Machin News - Issues in [2012]


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2012 Summary

Date Issue Source Value Printer
5th Jan

London 2012 Olympics - definitive sized

Counter Sheets 1st De La Rue
  London 2012 Paralympics - definitive sized Counter Sheets 1st De La Rue
  London 2012 Olympics- definitive sized Counter Sheets Worldwide De La Rue
  London 2012 Paralympics- definitive sized Counter Sheets Worldwide De La Rue
  London 2012 Olympic / Paralympics Custom Retail Bkt
Vision Label
6x1st Walsall
  London 2012 Olympic / Paralympics Custom Retail Bkt
Key dates Label
6x1st Walsall
10th Jan Roald Dahl Prestige Booklet £11.47 Cartor
6th Feb Queens Diamond Jubilee definitive Counter Sheets 1st De La Rue
  Queens Diamond Jubilee definitive Business Sheet 100x1st De La Rue
  Queens Diamond Jubilee definitive Retail Booklet 12x1st Walsall
  Queens Diamond Jubilee Minisheet 6x1st Walsall
22nd Feb Machin 'Diamond Jubilee' overprint
~ available at Stampex
Post & Go    
24th Feb Farm Animals 1 - Sheep Post & Go   Walsall
24th Apr Farm Animals 2 - Pigs Post & Go   Walsall
25th Apr 87p, 1.28 and 1.90 Self Adhesive Definitives Counter Sheets   De La Rue
  87p and 1.28 Country Pictorials Counter Sheets   Cartor
  Queens Diamond Jubilee Large definitive * Counter Sheets 1st L De La Rue
  Queens Diamond Jubilee Large definitive * Business Sheet 50x1st L Walsall
  Queens Diamond Jubilee Large definitive * Retail Booklet 4x1st L Walsall
  * Official Date of Issue, were available prior to this date
30th April Price increase - 46p to 60p [1st], etc      
21st May Union Flag Post & Go   Walsall
31st May Queens Diamond Jubilee Custom Retail Bkt 6x1st Walsall
  Queens Diamond Jubilee Prestige Booklet £12.77 Walsall
27th Jun 2nd and 1st Scotland Country Pictorials Counter Sheets   Cartor
27th Jul London 2012 Olympics Prestige Booklet £10.71  
27th Sep Classic Locos - Scotland Custom Retail Bkt 6x1st Walsall
28th Sep Farm Animals 3 - Cattle Post & Go    
1st Oct Queens Diamond Jubilee definitive Retail Bkt 6x1st Walsall
23rd Oct Lest we Forget - definitive sized Counter Sheets 1st Walsall

2012 General Notes

The contract for Business Sheets and Horizon Labels passed from De La Rue to Walsall from the start of 2012 (the first Horizon Label printings from the new printer are likely to appear mid year). Stamp Rolls (Coils) printings will be made by Enschedé. Enschedé have also been awarded the contract for printing Minisheets (its unclear when this is effective from).

Now that the practise of having a Company Imprint has been discontinued from Business Sheets, Booklets, etc determining the printer can be made by reference to the FSC codes which are allocated on a company by company basis. The three current printers have the following FSC codes :-

FSC Code
De La Rue

As an example the Diamond Jubilee 100x1st Business Sheet has been printed by both De La Rue and Walsall with the top panels carrying the two different FSC codes (De La Rue : C020244, Walsall : C023216).

It was announced during 2011 that De La Rue is to close the Dunstable printing facility and relocate north to Gateshead, Tyne and Wear. Its still unclear when the actual move will take placed (as of December 2012), but everything is meant to be completed by early 2013. Information received, suggests the Christmas 2012 stamps were printed at Dunstable (these seem to have had July/August printing dates). Christmas 2012 booklets were produced by Walsall.

January 2012

2012 is Olympics year and a raft of associated material is to be issued. At the beginning of the year on 5th January 2012 we have the issue of 'Olympics Definitive Stamps' in two different designs and two NVI values - 1st and Worldwide 20g. These are Gravure printings on Self Adhesive paper and the two phosphor bands are gradated :-

1st NVI
Worldwide 20g NVI

  Value Design
  1st NVI Olympic
De La Rue
50 per sheet;
Mix of both designs
  1st NVI Paralympic      
  Worldwide to 20g * Olympic
De La Rue
25 per sheet;
Mix of both designs
  Worldwide to 20g * Paralympic      
  * The colour of the Worldwide 20g is primarily blue and does not correspond to the Machin Head Worldwide 20g version (which is purple). Blue was originally used for Europe 40g rate.

