Delta Stamps Fact File No. 8
     

Harrison / De La Rue (High Wycombe) Printings on the Jumelle press

Ink Jet Dynamic Print Time Sheet Markings

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The Harrison / De La Rue manufacturing facility at High Wycombe housed the Jumelle press since it first came into operation in 1972 (the earliest recorded printing was 3p Royal Silver Wedding Special Issue Cylinder 1A 1B 3C phosphor P33 issued in November 1972) and was Harrisons principal printing press for some thirty years. As well as the press being capable of printing in gravure and intaglio, it had the capability of running two print jobs simultaneously; typically a Special Issue from one end and a Definitive Issue from the other. Obviously, this meant a number of features on the press were duplicated including two perforating systems, two sheeting units, two sets of security numbering units, etc.

During 1997 / 1998 the Jumelle press underwent an extensive refurbishment. The intaglio unit was replaced by three additional gravure units (bringing the total to 10 gravure units). As well as new APS perforating systems and Eltromat automatic colour registration systems, the crash stamp numbering units were replaced with new Domino Ink Jet numbering systems.

Dynamic Print Time Sheet Markings

Counter sheets are found with two printing types for the Sheet Markings, namely :-

The dynamic print time sheet markings traditionally produced Sheet Serial Numbers (SSN) only. This was extended to include a warrant number from September 1991 and then a date the sheets were actually printed (as opposed to the date of issue) from April 1993 (Enschedé printings). From these sheet markings one can see how the printers serviced the warrant and attribute errors / colour changes, etc to specific print runs.

Jumelle (De La Rue - High Wycombe) dynamic print time sheet markings were printed centred adjacent to the side marginal arrows.


Ink Jet Numbering - Format 1 : Warrant Number / Printing Date / Sheet Serial Number

The first recorded instance of the use of the Ink Jet printing system is for Warrant 641, Dated 09/06/98 on the 20p value. Its interesting to note that the 20p British Land Speed Record Holders special issues had crash stamped dates on 18-06-98; 22-06-08 and 23-06-08 indicating the replacement of the Crash Stamped numbering systems must have occurred mid year, apparently during the May / June period.

Warrant Number
Printing Date
Sheet Serial Number

Left Margin - No Dot Sheet
Right Margin - Dot Sheet


Dot Matrix Structure Change (Issues from mid 1999)

The early printings of the ink jet dot matrix used a character set with 5 dots for the oblique character - this can be seen in the following example :-


A change was made to the composition of the character set in early 1999 - this can best identified on the oblique dot matrix character which went from using five dots to seven dots; the zero also exhibits a variation with 3 dots at top and bottom (this was 2 dots previously).


The key dates when the dot matrix structure was changed :-



Ink Jet Numbering - Format 2 : Printing Date / Sheet Serial Number

During 2002 Royal Mail deemed the Warrant Number (first introduced September 1991) was no longer required to be printed on sheets and so was dropped, this gave a new Ink Jet Numbering format :-

Printing Date
Sheet Serial Number

Left Margin - No Dot Sheet
Right Margin - Dot Sheet

The key dates when this change occurred :-



Ink Jet Numbering - Other variations

Three other variations are worth noting. The first variation involves different spacing that separates each element of the Dynamic Print Time Sheet Markings as the following examples show (both coming from the 1p value):-



To a lesser extent variations in the size of the print can be found as the following examples show (both coming from the 19p value; the date 12/06/00 being taller) :-

Its unclear whether this variation is just the result of the setting of the print head distance in respect to the web.


Initialisation of the print variables

Incorrect / Error in set up : The 38p with printing date 24/02/99 exists with warrant numbers 655 and 695. As the 38p was a new value issued for the rate changes for 20 April 1999 its likely 655 was a mistaken set up (as opposed to a previous warrant being fulfilled) and used before being corrected.



High Wycombe facility closes down after seventy years (1933/34 to 2003)

De La Rue (High Wycombe) finished printing operations on the Jumelle press in December 2002 (the Jumelle press was subsequently sold to a company in China). De La Rue's manufacturing facilities were transferred to Byfleet in Surrey in early 2003 utilising the equipment that had be acquired as a result of the purchase of The House of Questa.

The key dates for the final Jumelle printings are :-



Jumelle Press Ink Jet (Warrant Number) / Date / Sheet Serial Number Summary :-

  Format
Dot Matrix
Notes
Warrant / Date / SSN
Type 1
5 dot oblique
 
Warrant / Date / SSN
Type 2
7 dot oblique
 
Date / SSN
Type 2
7 dot oblique
 


 
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