Machin News - Issues in [2014]


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2014 Summary

Date Issue Source Value Printer
19th Feb Machin Post & Go Stampex overprint Post & Go   Walsall
19th Feb Flora I - Spring Blooms; six designs Post & Go   Walsall
20th Feb Custom Booklet - Football Heroes No 2
Custom Booklet 6x1st Walsall
  Classic Locomotives Prestige Booklet £13.97 Enschedé
26th Mar Machin Definitives: 81p, 97p, £1.47 and £2.15 Counter Sheets   De La Rue
  Country Definitives: 97p Counter Sheets   Cartor
31st Mar Post & Go - Tariff Change
WW 10g and WW 40g replaced by
Europe 60g and WW 60g rates
Post & Go   Walsall
15th Apr Buckingham Palace Prestige Booklet £11.39 Enschedé
  Buckingham Palace
Custom Booklet 6x1st Walsall
28th Apr BPMA Post & Go - Tariff Correction
Europe 20g changed to Euro 20g/World 10g
Post & Go   Walsall
5th Jun NCR Post & Go - Tariff Correction
Europe 20g changed to Euro 20g/World 10g
Post & Go   Walsall
17th Jul Commonwealth Games Custom Booklet 6x1st Walsall
28th Jul Great War Prestige Booklet £11.30 Enschedé
31st Jul Cover Changes - phone numbers Retail Booklets,
Business Sheets
7th Aug PhilaKorea Stamp Exhibition overprint Post & Go   Walsall
18th Aug Sustainable Fish Custom Booklet 6x1st Walsall
17th Sep Flora II - Symbolic Flowers; six designs Post & Go   Walsall
18th Sep Classic Locomotives Wales Custom Booklet 6x1st Walsall
13th Nov Flora III - Winter Greenery; two designs for second class and two designs for first class Post & Go   Walsall


2014 General Notes

Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) codes are allocated on a company by company basis. The four current printers hold the following FSC codes :-

FSC Code
De La Rue

International Security Printers is a group name that includes Cartor and Walsall. Thus, when this is quoted by Royal Mail, the FSC code needs to be referred to in order to determine the printer in the group that actually printed the product.

Hidden Year Codes in ROYAL MAIL wavyline text. At Spring Stampex 2014, Royal Mail confirmed that all the printers should now be adhering to standard formats for the 'hidden' year codes. These are :-

Year Code Format
Standard (small) Definitive
Large Definitive; Post & Go

Walsall Security Printers (part of the International Security Printers group) have relocated from their previous Walsall location to a new larger purpose built site in the Wolverhampton area. This site is now up and running. As part of the relocation, a new gravure printing press has been installed, replacing the two Chesnut presses at the old site. The new press - a Cerutti R981 has ten print units and uses larger print cylinders than the old Chesnut presses and so forthcoming printings will probably result in new cylinder number combinations for Retail Booklets. Hopefully, we can expect to see better colour registration on new printings such as the custom retail booklets. The Queen officially opened Walsall's printing facility on 30th October 2014.

Walsall's new Cerutti R981 press
Printed Jumbo Rolls before conversion into booklets

The Wincor Nixdorf Post & Go machines installed in Post Offices are to be replaced. The new generation machines are manufactured by NCR and will handle both 2nd and 1st class tariffs. The first office to have the new NCR machines installed, was Harpenden in Hertfordshire from 28th February 2014. See the entry under February 2014.

The Post & Go machines that are used at exhibitions are new models - Spring Stampex 2014 being their first outing. Three versions of exhibition machine have now been used and these will now be referred to as follows :-

New Designation Old Designation First Usage
Hytech Hytech Spring Stampex 2011
RM Series I Hytech v2 Autumn Stampex 2012
RM Series II n/a Spring Stampex 2014

Click Link to information on Cyl blocks here for information and descriptions for identifying the three types and how they compare with the Wincor Nixdorf machines.

The supplier of the RM Series II machines has a web site at :-

Click here to link into the Post & Go Machine Supplier site

The BPMA upgraded to a RM Series II Post & Go machine on Monday 24th March 2014.

