Wednesday 19 January 2022

Walsall = ISP = Cartor

It seems that the name of Walsall Security Printers is to disappear for good.  We understand that ISP - International Security Printers Group (Walsall and Cartor) have changed their company name to Cartor Security Printers.  

According to the filing at Companies House, the change took effect from 23 August 2021.

What appears to be a press release on the Digital Labels & Packaging website reads:

UK-based International Security Printers (ISP), Walsall Security Printers (WSP), and France-based Cartor Security Printing have announced a rebranding to Cartor Security Printers. The move, which reflects the way the company has grown and expanded in recent years, consolidates their existing brands to form a single unified identity.

A new logo based on the Cartor name style, which has been designed to reflect the company’s security printing offering, includes a hero graphic to suggest a barrel lock – or fingerprint – providing a creative and impactful nod to the “C” of Cartor. The firm’s current website is being completely redeveloped to reflect the rebrand and is scheduled for launch in January 2022.

As a security printer, Cartor Security Printers produce high caliber print for a large global client base from both their UK and France production sites. This includes work for more than 180 postal administrations throughout the world, where the Cartor name has become synonymous with  creative stamp printing.

While the new branding reflects this heritage, the company will be targeting new markets where it can apply its expertise in print, ink and materials technology, to create highly innovative, secure solutions for businesses with high monetary or intellectual value products and services. From security printing to advanced track and trace and authentication capabilities and tailor-made consultancy services, Cartor’s wide range of solutions help companies combat fraud to better protect their brands and revenues.

Ian Brigham, Cartor’s managing director, says, “Both the existing ISP/WSP and Cartor parts of the business are different in terms of offering, approach, communication and customers. Despite complementing each other, the current configuration can be confusing for customers, so the time is right to unite our brands under one identity.

“With significant investment in plant and facilities, together with an experienced, skilled and committed workforce, we believe that we are well placed to deliver an industry-leading security printing service to global organizations in order to protect revenues, brands, and reputations,” he adds.

Friday 14 January 2022

Royal Mail - 1st February 2022

A number of people have written, or added comments to other posts, about stamps due on 1 February - this is in addition to the ones due on 4 February which we also can't tell you about.

Customers with standing orders paying from their accounts or by regular charge against their cards will have received notifications about:

DS1201 for £3.76 plus service charge - or it may be multiples thereof

DF071 for £5.15 plus service charge.

UB450 for £3.40 plus service charge.

From previous orders you will know that UB products are retail booklets, DS products are Definitive Stamps, and DF are Definitive First Day Covers.

There may be other UB products and DP (Definitive Presentation Packs).

Images and information will be released on 1 February (the issue date) by Royal Mail as part of a wider service announcement.

Our blog posts are already written, but we don't know what the service announcement is about so that will be added later.  We will publish as soon as we can, ie midnight+1 on 1st February.


Tuesday 11 January 2022

Music Giants VI: The Rolling Stones - 20 January 2022; stamps, MS, PSB etc.

Royal Mail continues to find reasons to issue stamps for British musicians who were well respected in their time, but who are now well past their best.

The Rolling Stones are revered as one of the greatest live acts of all time.  They have sold an estimated 250m records and in the UK have eight no.1 singles and twelve no.1 albums.  To celebrate the 60th anniversary of the band, Royal Mail is issuing a new set of eight Special Stamps capturing moments from some of their legendary performances over the years.

Rather than writing a lot about the band - which you can find in Wikipedia - I'll stick to the stamps.  I'll just say that there are only two members who have lasted the course: Jagger and Richards.

The stamps for this set of Music Giants mark a departure from previous similar issues.  The earliest ones were similar to the Album Covers with the 'throw-out' vinyl disc breaking through the right of the stamps.  The next ones were similar, but the disc edge, Queen's head, and denomination were outside the album cover design, but within an overall rectangular area.

The Rolling Stones stamps simply show scenes from concerts, rather than album covers.

