Saturday, 13 June 2009

A Letter from Norvic Philatelics

I thought you may be interested in this e-mail from Ian which refers to the new Machin label and sets some answers to my questions, he also offers some copies for sale.

Is it a stamp? Is it a label? You can't get mint copies and used ones shouldn't be postmarked!

An unannounced new Horizon Label, bearing the Machin Head and with die-cut 'perforations', was trialled only at the Branch Post Office at Camden High Street, in London, on Monday 8th June. The new labels were available only for the Special Delivery service.

The 'label' WILL be included in Douglas Myall's DEEGAM Machin Catalogue.

The story and better images are on our blog (see link below). We have a few FDCs (with cancelled stamps and additional Camden stamp) as shown on the blog. These went through the ordinary mail - there were no First Day Facilities for this new label, Royal Mail didn't regard it as a stamp.

We will also be getting some labels on plain envelopes serviced as the ordinary mail, ie not on First Day envelopes. These will not be FDCs, they will be posted between 15th & 17th June. They will be un postmarked because there is no operational need for Horizon labels to be postmarked.

For those who collect mint stamps, this is as close as you will get: they will be un postmarked. Given the low numbers overall both versions will be going to be sought after.

Some of our customers collect Machins unmounted mint and are not at all interested in FDCs. Those who have not had FDCs will get priority for the ordinary (week 2) usages. I will try to be as fair as I can with both versions.

We are again out of the office from 14-24 June but may be able to monitor emails in our absence. Regular customers for definitives will get priority but we may need to limit supplies to one per customer.

Ian has also left a comment to the previous post.

Click here to visit Ian Billings blog


Ian - Norvic said...

The Postage Labels UK website ( shows a different FDC, an unoverprinted label, and a the blank paper after the label has been removed.

GBStamps said...

In my opinion, these are labels and not stamps - and thus outside my collecting interests - but to paraphrase the Bills (Clinton and Gates), it all depends on your definitions.

I wonder if Royal Mail is simply dressing up its labels with the ubiquitous Machin portrait or if they think they'll take in a few extra pounds from Machin collectors...or maybe a happy coincidence of both.


S├ębastien said...

In a very competitive context, Royal Mail wants perhaps to gain visibility by using this very distinctive portrait that says "Brought to you by the Royal Mail". When the white labels may not do.

Collectors' money is a little bonus because these Machin labels are certainly more expensive to produce that white ones.

And remember that country like France are prisoners of ugly labels for machine stamp and post office meter.

Anonymous said...

Also from the Postagelabel uk website.

"This new label, printed by De La Rue was a gold label incorporating a new type of security slit design, described as ‘thumbnail’ .

The purpose of this trial was to establish the ‘usability’ of such labels in a busy operational environment (Camden Town High St Crown Office, London NW1) with a view to a future rollout of the new design labels to further products (This initial trial was limited to all items posted by Royal Mail Special Delivery (Either the 1pm or 9am service) and to further branches.

There has only been a limited number of these labels printed and the branch will only be using these until supplies are exhausted- further labels will be printed dependant on the outcome of the trial and will not be necessarily of the same design."