Machin News - Issues in [2015]

   

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2015 Summary

Date Issue Source Value Printer
6th Jan Alice in Wonderland Custom Booklet 6x1st Walsall
20th Jan Smilers 2015 Retail Booklet 12x1st Walsall
18th Feb Working Sail Post & Go   Walsall
19th Feb Inventive Britain Prestige Booklet £14.60 Cartor
24th March Machin Definitives: £1.33, £1.52 , £2.25, £2.45,
£3.15 and £3.30
Counter Sheets   De La Rue
  Country Definitives: £1 and £1.33 Counter Sheets   Cartor
30th March Europe 100g and Worldwide 100g Post & Go   Walsall
1st Apr Comedy Greats Custom Booklet 6x1st Walsall
6th May 175th Anniv. of Penny Black Minisheet 4x1st Cartor
  Penny Black Retail Booklet 6x1st Walsall
13th May Heraldic Beasts Post & Go   Walsall
14th May Great War 1915 Prestige Booklet £13.96 Cartor
18th Jun The Battle of Waterloo Prestige Booklet £14.47 Cartor
18th Aug Bees Custom Booklet 6x1st Walsall
9th Sep The Queen - Longest Reigning Monarch Counter Sheets 1st De La Rue
  1st, 1st, 1st Machin, £1.52, £1.52 Minisheet   (Walsall)
  Long to Reign Over Us Retail Booklet 6x1st Walsall
16th Sep Sea Travel Post & Go   Walsall
18th Sep Rugby World Cup Custom Booklet 6x1st Walsall
22nd Sep New design Horizon Labels Horizon Labels    
19th Oct Poppy (as last year) Post & Go   Walsall
16th Nov Winter Fur and Feathers Post & Go   Walsall
17th Dec The Making of Star Wars Prestige Booklet £16.99  

 



2015 General Notes

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

 
Company
FSC Code
 
Cartor
C100572
 
De La Rue
C020244
 
Enschedé
C017480
 
Walsall
C023216

International Security Printers (ISP) 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.


The Wincor Nixdorf Post & Go contract ends early in 2015 and so the few remaining machines still out there will have been removed by April.

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

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


Looking 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. This will now, probably be held over until 2016.


January 2015

A Custom Retail Booklet - 'Alice in Wonderland' was issued on 6th January 2015. The self adhesive booklets were printed by Walsall at their new site using the ten unit Cerutti R981 gravure press. The 4x1st class NVI Royal Mail Red stamps have the hidden iridescent codes of 'MCIL' and 'MI5L'. The two 1st class NVI special issue stamps feature Alice with Drink Me potion and Alice in the White Rabbit's House.

Alice in Wonderland Booklet Pane

The Royal Marines Museum in Southsea took delivery of a RM Series II Post & Go machine on 13th January 2015. The Post & Go labels include the additional text 'The RMM'. Initially, the machine vended the Machin and Union Flag designs.

Post & Go at the Royal Marines Museum - The RMM


Eight new first class NVI Smiler designs were issued on 20th January 2015. These were issued in Minisheets, Generic Sheets and Booklets (with ellipse perfs). The 12x1st NVI Smilers self adhesive retail booklets have Royal Mail Red covers. The booklets were printed by Walsall on the Cerutti gravure press. Four of the stamp designs in the booklet are duplicated to make up the twelve stamps.

The nearest Jumbo Roll is of Smilers 2015 before conversion into booklets
Smilers 2015 Booklet pane

February 2015

Two RM Series II machines were in operation at Crewe and Bradford North Enquiry Offices from December 2014. On 9th February 2014 these machines were replaced by two 'new' machines which are to be on trial for six months. These machines are the basic RM Series II machine with the addition of a Barcode reader. Additionally, software options allow customers to pay Postage Due and Customs Duty charges. Of note, the Post & Go labels carried Crewe or Bradford N(orth) strap lines below the tariff rate (this was removed with the tariff rate change on 30th March 2015). Both second (blue) and first class (olive brown) NVI labels are vended. Additionally, the bottom code line has the first block starting with the letter 'C' and the second block starting with the letter 'M'.