An associated presentation pack (Pack No 92) accompanied this issue priced at £3.65.

London 2012
  Value Design
6x1st 3xOlympic
Union Flag cover
Key Dates Label
  6x1st 3xOlympic
  Union Flag cover
London Vision Label

The first Prestige Booklet of the year was issued on 10 January 2012 priced at £11.47. The theme of the booklet was the story telling of Roald Dahl and was produced by Cartor with the Special Issue panes being printed in litho. The Machin pane was printed in Gravure on normal gummed paper and is APS perforated. It contains 4x68p, 2x10p and 2x2p with the 68p values having the Hidden codes - 'MPIL' above the Queens diadem and Year code 'MIIL' (not a 12 year code) appears in front of the front cross of the Queens diadem. The Machin pane was a Walsall printing.

Roald Dahl

A generic sheet containing 20x1st firework Smilers will be issued n 20th January 2012 to mark the Chinese New Year. The sheet is produced by Cartor and printed in Litho. This is likely to be an annual issue.

The 12x2nd retail booklet has been reprinted with the new year code for 2012. The Hidden codes are 'MTIL' above the Queens diadem and Year code 'MI2L'. Discovered late January.

February 2012

A new colour for the 1st class NVI Machin definitive in respect of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee was issued on 6th February 2012. The 1st class NVI 'Gold' colour has been dropped in favour of a metallic grey-blue colour (similar to the £5) called diamond blue. All prevailing products that were in 1st class NVI 'Gold' will be reissued in this new colour for the duration of the year. Additionally, the iridescent overprint has been changed to 'DIAMOND JUBILEE'. The first printings of the new colour include :-

1st Diamond Blue
  Value Colour
1st NVI Diamond Blue
'Diamond Jubilee' overprint
  12x1st NVI  
'Diamond Jubilee' overprint
  100x1st NVI  
Business sht
'Diamond Jubilee' overprint

The value tablet on all three printings is set much lower than on the Gold printings. The iridescent Hidden source code occurs behind the top of the Queens hair bun - 'MOND' of DIAMOND is changed to 'MTND' in the case of booklets of 12 and 'MBND' for business sheets. A year code is NOT present. All three printings have the FSC logo.

A Diamond Jubilee minisheet was also issued on 6th February 2012 - priced at £2.76. It featured a new Wilding design and Machin in Diamond Blue, two banknote portrait stamps (from £1 and £5 notes) and two coin portrait stamps (£.s.d and early decimal). The minisheet was produced by Walsall and printed in Gravure on normal PVA gummed paper. The Hidden iridescent source code is 'MMND' for the Machin design. An associated presentation pack (Pack No 93) containing the minisheet accompanied this issue priced at £3.30.

A Post & Go Stampex special was available between 22nd and 25th February 2012. This used the Machin Post & Go design and had a 'Diamond Jubilee 1952-2012' overprint. As with Autumn 2011 Stampex when the Machin birth centenary Post & Go overprint was 'issued without notice' there was no advanced publicity for this issue either.

A new series of Post & Go machine labels was introduced on the 24th February 2012. The series subject is farm animals and the first set of six designs feature sheep breeds (Welsh Mountain Badger Face, Dalesbred, Jacob, Suffolk, Soay and Leicester Longwool). Pigs and Cattle will follow on during the year (April and September).

March 2012

100x2nd Business sheets started to appear in early March 2012 with the top panel changed to include the FSC logo - code C023216. The stamps have the hidden year code 'MI2L'. Interestingly, the printing date (19/01/12 seen) on the reverse of the top panel is printed vertically - which is consistent with previous Walsall printings.

The 1st Class Large NVI definitives printed in diamond blue had originally been scheduled for issue on 27th March 2012. However, as the announcement of the tariff rate changes was delayed these were rescheduled for issue on 25th April 2012 (see April entry). Some were pre-released in March 2012.

April 2012

The second in the series of Farm Animals Post & Go machine labels was issued on the 24th April 2012. These feature six pig breeds (Berkshire, Gloucester Old Spot, Oxford Sandy and Black, Welsh, Tamworth and British Saddleback).

