Monday 10 March 2014

SPS Annual Congress at Perth: Post and Go arrangements.

The following details have been provided by the organisers of the Scottish Philatelic Societies' Annual Congress in Perth.  Two innovations make things interesting and more complex.  Stamp dealers have been notified of arrangements for pre-ordering from Royal Mail, the stamps being printed on machine B001 and B002, and Jersey Post will attend for the first time but with their stamps will not have also carrying the Perth Congress caption.

The Annual Congress of the Scottish Philatelic Societies at Perth on 11-12 April 2014 will again have new items of interest to collectors.   For the first time Jersey Philatelic Bureau will be attending Congress with Post and Go machine J001.  This will print stamps with the Jersey flag and with the Union flag – both with the Congress overprint. For those not attending Congress details of ordering Jersey Post materials will appear on and orders for Jersey materials must be sent to the Jersey Philatelic Bureau. (See below *)

Post and Go Machines numbers A003 and A004 will be used at Congress for both Machin and Union Flag stamps. Congress overprints will be available from both machines for strips of six of each of 1st class (£3.72), 1st Large (£5.58) Europe 20g (£5.82) and 60g (£8.82) and Worldwide 20g (£7.68) and 60g (£12.90). The Collector’s Strip is £7.42.

Similar stamps will be issued by back of office machines B001 and B002.

Also available are two Souvenir Smiler Sheets, one with the Union Flag and one with the Scottish Saltire flag, the latter having a Scottish Postal History and Perth Lamb image alongside each stamp. The background will feature the badges of the Scottish battalions that fought in Wold War I. Designs are being finalised. The sheets will each cost £10.20 (A5) and £18.65 (A4).

Unless otherwise requested, orders may be made up using stamps from machines B001 and B002.

All items are charged at cost plus postage and packing as detailed below.


Rest of World
Up to 5 items
Over 5 items
Up to 5 items
Over 5 items
Up to 5 items
Over 5 items
Special Delivery up to value of
£1000: £10 extra
£2500: £15 extra
International signed for up to value of
£500: £15 extra

Purchasers will be advised if the weight of their order exceeds the above costs and additional payment is required.

Special posting requests for all the above items will be costed and purchasers advised prior to sending the items.

Please note that orders (or total of multiple orders) exceeding £500 will be subject to a surcharge of 10% of the total cost.  Update 17 March 2014: ASPS have changed this today: orders over £100 now are subject to a surcharge of 10%.  The total cost of a £100-face order paid by PayPal is now over £121.

PayPal account:
PayPal surcharge on all orders: 4% of total order

Cheques/Postal orders in sterling should be made payable to ‘ASPS’

Orders should be sent to
Colin G Campbell, 11 Denoon Terrace, Dundee DD2 2EL, Scotland, UK
or to

Commemorative cover and postcard:
All requests regarding commemorative covers featuring Gleneagles Hotel and golf course and/or postcards, with badges of Scottish battalions that fought in Wold War I, should be made to Alan Wishart at

These items and more information on the ASPS Congress can be viewed at

* UPDATE 12 March
Two points on Jersey: the stamps will not have the Perth Congress caption.  Jersey Post will only take orders for stamps from the B machine.  So the Congress organisers will now take orders for stamps from the J machine under these terms:

Costs (including VAT that is payable on Jersey stamps) are as follows. 
Postage and packing costs are the same as above.

Collectors Strip: £4.75

Cost of strips of 6 stamps
Local letter: : £3.24
UK Letter: £3.96
Europe: £4.32
Local Large: £4.92
UK Large: £6.36
International letter: £5.76

[Some errors have been corrected: Norvic Philatelics takes no responsibility for any not picked up!]

So although Jersey Post has not yet installed one of these machines in a Post Office branch or any other location on the island, they are now going down the road of adding to collectables made especially for collectors.  Not a wise move and likely to deter collectors from buying their products (and those of Guernsey should they ever join the Post and Go club).

Although not stated, I presume the Jersey machine in Perth will be dispensing both Jersey and Union Flag stamps. Collectors will want at least the Union Flag and possibly the Jersey stamps from the J machine, which the organisers are not offering.  It remains to be seen whether Jersey Post is offering both those and the B machine stamps: their website is so far silent on the matter.

