Thursday 13 December 2018

More new Walsall Machin printings

I'm sure you remember life before Walsall won the contract to print Royal Mail's counter sheet definitives?  There were just as many printings during the year by De la Rue but they were all the same - well, maybe with slight differences to the brightness or dullness of the phosphor reaction, but most people were not concerned with that.   This - indeed the period after Autumn Stampex - was usually a quiet period for Machins, and we could consolidate and look out other things to offer you.

What a difference a year makes!  The variations in printings by ISP/Walsall have meant that there are up to three different printings and variants for the same stamp, if you want to collect them.  Some people are happy with face different.   By the way, none of these will be available from our shop until January.  We all have far better things to do over the next week than order and post stamps around the world.

The latest printings were made known to us at the end of November and our supplies arrived yesterday.   The values concerned are the second printings of the 2nd class and 1p stamps, and the third printing of the £1.45 airmail stamp.  This was the one that surprised us, you will remember, with the second printing having yellow fluorescence in the dove grey ink, the only stamp so far to have appeared with fluorescence in the colour ink.  So I'll start with this.

The third printing, on 30/10/18 continues with yellow fluorescence in the dove-grey ink, but also in the transparent iridescent ink!

2nd printing - yellow fluorescence only in dove-grey ink meaning that the ROYAL MAIL pattern stands out clearly with the yellow letters showing through the iridescent ink.

3rd printing - yellow fluorescence in both dove-grey and transparent iridescent ink; the ROYAL MAIL lettering barely shows at all under UV light. The blue phosphor cylinder number is off-picture to the top.
  £1.45 2nd & 3rd printings compared.

And now an apology.  The original printing of the 1p maroon is correctly shown (in my stockbook) and on our web-shop as having blue phosphor and yellow fluorescence to the iridescent ink, but our Checklist doesn't mention the fluorescence.  This has now been corrected for an edition to be published in January.

The second printing, 22/08/18, has only blue phosphor and no fluorescence.

Lastly the 2nd class.  Surprisingly this is only the second printing for what must be one of the most used values - but as I have mentioned before finding used counter sheet examples rather than stamps coded B or T from business sheets and booklets is quite difficult.

The first printing had bright blue phosphor, which we had identified as just 'blue'.  This has now been changed on the Checklist as the latest (29/10/18) printing is dull blue, as shown below.

The last addition before Christmas (I hope) is the long awaited 6 x 1st Padlock booklet on SBP1.  This was first mentioned in October but we didn't have any supplies or pictures.  We now have the pictures and the stamps will also be available to buy in January, as 2936aS.8a.

When we re-open after the Christmas/New Year break we will also be restocking some of the other recent stamps.    By then Royal Mail should have announced to the media the stamp programme for the first half of 2019.


  1. Do we have a date on the packaging for 6x 1st SBP1 Booklets ?

  2. Hi Ian
    I visited a small Shetland PO yesterday to see which printings were available and found 20p's with a 28/08/18 printing date , presumably a 3rd printing. Sorry I can't tell you the UV reaction as I won't be able to check till I get home next weekend but presumably as 10p's were printed on that date it would be the same reaction.


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