Set of 8 Rolling Stones stamps, 4 each 1st class and £1.70  - 20 January 2022

The scenes on the stamps are:

1st Class: London, UK, July 1969;  East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA, August 2019;  Rotterdam,
Netherlands, August 1995; Tokyo, Japan, March 1995
£1.70: New York City, USA, July 1972;  Oslo, Norway, May 2014; Hertfordshire, UK, August 1976; Düsseldorf, Germany, October 2017.

The Miniature Sheet has four more stamps (2 x 1st class, 2 x £1.70) featuring shots of the band together and a selection of some of the Tour Posters from around the world.

Rolling Stones stamp miniature sheet 2 x 1st, 2 x £1.70 - 20 January 2022.

The 1st class stamps show photos of the band; the £1.70 stamps show posters for the 1971 UK Tour, Tour of the Americas 1975, the 1981 American Tour, and the 1990 Urban Jungle European Tour.

Technical details and acknowledgements

The gummed stamps were printed in lithography by International Security Printers.  The sheet stamps are 50 x 30 mm perforated 14, and the MS stamps are 60 x 30 mm perforated 14½.  The MS is 192 x 74 mm.   Design is by Baxter & Bailey.  The Rolling Stones logo and typography © 2022 Musidor B.V. Under license to Bravado Merchandising. All Rights Reserved.

Prestige Stamp Book

As usual the Prestige Stamp Book (PSB) includes all the special stamps and a pane of definitives.  The two sets of Machins are coded M21L MPIL, and include 10p, 20p, 50p & £1.  However, only the £1 stamp is new - the 10p was included in the Music Giants V and Industrial Revolutions books (DY38/39), the 20p was included in the Industrial Revolutions and DC Comics books (DY39/40), and the 50p stamp was included in the Music Giants V (DY38) book.  The £1 will be listed as Norvic 4100P.21.

The 24-page PSB is written by well-renowned rock and pop critic, Alexis Petridis, who looks back in detail at the unrivalled success of The Rolling Stones.  The book starts with The Rolling Stones’ first gig in 1962 and takes the reader on a journey through their rapid rise to the top and their growing reputation as one of the best live touring bands in the world.  The book is filled with a stunning selection of photography captured throughout the past 60 years.  The price is £20.85.

Cover of Music Giants VI Rolling Stones PSB, 20 January 2022.

There is also a limited edition PSB (5,000 run) sold in a bespoke flight case style presentation box. The Stamps and Panes are identical to those in the standard Prestige Stamp Book but with a Limited Edition front cover - price £49.99.

Collectors sheets: 'Hyde Park' and 'On Tour'.  These sheets include the stamps of the counter sheets but are printed self-adhesive in litho, probably printed by ISP Cartor.  

Rolling Stones: Hyde Park, Collectors Sheet - AT133 £11.50

Rolling Stones on Tour, Collectors Sheet - AT132 £11.50

Other products

Presentation pack, first day covers, medal covers, silver stamp ingot, gold stamp set - reproduction of the stamps in 24 carat gold (edition of 1962), fan sheets (Hyde Park, Voodoo Lounge), Souvenir Folder, Framed stamps & MS, and stamp prints.

Monday 10 January 2022

Post and Go news in 2022

As I mentioned in November, I now aim to have a Post and Go post (and comment thread) for each year, so this is the first post for 2022.  Malcolm has already provided a comment on the November post about what happened when The Postal Museum re-opened, but I have copied this here so that we have something to start the year with.  And of course it has a glitch - well an oddity I think.  Read on!

Postal Museum changes 1 January 2022

Reader Malcolm reports: After service on the 31st December, the Winter Greenery stock was removed and from Saturday 1st January 2022 it was replaced with Union Flag undated stock for 1st class and MA15 2nd class Machin, but without the Wish You Were Here inscription.  This did continue on the 1st class, ending at close of business on Sunday 2nd January.

The museum was then closed on its usual Monday and Tuesday, reopening on Wednesday 5th with the Wish You Were Here inscription now removed from the 1st class Machin, so therefore a new variety of strip was available, being the first time with the Europe and Worldwide Large strips have been available without a commemorative overprint.

