Delta Stamps Fact File No. 10
     

The Oversized Machin Head Horizon Labels
Including the Special Delivery Trial at Camden Town Post Office

 

Click on the symbol for the associated item(s) in our Price List.

Wavyline 'Royal Mail' text as a background

Post & Go (Faststamps) were introduced in October 2008 with the design utilising a version of the Millennium Head and incorporating a repeating wavyline 'ROYAL MAIL' text as a background pattern. As with the Millennium Head version, the Post and Go stamps were printed in a brownish olive colour.

 

Camden Town Trial

Trials of a Preprinted Horizon Stamps/Labels for Special Delivery postal items (£4.95) started on 8th June 2009 and was conducted out of the Camden Town Post Office in North West London. These Stamps/Labels were oversized Machins measuring 58.5mm x 65mm and printed in pale 'gold' with full bleed (no white frame around design).

Note : The overprint in black (SD, Royal Mail, etc) is produced at the point of sale by ink jet printer.

Horizon SD Stamp / Label
Die cut pattern within design

The Unused Post Office Counter Sheet

The counter sheet consisted of a pre-cut set of two unprinted labels (measuring 79mm x 161.5mm). These two labels were printed inverted to each other. The layout of the primary sheet has yet to be confirmed.

The unused Post Office Counter Sheet

The Post Office Counter Sheet Matrix (once the Stamps/Labels have been removed)

The following shows the counter sheet once the stamps/labels have been removed and illustrates the extent on the printed area (the actual size of an individual printed label was 64x70mm - the stamp/label itself was 58.5mm x 65mm).

Counter Sheet matrix after the two labels removed - original version with simulated perforation.
Counter Sheet matrix with one label removed - revised 'straight edged' version.

Cover with Special Delivery Label and associated Barcode Tracking Label

When purchased, a base Special Delivery Label is overprinted with the Date, Tariff Charged, Office location number (41005 for Camden Town) and Session Identification Number and this is tied to a Barcode Tracking Label which holds the destination Postal Code.

Notice : the cover below does not carry a postmark (this was the standard practice).

Cover with Special Delivery Label and associated Barcode Tracking Label

The Customer Receipt

An example of the customer receipt provided for the Postage item is shown below :-

Customer Receipt

The trial was originally intended to last a month, but continued to run well into September 2009.


The Countrywide Roll-Out from April 2010

The roll-out of new versions of Horizon labels using the Machin Head began during April - the earliest recorded date seems to be 20th April 2010. These Labels are the same to those used for the 2009 'Camden Town' special delivery trial when the Large Machin Head Label was introduced. The roll-out commenced in Wales with the labels printed using bilingual text. The following images show labels with English/Welsh and English text :-

English/Welsh bilingual text
English text

The Service Indicators / tariff codes include :-

Service
Description
2L
2nd Class Letter
1L
1st Class Letter
1st
Letters for the Blind - to 100grams
2LG (2LL)
2nd Class Large Letter
1LG (1LL)
1st Class Large Letter
2PK
2nd Class Packet
1PK
1st Class Packet
BL
BFPO 1st Class Letter
BLG (BLL)
BFPO Large Letter
BPK
BFPO Packet
BF
BFPO Parcels
FF
Forces Freepost
FP
Fully Paid
PE
Parcel Economy International
PS
Parcel Standard International
RSF
Recorded Signed for
SD
Special Delivery
SP
Standard Parcel
A
Airmail
AAX (AX)
Airsure
SU
Surface Mail
 

Variants in the Point of Sale printed text

The point of sale text can be found having two formats for the date - the original uses obliques as separators while more recently hyphens have been used as separators. In conjunction with this change the text is lighter / thinner than before.

Heavy / Bold Text
Date Format : 17/06/10 (with obliques)
Light / Thinner Text
Date Format : 26-07-10 (with hyphens)

Straight Edged Labels from August 2010

With the greater use of the Machin Horizon labels, operational difficulties were being experienced when feeding the two part cut label set into the printer for the second time. In order to address this problem new versions have been produced with straight edges and rounded corners replacing the simulated die cut perforations. These revised versions were introduced on 23rd August 2010 at the Old Street Post Office in London EC1.

