Machin News - Issues in [2017]


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2017 Summary

Date Issue Source Value Printer
6th Feb 65th Anniv. of Accession of HM The Queen Sheet £5 Walsall
15th Feb Windsor Castle Prestige Booklet £14.58 Cartor
15th Feb Windsor Castle Retail Booklet 6x1st Walsall
15th Feb Royal Mail Heritage - Mail by Rail Post & Go   Walsall
14th Mar Music Giants II - David Bowie Retail Booklet 6x1st Walsall
21st Mar Five new tariff rates. - £1.17, £1.40, £1.57,
£2.27 and £2.55 for the Machin
Sheet   De La Rue
21st Mar £1.17 and £1.40 Country Pictorials Sheet   Cartor
5th Jun 50 Years of a Design Icon Minisheet £3.90 Walsall
5th Jun Golden Anniversary of Machin Minisheet £3.85 Walsall
5th Jun The Machin 50th Anniversary Prestige Booklet £15.59 Walsall /
5th Jun The Machin 50th Anniversary Retail Booklet 6x1st Walsall
5th Jun Anniversary of Machin 1967 - 2017 Post & Go   Walsall
31st Jul Great War 1917 Prestige Booklet £15.41 Cartor
13th Sep Royal Mail Heritage - Mail by Air Post & Go   Walsall
13th Sep Opening of The Postal Museum
~postponed from 20th March
Stamp Sheet £15.95 Cartor
12th Oct Star Wars - Droids Retail Booklet 6x1st Walsall
12th Oct Star Wars - Aliens Retail Booklet 6x1st Walsall
24th Oct Poppy Post & Go   Walsall
13th Nov Winter Greenery Post & Go   Walsall
14th Dec Star Wars Prestige Booklet £15.99 Cartor

2017 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.

The self adhesive substrate with the 'ROYAL MAIL' wavyline text under the stamps (on the carrier paper), has been issued in a new form. Alternating pairs of lines of the text are now in either upright or inverted orientation. Apparently, this has been done to aid in the production process. It first appeared in late January 2017 and has been found on the 2nd class Business sheets of 100 dated 15/12/16 - the stamps have the year code 'MI6L'. 12x2nd and 12x1st Booklets were found in February 2017 - again with the year code 'MI6L'. Counter Sheet printings started to appear in April 2017 with the year code 'MI7L'.

The ‘ROYAL MAIL’ text printed on the substrate (carrier paper) is made up of the following four repeating lines.

With the introduction of this revised paper substrate we have the possibility that printings can yield new variants depending upon how the paper was reeled. By studying the 'ROYAL MAIL' text lines we can find either Upright or Inverted versions - click Link to information on SA Paper Types here for a more detailed description, examples and the latest known variants.

While Royal Mail may have thought they were getting ahead of the curve in creating a more secure self adhesive paper, it seems the forgers have risen to the challenge. Forged 12x1st Booklets have now been found with the year code 'MI6L' and including 'ROYAL MAIL' text on the substrate. Clearly, the forgers believe money can still be made by defrauding Royal Mail.

The 'hidden year' code in the background wavyline text on Postal & Go labels will be moved to a position so that its not obscured by the overprint Tariff Rate / Special Event text.

February 2017

A large format £5 Machin was issued on the 6th February 2017 in respect of the 65th Anniversary of the Accession of HM The Queen. The stamp is the same size as the High Values first issued in 1977 with the new versions colour called Sapphire Blue and 2 phosphor bands. Walsall printed the stamps and they have an iridescent overprint '65th Anniversary of Accession', the year code is 'ACCEI7ION' and this occurs above the central cross of the Queens diadem, They come on normal gummed paper and have no ellipse perforations. The counter sheet size is 10 (5x2) coming from a primary sheet of eight counter sheets - 8 grid positions. The counter sheet does not have a printing date, however, does exhibit the issue date 06 Feb 2017. The sheet Barcode is 143750 and Stock Code is P500SAPP. This stamp is only available from Tallents House and a small number of selective Post Office.

The first Prestige Stamp Booklet of the year was issued on 15th February 2017 in association with the Windsor Castle Special Issue. The booklet was priced at £14.58 and was produced by Cartor. The Machin pane on normal gummed paper contains 2x2p, 2x10p, £1.05 and 3x1st NVI with hidden codes ('MPIL' and 'MI6L').

