Tuesday 28 February 2023

Centenary of the Flying Scotsman Locomotive - 9 March 2023

In 2023, the British locomotive Flying Scotsman is 100 years old. A national treasure of engineering and design, it can be admired on tour or at the National Railway Museum in York, conjuring up the golden age of steam travel.

In February 1923, the steam locomotive that became the Flying Scotsman, built to a design of Nigel Gresley, emerged from the former Great Northern Railway (GNR) works at Doncaster.  Initially known as No. 1472, this locomotive was the third of the ‘A1’ class to be built – and the first for the London and North Eastern Railway (LNER). The ‘A1’ was an entirely new type of locomotive. Trains of this period had become heavier, following the introduction of more luxurious corridor carriages (with toilets) and restaurant cars, and required more powerful locomotives.

By 1924, locomotive No. 1472 had acquired a new number (4472), smart embellishments to its green livery, the crest of the LNER on the cab side and the name Flying Scotsman. (The locomotive was named in honour of the express train service that had run on the east coast route between London and Edinburgh since 1862, and this has caused confusion ever since with other locomotives bearing the headboard The Flying Scotsman.) 

In 1928, Gresley began to modify the A1s into an improved version, the Class A3. Flying Scotsman emerged as an A3 on 4 January 1947.   In 1946, the locomotive was renumbered twice by Gresley's successor Edward Thompson, who devised a comprehensive renumbering scheme for the LNER. 4472 was initially assigned number 502 in January, but an amendment to the system led to its renumbering as 103 four months later. Following the nationalisation of Britain's railways on 1 January 1948, almost all of the LNER locomotive numbers were increased by 60000, and 103 became 60103 that December.

The locomotive set two world records for steam traction, becoming the first steam locomotive to be officially authenticated as reaching 100 miles per hour (161 km/h) on 30 November 1934, and then setting a record for the longest non-stop run by a steam locomotive when it ran 422 miles (679 km) on 8 August 1989 while in Australia.

The stamps

Set of 8 stamps to mark the centenary of the Flying Scotsman locomotive, 9 March 2023.

The photographs and acknowledgements: 

1st class: No. 60103 at Pickering Station on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway, 2016, Allstar Picture Library Ltd/Alamy Stock Photo;
1st class: The ‘Christmas Dalesman’ steam special in the Yorkshire Dales National Park, 2019 © John Bentley/Alamy Stock Photo;
1st class: The ‘Cathedrals Express’ crossing the Ribblehead Viaduct in the Yorkshire Dales National Park, 2017 © John Bentley/Alamy Stock Photo;
1st class: steaming through the town of Blyth in Northumberland, 2016 © Alison Leddy;
£1.85: in a blizzard at Heap Bridge on the East Lancashire Railway, 2016 © Alan Padley;
£1.85: The ‘Cathedrals Express’ excursion crossing the Royal Border Bridge at Berwick-upon-Tweed, 2016 © Ian Rutherford/Alamy Stock Photo;
£1.85: at London’s Victoria Station, 2002 © PA Images/Alamy Stock Photo;
£1.85: close-up at Shildon, County Durham, 2019 © Clearview/Alamy Stock Photo; 

Unfortunately all, except one (Victoria Station), of the photographs used for the stamp issue are after its major restorations, when on enthusiasts tours, and none reflect the period when it was actually in service with the railway system. This postcard from the Alan Pegler period shows it still numbered 4472; still not in normal service but at least it shows the number than many people know. 

Picture postcard, Alan Pegler's privately preserved LNER No 4472
Flying Scotsman leaves Edinburgh Waverley with an enthusiasts special.


The Miniature sheet

Flying Scotsman Centenary miniature sheet showing railway posters 9 March 2023.

1st class: ‘Scotland by the Night Scotsman’ poster, artwork by Robert Bartlett, 1932 ©National Railway Museum/Science & Society Picture Library;
1st class: ‘LNER train service to and from Scotland’ advertisement, designed by HL Oakley, 1923 © HL Oakley/Mary Evans Picture Library;
£1.85: ‘Edinburgh: Mons Meg’ poster, artwork by Frank Newbould, 1935 © National Railway Museum/Science & Society Picture Library;
£1.85: ‘Refuelling the Flying Scotsman’ poster, artwork by Frank Newbould, 1932 © National Railway Museum/Science & Society Picture Library;
Border featuring Pickering train station: wall © imagespace/Alamy Stock Photo and bench © Neil Setchfield, UK/Alamy Stock Photo.