Its planned for the Machin Horizon label to be redesigned. Its believed the 'gold' colour will dropped and that the design will be closer to that of the Machin Post & Go labels. The label will still be the same size as at present as this is determined by the present printers. The new design may be issued early 2015.

Looking further ahead, the self adhesive stamp substrate will be modified to include a new security feature. This is likely to be a text underprint that will appear between the stamp and the backing paper.

February 2014

Spring Stampex was held between 19th and 22nd February 2014. A new Post & Go Machin label overprint was used for the exhibition, the text being 'Stampex 2014 19-22 February'. Both 'MAIL' (no year code) and MAI3 were vended during the show. The Post & Go machines at the show were new and these produced different coding on the bottom line, leading with the code block 'B2GB14' followed by 'A005' ('A005' being the machine number).

without year code
with year code MAI3

One hundred years ago - 1914 was the year when the first Postage Due stamps were introduced. The Post & Go machine at the BPMA will mark this anniversary with a new overprint - 'The BPMA Postage Due 1914'. These were available between 19th February and 25th April 2014 (extended from 5th April). Both the Machin Head and Union Flag labels carried the overprint. Additionally, 'MAIL' (no year code) and MAI3 were vended for both designs. In visiting, it was pot luck what rolls were loaded at any point in time.

without year code
with year code MAI3

The first of a new series of Pictorial Post & Go labels were issued on 19th February 2014 (some reports gave 21st February). For 2014, the series is Flora with this first issue featuring Spring Blooms and includes the Snowdrop, Primrose, Dog Violet, Lesser Celandine, Wild Daffodil and Blackthorn. The wavyline 'ROYAL MAIL' text carries the 'hidden' year code MAI4. The standard six tariff rate values was in use again. A philatelic carrier card (code : P&G14) containing each of the six designs, all with a 1st Class face value was produced ~ these had the text printed by thermal printer - Office Code : A2GB14 C2 (Note - these are not RM series II printed).

A Classic Locomotives of Wales minisheet was issued on 20th February 2014, In association with this, a Prestige Stamp Booklet entitled Classic Locomotives of the United Kingdom was issued on the same day. This was priced at £13.97, contain five panes and produced by Enschedé (FSC code C017480). The Machin pane (pane 1) contains 2x2p, 2x5p and 4x1st Country Pictorial stamps. The Machin stamps have the iridescent codes of 'MPIL' and 'MI3L'. The corresponding custom booklet will be issued later in the year.

The Football Heroes No.2 Custom Retail Booklet was issued on 20th February 2014. The booklets were printed by Walsall (FSC code C023216). The two 1st class NVI special issue stamps will feature John Charles (of Wales) and Dave Mackay (of Scotland). The 4x1st class NVI Royal Mail Red stamps have the iridescent codes of 'MCIL' and 'MI3L'.

The first Post Office to have the new generation NCR Post & Go machines was Harpenden, Hertfordshire and came online 28th February 2014. The new machines will vend both the eight fixed tariff rates (as present Wincor but with the addition of two second class rates) and Open Value labels. The Open Values will be on preprinted labels (Machin Head presently, but presumably Union Flag, Flowers, etc in the future) with point of sale text including tariff rate, postage paid, weight and destination post code. Thus, the labels will be like the Horizon labels, where nearly any value is possible.

Open Value Second Class
2LG - second class large letter
Open Value First Class
1L basic first class letter
Fixed Values - second class
Fixed Values- first class

For further information on Post & Go Labels - Click Latest Machin News here.

March 2014

Installation of NCR Post & Go machines is underway - Offices with them (or getting them) include Leighton Buzzard, Grantham, Kettering and Muswell Hill.

The Salisbury Stamp Show was held between 14-15th March 2014. RM Series II Post & Go machines were vending both the Machin and Union Flag labels (both were produced without and with date codes). This was the first appearance of the Machin RM Series II print with standard text (previously, they had 'Stampex 2014' overprint)

without year code
with year code MAI3

New Machin definitives in respect of the tariff rate change at the end of March were issued on 26th March 2014. They include :-

81p Holly Green
97p Purple Heather
  Value Colour
  81p Holly Green
Counter Sheet
De La Rue
New colour; MI4L
  97p Purple Heather     New colour; MI4L
  £1.47 Dove Grey     New value; MI4L
  £2.15 Marine Turquoise     New value; MI4L

Also, 97p Country Pictorial values were issued for the four Country designs. As is the practise, these take the design of the prevailing 88p values (Oak Tree, Linen, Thistle and Daffodil) which will be dropped. The new 97p values were printed by Cartor in Litho.