What was originally a Royal Mail souvenir for collectors visiting the event was always going to be a problem when the organisers made arrangements to supply collectors (something I asked for as I didn't want to be inundated with requests to get these stamps - Perth is not 'nearby' after all!).

With UK and continental dealers requiring hundreds or thousands of sets in diffierent combinations the organisers will have had a problem dealing with the orders and have (correctly in my view) decided to capitalise on this demand by ensuring that their servicing fees more than cover simply the face value and cost of postage.

Pre-order machine.  When the stamp trade was told about the pre-ordering facility it was to be for local payment and collection at the show only (which was fairly pointless as if I we couldn't get to the show to get the stamps from the machines, we couldn't get them from the pre-order facility either!).

It makes sense, of course, for the Congress organisers to take advantage of this to fill as many orders as possible with pre-printed stamps rather than stamps dispensed from the machines actually at Perth.  But if Stampex is anything to go by, collectors (and therefore dealers) will want stamps from both the B machine/s and the A machines.

It remains to be seen whether the organisers are busier because colletors want both or less busy because they want none!


  1. Last year there were four variants to collect, this year at least four from A003 & A004 at least two from B001 & B002 not forgetting the Union Flag from J001, more if they juggle the year codes around. Other than getting the cash register ringing, what is the point of having of B001 & B002, they don’t reduce the demand for the public access machines. I suppose they are going to each going to produce both the Machin head & Union Flag. Will this be the straw that breaks the camels back?

  2. You have to be obsessive or deluded to collect this stuff. It's just a money making exercise and of no philatelic value (sound familiar?) Buying into this rubbish just reinforces Royal Mail's hand at overproducing meaningless 'collectables'. And, in aesthetic terms, does anyone actually find these items attractive? Place them next to some decently-designed stamp issues of any era, and they pale into insignificance.

  3. It seems Jersey may not be having an overprint,, but then again who knows, does anyone care anymore?

    1. Until I know that everything about the future on is officially authorised, I'm treating it with a degree of caution.

      Sally Diamond (of Jersey Post) mentions Perth on video but doesn't mention the overprint. But that is still not conclusive!

    2. Confirmed from Perth - no overprint on Jersey stamps.

  4. Cheer up folks. If Scotland gains independence and loses the pound, there could well an 'S1' machine at Stampex in the future!

  5. So if the Salisbury Show is anything to go by, the stock in the machine on the first day will swap with the other machine on the second day. Operation maximise profits is continuing.

  6. Maybe this time, instead of having "software errors" that will magically write new overprint varieties (a la Stampex), Royal Mail can just be up front with us and add lots of flashing lights, use exciting sound effects and offer some really tempting cash prizes to be won when mug punters push the buttons on their exhibition Post & Go machines?

    In the meantime I wont be buying any more exhibition raffle tickets. Instead I will only buy real labels issued in real Post Offices for my real post.

  7. Spot on ! There were Machins and Flags at Salisbury with MA13 and no date - so 4 varieties. As there were 2 machines, that is 8 possible combinations. By the end of the second day, I beleive we had all 8. How lucky is that ! With the upcoming 'antics' at the BPMA in the next couple of weeks will Post & Go become Post & Gone ?

  8. I've got the Perth overprints again (3rd year?) but uhmmmed and ahhed about it a lot. Do I really want these? Post and gos are lovely as basics (and the new flowers are beautiful) but the errors are just silly and even the official overprints are, well, boring! The collector's sets cost about £7.50 so times two that is 15 quid for....This feels like a bit of a dead-end for me as it a) takes me so long to think whether I really want them or not, b) end up with lots of stamps that look the same c) wonder if they're really worth spending money on d) start putting me off stamp collecting again - something I did at the age of about 13 when I discovered other things. In my late forties the 'other things' are not quite as distracting and exciting as they were then! Not sure - Korea is next - so two sets. one from Edinburgh and the other set actually from Korea. (Did that for Australia last year). Is this really what I want to spend money on? Certainly not interested in code numbers and all that. Different designs yes, numbers no. Overprints? Mmm thought so, but....If it affects my middle-aged 're-discovered' love of stamp collecting in other spheres then it's obviously not worth it and I should leave these alone. Codes were already out, I think overprints are now out too. I think I'll stick to design,


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