout the year replacing the 1st gold definitive.  (Whether this applies also to the counter and business sheets isn't clear.)

In March the following will be issued:
4 x 1st Large letter, 1st Large counter sheet, 1st large x 50 business sheet.
There is no indication of any variation in the inscription to indicate the source of the stamps.  The stamps will have full security features.

Also on 6 February there is a Jubilee miniature sheet with 6 x 1st class stamps with designs taken from banknotes, coins and similar to the Wilding stamp:

The designs are:

• Wilding Definitve.
• £1 note portrait by Robert Austin first issued in 1960.
• £5 note portrait by Harry Eccleston first issued 1971.
• Pre-decimal coinage head by Mary Gillick.
• Arnold Machin’s decimal currency head first introduced in 1968.
• New Jubilee Machin Definitive Stamp.

I'm reminded, of course, that the bronze penny 1st class stamp is another Machin stamp, though not as we know it.  Thanks to MachinMania. By the way, the Gillick head on the old 6d coin is surely the source of the profile head used on GB commemoratives since the 1960s - and on the regional pictorial definitives, giving rise to the 'ribbon' variations on some stamps.

Wednesday 9 November 2011

First SA Greetings booklet found with missing silver - Queen's heads

The first GB self-adhesive greetings booklet has been found with missing silver - which affects the Queen's head on 5 of the 6 stamps!

Normal booklet (SG QA1 or QA2 depending on the cover):

The centre stamp on the top row has a pale blue head; the three stamps on the bottom row have the head reversed out of the background (making a white profile head) which is then overlaid with silver.

The other 2 stamps on the top row have the silver head on a white background. The effect of the error, shown on this news report from the Eastern Daily Press, is to produce two stamps with no head, three with white instead of silver, and one unchanged.

The find was brought to the Norfolk & Norwich Philatelic Society Centenary Exhibition last month.  I saw the booklet when it was being discussed on the 'valuations and advice' table, though I was dealing with the sales table at the time.

As reported this is believed to be previously unknown and we are all eagerly awaiting the result of its sale!

Christmas 2011 booklets

Stock arrived today, and in what is probably an unrepresentative sample our packs of 50 of each booklet each contained 10 with cylinder numbers.

Cylinder numbers start level with the bottom of the lower stamp and are Magenta, Yellow, Cyan, Black and Gold, all D1.  I can't see any phosphor cylinder number on either 1st or 2nd.  Package dates are 05/07/11 for 1st class and 30/08/11 for 2nd class.

Publicity images of the booklets. Scans of cylinder booklets will be added soon.

Tuesday 8 November 2011

Post and Go version 2 update

We reported that version 2 was introduced to Broadway PO on 13 October, and later were told that six more London offices and Luton had been added.

We now have the full list including go live dates:


Live Date
Live Date

Old St (205)

The City Of London


Camden High Street


Baker Street

As you can see, Birds IV were available on 17 October but few if any FDCs were done, and as yet we have no Birds IV 40g labels.

More details as we get them.

Freedom of Information blackout hides location of v2 Post and Go machines!

Once upon a time - back in September 2010 in fact - we published this list of Post Offices which had the first Post & Go Machines to dispense Birds stamps:

Before that details of all Post and Go offices had been published elsewhere, and the full list of offices dispensing Birds III Faststamps was published on the Postagelabelsuk blog The information on these blogs was provided by Royal Mail.

As you will have seen from other blogposts, and comments on them, people want to know which machines have been updated to version 2 producing 40g labels, and accepting premium services.  But Royal Mail are hiding behind the Freedom of Information Act and refusing to say on the grounds that:

"Post Office Limited believes that this information, if disclosed in the
format you have requested, could be used by competitors to prejudice the
commercial interests of Post Office Limited and our partners."
(see this link

The base information is already in the public domain.  Post Office Ltd has no competitors at this stage which provide a postal service selling stamps.  The suggestion that competitors would use the information "to market their operations, services or products in areas where Post and Go machines are not yet situated."

What a lot of nonsense!

Monday 7 November 2011

Christmas 2011 early use of booklets

We've had a report that a village post office near Norwich was selling 2nd class Christmas booklets as early as mid-October (precise date not known). In the USA the 'earliest known use' (EKU) covers are prized by some collectors, but they might have trouble here when there is no guarantee of a readable dated postmark!