Also, a Windsor Castle Custom Retail Booklet was issued and featured two special issue stamps from the Windsor Castle minisheet. The 4x1st Machin are in the deeper shade of Royal Mail Red and have hidden codes ('MCIL' and 'MI7L'). The 'ROYAL MAIL' wavyline text substrate is in the original style i.e upright only.

The first of the Pictorial Post & Go labels for 2017 were issued on 15th February 2017. These take the theme Royal Mail Heritage - Mail by Rail. The six designs are Travelling Post Office (TPO) bag exchange, Post Office (London) Railway, Night Mail, TPO loading, TPO sorting and TPO on the move. The labels have the year code 'MAI7' (this still takes the old position as per previous pictorial labels).

Spring Stampex was held between 15th and 18th February 2017. Two exhibition overprints were available on the Post & Go Machin design vended on RM Series II machines.

Machin Anniversary 1967-2017
65th Anniversary of the Queen's Accession
Post & Go Design
Machin Anniversary 1967-2017
Machin Anniversary 1967-2017
65th Anniversary of the Queen's Accession
65th Anniversary of the Queen's Accession

March 2017

A custom retail booklet was issued on 14th March 2017 to accompany the Music Giants II special issue featuring the artist David Bowie. The 4x1st Machin are in the deeper shade of Royal Mail Red and have hidden codes ('MCIL' and 'MI7L'). The 'ROYAL MAIL' wavyline text substrate is in the original style i.e upright only.

Five new Machin values were issued on 21st March 2017 to cover the new tariff rates coming into effect on the 27th March 2017.

  Value Colour
Year Code
  £1.17 Sunrise Red
Counter Sheet
De La Rue
New value
  £1.40 Dark Pine Green        
  £1.57 Tarragon Green        
  £2.27 Harvest Gold        
  £2.55 Garnet Red        
  All these values use the old type of self adhesive substrate - NOT incorporating the 'ROYAL MAIL' text.

Also, £1.17 and £1.40 values were issued for the Country Pictorial designs replacing the prevailing £1.05 and £1.33 values.

  Value Country Design
  £1.17 England Oak Tree
Counter Sheet
New value
  £1.40   Tudor Rose      
  £1.17 N. Ireland Linen      
  £1.40   Parian China      
  £1.17 Scotland Thistle      
  £1.40   Tartan      
  £1.17 Wales Daffodil
  £1.40   Feathers      
  The values now have a value tablet using the 'Machin' typeface. This will be extended to the 2nd and 1st NVI values in due course.

The tariff rates changed on 27th March 2017 - second class rose from 55p to 56p and first class rose from 64p to 65p.

Rate Old Price Prices from 27th March 2017
Second class
First class
Large Second class
Large First class
Europe (20 gms) World (10 gms)
Europe (100 gms)
Worldwide (20 gms)
Worldwide (100 gms)
Royal Mail Signed For First
Royal Mail Signed For Large
Special Delivery (to 100g)
No change
Special Delivery (to 500g)
No change
Post & Go Collectors Strips : Second Class rose from £1.30 to £1.32 and First Class rose from £7.75 to £8.04.

June 2017

June 5th was the anniversary of the Machin definitive series. The first three values were issued on 5th June 1967 consisting of the 4d Sepia, 1/- and 1/9. To celebrate this anniversary, Royal Mail issued a number of products including Minisheets, Prestige Booklet, Retail Booklet and Post & Go labels.

A Minisheet - entitled 'The Machin Definitive 50 Years of a Design Icon' containing 6x1st Special Issue designs. The minisheet was produced by Walsall and printed in Gravure using normal gummed paper and was priced at £3.90.

A Minisheet - entitled 'The Machin Definitive Golden Anniversary Celebration' containing seven different Machin designs - 5p Pale Violet, 20p Double head, 1st Landscape (1993), 1st Millennium, 1st PIP Gold (2006), 1st RM Red (only this 1st has hidden codes : MMIL and MI7L) and £1 Gold foil based on the £1 Recess (1969). The minisheet was produced by Walsall and printed in Gravure using normal gummed paper and was priced at £3.85.

A Prestige Booklet - entitled 'The Machin Definitive 50th Anniversary'. The booklet was produced by Cartor and was priced at £15.59 (originally given as £15.14). The booklet contains five panes - four printed in Gravure (Walsall) and one printed in Litho (Cartor).