1st Class from Crewe Enquiry Office

The first of a new set of Pictorial Post & Go labels was issued on 18th February 2015. The theme for this issue was 'Working Sail' and featured six different water colour paintings. Designs included Pilot boat, Herring drifter, Humber sloop, Fifie, Grimsby smack and Smack. The wavyline 'ROYAL MAIL' text carried the 'hidden' year code MAI5. A Carrier Card with code P&G18 and containing the six different designs each with 1st class NVI rates, was available - priced at £3.72.


Spring Stampex was held between 18th and 21st February 2015. The RM Series II Post & Go machines at the show were vending Working Sail, Machin and Union Flag labels (Guernsey Post and Jersey Post labels were available also). Originally, the Machin labels were to include a 'Stampex' overprint strap, however, this was changed so that the Union Flag carried the 'Spring Stampex February 2015' overprint.


The BPMA will be marking the birth bicentenary of Anthony Trollope - the pillar box pioneer and novelist. In this conjunction, the RM Series II Post & Go machine at the museum will be vending a special overprint between the 18th February 2015 and 30th April 2015. The overprint will be applied to the Machin design only (second and first class NVI rates) and includes 'The BPMA - Trollope 200' text beside a pillar box graphic.

with year code MAI2
with year code MAI3

A Special Issue - 'Inventive Britain' was issued on 19th February 2015. In association with this, a Prestige Stamp Booklet entitled Inventive Britain was issued on the same day priced at £14.60. The Booklet was produced by Cartor and the panes were printed in Litho. The Machin pane (pane 1) contained 2x1p, 3x2p, 81p and 2x97p with the hidden iridescent codes of 'MPIL' and 'MI4L'. This pane continues the tradition of the 'Error'. This time its the use of an incorrect colour for the 81p value, it should be the prevailing colour of 'holly green', however, it uses the sea green / turquoise green colour (used previously on 20p, 47p, 64p, 81p (1st April 2008) and 68p values).

Inventive Britain - Machin Pane
81p ex Inventive Britain Pane
81p Standard Colour ex sheet

March 2015

Six new Machin values were issued on 24th March 2015 in respect of the tariff rate changes at the end of March. These include :-

  Value Colour
Source
Printer
Description
  £1.33 Amber Yellow
Counter Sheet
De La Rue
New value (first time in small format)
  £1.52 Orchid Mauve     New value
  £2.25 Plum Purple     New value
  £2.45 Spruce Green     New value
  £3.15 Aqua Green     New value
  £3.30 Rose Pink     New value

Also, two Country Pictorial values were issued for each of the four Countries. As is the practise, these take the design of the prevailing 97p and £1.28 values which were dropped. The new £1 (Oak Tree, Linen, Thistle and Daffodil) and £1.33 (Tudor Rose, Parian China, Tartan and Three Feathers) values were printed by Cartor in Litho.


The tariff rates changed on 30th March 2015. Among the changes, the basic second class rate rose from 53p to 54p and the basic first class rate rose from 62p to 63p.

Also, weight step changes were made, the Europe 60g and Worldwide 60g rates were abolished and replaced by new Europe 100g and Worldwide 100g rates. Obviously, these required changes to the Post & Go standard NVI tariff rates. Changes also occurred for the Post & Go Open Values including new groups for International Large Letter.

Rate Old Price 30th Mar 2015 increase
Second class
53p
54p
First class
62p
63p
Large Second class
73p
74p
Large First class
93p
95p
Europe (20 gms) World (10 gms)
97p
£1
Europe (60 gms)
£1.47
Rate dropped
Europe (100 gms)
n/a
£1.52
Worldwide (20 gms)
£1.28
£1.33
Worldwide (60 gms)
£2.15
Rate dropped
Worldwide (100 gms)
n/a
£2.25
Royal Mail Signed For First
£1.72
£1.73
Royal Mail Signed For Large
£2.03
£2.05
Special Delivery (to 100g)
£6.40
£6.45 
Special Delivery (to 500g)
£7.15
£7.25 

April 2015

To accompany the Comedy Greats issued on the 1st April 2015, a custom retail booklet was produced also. This was a self adhesive booklet printed by Walsall. The contents were 4x1st class NVI Royal Mail Red Machin stamps and two 1st class NVI special issue stamps - one featuring Norman Wisdom and the other featuring Morecambe and Wise.