For the first half hour of operation on 5th, the stock was MA13, and it was then replaced with MA14 stock subsequently.

UPDATE 12 January: Malcolm has sent these pictures from the Postal Museum:

January 2022 Postal Museum Post and Go 1st class stamps, MA13 (left) and MA14.

UPDATE 19 January: The Commonwealth Stamps Opinion blog reports the latest Post and Go imprints from Jersey and Guernsey. 

The Jersey issue was actually on 6 December 2021 and marks the 60th anniversary of the establishment of the island's Finance Industry, as it was 1961 when banks started establishing offshore branches to meet the growing demands of British customers living or working abroad. The additional inscription is applied to all six colours of the Jersey Arms stamps.

Jersey Arms Post and Go stamp with inscription marking 60 Years of the Finance Industry.

On 17 February Jersey Post will issue a new set of 'Harvest of the Sea' Post and Go stamps in six new designs. (Via Gulfmann ATM Collection blog).

Jersey 'Harvest of the Sea' Post and Go stamps (1 of 6) issued 17 February 2022

Meanwhile on 19 February Guernsey Post will issue a set of six new designs entitled Guernsey Cuisine, all are pictured on the CSO blog.

Guernsey 'Cuisine' Post and Go stamp (1 of 6) issued 19 February 2022

UPDATE 16 February. Thanks to Malcolm B for news from The Postal Museum regarding its output for the London 2022 International Exhibition.  

The London 2022 inscription is on the 1st class Machin stamps on machine A001 in The Postal Museum and on the Post Office London Railway stamp on machine A013 in Mail Rail.  It will run from next Saturday (19th February) to the end of Saturday 26th February. 

Update 4 April - Postal Museum

A new exhibition is running at the Postal Museum from 30 March 2022 – 1 January 2023 entitled Sorting Britain: The Power of Postcodes. This delves into the Post Office innovation that revolutionised how post was processed, sorted, and delivered and its unintended outcomes for life in Britain.

Thanks to Malcolm we can show the Post & Go strips that are associated with this exhibition, which have an additional 'Sorting Britain' imprint.  

He writes: Update on Postal Museum went ahead as planned Machin was MA13 stock and Flag MA19 stock (first time here). Mail by Air went in as R19 stock and was available as a first class strip however also available were all the other values of a collector strip although this was not available as an option.

Postal Museum Post and Go stamps: Machin MA13 and Union Flag MA19 with
Sorting Britain imprint; and Mail by Air MA19 stock without that imprint all from machine A001

UPDATE 3 June 2022.  To mark the Platinum Jubilee of HM Queen Elizabeth II the Postal Museum is resurrecting the Machin Anniversary set with a new imprint: their (edited) press release:

The Postal Museum is set to release a new inscription on its Post & Go machines to mark Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee.

The inscription “The Postal Museum/The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee” will be printed on the multicoloured “Machin 50th anniversary” stamps and will run from 3 June to 1 July 2022.

Each of six anniversary Machin stamps is a different colour and will be overprinted with the standard UK first class (up to 100g) value. They will temporarily replace the existing “Mail by Air” stamps for the duration of the Jubilee inscription. These stamps will be available from the Post & Go machine in the museum’s welcome space, either singly or in strips of six.

The inscription “Mail Rail/The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee” will be printed on standard “Machin first class” stamps of all values. These stamps will be available as a collector’s strip of six and as individual values from the Post & Go machine in the Mail Rail’s welcome space from 3 June to 1 July 2022.

The Postal Museum will be joining other Royal Mail Post & Go sites in offering this Jubilee inscription - the National Museum of the Royal Navy (NMRN) site at HMS Victory in Portsmouth, NMRN Submarine Museum in Gosport, NMRN Explosion Museum also in Gosport, Fleet Air Arm Museum in Ilchester, HMS Trincomalee in Hartlepool, The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust in Stratford Upon Avon and STEAM - Museum of the Great Western Railway in Swindon.

Postal Museum Platinum Jubilee Post & Go set from pre-release publicity image.