Flying Scotsman licensed by SCMG Enterprises Ltd; Flying Scotsman® and designs © SCMG Stamp designs © Royal Mail Group Ltd 2023. 

Technical details

The stamps and miniature sheet, designed by Steers McGillan Eves, are printed by Cartor Security Printers in lithography with PVA gum.  The 50 x 30 mm sheet stamps are printed in four sheets of 60 in se-tenant pairs, perforated 14.  The 41 x 30 mm stamps in the 146 x 74 mm MS are perforated 14.5 x 14.

All the miniature sheets in the Press Sheet of 15 have barcodes in the illustration we were provided with.

Prestige Stamp Book (click on the images for enlarged versions).


Pane 1: the 4 x 1st class special stamps
Pane 2: the 4 x 1st class £1.85 stamps
Pane 3: the miniature sheet stamps in the same order but with a background showing the inside of a railway carriage
Pane 4: definitive pane with a £2 and 3 x 20p Machin definitives coded M22L MPIL.  This pane is printed in lithography.

The monochrome cover image, showing the locomotive numbered 4472, is of the special edition PSB.


Set of 8 stamps, miniature sheet, 2 x FDCs, stamp cards (12), presentation pack, press sheet, prestige book, limited edition prestige book, coin covers (one with coloured £2 coin, although described on some publicity material as a 50p coin, one with a silver proof, one with a gold proof), framed set, framed miniature sheet, framed prints (4): 1st class Blyth, 1st class Ribblehead Viaduct, £1.85 Blizzard at Heap Bridge, close-up at Shildon.

In celebration of turning 100 in February 2023, Flying Scotsman will take part in various events between March and December including static displays, runs on the mainline, and visits to heritage railways. A special 100 Years, 100 Voices exhibition will be held at the National Railway Museum. The collectable £2 coin included in the coin covers was produced by the Royal Mint.

As usual we will not be stocking these products, they can all be obtained from the Royal Mail website and ordered from 2 March.

Wednesday 22 February 2023

My Swap scheme experiences.

As you will have realised, I am concentrating on getting the pre-barcoded stamps to collectors ratherthan sending them all in for swapping.  But on 8 February I sent a mixed lot total value £46.17½p.

My barcoded stamps arrived today, and all is well.  The sheet of 10p was the original printing of 11/01/22; the three sheets of 5p stamps included one dated 10/01/22 and two dated 04/04/22 (these dates have already been recorded).

The low values were 15 @2p, 75 @5p, 26 @10p and 206 others including 147 x ½p (booklet panes) and 47 x2½p, also panes mostly.  The £3.44 value of these 206 stamps translated into 6 x 2nd class.

My 38 x 1st class came as 9 x books of 4, all with cylinder numbers, and a sheet pair.

All very good.

And I posted my first > £200 batch today. All 2nd, 1st (various colours), 2nd Large and 1st Large (gold).
Those should not be too difficult to process. 

Going back in time... the delights of the earlier Machin definitives.

Although as a collector I bought countless Machin definitives, visiting the Norwich Philatelic
Counter frequently at lunchtime to find what was new, I had put all this aside for other things, and only looked back after I had stopped providing a new issue service for the Security Machins.

As we know, there has been plenty to study with those, even with most of them being NVIs there have been different year codes, source codes, colour changes, backing paper changes, etc which has kept collectors interested.

In the 1970s we didn't have those varieties but there was a lot of variation in head type, gum, paper type, and phosphor.  Also for some values the location of the denomination varied especially in relation to the head. 

I was reminded of all this when I came to prepare my earlier Machins for Royal Mail's Swap-Out scheme - or for earlier sale.  In this and further posts I shall explore some of the differences which are easy to see with the naked eye.

Catalogues - but which?

Aside from the very large number of stamps, one of the problems now for the new collector of earlier issues, is the multiplicity of catalogues some very much more complex than others.  All useful up to a certain period, and some for the whole period, most ask too much of the collector - or assume too much.

The Machin Collctors Club catalogue, to take one example at random, is excellent if you know what you've got.  It even has some useful aids to identifying what you have (papers, gums etc by a process of elimination).  But the section on single stamps is separated into singles from sheets (subdivided by paper and gum), then booklets (ditto), then coils (ditto), rather than by value, which is where the collector starts.

