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Post and Go Machines were introduced on 8th October 2008
when the first Office - The Galleries , Bristol became operational. The machines
allow the weighing of items and production of point of sale Postage Labels which
are on self adhesive paper. Two types of Postage Label can be dispensed by the
machine - one on a blank base label which is for a specific weighed item and
is produced with a 'Post By' printed date. The labels also carry a service indicator
such as 'A', '2L', '2LL', '1LL', '1PK', etc and the postage amount paid.
The second type is on a preprinted label (an example appears below and was known
as a Faststamp) and could have one of five selectable NVI value rates. Strips
of up to five labels could be dispensed at once (any combination of values).
The Faststamps are not tied to a 'Post By' date. The Point of Sale machines
print is produced using a thermal printer :-
In February 2013 a Cyan / Blue coloured Machin Head label
was introduced for vending second class rates - 2nd and 2nd Large. These labels
had a year code - MA12 in the wavyline 'ROYAL MAIL' text just in front of the
Queens forehead. In July 2013 the olive brown Machin Label was issued with the
year code MA13 - again just in front of the Queens forehead.
Cyan - for second class tariff rates with
year code - 'CLI6S'
~wavyline text now includes '2nd CLASS'
Originally, the text occupied a balanced image area
to the left of the Queens portrait. With the introduction of the 'Birds' pictorial
Post and Go labels it was necessary to modify the machines software to cater
for the new design which occupied a good half of the label. Thus the Point of
Sale text had to be compacted and centred on the left hand side. Apparently,
this software change could not be carried out remotely and an engineer had to
attend site to upgrade each machine. As a consequence, some machines were modified
prior to the 'Birds' introduction date of 17th September 2010, resulting in
the Machin design label being used with the revised 'compact' point of sale
During 2014, new models of Post &
Go machines were installed throughout the Post Office network and these replaced
existing Wincor kit. The new generation machines are manufactured by NCR. The
main features include :-
During late 2016, the NCR Post & Go machines were
upgraded to include a third printer. This third printer produced a new style
of Open Value label akin to the prevailing Horizon labels. The new style of
Open Value labels was larger and they were vended for items over 100g. The labels
have a hidden date code MAI6
which occurs just behind the band of the Queens diadem. The labels don't
carry phosphor bands and don't have die cut perforations.
A new type of printer was used to produce the Post &
Go labels at the Stampex exhibition in February 2011. This produced the Type
II - Compact text albeit with a slightly 'taller' typeface. The second line
starting with 'Up to' has the 'U' in uppercase for Type I Text original typeface,
whilst the 'u' is lowercase for Type II Text.
The Hytech print used a variant of Type II Text - notice
the '20g' elements on the line below 'Europe'; and the code line - the second
group has 2 digits (was 1), the third group has 6 digits (was 5) (see table
* The Type IIa Text variant produced by RM Series I machines
first appeared at Autumn Stampex 2012, however, the Machin label version was
not issued until November 2012. The text is broadly the same, however, the code
line used an alpha numeric first group (see table below).
** The Type IIb Text variant produced by RM Series II
machines first appeared at Spring Stampex 2014 and used a new IAR printer. These
had a special 'Stampex 2014' text overprint; those with standard text (as above)
were available at Salisbury Stamp Show March 2014. Again, the text is broadly
the same, however, the code line changed - the second group is four characters
and the third group is reduced to four digits (see table below).
The four code blocks produced as the bottom line on the
label start with the Branch Office code number.
5-6 Princes Mall,
These have consisted of six different designs per issue
(four different designs for some Christmas issues - two for second Class and
two for first class). The reason for having six relates to the printing cylinder
circumference which was set for eighteen images per column. Since the Wincor
Post and Go machines have an automatic cut set at a maximum of five it means
continuous strips of the six different designs cannot be obtained (the Exhibition
machines at the Royal Mail stand at Stampex, etc do vend strips of six). The
Wincor machines were modified when the Worldwide 40g tariff rate was introduced
giving 'collectors' strips consisting of two strips of three.
Robin (as Birds I) with
year code - 'MAI2'
Robin (as Birds I) with
year code - 'MAI3'
When the Pictorial Label Faststamps have been exhausted
the standard Machin or Union Flag version will be vended from the Post and Go
Freshwater III (Rivers)