Friday 18 February 2022

Machin cylinder blocks and date blocks - sideways confusion

With the new Datamatrix stamps being laid sideways on the sheet, there is no some confusion about the format for cylinder and date blocks (CBs and DBs).

The Modern British Philatelic Circle has decided to use the conventional format for CBs, with the cylinder/plate numbers in the left margin and so two columns of 3 (sideways) stamps.

However my supplies from Royal Mail philatelic for blocks of 6 and 10 produced two very different formats.  Whilst the cylinder block of 10 was simply a block of 4 included above the conventional 6 (so 2 x 5), the date blocks were supplied thus (in two different orders):

What you collect is a matter for personal preference.  

We may find that the make-up values to be issued in April will be in sheets of 25.  If so and the date is in the same margin as the cylinder number, a CB10 will serve both purposes in 10 stamps instead of 20 (or 12 or 14 depending on how you collected previously).  {edited}

How do you collect?


  1. In your picture of the block of ten, I cannot see the Cylinder number !

    1. That's because those are both date blocks, Tallents House different interpretations in two separate orders.

      I realise my last para may have been confusing. The point should be clearer now, but IF make-up values are in sheets of 25, and IF the date is printed in a similar position, ie above the last column in the sheet, then a cylinder block of 10 (the top two rows with the stamps upright, or the leftmost two columns with the stamps sideways) will include the date.

      We don't know; it's a possibility.


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