Saturday, 21 December 2019

Season's Greetings! It's time to look back, and forward!


Our business

In 2008 I announced to customers that the increasing Royal Mail stamp programme meant that production of our own design first day covers would have to stop because there was not the time to do justice to the product.

The following year we stopped servicing any first day covers or PHQ cards. One of the purposes of this was to enable us to delve into accumulated stamps, postal history, FDCs, etc, to make them available to buy. But it was not to be.

The 2009 introduction by Royal Mail of security features to self-adhesive Machin definitives, and developments in 2010 showed that this would be an ongoing specialism that needed serving, with information as much as with stamps. The accumulations of other material that I wanted so much to move out of the office and into your collections didn't move much at all!

And so from 2019, because the proliferation of Walsall-printed Machins with their various phosphor and fluorescent variants took up so much time last year, I decided that we would no longer stock new Machins, although we would continue to supply information about them.

 

So what has been the result? Well, I've spent more time away from the office than before. I have been sorting postal history and working on my own collections (!), and have scanned, packeted and indexed stock ready to add to the shop in due course. The only major addition (apart from a few 2019 Machins) has been the previous block of Machins, those elliptically perforated – the Gibbons' Y-numbers – and associated booklets.

Not as many additions as I would have liked, but a little more order here. And some decisions about the future. Nothing fundamental at present, but certainly scope in 2020 and beyond to make more available and to find an audience for it.


And what of 2019?

The Special Stamp Programme
Royal Mail got off to a bad start in 2019 when they released pictures for some of the year's new
issues – and experts in the field soon told them that they had got a D-Day image wrong: it showed US troops landing in Dutch New Guinea. Cue red faces at RM and the design agency.


As usual, there was mixed reaction from readers to the special stamp programme with many collectors condemning the cost of most issues and the excessive number and values in sets. The same collectors exercised themselves trying to work out what the several heavily embargoed issues would be.

They also criticised Royal Mail for their policy of allowing cover-producers to show stamps, for not controlling the staff in retail outlets (Post Office branches) some of whom had no qualms about talking about, showing and even selling stamps before the embargo date, and even their own web-team for making stamp products available for pre-order before the date we were allowed to show them on the blog. Some were offered on eBay before we were allowed to show them, and there were reports that some Post Offices “didn't know what date they should be sold”.

(Just as an aside, take a look at the 2011 programme, published here in February 2010.)


The Cricket World Cup win by the England men's team was marked by a miniature sheet, but Royal Mail decided to double the cost by marking the Women's team win two years earlier, and then delaying the issue for over two months because of 'congestion in the stamp  programme'.

They managed to shoe-horn four PSBs into the programme – Leonardo Da Vinci, Marvel Comics, Queen Victoria, and Star Wars III, with the Da Vinci and Queen Victoria selling out well before the normal end of sale date. The Star Wars PSB included an obsolete value of £1.17 due to mis-communication between Royal Mail and Cartor.


Machin and Country Definitives

Laundering and Forgeries.
There were at least two successful prosecutions for washing used stamps and reselling them for use which resulted in prison sentences for the offenders.

There have been a wealth of forgeries this year. Some of these were straightforward (and in some cases very good, but other cases very obvious) copies of 2nd, 1st red and the two Large stamps.

But there was also a bewildering array of forged self-adhesive country definitives in various values, and in some cases in the wrong colour, and Christmas stamps from several past years, some of them in the small definitive size instead of larger as issued. Amazingly the £5 blue Accession anniversary stamp was also forged!

Royal Mail do occasionally spot forgeries of the current NVIs and surcharge the recipients – but just as often they seem to raise surcharges on perfectly valid but older (pre-security) stamps and those in 'wrong' colours such as 1st class black.


New stamps
All the expected stamps appeared with new year codes, but some for the first time by ISP Walsall. The first ISP printings of each value were distributed as non-visible change by Royal Mail, and were available for ad-hoc orders, so there was no need for dealers to stock quite as many. The delayed 1st class Signed For, and the high values (£2-£5) were reprinted, the two top values for the first time since 2009.