A tariff rate change occurred on 31st March 2014. Among the changes, basic second class rose from 50p to 53p and basic first class from 60p to 62p.

Also, the Post & Go standard tariff rates changed - both Worldwide 10g and Worldwide 40g were dropped. These were replaced by new rates - Europe 60g and Worldwide 60g. This change has yielded a whole host of Design / Tariff Rate / Machine Type / Year Code combinations - some of which may be quite scarce.

Europe 60g
Worldwide 60g

Rate Old Price 31st Mar 2014 increase
Second class
First class
Large Second class
Large First class
Europe (20 gms)
Europe (40 gms)
Rate dropped
Europe (60 gms)
Worldwide Postcard (10 gms)
97p *
Worldwide (20 gms)
Worldwide (40 gms)
Rate dropped
Worldwide (60 gms)
Royal Mail Signed For First
Royal Mail Signed For Large
Special Delivery (to 100g)
Special Delivery (to 500g)
* This rate was not included on the Royal Mail 2014 Price Card - 'Our prices'.

April 2014

The 85th Scottish Philatelic Congress was held on 11-12th April 2014. RM Series II Post & Go machines vended Machin and Flag labels. These included a special overprint with '85th Scottish Congress 2014'.

A set of Special Issue stamps featuring Buckingham Palace were issued on 15th April 2014. Associated with this set were a Prestige Stamp Booklet and Custom Retail Booklet.

The Machin pane (pane 3) in the Prestige Booklet contains 2x10p, 4x20p and 2x£1 Wood brown. The Machin stamps have the iridescent codes of 'MPIL' and 'MI4L'. All panes are printed in Litho and the complete booklet was produced by Enschedé and was sold at £11.39.

The Buckingham Palace Custom Retail Booklets were printed by Walsall (FSC code C023216) with the side tab reading Buckingham Palace. The two 1st class NVI special issue stamps feature interiors of Buckingham Palace. The 4x1st class NVI Royal Mail Red stamps have the iridescent codes of 'MCIL' and 'MI4L'.

While it had been intended to drop the Worldwide 10g rate (this rate was not included on the 2014 Price Card - 'Our prices') Royal Mail have in fact retained the rate step with a price of 97p. This is the same as the Europe 20g rate. As a consequence, the Post & Go 'Europe 20g' label text will be modified to 'Euro 20g/World 10g'. This only occurred for the BPMA machine from 28th April 2014 (this coincided with the change dropping the 'Postage Due' additional text).

May 2014

NCR Post & Go machines vending the Flora I - Spring Blooms labels started to appear during May 2014. The first locations included Cambridge and Nailsea. The roll sizes for the first class and second class tariff services differ so that office staff should not be able to inadvertently load the wrong roll. Additionally, the first class NCR roll size is different from those for the Wincor machines. Thus, this should mean 'old stock' such as the Farm Animals shouldn't start turning up from NCR machines (however, this can circumvented). In the case of the Flora I - Spring Blooms, they were the current issue and a stock of these rolls were produced in the larger size for NCR machines.

June 2014

The NCR Post & Go machines had a software upgrade on 5th June 2014. This included the correction for the 'Europe 20g' rate text to 'Euro / World 10g' (the BPMA machine had the correction made on 28th April 2014). Both Machin (with year code MAI3) and Flora I - Spring Bloom labels have been reported. Its believed the Wincor machines will not be modified.

July 2014

A Philatelic Carrier Card / Collectors Pack containing Open Value Post & Go labels was issued on 7th July 2014. Five Open Values were in the pack namely : Second Class (2L), Second Class Large (2LG), First Class (1L), First Class Large (1LG) and Airmail (A). The first class labels (olive brown) have no year code and the second class (cyan) are MAI2. These labels mimic output from NCR machines but have in fact been produced as 'Specials' with office code 'B7GB14' and machine code 'C001' and transaction number 015 for all five labels - the print may not be produced by thermal printer. The pack is numbered 15 and was priced at £3.78.