Three new tariff rate values were issued on the 25th April 2012 in respect of the April 2012 price rises. These new rate values are self adhesive printings and have the iridescent overprint (year code 'MI2L') and four 'U' shaped die cuts. The 87p, £1.28 and £1.90 are laid down on separate / individual primary sheets which gives all 12 cylinder grid positions for each value. Cylinder numbers are all D1. The three new Machin definitives are as follows :-

  Value Colour Printer Method
  87p Orange De La Rue Gravure
12 Cyl grid positions
  £1.28 Emerald green       12 Cyl grid positions
  £1.90 Rhododendron       12 Cyl grid positions

The Official FDC dated 25th April 2012 included four self adhesive stamps - 87p, £1.28, £1.90 and 1st Large diamond blue and was priced at £4.80. To facilitate this, the printers produced a special 'coil' version of the stamps and these were sideways printed (this is not the first time these special 'coils' have been manufactured for FDC's where self adhesive stamps are required; e.g 17th Feb 2009 official covers).

An associated presentation pack (Pack No 94) accompanied this issue priced at £5.80. It includes 5 stamps - 87p, £1.28, £1.90, 1st NVI Diamond blue and 1st Large NVI Diamond blue.

In conjunction to the National definitives, Country Pictorial definitives were also issued on the 25th April 2012 for the 87p and £1.28 values. These are Cartor printings by Litho and are on normal gummed paper. An associated presentation pack (Pack No 95) was also issued containing the 8 new country stamps priced at £9.10.

Also, the official date of issue of the 1st Large Diamond Blue NVI was 25th April 2012. These came from three sources including :-

  Value Colour
  1st Large NVI * Diamond Blue
De La Rue
'Diamond Jubilee'
  50x1st Large NVI * Diamond Blue
Business Sht
'Diamond Jubilee'
  4x1st Large NVI * Diamond Blue
'Diamond Jubilee'
  * These three issues were available prior to the official date of issue from many offices. Indeed, some were found in early March 2012.

The iridescent Hidden source code occurs behind the top of the Queens hair bun changing 'LEE' of JUBILEE - 'LBE' in the case of business sheets ; 'LFE' in the case of booklets of 4.

Hefty Tariff Rate changes were announced on 27th March 2012. The Second Class rate rises by 14p from 36p to 50p while the First Class rate rises by a similar amount of 14p from 46p to 60p. These rises came into effect on 30th April 2012.

Rate Old Price New Price
Second class
First class
Large Second class
Large First class
Europe (20 gms)
Europe (40 gms)
Worldwide Postcard
Worldwide (20 gms)
Worldwide (40 gms)
Recorded First
Recorded First Large
Special Delivery (to 100g)
Special Delivery (to 500g)

May 2012

In respect of 'Major Events during Summer 2012' a new Post & Go machine label design was issued on 21st May 2012. This is a single design featuring the Union Flag and will be vended until the Farms Animals series featuring cattle continues in September 2012.

A special issue set to mark the Queens Diamond Jubilee was issued on 31st May 2012. Accompanying this issue, was an associated Prestige Booklet priced at £12.77 (the Machin pane contains 4x1st NVI Diamond Blue (the Hidden iridescent source code is 'MPND') and 4x1st NVI Wilding - same design as the Diamond Jubilee Minisheet and is printed in gravure on normal gummed paper). The booklet was produced by Cartor (FSC C00572 on back cover) with the panes being printed in Gravure by Walsall.

Diamond Jubilee

Additionally, a Custom Retail booklet priced at £3.60 (this is the first Custom booklet of the year and contains 4x1st Diamond Blue NVI (the Hidden iridescent source code is 'MCND') and 2x1st Diamond Jubilee Special Issue stamps) was issued on the same date. Again, the booklet was produced by Walsall.

Diamond Jubilee

June 2012

The first of the Cartor Litho printed NVI Country Pictorial definitives were issued on 27th June 2012. These were for the 2nd and 1st class NVI's for Scotland. In changing to Cartor, there were rumours that they would be self adhesive printings but in the event, they were on normal gummed paper. However, the sheet size contains 50 stamps (5 rows of 10) which differs from prevailing 87p and £1.28 values which were sheets of 25 Both values are printed from the same plates - the '2nd' are printed on the right hand side, while the '1st' are printed on the left hand side.

2nd Scotland
1st Scotland
  Value Country Design
Sheet size
  2nd Scotland Saltire
  1st Scotland Lion Rampant      

Self Adhesive rolls of 10,000x2nd intended for Bulk Mailers are now available (the 10,000x1st version is probably available also but has yet to be confirmed). The contract for producing these has now been taken over by Enschedé. They can be identified by the source code 'MRIL' and year code 'MAI2'; interestingly, all other standard sized definitives have the year code in the form 'MI2L'. Additionally, the backing / carrier paper is different - the colour is now pale bluish grey (this is similar to the backing paper used for retail coils sold in boxes of 100 and 200 back in the late 1990's).