Lack of oversight of printers by Royal Mail continued. The Marvel PSB Machins were missing the P;
there were disappointingly different shades for the stamps in the Victoria PSB, both Machins and Victoria reprints; and the Wales 1st class country definitive was reprinted with the old font – but a new cylinder number. This didn't happen when the Scotland 1st was reprinted.   They year ended with the inclusion of a £1.17 value in the fourth PSB as mentioned above.

There were more red faces and apologies when RM increased their inland prices a week earlier than permitted by the regulator. The tariff increases produced six new Machins for the airmail rates (costing over £15), and 8 new country definitives.

Stanley Gibbons' lack of foresight once again meant that they needed space for new stamps within the security definitive listings (U-numbers) so batches of these were reassigned requiring dealers to use both numbers while collectors (who may not have bought the new edition of the Concise catalogue) caught up.


Post and Go – There were no new designs, but there were some new printings, as needed. Branches continued to use stamps in the wrong place, so 2nd class stock being used for 1st class (and airmail) stamps and 1st class stock being used for 2nd class.

And readers have been monitoring the comings and goings of SSKs at PO branches with a record 90 comments on the main (14 May) post.

New additional inscriptions (also called overprints) were used at The Postal Museum – not without
confusion and embarrassment as Royal Mail dithered and changed their mind on the Crime in the Post exhibition – and at the military museums.

It was only at Shakespeare Trust machine that things went really wrong with two inscriptions on one stamp (see left). Machines were removed where un(der)used – from some Royal Mail Enquiry Offices, from the East Anglian Railway Museum, and from MOD Abbey Wood (Bristol).   On the other hand the off-shore islands and Gibraltar continued to provide dealers with something to sell to collectors.


News about Post Offices has been confined mainly to reporting about the Group Litigation against Post Office Ltd by former Subpostmasters who were sacked, and in some cases prosecuted and even jailed for alleged theft or false accounting.  In all cases POL lost, and in the end settlement was reached by mediation before the costly court action was half done. Many think that despite a payout of nearly £60M it is the Post Office that won.

The final judgement at least allowed for cases of malicious prosecution to be raised, and the judge referred to the Director of Public Prosecutions, a dossier about evidence from IT company Fujitsu.

Other aspects that we have had to report are the repeated early-release of stamps, and branches' failure to properly cancel stamps on those items which Royal Mail would really like them to do. It seems RM take little care to control their agent, knowing that they can rely on the public not to re--use uncancelled stamps (see above).


Postboxes
RM took every opportunity to paint selected postboxes in new colours, including yellow and dark blue or to decorate them with hearts, or elves!  Events marked included St. Valentine's Day, World Book Day, D-Day, Red Nose Day and the ICC Cricket World Cup, with talking postboxes reintroduced for Christmas.

Postmark slogans
Collectors have benefitted from the continuing and almost constant stream of information from a regular band of reporters on new slogan postmarks, re-use of the Universal machines, and other oddities. Our thanks to you all.


2020 Stamp Programme.
First news on this came from TalkTV and The Mirror in April, with reports that Coronation Street would be featured on it's 60th anniversary.  The full programme will be announced on 7 January and you will be able to see it here on that date. There are no 'TBA' entries for once: I would suggest it's not for those of a nervous disposition! [Update 31 December: I understand that advice notes from Royal Mail to standing order customers have already revealed the title of the first issue, see the comments on this blog.] 

The business
Next year will involve some diversions from the business for domestic matters, but I hope also to introduce some more older Machins, and other stock, which includes postal history, picture postcards from the UK and worldwide. If there is anything you would particularly like to see, do let us know.


One again our thanks to all our customers, and the readers of this blog and especially to the many contributors.  I intend to go to the London 2020 event in May for a day or two, and maybe to some provincial events. Do say hello if you spot me!
 

Our office will be closed from 21 - 31 December: the shop will be open and we will process orders as soon as we can, with the aim to post every Thursday in the New Year.
 