Thursday 3 November 2011

Numerical Symmetry and Remembrance

Every year in recent times there is a special postmark for 'numerical symmetry', ie 8 August 08, 9 September 09, 10 October 10.  And again there will be one for 11-11-11 - though this time with a difference as it will be illustrated with a poppy to mark Remembrance Day:

The three poppy stamps first issued as a strip in 2008 will also be on sale from Post Offices again this year.

Getting back to normal, thanks to the Apple Store Norwich

After my computer calamity on manic Monday - I really could have done without that after a week away - things are getting back to normal.

I updated the website today with the new webpage for the Christmas 2011 issue which is out on Tuesday 8th November.  This must be the closest to launch date that a new page has ever been issued - sorry folks!   All the published postmarks are there, and there are more on the miscellaneous postmarks page which could be used on the day of issue.

And designs and details are already available for the early 2012 issues.  The Olympic definitives are already shown earlier in the blog, and you'd be a Charlie to miss this fellow, in January:

The rest of the Roald Dahl stamps, due on 10 January, will be on a new webpage soon.

Meanwhile anybody who has enquired about Norfolk and Norwich Philatelic Society Centenary Covers and Smilers sheets (seen here), I'll get there soon!  While you're waiting you can see what a good time we all had at our Exhibition picture gallery.

Wednesday 2 November 2011

Post and Go version 2 brings 40g: update London & Luton

We've been advised (thanks Dan!) that "6 more London offices and Luton in Bedfordshire" have been upgraded to version 2 and have 40g labels available.  More details as we get them, and we'll be pleased to publish any more news reports.

November 7
We have been advised that Old Street and Eastcheap have joined the V2 group.

Wednesday 19 October 2011

Postal Stationery but not as we know it - Special Delivery envelopes.

For some years Royal Mail has produced plastic Special Delivery envelopes in a variety of sizes.  Those that are prepaid for postage are rightly termed Postal Stationery, but many other types exist.

Firstly there are the unstamped ones which enable users to pay by stamps, by franking machine or by Horizon label at the counter:
These are not regarded as postal stationery by most collectors.

Another type is used by companies which send a lot of special delivery mail.  This is an old one from Crucial Technology which has the Postage Paid Impression on one side but the bar-coded special delivery label is on the reverse:


A fourth type is the 'Business Response Special Delivery' - only recently discovered by me but they may have existed for some time.  The two examples I have found are used by a company offering to buy your surplus gold. Two sizes have been found so far:

Are there other examples - or examples of recorded signed for reply envelopes?  Let us know by email or through the comments box.

Thanks Harry for showing me the first type with a Horizon label paying the fee; I should have included that as an option.

Thanks also to Paul D for sending this further example of a PGFC bag (note address now Poole rather than Bournemouth!)  This has the same sort of Royal Mail bar-code label but the only indication that this is to be sent by Special Delivery is in the top panel which reads

Special Delivery response
Licence no. NAT247817/PL1

The whole style is very odd.  Are there any others out there, in different colours?  Any more which just have the word ' Mail ' at top left, and no Royal Mail SD branding?  Paul says that "the reverse states: 'This envelope will be sent via Royal Mail Special Delivery' (Again not in red nor Royal mail font)."


UPDATE 24 MAY 2014
On a recent visit to a WHSmith I found a variant of the dark blue PGFC which shows the text at the top and right side on a plain background - and thus much easier to read.  A 'penalty' warning is also shown adjacent to the opening. The non-address side is also shown:

Do please let us know, using the comment link below.

Post and Go version 2 brings 40g - and premium services!

The delayed introduction of version 2 of Post and Go software has at last brought the Worldwide 40g Faststamp (current price £1.65).

The new value first appeared at London's Broadway SW1 branch on 13 October 2011.

At the same time changes to the Post and Go system also allows customers to post Recorded Signed For, Special Delivery, Airsure and International Signed For  Royal Mail products as well as Parcelforce Express items within the UK and to the EU.

Examples of the Recorded Signed For, 2nd class Letter <100g (£1.13), 1st class Large Letter 170g £1.86)

The machine dispenses a certificate of posting upon which the RSF label number must be affixed.  Unfortunately, but sensibly, the certificate has to be posted over the counter to receive the counter date stamp as proof of posting.  It remains to be seen whether there is a fast-track queue for this service, otherwise the benefits of speed by using the Post and Go will be lost.

Birds 4 are expected at Broadway soon.  Pictures when we have them.