Before the catalogues

In the 1970s and 80s in the UK we had the benefit of Stamp Collecting Weekly which didn't have the long lead times that modern monthlies do, and provided a great deal of timely news every week, whether emanating from the GPO, from specialist collectors/dealers, or from readers who were reporting their 'finds'.

So we were told about variations which were very easy to find and to collect - and waited until later to see what the catalogue editors decided to do!    


In this post I explore some of the phosphor variations.

15 February 1971 - whether we managed to get the stamps on the proper day of issue or when the Postal Strike was over, the first unexpected variant came with the first low values. As well as 12 values to 9p there were booklets - stitched not folded - containing panes of 4, 5 or 6 stamps.  

The 50p book contained 10@  3p, 5@ ½p, and 7@ 2½p.  As well as containing panes of 6 stamps or 5 and a label, one pane contained 4@ 3p and 2@ 2½p - the latter having a single phosphor band at the left.

Pane SG X852L from 50p booklet 1971.

So immediately there was a second variation of the 2½p stamp to collect - and easily obtainable*. Incidentally, the image deliberately shows part of another pane: booklet pane collectors could also find a variety of different finishes to the panes, with properly guillotined, roughly cut, and perforated binding edges.  There were also variations in the central horizontal row of perforations, as shown, with some margins being perforated right through, and some not.

* Easily obtainable, but not always easy to find with full perforations. Adjacent to this pane was another identical but inverted pane, the booklets being assembled stitched and then guillotined leaving some poor perforations, some adequate for collection, and some full holes+.  This applied to all three sides of the pane.  Finding a 'good' example was more difficult than finding a bad one!

(I would like to show actual photographs of phosphor bands and reaction but as the main equipment I used for earlier photos has broken, and is no longer available, I shall rely on graphic overlays on scanned images instead.)

Wedgwood £1 Book

The following year, on 24 May 1972, the second Sponsored Stamp Book was produced, the Wedgwood £1 book.  (The first was the pre-decimal Milk Marketing Board book.)   This contains a mix of 1st and 2nd class (6@ 3p & 17@ ½p (7) as make-weights for the difference and to make up the £1 face value.  

The 2½p stamps are a mix of centre band, left band, and right band, but the final pane contained 2@ 2½p and 4@ ½p arranged in a 2 x 3 block.  With the normal ½p having two bands, and the 2½p having one, the format was similar to the pane above, but it left one ½p stamp with only a single band at the left.  When this was reported it was sought after, and finding it with complete perforations on the two cut sides proved difficult.  Although the price has varied over 50 years, it is still one of the most expensive non-error Machins.

Pane 4 from £1 Wedgwood sponsored book, 1972.

I was going to add Machine Vended Booklets here, but as Royal Mail have now unblocked the despatch of international mail, I will hold those over for a later post.

All these stamps are prefixed X- by Stanley Gibbons, and many of the unlisted are available for sale in our recent List 7.

More to come soon!

Friday 10 February 2023

Stock price lists - Updated February 2023 - pdf downloads.

I have added a price list of the gummed Machin definitives with ordinary perforations (Gibbons X-numbers) to Dropbox today. You can download it at the link below.

This list includes a number of specialist variants to catalogue listed stamps, including some of the shortened phosphor bands (which are illustrated).

Also included are many of the high-catalogue stamps from Prestige Stamp Books but at much lower prices than elsewhere.

We now have until July to use the stamps, but I shall continue to work on lists so that those readers who wish to add to their collections at bargain prices can do so, while the stamps are still available.  Some are only in very small quantities and when they are gone, they are gone (unless I find any more!). And if they don't go, then it's off to Royal Mail's incinerator.


List 1 - Booklets: Window, folded, label, mixed content.  

This list contains Stanley Gibbons series prefixed F, G, H, MG1 and the PM series of mixed content self-adhesive booklets.  (More F & G books added; stitched booklets added 25 July)

List 2 - Prestige Stamp Booklets, DX series - no DY series (premium priced) available.

List 3 - Machin Regional Definitives - Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland.           

List 4 - Varieties on Machin Folded Booklets  

List 5 - Country Definitives, cylinder & date blocks - England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales

List 6 - Self-adhesive booklets - Pre-security, airmail, security, greetings.

