Friday 27 September 2019

Postal Museum Post and Go News

A new first for the Postal Museum - Post and Go stamps not available from the machines, and apparently not available at face value.  Two new additional inscriptions, or 'overprints' as they are referred to, one of which will be available from the machine, but the other will only be available in the limited edition packs available from the museum shop or website.  (But see updates in blue.)

From a press release

The Postal Museum marks the opening of their new exhibition, The Great Train Robbery: Crime and The Post, with Post & Go stamps

LONDON, 27 September 2019 – The Postal Museum has announced today that a special overprint will appear on the Mail Coach design of the Royal Mail Post & Go stamps in celebration of their new temporary exhibition The Great Train Robbery: Crime and The Post.

The Mail Coach stamps of all values will feature a special overprint “Crime & the Post” and will be available from its Post & Go machine from 11 October 2019. This will replace the present “NPM 50” overprint which will stop on 10 October, as will that overprint on the 1st class Machin commemorative design which will revert to the standard Machin design.

In addition to these Post & Go stamps, a limited-edition pack containing a strip of the Mail by Train designs, all 1st class value, with the overprint “Great Train Robbery” will go on sale.

This strip, available only in the pack and not obtainable from the Post & Go machine, can be purchased in the museum shop or be pre-ordered online from 4 October.

The Post & Go machine is available at The Postal Museum during normal opening hours.
Please see for more information.

UPDATE late 10 October
Thank you to all those who have sent blog comments in my absence this afternoon, these are now shown below.  In addition thanks to MC who sent on two messages from the Museum, of which extracts are shown below.
We will be selling a limited-edition presentation pack which will have ‘Mail by Train’ stamps in, but these stamps will not be available to buy from the post and go machine due to a limited stock being available. The overprint on the machine will be on the ‘Mail Coach’ design instead and this will only be available from the machine in The Postal Museum. Both of the sets of stamps will have the overprint ‘New Exhibit 2019’.

We understand that the expected overprint was ‘The Great Train Robbery’ but the overprint was changed at the request of Royal Mail.

The presentation pack is now available to order online and will be also be for sale in The Postal Museum shop. The Mail Coach Design will be available from the Post and Go machine from 11 October.
Thank you for your order. This will be sent out tomorrow.

Regarding the first day cover, the decision was taken to only produce a presentation pack on this particular run as the stock is so limited.

I really don't know how they manage it.  I can only assume that the Museum could see nothing wrong in the Great Train Robbery inscription, but clearly somebody in Royal Mail did.  Given that anything on a Royal Mail stamp has to be approved by them, it's surprising that the Museum has found itself in this embarrassing position.  Hopefully they will learn for the future.

UPDATE 11 October 
I didn't notice in the above (it was late, last night!) but it is pointed out in one of the comments, that it is not just the Great Train Robbery to which Royal Mail objected, but the Crime and the Post caption as well.  So both sets of stamps will have the same bland caption: I was tempted to write 'meaningless' but that would be wrong; it's not meaningless it's just pointless and paves the way for similar bland captions in future.

Late Update 11 October - and the last for now as we take a little break.
Thanks to MC for some technical details on the Post and Go stamps available from the Museum today.
a) the PP 'Mail by Rail' strip is (from memory - my on-line order for one has yet to arrive and one I purchased on site I used for a FDC!) all values not just 1st class (as per your original web announcement)

b) the "NPM 50" narrative had not (yet - at the time I left!) been removed from the Machin 1st class. This was spotted by collectors early on and there were varying points in time when the suggestion was that it c/would be corrected 'imminently', then 'later today' and also then 'maybe tomorrow' (and even not at all)! So watch for anyone reporting correction or otherwise (I will likely do a sample check if I get to go to the Rail Mail implementation on the 29th). If it does get corrected at some point, the initial (incorrect?) version will not be that rare since other people using the machine were buying volumes!

c) there were already, by the time I left, two different versions of the Machin 1st strip. To begin with, stock was uncoded but then later changed to an 'MA14' roll.

