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Sunday 2 April 2023

Delayed By Post Office Strike


I have just picked up a two cheap covers depicting the first 10p decimal booklet panes from number one in the series of post boxes issued on February 15th 1971. Although these covers arrived late to collectors they were still cancelled on the date of issue and a cachet announcing that they were delayed due to industrial action. 

Covers with the 12 single stamps from the sheet issues and the horizontal coil were also available these  have the same delayed cachet, they are more widely in circulation than the booklet pane covers. Although non of them are worth a fortune, they do add that little bit of interest to a booklet pane or Machin collection.

The two panes both had four stamps - 2 x 2p se-tenant vertically with 2 x ½p and a second pane 2 x 1p se-tenant vertically with 2 x 1½p

  • The illustration on the front cover of the actual booklet was of the earliest London type, the green Giant Pillar Box from 1855. This illustration was to be used on two different issue dates . The February 1971 issue and the April 1971 issue. These dates can be found at the bottom of the back cover. On inspection they are slightly different. The first booklet issue had a hight of 48mm and the second a reduced hight of 44mm. It has been said this was changed due to production problems,   


  • All stamps from the booklet pane covers had 2 phosphor bands and polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) gum. They were printed on Original Coated Paper (OCP) by Harrison & Sons. Surprisingly the number printed was over 2,215,00 for each booklet. They are also known with the first pane having an error of phosphor due to mis registration, either wide band left or wide band right.

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