Sunday 29 September 2013

Errors appear on Stampex Faststamps

Once again some errors occurred on the Post and Go machines at Stampex last week.  The pictures show two strips which were bought on the first day. A collector (who wants to stay anonymous) was lucky to get them.

I believe this machine (A2) was operating on a different IT network to A3 and A4 there were some difficulties; whether or not those contributed to this error, I don't know.  Thanks to VP (who didn't buy them) for the photos.

Stampex Faststamps and new Machins now on sale in our shop

Most pre-orders have now been cleared so we have added the following to our e-commerce site - but we didn't buy hundreds of each, so get them now while you can.  For some Faststamps we have only 3-4 examples.  Click on the heading to straight to the shop

Machin Definitives:
5p and 50p Merchant Navy from prestige book M13L
2nd Large from business sheets MA13
2nd Large from booklets MA13
10p counter sheet including cylinder blocks
1st and 1st Large counter sheets MA13

British Auto Legends Maximum Cards - all 10 listed here
Post and Go Faststamps:
Freshwater Life 3: Rivers Hytech sets of 36 and 6 x 1st
Union Flag with Coronation inscription (MA13) - collectors sets of 6 and 1st class, both from FIVE different machines
Machin MA13 no added inscription - collectors sets of 6 and 1st class, both from FOUR different machines

First Day Covers for some of these will be added when received from postmarking centres.

Wednesday 25 September 2013

No Postmark Bulletin 20th September

Royal Mail have advised that there was no Royal Mail Postmark Bulletin for 20th September 2013 due to technical difficulties.

There were no extra postmarks to be announced for either the Merchant Navy, nor Rivers Post and Go stamps.  Normal service will be resumed with the issue of 4 October, and any late announcements will be subject to the normal 10-day rule.  The next issue will have special handstamps for the Dinosaurs issue, and others.

Tuesday 24 September 2013

Royal Mail's Philatelic Bulletin 50th Anniversary

The 50th birthday of Royal Mail's Philatelic Bulletin was marked at Stampex with a huge 7-tiered cake adorned with images of stamps and Bulletin covers.  Sadly the wrong sort of glue/jam was used and some of these had fallen off by Thursday morning.

There is no truth in the suggestion that any of the cake was sliced and distributed to dealers at the Trade Briefing on Thursday afternoon!

Now they need to turn their attention to more timely publication and more accurate information - but then they know that already.

Monday 23 September 2013

Post and Go Roadshow 2014

UPDATED 2 January 2014 in new post.  This post closed for comments.

According to Brian on postagelabelsuk, Royal Mail announced during Autumn Stampex their intention to take the ‘Post and Go Roadshow’ to another international stamp exhibition ‘ PhilaKorea ‘ in 2014.

The international show, sponsored by Korea Post, takes place August 7th - 12th 2014. (6 Days) in the ‘COEX Hall’, Seoul.

A similar set-up to that used in Australia in 2013 is expected, along with a suitable overprint (including ’KR’ origin code).  Mirroring the 2013 Australian Stamp Expo, it is expected that ‘GB’ versions of the Post and Go stamps will be available from the Philatelic Bureau.

Well unless Tallents House make available faststamps with the KR code as well as the GB code I suspect there will be quite a shortage of the former.   Getting the Australian ones was relatively easy.  Getting them from Korea will be much more difficult.  I would suggest that collectors start finding pen/e-friends in Korea now!


Royal Mail have announced the following plan for the contents of Post and Go machines. Note that at Stampex the new stamps will now be issued on Day 1 (Wednesday) instead of Friday.  The plan is subject to change with additional shows, or changes to the contents of machines.