Other snippets:

a) I see from a quick look on the blog that someone is reporting the Pack as being sold out on-line, but there was still quite a supply near the check-out when I left (maybe people could contact the TPM direct and check?)

b) talking to a staff member, Royal Mail approved the intended wording some weeks ago (doubtless before the TPM Press release) but only changed their minds yesterday morning [ie the day before the issue] ! I am speechless !
c) the same member of staff was of the view that the only other overprint/change this year (ignoring the new Rail Mail) would likely be for 'Christmas' stamps, eg a reissue of an earlier release?

Meanwhile... a second machine is coming to the Museum!


  1. I appreciate that these items are issued to draw attention to the exhibition but is it appropriate that British stamps are being released to apparently commemorate a major crime? Has this issue been fully thought through?

  2. I have been in contact with the Postal Museum and they have put back the availability of the special Presentation Pack with the "Great Train Robbery" overprint until 11-Oct-19

    1. Interesting; that isn't what I was told just before mid-day. Then they said to keep watching the website!

  3. In response to an online request, I was emailed on Friday 4th with the reply "I’m afraid we are experiencing some technical issues with the overprint, please check our website for updates on the pack." Still nothing there this evening.

  4. The Pack is now available online.

    1. When looking at this pack on their website, the image has the alleged overprint 'Crime & the Post' not 'Great Train Robbery'. Or are their 2 separate packs.

    2. Perhaps, as they have had trouble with the GTR inscription they have fallen back to the one that they CAN produce from the machine?

    3. As of this morning the pack is no longer on the website , not even as sold-out.

    4. Now back on but the inscription has changed website says: Important note- At the request of Royal Mail the overprint text has been changed to 'New exibit 2019'. Their typo not mine! The inscription is now too generic and isn't commemorating anything unlike the Postal Museum ones. Looks like someone may heave read White Knights comments!

  5. Obviously, The Postal Museum and / or Royal Mail are having difficulties producing an image of the new stamps with the web site showing a mock-up of the Presentation Pack with the overprint "The Postal Museum - New Exhibit 2019".

  6. The pack is now back on the website with a mocked-up different inscription and the Postal Museum has sent out the following e-mail.

    The Postal Museum Shop

    Good Afternoon,

    I am getting in contact regarding your order made on Tuesday on the Postal Museum Shop of our new release ‘Crime & the post’ presentation pack.

    We understand that the expected overprints were ‘The Great Train Robbery’ or ‘Crime and the post’ but the overprint was changed at the request of Royal Mail. The overprint now reads ‘New exhibit 2019’.

    Please reply to this email to indicate you still wish to proceed with your order.

    All the best
    The Postal Museum Retail Team.

  7. Just received an email from the Postal Museum "I am getting in contact regarding your order made on Tuesday on the Postal Museum Shop of our new release ‘Crime & the post’ presentation pack. We understand that the expected overprints were ‘The Great Train Robbery’ or ‘Crime and the post’ but the overprint was changed at the request of Royal Mail. The overprint now reads ‘New exhibit 2019’."

    1. I agree this is pathetic. The 2019 exhibit could be of toilet paper used in the museum. Such a lack if imagination and creativity. I am not going to bother. Have requested the objections, but guess it's due to publicising crime! Crazy, nanny Royal Mail.

  8. I see the Postal Museum have also changed the overprint on the Mail Coach stamps to be dispensed form A001 to the same "Meaningless" overprint New exhibit 2019

  9. Interesting that they initially gave the reason for the pack not being online was 'we are experiencing some technical issues wit the overprint'!

  10. Buckingham Covers were already selling a Underground Railway cover to be released with a Crime and the post overprinted first class stamp and Museum cancel. They have written to me today stating the New Exhibit 2019 slogan is not strong enough, and have cancelled production.


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