2nd Coil MA12
2nd Coil MA12 Back
2nd back

Horizon Labels printed by Walsall are now being supplied to Post Office Counters. The new labels appear to be fairly close matches to their De La Rue counterparts. The two part counter label sets do not have serial numbers of the reverse.

Horizon 2012 Walsall
Horizon - Walsall Printing

July 2012

A London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic prestige booklet was issued on 27th July 2012 priced at £10.71 The booklet did not contain any Machin stamps, however, one pane had the definitive sized Olympic and Paralympic stamps first issued on 5th January 2012. The panes content was 6x1st and 2x Worldwide 20g Olympic and Paralympic designs.

September 2012

The Union Flag Post & Go design with the 'Diamond Jubilee 1952-2012' overprint were available during Autumn 2012 Stampex (26-29th September). The Stampex Post & Go machines were new (each machine can vend from two different reels) and produced revised overprint details - this occurs on the bottom line that provides the branch / transaction codes. These machines are known as RM Series I. As well as the Union Flag Diamond Jubilee Text, the Stampex machines were also vending the Union Flag design standard text and Farm Animals II - Pigs. The format of these codes can be seen on the Union Flag label below:-

RM Series I - Transaction Code A9GB12 A2-000234-28

A Classic Locomotives of Scotland custom retail booklet was issued on 27th September 2012. This tied in with the Classic Locomotives of Scotland minisheet issued early in the year in March 2012. As usual, the booklet was produced by Walsall and contained 4x1st Diamond Blue NVI (the Hidden iridescent source code is 'MCND') and 2x1st Classic Locomotive Special Issue stamps).

The third set of Post & Go Labels covering Farm Animals was issued on 28th September 2012. This set features six breeds of Cattle - Aberdeen Angus, Highland, Irish Moiled, Red Poll, Welsh Black and White Park.

October 2012

Belatedly, the 6x1st Retail Booklet containing the Queens Diamond Jubilee coloured definitives were scheduled for issue on 1st October 2012 - the actual date of issues is unclear and they may have been available earlier. This is another short lived booklet - see 2013 colour changes of the 1st NVI value below. The iridescent Hidden source code occurs behind the top of the Queens hair bun - 'MOND' of DIAMOND reads 'MSND'. The booklets were produced by Walsall on self adhesive paper.

The Lest we Forget commemoration for 2012 had a definitive sized poppy stamp issued on 23rd October 2012. These were issued in counter sheets of 50 (two panels of 25) from primary sheets of 100 and on self adhesive paper. The stamps were printed by Walsall in gravure. The design appears to be the same as was used for the definitive sized poppy stamp in the 'Business and Consumer' minisheet (normal gum) and generic sheet (self adhesive) in January 2010).

November 2012

Two Christmas Retail Booklets were issued on 6th November 2012. These contain 12x2nd NVI (£6.00) and 12x1st NVI (£7.20) Christmas stamps respectively. These booklets were produced by Walsall this year - traditionally, the Christmas booklet issue has been produced by De La Rue / Harrison.

Value Stamp Design Printer Method
12x2nd NVI Reindeer Walsall Gravure
12x1st NVI Father Christmas    

A Robin Post & Go Label (this design was used in the Birds I series - issued in Sep 2010) was available during the Christmas period. These were available from 6th November 2012, although this might not have been the case for all offices. The wavyline 'ROYAL MAIL' text includes a year code - 'MAI2'. This occurs roughly between the tariff rate (line 1) and weight (line 2) and towards the frame of the Robin image.

Two RM Series I machines were in operation at Camden Christmas Post Stop (North West London) between 16th November and 24th December 2012. These were vending the Robin (these were the only source of the Robin 'MAI2' code with RM Series I print) and Machin Head Post & Go Labels (this was the first time the Worldwide 40g rate has appeared with RM Series I print on the Machin Head); both of which could be purchased for the six different tariff rates in continuous strips of six. Note: these machines were not located in the Camden Post Office but at Camden Lock Market in the Stables Market area.

December 2012

The British Postal Museum and Archive had an operational RM Series I Post and Go machine from 3rd December 2012. The Post and Go labels exhibit a special overprint which includes 'The B.P.M.A.'. Initially, the Machin Head and Robin were vended and from Feb/March 2013 the Machin Head and Union Flag). Currently, its rumoured that the Special Pictorial sets will NOT be vended from the museum machine(s), this implies the Robin is not seen as a 'Special' and will be available annually.


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© Delta Stamps 2012