Saturday, 10 January 2009

Machin Self Adhesive Cylinder Blocks

Well we were forewarned that with all the market activity due with all the new security SA issues / A postage rate rise in April, Prestige Booklets x 4 and design Classic retail booklets x 3 in the pipe line, 2009 may be a very expensive time for the Machin collector.

If you collect cylinder / date blocks this will drain your bank balance even more so. Dave Arthur has posted some information from Royal Mail on the choice formats of the cylinder markings that will be available to the collector.

If you have a bottomless pit of money, this will not be a problem for you, but for the average Mr and Mrs Joe Soap - Collector you may have to make some serious decisions on your future collecting habits.

I myself do not collect self adhesives so I have saved a fortune by drawing a line under these when I did. I expect in this year of 2009 that a lot of Machin collectors will follow in my footsteps.

I could have this wrong so I advise you to go to his post and decide for yourself. Confusingly, looking at his scans it seems that several different cylinder formats will be offered from several panes from the original primary sheet. Now that is what I would call EXPENSIVE !!!

Apparently they (the sheet markings )will be explained in the "February Preview" which Larry (and many others) are waiting for with great anticipation.


Robert Bostock said...

I too received yesterday the 7-page letter from Royal Mail concerning my standing order for cylinder blocks when the new versions come out next month. I don't pretend to understand it all but think that the dot & no dot variants we are used to will disappear. However, the cylinder grid position indicator (!) already used on similar sheets of self-adhesive definitive-sized stamps (ie Christmas) have been moved down the left-hand sheet margin so that they now appear within the cylinder block, below the cylinder number(s). This means on standard size definitives there is a grid of six boxes with a large dot in one, corresponding to the sheet of 50's initial position within the primary sheet of 300 stamps (four boxes for 'Large' stamps). RM no doubt hope by doing this that collectors will want 6 cylinder blocks (one for each position) or 4 in the case of Large stamps.

In my humble opinion, there is little or no point in this, as they all come from the same initial sheet and are printed from the same cylinder anyway (just like dot & no dots in fact!)

Anonymous said...

Thanks Robert for your observations, this helps me (us) to understand this subject in more detail.

Emagine wanting 6 x cylinder blocks of the same £5 values. Dream on Royal Mail!


Ian - Norvic said...

A friend sent me the layout shown by Dave on the Machin Forum. One thing I think should be made clear at the outset - the fact that there are six different 'sheets' on a cylinder does not mean that there are 6 half-sheets and therefore 6 different cylinders for each value. For a start the diagram shows 3 sheets of 50 (ie 6 half-sheets of 25, the same format as the Christmas stamps).

Commemorative stamps and last year's Country Definitives (apart from England) were printed with more than one value on a cylinder. For example the Wales 50p & 81p were printed side-by-side both with the same cylinder number.

If you look at the margins of special samps you will see a similar grid with one block shaded showing the position of the sheet from that cylinder.

I expect the 1st & 2nd class stamps to be printed three sheets side-by-side, which may mean three cylinder numbers D1A D1B D1C ? But it seems more than likely that one cylinder will produce £5 £2 & £1.50 stamps in three sheets of 50, each with cylinder D1, each with two panes of 25.

The marginal markings will include the grid showing, for instance, that the £1.50 uses the two panes at the left, the £2 the two central panes, and the £5 the two panes at the right. This is just a guess, but it is very likely.

Smilers followers will be aware that the small 10-stamp Smilers For Kids sheets were also probably printed with two different designs 2-up, which is why the sheets of 20 were not simply uncut sheets of 2x10.

Economical printing means a long run with three different values, rather than three short runs which contain three sheets of same value per cylinder.

(I'll be happy for somebody else to post this opinion on the Machin Forum.)