NEW List 7 - Machin gummed definitives with ordinary perforations - SG X-numbersNEW

Machins with elliptical perforations, the SG Y-numbers: many are listed in our online shop.  We can combine orders from these lists and the shop, but please choose the 'Pay by cheque' option on the shop, do not pay by paypal or card or we will not be able to combine for accounting. 

Wednesday 8 February 2023

King Charles III definitive stamps to be issued 4 April 2023.

Royal Mail has announced the details of the first definitive stamps for the new monarch, King Charles III.

The first stamps will be issued on 4 April, with philatelic pre-orders commencing 4 March.

First and Second Class (and Large) NVI stamps will be issued in April 2023 but stocks of Low-value and High-value Definitives will not need to be replenished until Autumn 2023, therefore, in keeping with the zero-waste policy, the make-up values of the King Definitive stamps will follow in late Summer.

King Charles III 1st class definitive stamp 4 April 2023.

We understand that the existing colours will continue to be used for 2nd, 2nd Large, 1st and 1st Large.

The introduction of the King’s Definitive stamps continues to be event driven i.e. when new stamps are required, and there will be no wastage of QEII (barcode) Machin Stamps.

The full range of Barcode Definitive stamps introduced in 2022 will remain on long term sale and continue to be sold alongside the King’s Definitives. 

The stamps feature a portrait of His Majesty The King created by Martin Jennings for The Royal Mint for the obverse of the new UK coinage and subsequently adapted by Royal Mail for use on definitive stamps. Stamp designs © Royal Mail Group Ltd 2023. Stamp artwork preparation by Endhouse Studio. 

I think this would have been better; banknote portrait modified by HalfpennyYellow member of Stampboards forum.

Alternative proposed design for Charles III definitive stamps.

The Flowers pictorial stamps on 23 March 2023 will be the first to bear the profile of the King.

UPDATE: My thanks to JG for this additional information gleaned from the illustration of the sheet which has been widely used (see Postal Museum website).

"The first part of the barcode reads: S11151017031004506380009501022301 on the enlarged central stamp. There are changes in the barcodes of the background stamps only in the last two digits of the red numbers as expected - they give the position number of the stamps in the sheet. The second part of the barcode is completely different on each stamp as expected providing a unique identifier for each stamp.

 S111 is the value code for the stamp indicating 1st NVI

5 is the source code - for a counter sheet of 50

0095 is the stamp value in pence - I thought the price of a 1st class stamp was likely to go up before the release of the stamps

010223 is the barcode date, usually close to the printing date on the sheet

01 is the code for the stamp type - in this case a definitive

These code numbers suggest to me that the stamps have only just been printed, within a day or so of the 1 February."

UPDATE 3 March

A new £2.20 stamp has been announced for the new All-World airmail rate for letters - see Tariff

Definitive £2.20 stamp for All-World airmail letters to 100g, to be issued 4 April 2023.

It does seem rather odd that this stamp will be issued the day AFTER the rate comes into effect.

Thursday 2 February 2023

X-Men (or Why) - set, miniature sheet & PSB, 16 February 2023

The X-Men franchise celebrates its 60th anniversary in 2023 with their first comic book appearance in The X-Men #1 in 1963.

A set of 12 stamps celebrating some of the most iconic X-Men superheroes to have featured in the comic book franchise since 1963. An additional set of 5 stamps are included on the Miniature Sheet, featuring five of the mutant enemies faced by the X-Men.

All 17 stamps in the X-Men collection are original illustrations created exclusively for Royal Mail by renowned British comic book artists: Mike McKone (stamp set) and Lee Garbett (minisheet), making them a must-have for any X-Men fan.

Plus, each of the 12 stamps in the main set has a unique Augmented Reality animation which shows the artwork being created from pencil sketches through to the finished colourised stamps. This can be activated by downloading the Royal Mail App and scanning the stamp with a smartphone or tablet.

The stamps and miniature sheet

2nd class: Professor X, Kitty Pryde, Angel, Colossus, Jubilee, Cyclops; 1st class: Wolverine, Jean Grey, Iceman, Storm, Beast, Rogue. 

Set of 12 stamps, 6 x 2nd class and 6 x 1st class: X-men, 16 February 2023

Miniature sheet, featuring five of the mutant enemies faced by the X-Men: 1st class: Juggernaut, Mystique, Emma Frost, Sabretooth, £1.85 Magneto. 