We wish you all a very Merry Christmas and
a Happy and Successful New Year! 

 
Akureyri Church, Iceland



Thursday, 19 December 2019

If you can't forge them, just wash them?

At the beginning of the year I wrote that BirminghamLive had reported on the case of a couple in their 50s who were laundering used stamps on a massive scale, as reported here.  These two were not just removing uncancelled stamps from paper using white spirit (a well-known trick), they chemically removed the postmarks.  They got their just deserts - 2 years inside.

Now the Metro has reported another instance from Birmingham in which Paul Harrison and his wife Samantha were convicted of fraud and money laundering after buying used stamps, removing them from paper, stick them onto backing paper, and sell them on Amazon and eBay.

Harrison was jailed for four years for adapting, supplying and possessing articles for fraud. He had admitted money laundering and another charge of supplying articles for fraud. His wife was convicted of money laundering and sentenced to two years in prison, suspended for two years, and ordered to do 150 hours of unpaid work.

Read more: https://metro.co.uk/2019/12/19/couple-washed-700000-used-stamps-sell-new-massive-fraud-11931163/?ito=cbshare
Twitter: https://twitter.com/MetroUK | Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MetroUK/
Harrison was jailed for four years for adapting, supplying and possessing articles for fraud. He admitted money-laundering.  His wide was convicted of money laundering and sentence to two years, suspended for two years, and ordered to do 150 hours of unpaid work.

Police were called in when a large number of envelopes were rejected at Glasgow Mail Centre and traced back to Harrison.  It was stated that he had been involved in the sale of around 700,000 stamps, resulting in a loss to Royal Mail of £421,000.



Wednesday, 18 December 2019

Machin Postal forgeries again - some good, some risible.

I haven't written much about modern GB forgeries since January when the self-adhesive country definitives (!) and other totally implausible stamps appeared.  
[Are they forgeries if they never existed in the format or colour used, or are they just fakes or bogus.]

I believe that these have all been bought through that famous online auction site, where they are being offered to other sellers for use.  Indeed one order was delivered using a forged 1st class stamp and a pair of 2nd class ''washed' reused stamps.  Needless to say it escape scrutiny by Royal Mail's revenue protection teams.

The first is a passable - indeed a very good - example of a 1st red M19L MTIL.

On the other hand the poor MA12 MAIL example appears to be in the wrong colour and the printing of ROYAL MAIL appears to be in pink rather than reversed out of a transparent ink.  I don't think I have ever seen a booklet with all the printing on the backing paper totally horizontal at the fold.


 


A couple of examples of Large stamps - the 2nd class is MAIL MAIL, ie using the 2009 lettering for counter sheets (note, there is no printing on the backing paper).  The 1st class Large is reasonable except for the security printing, which is not only dark and a separate printing, but it reads ROYAL MIAL!



This is the sheet, as shown on the auction site, and oh, look at the backing paper printing!  So, not only is the stamp a giveaway, so is the backing!





I can't explain the less obvious distinguishing features because I don't have the stamps.  I do hope thre MBPC will have all these available on their website soon.  I'm told that there have been 20 different forgeries discovered in the first 9 months of the year!



Final Bates v Post Office Group Litigation Judgement could open the floodgates.

Although we have reported the end of the Group Litigation through mediation, the final judgement, which the parties had already seen last week, was handed down by Mr Justice Fraser on Monday.

I can do no better than replay the words of journalist Nick Wallis's email, extracts from which are below.  Note in particular that this may not be the end of the story, in so many ways.  Although the judge has found for the claimants in all material aspects, there will likely to be other legal (civil and criminal) action over the next couple of years.

This is what Nick wrote on Monday afternoon (my highlights):
As we know from the press statement on Wednesday last week, this litigation was supposed to be dead. Settled with an apology and £58m in compensation from the Post Office. Well - today's judgment re-energised the corpse and now the judge appears to have set in motion a Frankenstein's monster which could lay about the "nation's most trusted brand" and the IT firm which operates the Post Office's Horizon computer system, Fujitsu.