Stafford 8 - 9 November2013
A3 A Robin / A3 B Machin - A4 A Rivers / A4 B Robin on both days

York 17 - 18 January
Reel A Flag, Reel B Machin in both A3 and A4 machines on both days

Spring Stampex 19-22 February
Machines A2 and A3 - Reel A Spring Blooms, Reel B Machin with additional inscription, 4 days
Machine A4 - Reel A Union Flag; Reel B Machin with additional inscription, 4 days
Machine B1 - Spring Blooms on both reels, all 4 days
Machine B2 - Machin with additional inscription on both reels, all 4 days

Sailsbury 14-15 March
A2 and A3 Reel A Spring Blooms, Reel B Machin (no added inscription) on both days

Perth - 85th Scottish Congress
11 - 12 April -  A2 and A3 Reel A Union Flag, Reel B Machin on both days
Added inscription on both stamps for the 85th Scottish Congress

York 18 - 19 July
A2 and A3:   Reel A Flag, Reel B Machin on both days

Philakorea Seoul 7 - 12 August
A2 and A3:   Reel A Flag, Reel B Machin on all days, with Philakorea 2014 inscription on both stamps.  GB versions of both will be available from Tallents House.

Autumn Stampex
Machines A2 and A3 - Reel A Symbolic Flowers, Reel B Flag with additional inscription
Machine A4 - Reel A Flag with additional inscription ≠, Reel B Machin without.
Machine B1 - Symbolic Flowers on both reels
                All the above apply on all 4 days (but see ≠)

Machine B2 - Reel A Flag; Reel B Machin with additional inscription on day 1
Flag with additional inscription on both reels on days 2-4

The information provided shows no additional inscription on day 1 on A2 reel B, A4 reel A - in other words, the Flag from A2B and from A4A will be without additional inscription.  However, as the table we have taken this data from shows the Machin with additional inscription is only available from machine B2/B on day 1, ie the Back Office machine on the Royal Mail stand and not the public-access machines, I'm not at all sure that this is accurate!

Stafford - 7 - 8 November (see comments: official issue date for Winter is 13 November)
A2 Reel A Winter Greenery, Reel B Machin on both days
A3 Reel A Symbolic Flowers, Reel B Winter Greenery on both days

Friday 20 September 2013

Post and Go on the road - changes to previously announced plans

Royal Mail have advised that the previously published programme of regional visits has been changed.

There will now be no installation at the Royal Festival Hall in London in October 2013, but the machines will be at the Stafford Stamp Show Friday 8th November 2013 - Saturday 9th November 2013.   There will be no overprints, but the machine(s) are expected to have Machins, Freshwater 3 Rivers, and Christmas Robins.  The latter could be MA13-coded, see below.

UPDATE 25 September
Details have now emerged of the stamps available at Stafford:


Reel A = Robins (MA13)

Reel B = Machin (MA13)


Reel A = Rivers

Reel B = Robin (MA13)

Same configuration both days

Friday will have the ‘First Day of Show’ Receipt

Saturday will have the ‘Last Day of Show’ Receipt

Generic Smiler will be the Stafford 2013 logo (shown here)

The 'tour' for at least the early part of 2014 has been added in a separate post.

Royal Mail 2014 Special Stamp programme announced - and revised already!

The 2014 stamp programme was announced yesterday at Stampex and the outline is shown in the table below.  All details are subject to embargo until 13 weeks before the issue date, so look for updates and details with that in mind.  Under new Royal Mail rules, most images cannot be shown until the stamps are issued.

Click on links in the table to see more details:

Issue Date
Commemorative Sheet: Middlesex County Cricket Club
(Similar to Eminent/Great Britons)
Commemorative Sheet: Royal Marines
Sustainable Fish
NCR Post and Go Presentation Pack
07 July 14
Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games
The Great War - 1914
28 July-14 
Piers, Proms and Pavillions
(Seaside architecture)
Classic Locos of Wales retail book
Prime Ministers
Christmas 2014
Commemorative Sheet: Christmas Truce
11 Nov 14
Lunar New Year Generic Sheet
19 Nov 14
Kuala Lumpur Stamp Exhibition Sheet
1 December 2014

Post and Go

British Flora 2 - Symbolic Flowers
Poppy Faststamp - one design on roll
21 Oct 14
British Flora 3 - Winter Greenery

Within these issues there will be prestige books (PSBs) and retail booklets.  There will be two PSBs in the first half of the year.
In addition to these special issues there will be Generic sheets, and Commemorative sheets, and the usual tariff change stamps in the spring.