Miniature sheet of 4 x 1st class & £1.85: X-men, 16 February 2023

Prestige Stamp Book


X-men PSB pane 5:  two each 2nd class & £1.00 coded MPIL M22L

Cover of Limited Edition PSB.

Technical details and acknowledgements

The stamps and miniature sheet are designed by Interabang with design by Mike McCone (stamps), Lee Garvett (MS) and colouring by Chris Soto. The 35 mm square stamps are printed by Cartor in litho in 2 sheets of 60, in se-tenant strips of 6, perforated 14.5.   The 192x74 mm MS contains three stamps 35 mm square (perf 14.5) and two 27 x 37mm (perf 14).  The MS is printed in litho by Cartor on self-adhesive paper.

All images are copyright Marvel. 

Collectors Sheet and Fan Sheets

The collectors sheet contains all 12 stamps with additional labels, all printed in lithography by Cartor Security Printers on self-adhesive paper.

The fan sheets are gummed with perforated stamps.

X-Men Collector Sheet £10.99

Jean Grey Fan Sheet - edition of 5,000 - £7.00

Wolverine Fan Sheet - edition of 5,000 - £7.00


Set of Stamps, Miniature Sheet, First Day Covers x2, Presentation Pack, Stamp Cards, Prestige Stamp Book, Press sheet of 12 miniature sheets.

Additional products

Limited Edition PSB, Collector Sheet, Fan Sheets, Medal Coversx2 (£19.99), Stamped Ingots (Professor X, Wolverine each £24.99), Framed Stamps and Sheets, and Frames Print of Wolverine stamp.

All products are available to order on Royal Mail's website

UPDATE 12 February.  It's many years since I've seen any criticism of modern special stamps in the mainstream media, but there is a paywalled article in The Telegraph which may be of interest to anybody who has a subcritpion.  Aside from bsurdly thinking that these might be aimed at children and their pocket money, Simon Heffer may just say something pointed.

There is a once-notable aspect of our culture that has reached a dead end, apparently for reasons of naked cynicism. I refer to the subjects of what are now called by Royal Mail, without humour, our special stamp issues. This absurd programme presents second-rate designs highlighting populist trash in the interests of relieving children of their pocket money, all while devaluing philately as an art form. It shreds an opportunity to put intelligence, beauty and history in the hands of anyone who sticks stamps on a letter.

Further update:  A reader tells me:

It draws attention to the inappropriateness of many of the subjects, the generally poor designs and expresses amusement that Shirley Bassey should be thought worthy of philatelic commemoration when the 150th anniversary of the death of Vaughan Williams, last year, was not. 


He notes that the BBC centenary was overlooked and states, “But then Royal Mail now churns out Mickey Mouse stamps as if it is the postal service of some banana republic, not of a supposedly serious country.” 

He concludes that he hopes the new king “will put a stop to this nonsense once and for all”.

Wednesday 1 February 2023

February 2023 Postmark Slogans - starting with a new one - and other interesting postal markings

All slogan postmarks used in February will be shown here; 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.

The earlier default 'Use your old stamps' slogan continued until 30 January, we think.  It may reappear to reflect the 31 July validity date, but for the time being we have a new default, I think.

Back in November, Royal Mail announced that its employees had chosen a new charity partner, and that they were partnering with the British Heart Foundation for the next four years.  Reference to the BHF website reveals that February is Heart Month and the latest slogan (thanks to OT) reflects this - we think!  

It may well also be the new default, replacing the Action For Children mental health slogan.

The slogan has the BHF logo and web address, but for the wording we will have to wait for another example or a proof from Royal Mail press office.  This is from North & West Yorkshire on 31/01/2023.

British Heart
Royal Mail supporting
heart health with

BHF slogan, indistinct, North & West Yorkshire 31/01/2023

UPDATE 3 February: my thanks to JE (who confirmed that this is the new default slogan, for a better version of this layout) and to KD for a reasonable one from Nottingham Mail Centre on incoming mail from Portugal.

BHF slogan, indistinct, Nottingham 31-01-2023 (possibly)

BHF slogan from Lancashire and South Lakes 31/01/2023

UPDATE 7 February  - finally a nice legible copy from Home Counties North (Hemel Hempstead) dated 04-02-2023 (thanks to JE).