Malicious prosecution

The first interesting discussion was about the possibility of claimants going after the Post Office for malicious prosecution. Normally with a settlement of this nature, claimants are prohibited from taking the defendant to court for any reason ever ever again, but the claimants' QC Patrick Green wanted the judge to make an order that claimants who have criminal prosecutions against their name should not be disbarred from pursuing the Post Office over criminal matters, simply because they have signed up to a civil settlement. After seeking agreement from the Post Office's QC Owain Draper (which, it transpired, was a formality), the judge made the order.

Then the judge made an announcement which stood outside of the 177,211 word findings he had just handed down. He told the parties and the court he had "grave concerns" about the evidence of the Fujitsu employees; so much so that he felt the veracity of evidence provided by Fujitsu employees in a number of Post Office prosecutions of Subpostmasters needed to be properly scrutinised. To that end, he would be supplying a dossier to the Director of Public Prosecutions for further investigation.

No one was expecting this. I was sitting with journalists from Computer Weekly, the Daily Mail and the Press Association and we all looked at each other, thinking pretty much the same thing. Fujitsu is now in the game.
The judgment

..... here are the choice quotes:

"The Post Office’s approach to evidence, even despite their considerable resources which are being liberally deployed at considerable cost, amounts to attack and disparagement of the claimants individually and collectively, together with the wholly unsatisfactory evidence of Fujitsu personnel such as Mr Parker."

Who is Mr Parker? Glad you asked:

"Mr Stephen Parker is... the Head of Post Office Application Support {at Fujitsu - IB}. He is therefore a very senior person. He first started work on what was then called the Royal Mail Group Account in 1997, which was before the introduction of Horizon. He has continued to provide support to the Post Office Account in the various roles he has occupied at Fujitsu throughout the whole of Horizon’s life, by which he meant both Legacy Horizon and Horizon Online."

So he, under oath, would tell the judge, the truth, right?

"Mr Parker chose specifically to give the impression in his first witness statement that Fujitsu did not have the power (the word Mr Parker expressly chose) to inject transactions into the counter at branches, even though he knew that it did. This paints him in a very poor light as a credible witness."

What did the judge think about Mr Parker's evidence, when exposed to cross-examination?

"I consider that Mr Parker, and the team who assisted him, sought to portray the Horizon system – Legacy Horizon and Horizon Online – in a light as favourable as possible to Fujitsu, regardless of its own internal evidence to the contrary, and regardless of the facts."

And the judge's conclusion about Fujitsu in general?

"Fujitsu do not,... appear to me to have properly and fully investigated.. myriad problems, nor did Fujitsu categorise such incidents correctly. They also seem to have moved away, in their investigations, from concluding that there were any issues with the software wherever it was possible for them to do so, regardless of evidence to the contrary, an approach that has been carried into the Fujitsu evidence for the Horizon Issues trial."

What about the Post Office?

They come in for the sort of pasting we have, perhaps, got used to. Their approach:

"has amounted, in reality, to bare assertions and denials that ignore what has actually occurred… It amounts to the 21st century equivalent of maintaining that the earth is flat.”


“A theme contained within some of the internal documents is an extreme sensitivity (seeming to verge, on occasion, to institutional paranoia) concerning any information that may throw doubt on the reputation of Horizon, or expose it to further scrutiny."


"It was possible for bugs, errors or defects of the nature alleged by the claimants to have the potential both (a) to cause apparent or alleged discrepancies or shortfalls relating to Subpostmasters’ branch accounts or transactions, and also (b) to undermine the reliability of Horizon accurately to process and to record transactions as alleged by the claimants.... Further, all the evidence in the Horizon Issues trial shows not only was there the potential for this to occur, but it actually has happened, and on numerous occasions."