Comedy Greats Booklet Pane

The Fleet Air Arm Museum in Yeovilton, Somerset will be the latest museum to have a RM Series II Post & Go machine. The machine went live on 14th April 2015 and the Post & Go labels vended were :-

Design
Text
Logo
Machin
The FAAM
Fleet Air Arm *
Union Flag
The FAAM
None
* A technical problem was encountered printing the Fleet Air Arm Logo and so it did not appear initially.


Three more 'Enquiry Offices (as Crewe and Bradford North) were equipped with RM Series II machines during April 2015. The three offices were Croydon, Doncaster and Kingston upon Thames with live dates being 28th April, 29th April and 28th April respectively. The machines were vending Machin second and first class labels.

May 2015

The text on the BPMA Post & Go labels was changed on 1st May 2015. The Machin design reverted back to just 'The BPMA' (it had been 'The BPMA - Trollope 200'). This change ran for just two working days before 'The BPMA Penny Black 175' strap line came in on 6th May 2015. Again, there was confusion surrounding the change. Clearly, someone at Royal Mail needs to take control and stop creating varieties that seem to be available for just a day or so. The second class Machin design labels had the year code 'MAI2' while the first class Machin design had the year code 'MAI3'.


A minisheet marking the 175th Anniversary of the Penny Black was issued on 6th May 2015 priced at £2.52. The minisheet contained 4x1st definitive sized stamps printed in Litho- two Penny Blacks and two 'Two Penny' Blues. In addition, the Penny Black design was issued in a 6x1st Retail booklet with label promoting Europhilex. These booklets are printed in gravure on self adhesive paper.

175th Anniversary of the Penny Black Booklet Pane

The BPMA Post & Go machine will carry 'The BPMA Penny Black 175' strap line between 6th May and 7th August 2015. This will be applied to the First and Second Class Machin Labels.

with year code MAI3
with year code MAI3

The Essen Stamp Exhibition was held in Essen , Germany between 7th and 9th May 2015. Royal Mail attended the show with RM Series II Post & Go vending machines which vended the Machin and Union Flag Post & Go labels with special 'Messe Essen 7-9 May 2015' overprints.


The Royal Navy, Royal Marines and Fleet Air Arm Museums will carry modified Post & Go labels between 8th and 29th May 2015. The label text will include the addition of 'VE Day 70' and be applied to the Union Flag design only.


London 2015 Europhilex was held at the Business Design Centre in London between 13th and 16th May 2015. Entry on the first day was £10, however, the other three days were free. A limited edition of 7,500 of the Penny Black minisheet with exhibition overprint was available priced at £4.95.

A new design of the Machin Horizon label was introduced into the Post Office network in 2015 (see July 2015). It made its first appearance at Europhilex - the new design is similar to the Post & Go labels with the Machin Head on a 'ROYAL MAIL' wavyline background. The preprinted part of the label is towards the upper right, with the bulk of the label unprinted. The label is the same size as the current design as this is determined by the present office printers.

The Post & Go machines at the exhibition vended the Machin design with a 'Europhilex London / Penny Black 175' strap line.

Seminars will held on the Royal Mail stand each day of the exhibition :-

Seminar
Frequency
Time Slot
Stamp Production
Daily
10am
Stamp Design
Daily
12am
Stamp Printing
Daily
2pm
British Postal Museum & Archive
Daily
4pm

The second set of Post & Go labels designs for 2015 was issued on 13th May 2015 and featured - 'Heraldic Beasts'. Designs included the Lion, Unicorn, Yale, Dragon, Falcon and Griffin. The wavyline 'ROYAL MAIL' text carried the 'hidden' year code MAI5. A Carrier Card with code P&G19 and containing the six different designs each with 1st class NVI rates, was available - priced at £3.78.


The second Prestige Booklet of the year was issued on 14th May 2015 and was part of the First World War commemorative series. The booklet was produced by Cartor and priced at £13.96. The Machin pane was printed in Litho and comprises 2x1p, 2x5p, 2x£1.33 with the hidden iridescent codes of 'MPIL' and 'MI5L' and 2x1st NVI (Poppy design).

