Friday 30 December 2016

Royal Mail 2017 stamp programme announced - plenty of Machins

As promised, Royal Mail have now released their 2017 programme and many lucky people have already received the January Philatelic Bulletin.  On the back page is a list of 2017 issues (see left), and a selection of pictures which may or may not be used for stamps - no promises given that one of them shows a 2015 post and go stamp!

The programme (updates highlighted in yellow,):

17 January
Ancient Britain
6 February
65th Anniversary of the Accession - £5 Machin definitive
We're told that Tallents House customers with regular orders will NOT get this stamp unless they have high value definitives as part of their regular order.
15 February
Windsor Castle set and miniature sheet PSB* and retail booklet
15 February
Post and Go Postal Heritage: Mail by Rail
14 March
Music Giants - David Bowie
end March
New Tariff Machin and Country Definitives
6 April
Racehorse Legends
4 May
24 May
Exhibition Generic Stamp Sheet Finlandia
5 June
Machin Anniversary including PSB
5 June
New Style Machin Anniversary Post and Go 1967-2017
20 June
Windmills and Watermills
13 July
Landmark Buildings
31 July
World War I including PSB
22 August
Classic Toys
13 September
Post and Go Royal Mail Heritage: Air Mail
13 September
Postal Museum Opening stamp sheet (Generic/Commem?)
14 September
Ladybird books
20 October
To be advised
7 November
16 November
Lunar New Year of the Dog
20 November
To be advised

* The four panes in the Windsor Castle PSB contain
a. 2x 1st (external) and 2x £1.52 (internal) views
b. single 1st (external) and single £1.52 (internal) views
c. Eight Machin definitives: 2 x 2p, 2 x 10p, 3 x 1st class, 1 x £1.05, so only one set - again!
c. Eight Machin definitives coded MCIL M16L: 2 x 2p (new), 3 x 1st class deep scarlet (new), and 2 x 10p and a single £1.05 as already issued in Beatrix Potter PSB.  So TWO sets of the new stamps. 
d. 4 stamps from miniature sheet in different positions
The retail booklet contains 1st class deep scarlet Machins coded M17L MCIL

Post and Go News for 2017 from the January Philatelic Bulletin
a. More Enquiry Office machines countrywide from April
b. More static sites
c. Exhibition programme
Spring Stampex 15-18 February
Scottish Congress Perth 21-22 April
MIDPEX Warwickshire Exhib Centre 8 July
Autumn Stampex 13-16 September
Confirmation of 2016 developments which impact on 2017: Pictorial stamps used in Enquiry Offices in parallel with those at Post Office SSKs, new labels introduced at PO SSK machines for parcel/packet barcoding, 'Post a Parcel' tested at the party political conferences - although it is unclear how much of a test this was given the limited access: one can imagine only those who actually wanted to post a parcel from the conference would actually do so whereas collectors with access would have tested it anyway!


  1. Wasn’t the Fur and Feathers Post & Go issue released in 2015.

    The 50th Anniversary of the Machin design on a Post & Go, interesting: a new colour for the 1st class rolls maybe, a montage of previous sheet stamp issues possibly or a series of working drawing/cast? Lets hope they give clear instruction as to which printer they are supposed to be loaded into. But one thing which is a virtual certainty, those tame Post Offices (Hastings springs to mind) will still load them in the wrong printer at the behest of others.

  2. For those who are interested, I found a cover showing the new £5 Machin on the BFDC website. Link below. Hope this is ok Ian.

  3. Absolutely, thank you Steve. I have the design, but as it wasn't in the Philatelic Bulletin, can't show it. But it's very much like the 1977 Salmon and chalky blue (SG1028), but without the salmon and with security features.

    Oddly, I can think of greater justification for the issue of the 1977 £5 definitive, than for this one!

    1. I had to look twice, thinking it was the 1977 stamp at first glance. Personally I like it but then I have always been a fan of the large format definitives.

      I doubt it will ever see genuine postal use unlike the 1977 issue. I might just have to send myself a registered letter with one of these on. Now, what make up stamps to put with it.......?

    2. I'm using one on a sending to a customer overseas; he doesn't collect used but knows somebody who will appreciate it.

  4. Another good year for thematic collectors - obviously not much to celebrate historically.

  5. Looks reasonable, as a stamp user. Hoping there will be the 20g rates for Europe and Rest of the World at least every couple of months, although I think I should not buy as many first class stamps as I ponder the future - hoping Her Majesty has more life in her (winter colds have affected her seasonal engagements), and how long the stamps will be valid after she passes.