Alan Bates was the lead claimant in the litigation and founder of the Justice for Subpostmasters' Alliance. His dogged determination to see the Post Office held to account is well documented. He is not a man who likes the spotlight, but I am sure he would have been at court yesterday if he were not recovering from a recent hospital visit. He sent through this statement from his hideout in Wales:

"This judgment, like that of the Common Issues trial vindicates everything we have been saying for years. The real problem we have been left with is the unrecovered expenses which we have had to incur to pursue the litigation and which include considerable litigation financing fees, all of which have devoured most of the £58m damages, leaving little left to be shared between the group.

"It would seem, from some recent excellent research work Eleanor Shaihk undertook, that successive governments have failed in their statutory duty to oversee and manage Post Office and this is something that we are planning to ask our MPs to raise next year. If it turns out to be correct, we will be wanting to recover everything we have had to spend doing the job government should have done.


"It isn't over yet, just the end of another chapter."

So why isn't it all over?

The Director of Public Prosecutions has to decide whether there is a good chance of perjury convictions.

The Criminal Convictions Review Commission has to adjudicate on 30+ ‘criminals’ who weren’t.

The lawyers have to decide whether there is a good chance of winning malicious prosecution cases.

The SPMs who weren’t part of this case have to decide whether to take action against the Post Office.

The government has to decide whether to go for a public enquiry or judicial enquiry into the conduct of the company, and maybe even the government officials and responsible ministers who had no mechanism for holding the PO properly to account.


And for those former SPMs who repaid money when demanded (some of whom were charged and found not guilty), now knowing that the 'shortfall' may not have been their fault and that Fujitsu at least (and Post Office Ltd probably) knew this, there seems to be a case not only for malicious prosecution but also recovery of money paid.

For all SPMs the accounting system required that shortfalls under £150 in any particular week had to be made good before the rollover to the next accounting period.  Shortfalls over £150 could be repaid either by deduction from payments due to the SPM or by periodic payment.   How many of them were real, due to error, and how many of them every week/month were down to system errors?

What is the consequence for us and for the Post Office network?
I don't know.  Governments are committed to maintaining a network of over 11,000 branches, although included in this figure are a large number of 'outreach' branches.  Near here there is a small market town of about 2100 souls, and they get a visit from another PO five days a week.  A little further away is a much larger market town of 14,5000 which has a visit for just a few hours on one day a week.

Post Office have said that the arrangements with SPMs will be changing.  Just how the organisation can afford to improve the situation is difficult to envisage.  We may well see, in future, all closures being replaced by mobile/outreach services to reduce costs.   The availability of Royal Mail's special stamps is likely to be diminished if this happens, and from what collectors say, it is poor already in many areas.



Tuesday, 17 December 2019

How Royal Mail achieve the perfect handstamp on FDCs

Have you ever wondered why Royal Mail's special one-day handstamps are generally so much
better than those of some (but not all) other countries with a lot of fine detail? 


I am sure that I have mentioned this before, but can't find it on the blog.  In fact, they are not handstamps at all, but are applied by foot- and hand-operated machines.

You can read a detailed description here in our reference area. This is a pdf file, so you can download it, or read it in your web browser, depending on your system settings.

The article is copyright Royal Mail, 1993 & 2007, reproduced by kind permission.

A newer version of the machines used at Special Handstamp Centres was in use at Europhilex at the Business Design Centre in May 2015.

  
When the pad is inked up with the postmark design, the operator positions the cover/card in the right place and depresses the foot-pedal, and the pad descends and applies the postmark in the desired position.  A light assists in this process, as this video shows.


As far as I know this type of machine has not been taken into use.  I must ask next time I call the London Handstamp Centre.



Wednesday, 11 December 2019

Post Office Trial ends in Mediation


We've reported occasionally the lengthy litigation between a group of Sub-Postmasters and Post Office Ltd.  (See here and earlier.)  Those who have been following the detailed (word-for-word) reporting by journalist Nick Wallis will be awaiting the results of the second major part of this, the Horizon trial, the verdict for which will be announced on 16th December.

But in the word of Nick....