Great War 1915 - Machin Pane

June 2015

A set of stamps was issued on 18th June 2015 to mark the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo. Associated with this, a Prestige Booklet was produced by Cartor, priced at £14.47. The Machin pane was printed in Litho and included 2x5p, 2x10p, 2x50p and 2x£1 stamps with the hidden iridescent codes of 'MPIL' and 'MI5L'.

Battle of Waterloo - Machin Pane

July 2015

The new design of the Horizon label (first appeared at Europhilex) started to appear in the Post Office network during July 2015.


The Royal Navy Submarine Museum in Gosport has had a RM Series II Post & Go machine installed. This went live on 28th July 2015 with the labels including the additional text 'The RNSM'. Initially, the machine will vend the Machin and Union Flag designs.

August 2015

Singpex Stamp Exhibition was held in Singapore between 14th and 19th August 2015. Royal Mail attended with RM Series II Post & Go vending machines. The Machin and Union Flag Post & Go labels were vended with a special Singpex 2015 overprint. As with the PhilaKorea Exhibition last year, two versions were available, one at the exhibition in Singapore and the other from Tallents House (the Philatelic Bureau).

Singapore 2015 - World Stamp Expo
Image - ex Singapore versions
(the Tallents House printed labels used an office code B8GB15)
Machin - year code MAI3
Union Flag - no year code

A custom retail booklet was issued in conjunction with the Bees special issue set on 18th August 2015.


The Steam GWR Museum in Swindon is the latest museum to have a RM Series II Post & Go machine installed. This should be up and running on 25th August 2015 with the labels including the additional text 'STEAM GWR'. Initially, the machine will vend the Machin and Union Flag designs.

September 2015

To mark The Queen becoming the longest reigning monarch on the 9th September 2015 a number of products were issued to celebrate this event including 1st class Machin counter sheets, a minisheet and a retail booklet. The 1st class Machin stamp appears in a new colour namely 'Amethyst Purple' and as with the Diamond Jubilee issue of 2012 the value tablet is positioned lower. The iridescent overprint text carries the legend 'LONG TO REIGN OVER US' with a hidden year code 'OI5R' (the code appears in front of the Queens neck). Its reported some counter sheets were issued during August 2015. Counter sheets were printed by De La Rue on self adhesive paper.

The minisheet contains five stamps - 1st, 1st, 1st Machin Amethyst Purple, £1.52 and £1.52 and was produced by ISP on normal gummed paper. The minisheets were produced for ISP by one of Cartors business partners (the Spanish State Mint in Madrid; Real Casa de la Moneda - Fabrica Nacional de Moneda y Timbre or RCM - FNMT) and is the reason why no FSC code is used with the Barcode strip. The 1st Amethyst Purple NVI Machin was printed in gravure and has the hidden codes 'REIGM' and year code 'OI5R'. The other four stamps are printed in intaglio (recess) and show a 1st NVI with Wyon medal and Machin head, 1st NVI with Wilding and Machin heads, £1.52 with Windsor castle badge and Machin head and £1.52 with 'E' Emblem and Machin head. A press sheet containing four minisheets was available priced at £21.70.

The self adhesive retail booklet contains 6x1st 'Amethyst Purple' with the cover in purple. The hidden codes are REIGS (the code appears behind the Queens hair bun and is difficult to see as the security die cut obscures it) and year code OI5R. The booklets were physically printed on the 24th June 2015 by Walsall on their Cerutti press.

Long to Reign Over Us Booklet pane

The third 2015 Post & Go labels set were issued on 16th September 2015. These have the theme 'Sea Travel' and feature views from the sea including The White Cliffs of Dover, Venice, Hong Kong, Viet Nam, Sydney and New York. A Carrier Card with code P&G20 and containing the six different designs each with 1st class NVI rates, was available - priced at £3.78.


Autumn Stampex was held between 16th - 19th September 2015. RM Series II Post & Go machines were vending various strips including the Machin design with a special overprint 'Queen Elizabeth II Longest Reign'. The 'Sea Travel' and 'Heraldic Beasts - Lion' designs were available also, but without the special overprint.


