Monday 15 July 2013

Royal Mail's British Philatelic Bulletin - clarifications

You would think that the official British Philatelic Bulletin would be the absolute authority for all things happening with Royal Mail's new issues, wouldn't you?  This blog entry is prompted by my receiving telephone calls and emails about a couple of items that are in this latest issue.  I would have written 'the July issue' but as the publishers seem to make no pretence of a regular schedule they no longer put the date or month (*see below) of publication on the cover!  This one arrived last week, but the previous one arrived in the 3rd week of June.

The principle cause of concern for my customers and correspondents is the 2 August entry in the diary on page 322 (the inside front cover):

From the latest email:  "We have already had Walsall and De La Rue – Is there a new printer?"

No, dear reader, nothing to get into a flap about as far as we know: this is the Tallents House distribution of the 78p, 88p and £1.88 Machin definitives of 27 March but printed by De La Rue.  As regular readers will know, the existence of two different printings was reported back in early April when the DLR versions were in the Presentation Packs and on Bureau First Day Covers.  So, they had them for distribution on 5 April but only now are these stamps being distributed to collectors who don't collect packs.

In fact even that might not be strictly true as we were told by several Bureau subscribers that those whose order was for blocks received Walsall printings whilst many who subscribed to only singles received DLR stamps.  The new distribution now is on the basis of 'visible change' - NOT, we understand, the fact that the year code is MA13 and not Walsall's M13L, but because the sheet margin shows a different printer by the cylinder number.

So if you have a standing order with the Bureau you may get some more stamps on or shortly after 2 August.  If you already had some in April, what you get this time may or may not be different.  And of course you may already have found the two higher values in your local Post Office branch where they have been on sale for some weeks - we've been selling them since 17 May!

The other item that caused concern was the announcement on page 343 from Australia World Stamp Expo.

Several points here: the Philatelic press reported in their July editions (published of course in mid-June) that these machines were in Australia, and also that the versions of the Faststamps printed and sold by Tallents House were not the same.   Stamp Magazine correctly reported that the inscription on the Australian version dropped the 'World' AND that the Australian ones had the AU georgaphic code and the Edinburgh ones had GB.

- the ones available at the Expo did NOT feature the print string A5GB13B1
- the ones as shown in the picture were NOT available from Tallents House

and by the time this appeared, they were not available on the Royal Mail website or from the Tallents House address as they sold out last week!!  (To be fair, that could not have been included in this edition of the Bulletin as it was already in the process of being posted, but had this been published in a timely manner, then more collectors would have been able to take advantage of the announcement.)

* I've just noticed that the month is, in fact, at the head of each page, against the spine, and the latest is July.  So the cover reads VOLUME 50 / ISSUE NUMBER n, and the page is headed VOLUME 50 (month) 2013.  However....
Ben has pointed out that May (George Best) was Issue Number 9, June (Coronation) was Issue Number 10, and July (Butterfly) is also Issue Number 10!

1 comment:

  1. This is not the first time Royal Mail has made an error in the dates of the Bulletin.
    Volume 27 Issue 5 (January 1990) was published as Issue 4.
    Volume 40 Issue 11 (July 2003) was published as Issue 10.


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