Sunday 25 November 2012

Royal Mail stamp issues for February 2013 including Stampex

Following the issue last year of the Generic sheet for the Oriental Year of the Dragon, Royal Mail follows up this year with a similar sheet for the Year of the Snake.

We only have this picture so far, and will provide a larger one when it is available. This sheet will be issued on 7 February 2013 and, as before, contains 20 x 1st class 'firework' stamps.  The labels in columns 1 and 4 depict scenes of celebrations around the UK, and those in columns 2 and 3 show 5 different snakes.  Designed by Hat-Trick, the sheet will be printed by Cartor in France.

A new Machin Faststamp will be available from Post & Go machines printed blue with one phosphor bar for 2nd Class. They will be issued on the first day of Stampex (20 February) and start to be rolled out to Post Office branches in March.  This means that they will first be available from Hytech machines (v2) and only later from Wincor-Nixdorf machines.  This is the pre-release mock-up; we don't know whether (like the Robin) there will be a year code on this stamp.

On the second day of Stampex, 21st February, Royal Mail will mark the 200th anniversary of the publication of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice.  But this is an excuse for six stamps depicting scenes from Pride and five other novels.  The stamps are designed by Webb and Webb with new striking and atmospheric illustrations by Angela Barrett.

1st class - Sense and Sensibility and Pride and Prejudice
77p - Mansfield Park and Emma;  £1.28 Northanger Abbey and Persuasion.

Finally, on the third day of Stampex, 22nd February, the first in a new series of pictorial Faststamps will be issued.  In a series entitled 'Freshwater Life', the first set depicts Pond Life.

The species selected for each stamp issue comprise three common species that may be found widely in the UK, plus three rarer species, which are threatened with extinction in the UK but are being conserved.     
Life in Ponds features the following common species –
Three-spined Stickleback, Emperor Dragonfly and Smooth Newt.
The threatened species are – Lesser Silver Water Beetle, Fairy Shrimp and Glutinous Snail.

These will be available from Hytech v2 machines at Stampex and should be available from all Post and Go branches from Wincor-Nixdorf machines on the same day. 


  1. Congratulations Norvic. Once again, first with the news. Royal MAil haven't even got the Underground stamps on their web site yet. May be you could become their publicity adviser, or even the Chairman

  2. How amusing that Royal Mail is to issue a first class P&G stamp depicting a snail. Now we can all have a genuine example of snail mail in our collection.

  3. Received Royal mail notification of Wednesday 9th Januarys Revised colours Definitives last week, Having made a trip into Hereford, was told at the General post office in St Peters Square. Only to find that they did not have them. Talked to manager, who showed a distinct attitude of well i dont really care alot, we have to get the old stock down, because they ( Royal Mail ) will only send us the new stamps which were due today, when they think we need more definitives. So called nearly every post office in Hereford, and guess what not 1 had the new set of 9 stamps, If this is the typical attitude of the Royal mail post offices and their staff, the sooner they close the non efficent post offices down the better.

    1. The revised colour definitives are available today, not next Tuesday. However, if you were a regular reader of this blog, which I hope you will be now you have found us, you would have seen our 7 December message "New Machin definitive stamps not in all POs on 3 January: (

      This is nothing to do with the efficiency of the branches of Post Office Ltd, more it is efficient stock control at POL'd stores depot. Royal Mail determine the this is a new issue but did not require POL to make it available in all PO branches. In fact they deliberately targetted the branches which sell a lot of new definitives on the day of issue. (So they said)

      This is a slightly obscure argument because of course if the stamps are no longer available on the day of issue, they cannot be bought then. For definitive FDCs RM recognise that their main sales channels are their own standing orders and trade (ie dealers). This suggests that the number of collectors now making their own FDCs of definitives is very low.

      Given that you would have been unlikely to have found the new red coil stamp in any post office, you could not have been able to prepare a complete FDC with 8 new red stamps at all.

  4. I think Norvic is always first to give new issue details of stamps of GB
    I appreciate that. Good site for we collectors.

  5. Could anyone tell me where I can buy the year of snake 2013 stamps in UK, please?

    Could we buy in any post office around the UK?

    Thank you!

    1. Hi Ellen

      You can't buy the Snake at every PO in the UK, in fact very few will carry it. If you are in London it will be at Trafalgar Square. Let me know by email [ian @] where you live or work and I'll try to be more specific.



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