Note : The die cuts within the design area have changed - the semi circle cuts at the four corners now have bridges (previously continuous). Similarly, the curves north, south, east and west also have bridges.

Straight Edged Machin Horizon Label
Die cut pattern within design

Sheet Serial Numbers on the reverse of the Label Set introduced 2011

During the first half of 2011 the Horizon two part cut label sets started to appear with a printed Sheet Serial Number on the reverse of the carrier paper. The serial number occurs centrally (printed horizontally between the two Horizon Labels in relation to the images on the reverse) and consists of 9 digits printed by an ink jet printer.


Royal Mail Accounting Codes - September 2011

The Horizon software was changed in late September 2011 to classify the VAT rating of posted items. As a consequence the Machin Horizon labels were printed with two codes indicating the accounting classification and can be found at the end of the lines as follows :-

  Line on Label Indicator Type
  Royal Mail Accounting Code
  POSTAGE PAID UK VAT rating code

The Accounting Code corresponds to the Service Indicator - thus one code is allocated to one service indicator, in the example above 'c' equates to '1LG'. The VAT rating code is variable with 4, 5 and 6 being seen for Royal Mail items. The following table shows the main allocations :-

Service
Description
A/C Code
VAT code
2L
2nd Class Letter
e
4; 5
1L
1st Class Letter
b
4; 5
1st
Letters for the Blind - to 100grams
a
4; 5
2LG
2nd Class Large Letter
f
4; 5
1LG
1st Class Large Letter
c
4; 5
2PK*
2nd Class Packet
g
4; 5
1PK*
1st Class Packet
d
4; 5
RSF
Recorded Signed for
i
4
BL
BFPO 1st Class Letter
m
4
BLG
BFPO Large Letter
n
4
BPK*
BFPO Packet
p
4
FP
Fully Paid
o
4; 5, 6
FF
Forces Freepost
t
4
SD*
Special Delivery
y
4; 5, 6
SP*
Standard Parcel
z
4; 6
A
Airmail
h
4; 5
AAX
Airsure
r
5; 6
SU
Surface Mail
x
 
Parcelforce
BF*
BFPO Parcels
5
 
PE
Parcel Economy International
6
 
PS
Parcel Standard International
7
 
* These codes have been superceded - see revised codes below.
VAT rate codes
Royal Mail
Parcelforce
VAT exempt
4
7
VAT zero-rated
5
8
VAT standard rate
6
9

New layout of Die Cut within the design - November 2011

Horizon T3
Alpha SSN
Revised Die Cut layout
Code prefix to Serial Number

During November 2011 a new version of the Horizon label started to appear with a revised layout of the Die Cuts occurring within the body of the design giving two vertical columns - one indented from the left and the other indented from the right. This new layout may well be an attempt to address operational problems still being experienced by counter staff with the Horizon label. These first occurred with just sheet numbers on the reverse of the label set, however, a change was soon made to include a code letter prefix - most letters between 'A' and 'Z' have been seen.

Changes to Parcels Service - April 2013

With the tariff rate changes coming into effect on 2nd April 2013 the handling/charging for the parcel side of the business was revamped with three new classifications introduced - Small Parcel, Medium Parcel and Large Parcel.

Old Service
New Service
Description
A/C Code
VAT code
2PK, 1PK, SP        
 
2SP
2nd Small Parcel
g
4; 5
 
2MP
2nd Medium Parcel
g
4; 5
 
1SP
1st Small Parcel
d
4; 5
 
1MP
1st Medium Parcel
d
4; 5
BPK, BF        
 
BSP
BFPO Small Parcels
p
4
 
BMP
BFPO Medium Parcels
p
4

Special Delivery Service - February 2014

The codes for the SD tariff rate were changed February 2014 (believed to be on 11th) to indicate the am/pm service required.

Old Service
New Service
Description
A/C Code
VAT code
SD
SD9
delivery by 9am
y
4; 5, 6
 
SD1
delivery by 1pm
y
4; 5, 6


 
© Delta Stamps 2009