Thanks to Mike I can also show the actual stamps from both machines:

Postal Museum and Mail Rail Platinum Jubilee Post & Go set

Doug couldn't have missed Mike by many minutes judging by the session numbers (7821 & 0840) of his strips.  Both reported it quiet (apart from families visiting the museum) and Mike said that he "didn’t see any of the ‘usual’ dealers there."

UPDATE 8 June: My thanks to AH who writes:
Thanks to your blog, I bought six of the Platinum Jubilee Post & Go stamps on Saturday and had one of them used on the envelope.  It was cancelled with a cds for 4th June and also received an example of the Platinum Jubilee slogan on its travels (but this is not very clear).

The thanks are, of course, equally due to other readers and contributors.  This is the stamp, which we can see comes from machine A009 which is still, as far as I know, at the Shakespeare Centre in Stratford.  We have recorded past instances of Shakespeare output with their logo and the new inscription occupying the same position on the stamp which is probably why the logo is missing here, giving no indication of where the stamp was printed.  Are other museum outputs like this on this occasion?

Platinum Jubilee inscription on Post and Go stamp from machine A009, Stratford's Shakespeare Centre.
UPDATE 17 JUNE:  John MacCullum has sent these images of the two relevant special handstamps on the Postal Museum Platinum Jubilee stamps:
London special handstamp for HM The Queen's Platinum Jubilee on Postal Museum Platinum Jubilee Post and Go stamp 3 June 2022

London special handstamp for The Postal Museum, London WC1 on Postal Museum Platinum Jubilee Post and Go stamp 3 June 2022


Jubilee UPDATE 13 July: My thanks to MC for (a couple of weeks ago) sending this picture of the Platinum Jubilee inscription added to the Swindon Steam GWR stamps. The stock is MA13.

Platinum Jubilee inscription added to the Swindon Steam GWR stamps

UPDATE 19 August:   Thanks to Malcolm for sending these images of the 2nd class Post & Go stamps coded CL21S purchased from York.

UPDATE 12 November 2022.  I haven't included examples of all changes here, but my thanks to Malcolm for sending this image of the Postal Museum's Lest We Forget 2022 inscription on the MA15 Poppy stamp.

The Postal Museum Lest We Forget 2022 inscription on MA15 Poppy stamp.

UPDATE 27 June.  My thanks to correspondent JJ who tells us that Spain will issue a set of variable value (Post and Go) stamps on 7 July dedicated to the Pride parade.

Spain: Pride Post and Go stamp 7 July 2022.


All news about P&G in 2022 will be here or in the comments below.

A new post for 2023 has now been set up here.  This one will be closed for new comments soon.

Thursday 6 January 2022

Royal Mail Stamp Programme for 2022 - more, much more, of the same.

Two days ago I wrote about the Royal Mail Stamp programme for 2022, the calendar for which has been available at some post offices and on a blog and forum.

Today one of my contacts who has an account with Royal Mail told me that along with their First publicity leaflet for the Music Giants VI issue, they sent him the Stamp Calendar!  So I have no hestitation in adding that information here.

Of course there are some gaps, but some of these can be easily guessed and others will be announced later.

I'll fill in the gaps in due course.   UPDATE:  Cats is 9 June due to the public holiday on 2nd.

Some of these issues are very worthy, and expected: FA Cup, London 2022, Commonwealth Games, Heroes of the Pandemic and Platinum Anniversary.

Royal Marines must be a follow on from the previous armed forces issues (which concentrated on 'vehicles' or transport - boats, planes and tanks).  But migratory birds, and cats?  Really?  Why.  These will not be blockbuster issues, they are aimed squarely at thematic collectors so there will probably be 10 x 1st class for each!  

The surprise is the lack of stamps related to American media - cartoons and films.  Perhaps they have all been done?  Yes, I know there are July, September and October issues to be announced, but my understanding is two of these don't fall into that category.

Wednesday 5 January 2022

January 2022 postmark slogans and other interesting postal markings.