  6. Let’s hope the £5 stamp is available from Post Offices unlike the current £5.

    Going by what my ‘Local’ format offices sell, they won’t be getting them, the ‘mains’ round my way may get them, but probably won’t use them (like the special stamps they just send back) so that just leaves the dwindling number of Crown Offices and Tallents House.

    Maybe time for Royal Mail to enforce the contractual obligations the Post Office has for selling its products.

  7. Now that NCR have produced a ‘Card Only’ version of their SSK, will the increase in static sites and Museum see them getting the new SSKs or will they continue with the IAR machines?

    1. Sometime ago I was told that Post Office m/cs were not capable of doing overprints

      John Embrey

  8. I can guess what the 20th November issue is going to be ( hint, subtract 70 years from this year!). Not sure what the October issue would be though

  9. Well the October release could well be for the net Star Wars film, due for release in December 2017. If it does transpire to be the case, I guess we can expect another set in 2019 to mark the final chapter of the story

    As for the November issue, I guess it will be to commemorate this:-,_Duke_of_Edinburgh.

  10. The Racing Post is saying that the Racehorses set will feature 8 stamps, 4 jumpers and 4 flat horses, and that one of the will be of Desert Orchid en route to winning the 1989 Cheltenham Gold Cup.

  11. The pocket stamp calendar is available for downloading at

  12. I see MIDPEX is down for a POst & Go m/c. Two years ago the m/cs were there but no overprint. There was no interest from collectors apart from the odd geek including myself. I am not clear why they discriminate against MIDPEX. They need to decide early on that there will be an overprint and allow MIDPEX to include it in pre-exhibition publicity

    John Embrey

    1. Hello John,

      There is no discrimination against Midpex; there were no inscriptions at Stafford or York either, with only the national events - Stampex and Scottish Congress - getting separate inscriptions (plus internationals of course). This has been clearly stated policy by RM for some time.

      There was interest in the past when York and Stafford at different times where the first place that a certain combination of stamp and imprint type were available, and now I come to think of it Midpex as well - see it was the first day of availability of the Lakes issue.

    2. Thanks Ian

      When they dropped York and Stafford it was said they were not the right category of exhibition whereas MIDPEX Scottish Congress STAMPEX were. So there was no historical discrimination With the other 2 long dropped MIDPEX is currently discriminated against compared with Scottish Congress and STAMPEX

      As a Royal Mail shareholder based on 2015 it is a waste of Royal Mail money to go to MIDPEX without an overprint


    3. Well, the Machin Anniversary Faststamps will probably be available from an IAR machine for the first time, so people who want each type of stamp from each type of machine.... will buy them.

    4. Why can't Royal Mail just have a simple overprint on the Midpex Post & Go issue for example just MIDPEX 2017 would do. This would at least generate more interest and in the long run and sell more stamps giving more revenue for Royal Mail.

  13. Sorry to be a cynic, but what could be the 'Music Giants' be this year ? Maybe another Pink Floyd set with yet even more miniature sheets and mini -sheets or a Gary Gilmour or Roger Waters set of 10 ? I'm convinced someone in the RM design dept was a huge fan.

  14. No Xmas Post & Go?

  15. Dr. Eustaquio Kirby, D.P.T.8 January 2017 at 11:36

    Well, I was kind of hoping that Royal Mail would put out a swell flurry of new Machin issues with a neat design for its Golden Anniversary and/or a prestige book such as they came up with 10 years ago on its 40th Anniversary. But looking at the upcoming issues, I don't suppose that they'll be giving it the grand treatment this go-round. Post and Go labels are very fine and all, but, ahem... I mean let's have some real Machin stamp definitives I say. The £5 Large Format Machin stamp is interesting and all, but I can see no real use for it on its own merit.

    1. Oh, there will be plenty for you to buy on 5 June - did you miss this entry:

      Machin Anniversary including PSB

      I have seen, but can't reveal, preliminary designs for the commemoration and, believe me, you will be well catered for. A far better commemoration than the 10 x 1st MS for Arnold Machin, and more flamboyant than the 40th anniversary


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