Well, that's a bit of a surprise. At 9am this morning the claimant Subpostmasters and the Post Office issued the following statement:
"The Parties to the Group Litigation in Bates v Post Office are pleased to report that they have reached a comprehensive resolution to their long-running litigation in the High Court, following several days of respectful, challenging, and ultimately successful mediation during which the parties engaged with each other in good faith.

"The Post Office would like to express its gratitude to claimants, and particularly those who attended the mediation in person to share their experiences with us, for holding us to account in circumstances where, in the past, we have fallen short and we apologise to those affected.

"The Post Office is committed to applying the lessons it has learnt. Its new Chief Executive Officer, who joined in September and led this drive to a mediated resolution, is undertaking an ambitious and sustained programme of changes to the Post Office’s relationship with postmasters whose role we recognise as being core to our future success. We look forward to working in genuine partnership with postmasters to seize the opportunities ahead of us and to continue to serve communities across the country.


Post Office Chairman, Tim Parker, said:

“We are grateful to the claimants for taking part in this mediation and agreeing a settlement, bringing the Group Litigation to a close.  I am grateful to Nick Read for his important engagement in the mediation process.  We accept that, in the past, we got things wrong in our dealings with a number of postmasters and we look forward to moving ahead now, with our new CEO currently leading a major overhaul of our engagement and relationship with postmasters.”
Nick Read commented:

“I am very pleased we have been able to find a resolution to this longstanding dispute. Our business needs to take on board some important lessons about the way we work with postmasters, and I am determined that it will do so.
We are committed to a reset in our relationship with postmasters, placing them alongside our customers at the centre of our business. As we agree to close this difficult chapter, we look forward to continuing the hard work ahead of us in shaping a modern and dynamic Post Office, serving customers in a genuine commercial partnership with postmasters, for the benefit of communities across the UK.”
Alan Bates commented:

“The Steering Committee would like to thank Nick Read, the new CEO of Post Office, for his leadership, engagement and determination in helping to reach a settlement of this long running dispute.  During the mediation, it became clear that he intends to reset the relationship between the Post Office and its Subpostmasters and put in place new processes and support for them, as part of a wider programme of improvements.
It would seem that from the positive discussions with Post Office’s new CEO, Nick Read, that there is a genuine desire to move on from these legacy issues and learn lessons from the past.”

Read more here.

"In case anyone's wondering, the Horizon judgment will still be handed down at 2pm on Monday 16 December by the managing judge, Mr Justice Fraser. That's about £10m worth of legal fees and a serious amount of time and brainpower expended by a capable judge on what is now something of a non-story. Such is life." (Nick Wallis blog).





Tuesday, 3 December 2019

Royal Mail's December Postal Slogans, Universal machine usage & other oddities

As expected Royal Mail has got off to an early start in December 2019 with the first Christmas slogan appearing on Monday 2nd December,

This post will include all reported December slogans, any usage of Universal machines anywhere on any date, (even if already reported for a different date), and any other oddities you find, so please send them to the usual email address (see top right).

Thanks to JE for the first one, used at the Lancashire and South Lakes Mail Centre at Preston on 02/12/2019:
Remember to
Post Early
this Christmas!
royalmail.com/christmas


Update 4 December.
This is the one time of the year when we get a lot of stamped mail - most of our customers use online payment methods rather than cheques - so we are able to add two more examples from our own mail.  Another IMP impression, from Gatwick MC also on 02/12/2019, and one from Norwich MC on 03-12-2019.


UPDATE 12 December
Thank you to everybody who has sent images and reports of Christmas period postmarks. In no particular order, MC, JG, RS, JR, JE, MG & BM).

More 'Remember to Post'.   Lancashire & S Lakes and Romford both reversed on square envelopes, Home Counties North neatly and clearly on the back of the envelope!, and the other format from Exeter.

 
 



Last Posting Dates 1.
The first LPD slogan is from Peterborough on 10 December, and a second is reported from Swindon but with an unclear date.