As often happens after Christmas slogans are usually changed, although in the absence of Merry Christmas or Happy New Year we half expected the 'Get Your Booster' slogan to continue for much longer. 

In fact January's slogan postmarks started in December when the system defaulted to the Action for Children slogan just in time for January delivery (details below).

All slogan postmarks will be shown here for January; please check for latest updates before spending your time scanning, but if you have something new or another format, then please do send it in for publication.  Scans at 300dpi are fine; mobile photos tend to be very big and have to be reduced.

My thanks to PC.  This one image shows usage from South Midlands Mail Centre on 31-12-2021 and Bristol (BA BS GL TA) Mail Centre 02/01/2012.  Thanks to PC for this, which shows both IMP and iLSM versions.

Royal Mail
supporting youth
mental health with

 This might be the first time this has appeared with the datamatrix-inspired three wavy lines?

Default 'Action for Children' slogan used at South Midlands Mail Centre on 31-12-2021 and Bristol (BA BS GL TA) Mail Centre 02/01/2012

Update 26 January 2022:  My thanks to several members who sent the latest slogan, from Chester & NW Wales (KD), Sheffield (RW) and the best here, from Birmingham Mail Centre 24/01/2022 (from GH).

Holocaust Memorial Day
Light a candle
in your window
8pm 27 January 2022

Holocaust Memorial Day slogan Birmingham Mail Centre 24/01/2022

The other format, from RW from Swindon Mail Centre also on 24-01-2022

Holocaust Memorial Day slogan Swindon Mail Centre 24/01/2022

UPDATE 1 February.
My thanks to KD for sending this image of a slogan which will probably last all week and therefore kick-off the February slogan post.  Celebrating the Queen's accession in 1952 this will be useful for first day covers on Friday.

Accession Day
6th February
70th Anniversary

Accession Day postmark slogan, Gatwick Mail Centre 31/01/2022

This will carry over to next month.


My thanks to KC for forwarding this image of a counter date stamp postmark he recently received on a 1st class large letter. This postmarking is correct for mail handed over or stamped at the counter.   The branch is DALES ROAD which is in Ipswich, Suffolk, although you would not know that from the datestamp which is dated 17 JA 2022.

Dales Road (Ipswich) counter date stamp 17 January 2022.

Remember, all postmarks appearing in January will be added to this post, so check here before you spend time scanning and emailing.  I'll try to add new ones as quickly as possible.

Tuesday 4 January 2022

Happy New Year 2022 - the quiet times stay quiet!

Royal Mail's new year stamp announcement is usually released to the press in what they call the 'quiet news' period when they would get maximum publicity, ie the inter-holiday period (28-31 December)

But this year they have delayed it.  Even the Music Giants VI issue for which we had  a blog post scheduled for 6 January is now delayed until 11 January (release date 20th.

So I currently have draft blog posts scheduled for:

- 2022 programme

- Music Giants VI: The Rolling Stones (Jan 20)

- Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee (February?)

- Covid Heroes (March ?)

- another which I can't tell you anything about

I could also draft posts for the rest of the year's issues, it would certainly help to get ahead while I can.  Blogger allows me to set a scheduled date for publication, but I can push it further back if Royal Mail delay the announcements, or bring it forward if they suddenly release details earlier than they told us they would (not unknown).

UPDATE 5 January: I've today been sent another copy of the full calendar which somebody picked up from his local Post Office branch, and on Stampboards there is a thread devoted to worldwide 2022 stamp programmes and somebody else has found a calendar and posted it there.  You just have to search.

The December postmarks have been updated and we're ready for your January slogan news - it will probably be a continuation of the Get Boosted Now campaign for a while.   Did anybody see a Merry Christmas or Happy New Year slogan as we have had in past years? 

Royal Mail Merry Christmas slogan postmark 2020

Royal Mail New Year slogan postmark 2019

5 January: a further update to December and a new post for January are imminent.

So there isn't much to add except to wish you all a Happy New Year with this card by Jenny Nyström from Sweden.

Happy New Year - 365 Happy Days!