Points to note:
1. The Post and Go issues will be at Spring and Autumn Stampex and in November, rather than the summer, and will be issued on Wednesday (day 1) instead of Friday.

2. The Christmas Robin Faststamps will reappear towards the end of 2013  Existing supplies will be used first, and replenishment will be with stamps with the MA13 year code. So some offices will use MA12, some MA13 and some will use both.  This probably means that there will be no official first day of issue of the MA13 unless you know of an office which will use new stocks from day 1. (See post above re Stafford Stamp Show.)  [Other reports say that the Poppy stamp from the Symbolic Flowers Post and Go set will appear as a solo stamp in the autumn.  Now confirmed for 21 October, but the Poppy reel with First World War Centenary inscription was also available at Stampex on 17 September.]

3. Lunar New Year.  The Chinese community have pointed out that New Year gifts are usually made on the last day of the old year, whilst the generic sheets have been issues on the first day of the new year making them unsuitable.  Reacting to this, Royal Mail have brought forward the issue dates for the Lunar New Year sheets to December, with the Year of the Horse sheet being issued on 10 December 2013, and subsequent issues following each November or December.

4. No gold medal winners stamps are to be issued for the the Commonwealth Games or Winter Olympics.

Thursday 19 September 2013

New Machin definitive stamps at Stampex

Two new Machins appeared at Stampex yesterday, the 1st class and 1st class Large counter sheets with 2013 year codes, which will be in stock as soon as possible. 

That was a successful first blog entry from 'the field' yesterday from the smartphone, but there wasn't enough time to add more at the time.

1st class counter sheet MA13 - printed by De La Rue with no printing date or sheet number (so far).
The smaller stamp has now appeared with a printing date of 30/07/13 - we have date blocks and cylinder blocks in our webshop.

1st class Large counter sheet MA13 - printed by De La Rue available both with no printing date or sheet number, and with a printing date of 02/04/13 and sheet number.

Friday 13 September 2013

Stamp news update - Machin definitives

Not a great deal of news in our absence, just two snippets.

The 10p definitive, mentioned in the spring by a magazine columnist, has at last made an appearance.  Thanks to RP for the picture.

And the 2nd class Large from counter sheets has appeared with sheet number and a printing date of 07/05/2013.  Thanks to MD for this picture.

We still don't have the 2nd Large from books of 4 or Business Sheets.  My one foray into a post office whilst I was away found that they were using Diamond Jubilee 1st Large, and 2009 printings of 2nd Large booklets.

Wednesday 4 September 2013

Yes, another holiday

Our offices will be closed from 4 - 12 September 2013 inclusive.

Orders placed through either the old or new online shops will have stock reserved automatically, and will be dealt with in order. 

You will receive an automatic acknowledgement; a further email will be sent when the office reopens, with payment
details for the old shop and despatch details for orders on the new shop.

One person was quick to spot Walberswick/Southwold as the last vacation location. Two clues this time - one the old post office and one the general view... so who will be first this time?  No prizes!


Monday 2 September 2013

Details of the Faststamps available at Autumn Stampex (18-21 September)

At last we have definitive information about the Post and Go output at Autumn Stampex, which runs from 18-21 September 2013.

The Union Flag stamp with year code MA13 will be available with The Coronation 60th Anniversary inscription.

The Machin with year code MA13 will be available with no added inscription.

From 20 September the Freshwater Life: Rivers set will be available

All will be available in strips of 6 x 1st class, Collectors strips of 6 (one of each value), and relevant only to the Rivers set, Collectors sets of 36, being a strip of each value covering each of the designs.

The detail we have been given refers only to those stamps available for us to pre-order - I think these may also be available over the counter.

From 18th, machine B1 will have the Union Flag Coronation stamp and machine B2 will have the Machin.
From 20th, machine B1 will have the Rivers stamps, while the Union Flag will switch to machine B2.

We do not have details of which stamps will be in which public-access machines on which days.

We can accept no more orders for these stamps
We may have some stocks - especially of single 1st class Flag and Machin stamps and some FDCs after Stampex.  These will be on our shop and advertised here.