Monday, 29 April 2019

A Trip To The Post Office

Yesterday  I had to visit my local sub post office as I needed to post some letters that required to be sent by recorded delivery. Whilst I was there I decided to pick up some low value self adhesive Machins for make up postage.

The teller informed me that "no one seems to ask for stamps any longer, and they only had a few 1p,2p,5p and 10p low values in the folder". After looking at what she had I purchased the part sheets available, perhaps twenty or so stamps from each sheet of 25.

When I got home just for curiosity I checked them out. I was really surprised to see that the dates on the sheets were seven and eight years old. The 1p sheet was dated 2011 with no iridescent code, the 5p M12L with the date block of 12/09/12 in the margin. The 2p values also had no iridescent code and were dated 31/08/11. The 10p value was more up to date being 2016. The teller was not joking when she said "no one asks for stamps"

It just goes  to show that one can still pick up old stock at face value. I am not a collector of self adhesives, I do not deal in them much either. Checking them out on eBay I found that for these dates the cylinder blocks were selling at roughly £1.70 to  £2, the date blocks sellers were asking for prices in the region of £3 - £5. I will give you one guess where these are going?

I will also need more low value postage, so I will have another trip to the same post office sometime this week. Enjoy your stamps, enjoy your week.

Tuesday, 9 April 2019

Octagonal Machin Exhibition Sheets

The trouble with being an avid Machin collector is in the past I tended to pick up anything that was Machin related, so over the years I have accumulated loads and loads of Machin material.

 I used to visit most exhibitions and fairs and if something took my fancy like exhibition sheets I just purchased them. This started a new phase in my collecting habits and once started I always tended to add to it over the years forming a new separate mini collection.

One such phase I had was the acquisition of valid postal souvenir's like the one shown below. This was the first of this type that I had seen. From the 1974, Southampton fair. It is described as a post valid exhibition sheet prepared from cut-down postal stationery envelope. It is stamped-to-order with 3p Machin and ½p uprating. Showing a photograph of Sir Winston Churchill printed by colour-separated half tone. According to records 5000 copies of this were prepared. A second sheet in the same series with a 4.05p octagonal Machin was also prepared and sold at the same fair.

Over the following years many more of these sheets followed, sold at different exhibitions. These also joined my collection which grew like a small child over time. Anniversary of the coronation, Conquest of  Everest, The U.P.U, Europa, Olympics, just to name a few. All these show different octagonal Machins with values ranging from 0.3p - 8.05p. Uprates too.

Needless to say with all the stuff I have, my shelves are bulging (and sagging) with stock books and a clear out is now required. Reluctantly they are now finding new owners via eBay.  I can not remember what I paid for these, I think it was about 1.00p each  Anyway, all of them are now listed individually at a start price of  1.25p each.

It is very sad to see them go but I have enjoyed them for many years. I hope the new owners will enjoy them too.

Saturday, 30 March 2019

Machin News March 2019

Last week I reported on the 37p fluorescent head variety. It surprised me that so many avid Machin collectors had no idea that this existed. Which brings me to another relatively recent variety to your attention.

This is not so dramatic or spectacular as the 37p, but is different to the norm that have been printed before. In order to see this you will need the Recent Harry potter mixed Machin Pane, darkness and a Long wave UV lamp.

Check the Maroon 1p stamps in particular and you will discover that the ink fluoresces orange/yellow. As with the other Machins on this pane it has year code M18L/MPIL. As far as I know all 1p stamps from the Harry Potter panes fluoresce in this manner. I have alo heard that the 5p Walsall sheet stamps have a similar appearance, I have not examined them as yet.

New rate 2019 Machin stamps may have coil varieties on official Royal Mail fist day covers and in presentation packs (as in the past). I have not had the opportunity to examine them for direction of print as yet. In fact I have not seen the presentation pack to date. One to check if you have them.

A retail booklet containing two self-adhesive birds of Prey stamps and 4 x 1st class MCIL M19L stamps. will be issued on 04 April 2019. The Machins are not new.