The Post & Go machine at the BPMA was vending the Heraldic Beasts - Lion design labels from 16th September 2015 to 18th October 2015. These are from special single design rolls (as per the Robins and the Poppy designs previously).


A custom retail booklet in respect of the Rugby World Cup was issued on the 18th September 2015. The Machin stamps were in the new Amethyst Purple colour and had the hidden codes REIGC and year code OI5R. The booklet covers are in the standard Royal Mail Red.


The new design of Horizon labels were introduced nationally (but not all offices) on 22nd September 2015. These made their first appearance at Europhilex in May 2015 and had been on limited trial since July.


October 2015

The Post & Go Remembrance Poppy design labels (the same as last year) were reintroduced on 19th October 2015. These were from special single design rolls with the year code 'MAI5'.


The Post & Go machine at the BPMA was vending the Remembrance Poppy design labels from 19th October 2015 and will continue to the 15th November 2015.


The RM Series II Post & Go machines at the four Royal Navy associated museums had new text overprints from 19th October 2015.

Post & Go Design old text new text / logo
Machin The NMRN Royal Navy plus Destroyer logo *
Pictorial The NMRN Royal Navy
Machin The RMM Royal Marines plus Marine Silhouette logo *
Pictorial The RMM Royal Marines
Machin The FAAM Fleet Air Arm plus Harrier logo *
Pictorial The FAAM Fleet Air Arm
Machin The RNSM RN Submarine plus Submarine logo *
Pictorial The RNSM RN Submarine
* Available from 16th November 2015

Also, the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Museums had "Trafalgar Day" on Union Flag labels between 19th October 2015 to 15th November 2015.


Royal Mail attended Sindelfingen in Germany between 29th and 31st October 2015. Two RM Series II Post & Go Machines were at the venue. Union Flag, Machin, Heraldic Lion and Poppy labels were vended and the overprint included 'Sindelfingen October 2015'.


November 2015

Two Christmas Retail Booklets were issued on 3rd November 2015. These contained 12x2nd NVI (£6.48) and 12x1st NVI (£7.56) Christmas stamps respectively.

Value Stamp Design Printer Method
12x2nd NVI Journey to Bethlehem Walsall Gravure
12x1st NVI Nativity Stable    

Royal Mail attended the Salon de philatelique d’automne in Paris between 5th and 8th November 2015. Two RM Series II Post & Go Machines were at the venue. Union Flag, Machin, Heraldic Lion and Poppy labels were vended and the overprint included 'Paris November 2015'.


The theme for the Christmas period Post & Go labels was 'Winter Fur and Feathers' and were issued on 16th November 2015. As last year, two different designs were for the second class rates (the Mountain Hare and Redwing) and another two different designs for the first class rates (the Red Fox and Red Squirrel). In the case of the two second class designs, the background wavyline text includes lines of 'ROYAL MAIL' and lines with '2nd CLASS'. A Carrier Card with code P&G21 and containing the four different designs and 2nd, 2nd Large, 1st and 1st Large NVI rates will be available.


The Post & Go machine at the BPMA were vending the 'Winter Fur and Feathers' design labels from 16th November 2015.


Royal Mail attended the 31st Asian International Stamp Exhibition in Hong Kong between 20th and 23rd November 2015. Two RM Series II Post & Go Machines were at the venue and Union Flag and Sea Travel - Hong Kong labels were vended with an overprint including 'Hong Kong November 2015'. Apparently, the Sea Travel - Hong Kong labels base stock were digital printed rather than in gravure - this is the first time this printing method has been employed by Royal Mail. Interestingly, the phosphor was printed in gravure over the complete pictorial portion on the label.


December 2015

A fourth Prestige Booklet was issued on 17th December 2015 and entitled 'The Making of Star Wars The British Story'. This was priced at a hefty £16.99. The booklet contained five panes and the Machin pane consists of 2x2nd, 2x1st Royal Mail Red and 4x1st Union Flag printed in Litho on normal gummed paper. The Machin stamps have the hidden iridescent codes of 'MPIL' and 'MI5L'.

 

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