'A' rate Open Value from Philatelic Carrier Card No. 15

A 6x1st Custom Retail Booklet was issued on 17th July 2014 to accompany the Glasgow Commonwealth Games Special Issue. The booklets were printed by Walsall (FSC code C023216) with the side tab reading Glasgow 2014 XX Commonwealth Games. Both the 1st class NVI special issue stamps use the same design featuring swimming. The 4x1st class NVI Royal Mail Red stamps have the iridescent codes of 'MCIL' and 'MI4L'.

The York Stamp and Coin Fair was held on 18-19th July 2014. RM Series II Post & Go machines were vending Machin and Flag labels. This was the first time the new tariff rates - Euro 20g / World 10g, Europe 60g and Worldwide 60g appeared without a special overprint from these machines. The text 'World 10g' is no longer bold (as was the BPMA issue - see April entry) making it more like the NCR equivalent (see June entry). The Office Code Id was 'B7GB14'.

Machin (no year code)
Union Flag
No Year
Year MAI3
including Euro 20g / World 10g
  Union Flag
including Euro 20g / World 10g

A set of Special Issue stamps commemorating the Great War were issued on 28th July 2014 with a prestige booklet produced by Enschedé and priced at £11.30 accompanying the issue. The Machin pane (pane 4) contains 2x10p and 2x20p Machin stamps along with 4x1st Country Pictorials - one design for each country. A second pane (pane 3) carries a £1 wood brown Machin stamp surrounded by eight King George V One Penny red stamp facsimiles (only the central £1 stamp is perforated on this pane). The Machin stamps have the iridescent codes of 'MPIL' and 'MI4L'.

A permanent Post & Go RM Series II machine was installed at the Royal Navy Museum in the Historic Dockyard in Portsmouth. The first day was the 28th July 2014 vending Machin and Union Flag labels (both labels without year codes). The labels do in fact carry an inscription - 'The NMRN'.

The NMRN Machin (no year code)
The NMRN Union Flag (no year code)

Note: this is the first Royal Mail machine to be installed as a 'none philatelic' kiosk. Its likely other types of venue will have Royal Mail machines over time. The Post Office (a separate company) will continue expanding their network with NCR machines which offer a wider range of services.

Minor changes to covers were introduced for all Retail Booklets and Business Sheets from the 31st July 2014. The change is to the STD code of the telephone / text number - 08457 and 08456 becomes 03457 and 03456 respectively. In the case of Business Sheets, only the STD code for the text number has changed. This was first the time some of these formats appeared with the I4 year codes (e.g 4x2nd Large and 4x1st Large).

Retail Booklets
ex 50x2nd Large Business Sheet (bottom code change)
  Format Source
Source Code
  6x1st Retail Booklet
  4x2nd Large  
  4x1st Large  
  100x2nd Business Sheet
  50x2nd Large  
  50x1st Large  

August 2014

PhilaKorea Stamp Exhibition was held in Seoul, Korea between 7th and 12th August 2014. Royal Mail attended with RM Series II Post & Go vending machines. The Machin and Union Flag Post & Go labels were vended with a special PhilaKorea overprint. As with the Melbourne Exhibition last year, two versions were available, one at the exhibition in Seoul and the other from Tallents House (the Philatelic Bureau). Both the Korean and Tallents House versions have been found with no year codes and year code MAI3 on the Machin labels. The Tallents House versions have been found with no year codes and year code MAI3 on the Union Flag labels, while the Korean version has no year code.

PhilaKorea 2014 - World Stamp Expo
Image - ex Tallents House versions
(the Korean printed labels used an office code B8KR14)
Machin - no year code
Union Flag - no year code

A 6x1st Custom Retail Booklet associated with the Sustainable Fish special issue (5th June 2014) was issued on 18th August 2014. Presumably, there is a rational as to why these custom retail booklet issues do not coincide with the corresponding Special Issue - maybe the rational is, there is no rational. The two 1st class NVI special issue stamps feature the Common Skate and Cornish Sardine respectively. The 4x1st class NVI Royal Mail Red stamps have the iridescent codes of 'MCIL' and 'MI4L'. The covers carry the new STD codes starting '0345' as described for the 31st July 2014 Retail Booklet issues.

