Printings of the Machin Special issue Cartor generic sheet were issued late due to problems at the printers. Royal Mail seemed un perturbed by the fact. They arrived to special account holders 8 days late (12 June) so first day cover producers were unable service generic products.
Note: They have up to early July to send these out to customers.
Others (miniature sheets and prestige booklets) made their respective deadlines so I guess this is why Royal Mail did not rush the order.
5th June 07
Ian Billings (posted to Virtual Stamp Club)
" RM told Post Office Branches that they won't, after all, get them on Tuesday 12th, and the Trade Manager has told me that (now) we ought to get them by the end of this week. The Trade will still get them before the POs. The question has been asked, of the policy makers, as to whether it is correct for the stamp sheet which is not available on sale until probably 2 weeks after the scheduled date of sale, to be postmarked with the latter.
The Machin 40th Anniversary commemorative stamps were issued on 5th June. The fact that this part of it was not then available does not alter that, and Royal Mail does not regard this as a separate element: the stamp contained in the Smilers Sheet WAS issued on 5th June as part of the miniature sheet. It therefore doesn't matter to them that it was late, there are no official FDCs produced with the Smilers stamps on, only the MS and one pane from the PSB."
12th June 07
"The trade have received theirs but hey are not at PO counters yet, and no one knows when they will arrive.
We also do not know which printer was involved in the end"
( There were reports of the reprint Glorious England Sheet) saying "It was suspected that it was printed at Walsall".
One fact that has has been noted
The Machin special issue from the Generic Sheet is not embossed (as it should be) so even if you do not collect gravure / litho differences this will definitely take a spot in the next Gibbons, and all basic catalogues. It is a completely different stamp.
Buying the complete sheet of 20 is an expensive way of adding a single to stamp to a collection. So if you need a mint copy look for someone breaking up a sheet.
Ian Billings ( Norvic Philatelics) has indicated he will be doing this, I guess so will others who sell on eBay.