I am sorry to hear a report of the sudden death in April of Francis Machin. Francis is the architect and son of Arnold Machin. He was 57.
Machin had been working with Royal Mail on a number of projects connected with the 40th anniversary of the Machin but suffered a sudden heart attack whilst on holiday in France.
Francis had been consulted on the 40th anniversary of the Machin by Royal Mail and had written the text for Presentation Pack. He also contributed his own sculpture of his father for a Medal Cover.
Just days before his death, Machin was interviewed for Royal Mail’s website, where he spoke about the anniversary and his enthusiasm for the Machin Arts Foundation, something his father had been unable to establish before his death in 1999.
The Foundation, an initiative providing studios for students studying figurative art, has been set up close to the family estate of Garmelow Manor in Staffordshire. Machin worked with many architectural organisations dedicated to the preservation of alternative uses of historic buildings including SAVE, for whom he co-wrote the book Bright Future: Re-use of Industrial Buildings in 1990.
Francis had seen a number of products evolve including the anniversary miniature sheet itself, for which he provided the photograph of his father used on one of the 1st Class stamps.
The photograph selected for the stamp is actually a passport picture – did that surprise him?
“A little I suppose, though in many ways it’s quite fitting, it’s a modest, unassuming portrait which reflects my father’s character very well.”
Francis also picked out the Generic Sheet, which features all of the original pre-decimal Machin definitives issued between June 1967 and March 1969, on labels next to 20 First Class Machin stamps.
“It’s a very striking product which reminds people of the huge range of stamps the design appeared – and continues to appear - on, I imagine it will be very popular with collectors.”
He also worked with the Spitalfields Historic Buildings Trust, a group of enthusiasts concerned with the imminent demolition of early 18th century terraced houses in Spitalfields, east London, and owned The Conservatory, a remarkable roof top venue in Battersea, south London.Mr Machin, who was divorced, is survived by his three children, Alice, Henry and Louis.