The BPMA mark the '80th Anniversary of Inland Airmail' between 20th August and 20th October 2014 with a special overprint on their Post & Go machine. Labels carry a modified text including 'Inland Airmail 1934' plus an 'Airmail' logo. The machine vends second class Machin labels (bright blue - year code MAI2) from one roll and first class Machin labels (olive brown - no year code 'MAIL' and year code MAI3 have been available) from the other. A second class collectors strip of six consisted of 3x2nd and 3x2nd Large was available for a few days only. Subsequently, the machine software was modified to vend just a strip two - 2nd and 2nd Large.

The BPMA Inland Airmail 1934
Second Class - MAI2
First Class - no year code

September 2014

Autumn Stampex - the second Post & Go set of the British Flora series labels were issued on 17th September 2014 and at Post Offices generally. The theme was Symbolic Flowers and featured Forget-me-not, Common Poppy, Dog Rose, Spear Thistle, Heather and Cultivated Flax designs.

Additionally, the Common Poppy version, to be issued from single design rolls (21st Oct 2014) was vended with a special overprint text - 'First World War Centenary'.

A custom retail booklet - Classic Locomotives of Wales was issued on 18th September 2014. Both the 1st class NVI special issue stamps used the same design featuring the LMS No 7720 Loco. The 4x1st class NVI Royal Mail Red stamps have the iridescent codes of 'MCIL' and 'MI4L'. This booklet was printed earlier in the year and so still had the old telephone STD code numbers starting 0845.

October 2014

The Common Poppy Post & Go design from the British Flora II series was issued from single design rolls (as with the Christmas Robin in previous years) on 21st October 2014. These were part of the Great War commemoration and should be available until 12th November 2014.

The Post & Go Machine at the Royal Navy Museum vended a special overprint to mark Trafalgar Day in October 2014. The Union Flag design carried the additional text 'Trafalgar Day'. The first day of sale was 21st October 2014 and will be available until 10th November 2014.

Concurrently, the Machin design will be replaced with the rolls of Poppy design and these will carry 'The NMRN' tag and 'Remembrance'.

The BPMA machine vended the Poppy design with 'The BPMA' overprint from 21st October 2014 until the 12th November 2014.

November 2014

Two Christmas Retail Booklets were issued on 4th November 2014. These contained 12x2nd NVI (£6.36) and 12x1st NVI (£7.44) Christmas stamps respectively. These booklets were produced by Walsall and printed on self adhesive paper.

Value Stamp Design Printer Method
12x2nd NVI Christmas Tree Walsall Gravure
12x1st NVI Post Box    

The third set of the British Flora Post & Go series labels was issued on 13th November 2014. These took the theme Winter Greenery and featured just four designs. Two serviced the second class tariff rate - Mistletoe and Common Ivy (with one phosphor band), while the other two serviced the first class tariff rate - Holly and Butcher's Broom (with two phosphor bands). Examples of rolls being loaded 'incorrectly', so that the second class designs are printed with first class rates, are known. A Carrier Card with code P&G17 and containing the four different values was available - priced at £2.81. No new 'Christmas Robin' Post & Go labels for 2014 were issued as the Winter Greenery were current throughout the Christmas period (some offices vended the Robin from previous years stock).

A Generic Smilers Sheet containing 20x1st firework 'Smilers' stamps was issued on 19th November 2014 - priced at £12.90, to mark next years Chinese New Year - Year of the Sheep. The sheet was produced by Cartor and printed in Litho. This was the fourth in the series of the Chinese New Year generic sheets.

December 2014

Two RM Series II machines will be in operation for the Christmas period. These will be located at Crewe and Bradford North. The first day will be 3rd December 2014 and they will be in operation to the end of January 2015. The machines will be vending the Winter Greenery designs.


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