BHF slogan,from Home Counties North 04-02-2023

UPDATE 7 February.  JE writes: "National Apprenticeship Week' came into use yesterday, 6 February, apparently for 3 days.  Royal Mail have again made the mistake of trying to include a long web address, which appears in lettering too small to read - except in the most perfect impressions!"  His example is from Lancashire & South Lakes, while OT sent a picture of the other format from Jubilee Mail Centre.

National/Apprenticeship/Week/6-12 February/nationalapprenticeshipweek.co.uk

National Apprenticeship Week slogan from Jubilee Mail Centre 06-02-2023

National Apprenticeship Week slogan from Lancashire & South Lakes (Preston) 06/02/2023


My thanks to HH for sending this counter datestamp (so rare on letters these days) cancelling a 2nd class Wilding stamp (which thankfully was not declared invalid by Revenue Protection).  It's a normal self-inking-datestamp (SID) with the wavy edge from Brownsover, near Rugby, but this is the first one I've seen with this sort of date error - 32 JA 23

Brownsover [Rugby] SID with date error 32.JA.23

If you have any other slogans used this month, or any other interesting postal markings, please send them to the email address in the top right of this blog.  Thank you.

Remember, all postmarks appearing in February 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.


Postage Value of older stamps including Post and Go.

I overlooked updating this information at the start of 2022; the post will later incorporate the 2023 tariff.

The tables are included primarily to explain the stamps used on cover, because they show that, for example, a stamp originally issued as a Europe 20g stamp is now valid for 100g and has a current value of £1.85.  So a letter to Europe much heavier than 20g can now use that stamp - up to 100g.  

Likewise,  Worldwide 40g and 60g stamps are now worth £2.55 and can be used anywhere in the world up to 100g.

‡ I've now added the E stamp, issued from January 1999-2004, which is the equivalent of the Europe 20g rate.  This was 30p when issued and the cost but also the franking value increased periodically:

October 1999 (34p), April 2000 (36p), July 2001 (37p), May 2003 (38p), April 2004 (40p), April 2005 (42p), April 2006 (44p), April 2007 (48p), April 2009 - as below.


The Worldwide Postcard stamp (shown) issued in 2004 was originally sold at 43p. The cost and the franking value increased - April 2005 (47p), April 2006 (50p), April 2007 (54p), April 2008 (56p), April 2009 as shown in the Worldwide 10g column below.

Airmail Rates Table

Europe 20g / E‡
World 10g
World 20g
World 40g
April 2009
April 2010
April 2011
April 2012
April 2013

E20/ W10
Europe 60g
World 20g
World 60g
April 2014

E20/ W10
Europe 100g
World 20g
World 100g
April 2015
April 2016
April 2017
April 2018
April 2019
April 2020

E20/ W10
Europe 100g
World 20g
World 100g
Europe Large 100g
World Large 100g
Sept 2020
no NVI
no NVI
1 Jan 2021
4 Apr 2022
? ? 2023

* With effect from 1 September 2020 a combined Euro 100g/World 20g Post & Go stamp was issued, priced at £1.70.
§ On the same date the World 100g stamp was replaced by two stamps: World 100g Zone 1-3 is sold for £2.50, and World 100g Zone 3 is £2.55.
On 1 January 2021 the pricing for all world zones was standardised, although that for large letters over 100g varied.   The Post and Go range was then consolidated to include airmail Large Letter stamps.

Inland premium services

Note that some of the rates were in effect before the stamps were issued, and some new stamps were issued at old rates before tariff increases.
Stamps Issued* or Rates Effective
1st Signed For 100g
1st Large Signed For 100g
100g Special Delivery
500g Special Delivery
17 November 2009 *
6 April 2010
26 October 2010 *

20 April 2011
30 April 2012
2 April 2013 §
31 March 2014
30 March 2015
29 March 2016

27 March 2017

26 March 2018
25 March 2019
23 March 2020
1 January 2021
4 April 2022
? ? 2023

* Royal Mail Signed For stamps were issued 27 March 2013, replacing Recorded Signed For, but were sold at old rates until 2 April.

UPDATE 25 November: SD & RMSF stamps were withdrawn from sale at post offices on 31 October 2021, and also from Royal Mail's online shop.  They continue to be valid for postage at current ratesuntil invalidated on 31 July 2023.

I hope readers find this useful.  It is probably worth reminding everybody that these are also all valid at the rates shown for inland postage, just as the 2nd, 1st, Large, Signed For, and Special Delivery stamps are all valid for services other than those shown and on inland and international mail but will cease to be so from 1 August 2023.