LAST POSTING DATES
2nd class - Wed 18th
1st class - Fri 20th
Special Delivery - Mon 23rd

 

Update 18 December
We now have the other format from Bristol (BA BS GL TA) Mail Centre on 13/12/2019, and reversed from Sheffield on 11/12/2019. 



Also a particularly interesting mess from Aberdeen on 11 & 12 December, coupled within the other format from Bristol 2 days later in each case.




At the end of that campaign we have the slogan which omits the 2nd class date, which should be applied to mail posted from 17th.  However, the example provided, on a local Preston cover, shows its use started before 22.44h on 16 December.  

Lancashire and South Lakes 16/12/2019 and the other format from Medway Mail Centre 17-12-2019.  The fonts are quite different.

 MERRY CHRISTMAS!
Last chances to post:
1st class -
Friday 20th
Special Delivery
Monday 23rd

 

UPDATE 21 December
The Medway example above has 11 wavy lines and the slogan on 6 lines.  The Exeter 19-12-2019 example below sent by BM has 9 wavy lines and the slogan rearranged in 4 lines.




BM also sends this non-slogan version of the ink-jet postmark from North & West Yorks (Leeds) on 17/12/2019



UPDATE 30 December 2019
My thanks to GF for what ought to be the last new slogan for 2019, and one which I wasn't expecting.  From Northern Ireland Mail Centre used on 28 December, this one reads as shown.  At least I assume it is 'everyone' - I don't think 'everybody' would fit.

Happy New Year
from everyone
at Royal Mail!


UPDATE 1 January:
My thanks to MM for this very clear image of the other format from Aberdeen MC on the same date.





Of course I am not ruling out other reports when people start examining their unrecycled Christmas envelopes, and those received from neighbours and workplaces.  Any more for December will be reported here; January will start a new post soon.


UNIVERSAL usage
A number of readers have sent in pictures of Universal machine impressions, the best being this from JE which is from Stromness ('Snowman' slogan, 4 Dec 2019).   This also shows additional cancellations by Aberdeen iLSM in transit and by Preston (Lancashire and South Lakes) IMP on arrival - 3 different machines on one cover!

 

This machine is in use all year and another was sent by JE from Orkney, Kirkwall, showing wavy lines only, poor impression.

Seasonal impressions were reported from 'Lancashire / South 6 Lakes' from Preston on 27 Nov 2019 (also shown in the November blogpost), with worn Postcode slogan. Also poor impressions seen from Tyneside (probably 'SCM3') and Norwich (CFC4), with wavy lines only.

Update 12 January, placed here only because it is a variant on the above.
Thanks to GF who sent another copy of the Postcode slogan from Lancashire, but this time using the older LANCASHIRE die instead of including South Lakes.  I can't work out which die this is but those who are more familiar with them will doubtless be able to identify it.  It's amazing what old junk is lying around in mail centres - all the better for collectors!



Other readers reported Gatwick with the 'What will you send?' slogan, 9 December 2019, and Medway SCM but this is dated 8.30 PM / 2018!

 

Universal Update 18 December
JE reports City of Inverness and two Chester N Wales / Gaer Gog Cymru dies, all with Christmas slogan, all too poor to scan successfully.  Slightly better are the two from Leeds ('North & West Yorkshire') dies, with two old favourite slogans - the Candle design first used in 1960 and the Snowman in 1990, both on 13 December.


Lastly, for now, this one with wavy lines, which GF assures us is from Belfast Mail Centre (also on 13 December)


UPDATE 21 December
JG has sent two more Universal examples from Peterborough Mail Centre.  The first from machine -A- is dated DECember; the other from -SCM3- is undated.


UPDATE 22 December.
This may be the final addition before Christmas, from Cumbria, Dumfries & Galloway dated 9 XII 2019




Also today we've added a new Goldsmith Street slogan to the October post.  Apart from being in the other format, this one is unusual is that the letter was sent to and within Northern Ireland, but the Royal Mail logo is in Welsh!

As usual, we will add others as we learn of them.  My thanks to BM, MC, JE, KC, PC, GF,