This will be the the year when Arnold Machins classic design reaches its 40th anniversary. The date June 5th 2007 is to be used to commemorate the date when the first definitive stamps based on his plaster cast were issued.
Its was any ones guess what the new stamps of 2007 would look like, and what format (s) they will be released in, but speculation was and still is already buzzing amongst collectors.
Although 2007 is still a long way ahead, planning for the issue started early this year. Below is some text which I wrote for ANSC and SOGB back in August 06.
"Do not exclude the possibility of a special issue miniature sheet and a second Prestige booklet, similar to the one released in 1999 entitled "A profile on Print".
Myself as a long in the tooth collector personally I cant wait........ Roll on 2007. Up to date Billions of stamps with the Machin design have been printed, love them or hate the Machin is still with today and it is here to stay for the formidable future.
No one would have imagined that this design would become so popular, not only with specialist philatelic authors and collectors but also with the general public. The basic series is, now running into nearly 500 different stamps from several different printers with thousands of collectable variations. It must also be now said that the Machin must be the longest running stamp design in production to date."
New Information that has come to light (gained) since the above was posted proves that the thinking at the time was correct.
There was speculation, and hope, then an announcement that the 40th anniversary of the Machin would be only be covered by a miniature sheet with a new £1.00 value in Ruby Red. This is not what Machinites would call a big splash By Royal Mail for this long awaited anniversary issue.
It has now also been announced in the ABPS News (December 2006) that a Machin Prestige booklet will now accompany the miniature sheet, issue date June 5th 2007.
It had to happen, and this was not through pressure from collectors that made Royal Mail change their minds. As we all know Royal Mail will use every opportunity to grab the cash from collectors wallets, something that we all have a moan about, not that I am moaning on this occasion, (well not moaning so much).
I suppose they could have cancelled the March 1st Prestige booklet (World of Invention or if it was to late to do this, cancel the second booklet due in September (British Army Uniforms).
Comments anyone? Please do leave your comments they are very welcome.