  • Pane 3 - Machin stamps in Gravure.
    • 1p, 2p, 5p, 10p, 20p, 50p, 2nd NVI and £1 Ruby (only the £1 has hidden codes : MPIL and MI7L). Its unclear what the rationale was for only printing the iridescent overprint on the £1 stamp only, as the other seven stamps are all current.

  • Pane 4 - Machin stamps in Gravure (note : the content of this pane changed).
    • 3x20p Double Head, 1st RM Red, 1st Millennium, 1st PIP Gold (2006),
      1st Gold and 1st RM Red (deeper shade) (shown in May 2017 Philatelic Bulletin).

      2x20p Double Head, 1st Black, 1st RM Red, 1st Gold,
      1st Millennium, 1st PIP Gold (2006) and 1st RM Red (in deeper shade and only this 1st has hidden codes : MPIL and MI7L)

  • Pane 5 - Machin stamps in Litho.
    • 4x£1 Gold foil based on the £1 Recess (1969).

A Retail Booklet - 6x1st RM Red with 'The Machin Definitive 50th Anniversary' Label. This booklet reverted to the standard 'Red' Cover. The 6x1st Machin are in the deeper shade of Royal Mail Red and have hidden codes ('MSIL' and 'MI7L'). The 'ROYAL MAIL' wavyline text substrate is in the original style i.e upright only.

Post & Go labels - for the first class service. These labels use Machin's Wreathed Head and were available in six different colours (based on colours used for the original £.S.D Machin issue).

July 2017

The new Postal Museum opened to the public on 28th July 2017. Its located at 15-20 Phoenix Place, London WC1X 0DA, this is just along the road from its previous temporary home.

A Prestige Booklet was issued on 31st July 2017 as part of the Great War series and was priced at £15.41. The definitive format pane does not include any Machins, just 8x1st NVI Poppies.

September 2017

The third Pictorial Post & Go labels set for 2017 was issued on 13th September 2017. These take the theme Royal Mail Heritage - Mail by Air. The designs include First UK Aerial Mail 1911, Military Mail 1919, International Airmail 1933, Domestic Airmail 1934, Flying Boat Airmail 1937 and Datapost 1980. The format of the hidden year code has changed to RI7YAL for this issue - this is positioned just left of the pictorial image and about half way down.

Autumn Stampex was held between 13th and 16th September 2017. The Post & Go machines vended Poppy labels with additional text 'WW1 Battle of Passchendaele' and Wreathed Head Machin 50 labels with additional text 'Autumn Stampex 2017'.

October 2017

Royal Mail continues its fixation with Star Wars issuing a whole raft of unnecessary material. Two Custom Retail Booklets relating to this film series will be issued on 12th October 2017. The 4x1st Machin are in the deeper shade of Royal Mail Red and have hidden codes ('MCIL' and 'MI7L'). The 'ROYAL MAIL' wavyline text substrate has the revised upright/inverted format (this is the first time its been used for Custom Booklets).

Star Wars - Droids
Star Wars - Aliens

The Post & Go Poppy design were reintroduced on 24th October 2017 on Post Office NCR machines and at Enquiry Offices on RM Series II machines. The year code was RI7YAL, however, previous years stock was used at some of the museums.

November 2017

Four Christmas Retail Booklets were issued on 7th November 2017. Two booklets contain 12x2nd NVI (£6.72) and two booklets 12x1st NVI (£7.80) self adhesive Christmas stamps respectively.

Value Stamp Design Printer Method
12x2nd NVI 12xMadonna & Child (dark veil) Walsall Gravure
12x2nd NVI 6xMadonna & Child and 6xSnowmen    
12x1st NVI 12xMadonna & Child (white veil)    
12x1st NVI 6xMadonna & Child and 6xSanta Claus    

The Post & Go Winter Greenery labels (first issued in November 2014) were re-issued on 13th November 2017 for sale over the Christmas period. All four previous designs were re-used, two for the Second Class tariff rate and two for the First Class rate. New printings had been made so that the Second Class designs had a year code of CLI7S and the First Class designs a year code of RI7YAL.

December 2017

Another Star Wars Prestige Booklet was issued on 14th December 2017 to coincide with the opening of the latest film in the series. The booklet costs £15.99 and was produced by Cartor. The Machin pane contains 2x£1.40, 2x2nd Class NVI and 4x1st Class NVI and the iridescent hidden codes are MPIL and MI7L.


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© Delta Stamps 2017