News 01

2005 GB Definitive Update.

I can now confirm that several new definitive Stamps will issued on 5th April 2005.   New values will be 9p 2B (orange), 46p 2B (old gold) and a reissue of the 35p CB value (lime green). What is also interesting is these values will only carry one phosphor band. Royal Mail also states “that most future printings (including the current values) will change to the one phosphor band format in the near future”.

In Royal mails press release stating that "other values will revert to a single phosphor band format". Speculation only now, does this indicate that Enschede are to take over the contract for printing future Machins?

 It is presumed these will be a centre band . If this is the case it will put a stop to the much sought after inset bands from Byfleet printings and give us a new selection of Machins to add to our collections. It is not yet clear if new phosphor cylinders will be a used.

On the same date new country pictorials with a 42p value will be issued for England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales. These are to be printed by Walsall.

Who was it that said Machins were boring?

Now here is a suprise, the 35p value have already been printed by Enschede of Holland, Cyl E1, it is definite that these stamps will only have one phosphor band, and are printed in a single pane format. Printing date 21/12/04

The other values 9p 15//11/04 & 46p 16/11/04 have been printed by De la Rue Cy 1 phos D1. No details of the phosphor band layout, it is now assumed that these will continue to have 2 bands for the time being.

The new Country stamps 42p values have been printed by Walsall Security print.

England gravure cyl W1 20/12/04

Scotland gravure cyl W1 16/12/04

Wales gravure cyl W1 16/12/04

N Ireland Litho cyl W1 W1 15/12/04

All are printed in a single pane format, it is not known at this time of the phosphor band format

It seems as though the Royal Mail can not make up its mind, first they inform us that the new rate definatives are to be reissued (9p & 46p) with one centre phosphor band, with a uniform follow though to existing values. 2p, 5p, 10p.

This information has now been withdrawn by Royal Mail and we have been informed that "NO De La Rue re-printings will is now issued for these values". Saying this they could change their minds again!!.

Reports are still very patchy, but we do still expect a reprint of the 35p CB value ( previous printing by Enschede) from de La Rue, and also a reissue of the 42p 2B county pictorial definitives (previously printed by Walsall). No indication of Cyl numbers or phosphor band layouts at this time.

Two new reports

The 9p De La Rue value has been found with phosphor band inset left DG (I1) and the 35p Enschede value short band bottom. DG(S2).

Birthday Bash for the Machin Design

Collectors and the Royal Mails Stamp advisory selection committee are looking ahead to the year 2007, and one design they are looking at in particular is the Machin Definifitive. Why 2007 and the Machin you may well ask?

This will be the the year when Arnold Machins classic design reaches its 40th anniversary. The and first stamps based on his plaster cast were issued.

Its any ones guess what the new stamps of 2007 will look like, and what format (s) they will be released in, but speculation is already buzzing amongst collectors. Although 2007 is still a long way ahead, planning for the issue starts this year.  Do not exclude the possibility of a special issue miniature sheet and a second Prestige booklet, similar to the one released in 1999 entitled "A profile on Print".

Myself as a long in the tooth collector personally I cant wait........ Roll on 2007

Up to date Millions of stamps with the Machin design have been printed, love them or hate the Machin is still with today and it is here to stay for the formidable future.

No one would have imagined that this design would become so popular, not only with specialist philatelic authors and collectors but also with the general public. The basic series is, now running into nearly 350 different stamps from several different printers with thousands of collectable variations. It must also be now said that the Machin must be the longest running stamp design in production to date.. 

 Prestige booklet “Glory in the Garden” The next prestige booklet to be released on 25th May 2004 entitled Glory in the Garden will be printed by Enschede, it will contain 4 panes.

Pane 1: Machin definitives. The top row and bottom row will consist of 1st class + 42p + 1st class, and the middle row 47p + label + 47p. This will be the first time the 47p has been printed by Enschede. Pane 2:, 3, and 4 will contain Royal Horticultural Society special issues in se-tenant blocks of 4. It should be noted that the RHS stamps will be a new printing , as the sheet stamps are to be printed by Walsall.    

Business Sheets  

Walsall,s business sheets of 100 stamps have previously been reported as being reissued on 15th June 2004 without the “Real Network strapline. However another important development has been reported. At some point this year the direction of printing of these sheets has changed from (U) upright to (I) inverted! Douglas Myall,s report has been updated by GB DSB S. It is now believed that the change occurred during September 2003, either due to cleaning or possibly reversing the cylinders to extend their life.

In a further change, during June 2004, the folding style for both sheets was amended.

Booklets with Revised covers

If you are a collector of booklets, you are reminded that 4 new retail books are due for release on 15th June 2004.

These will be in the form of 12 x 2nd class, 4 x Universal Airmail Letter rates, Europe and Worldwide. The only change from the previous issues is a change to the cover design. The revised cover will be without the Royal Mail Strap line: The Real Network.

The 4th booklet will contain 6 x Gold 1st class self adhesive Machins. the cover design will announce Royal Mails sponsorship of Britains 2012 Olympic Bid.

New finds

Byfleet Machin 50p intermediate paper-tinted gum with short bands at bottom, and 43p with short bands top.

Byfleet Machin 4p intermediate paper-tinted gum with inset band right.

10p intermediate paper inset left

New Cylinders for de La Rue Machins

D2 pD2 Cylinders have also been used on the new Machins issued 1st April 2004, these are on 35p, 39p, 40p, and 43p printings. The 20p value has been seen from Cylinder D3 pD3, these are on intermediate paper.

Original printings of these values except for the 20p value (D2 pD1) were on Dull paper (D1 pD1), the 7p (D1 pD1 was the only value originally issued on intermediate paper.

 Postage Rate Increase.

First Class Mail is to cost more from April 7th 2005, certain other classes will also increase. First class will rise by 2p to 30p for letters up to 60 g, with heavier items rising by 5.2% - 9.5%. Second class mail will stay at the present rate of 21p.

International rates are also set to rise, letters to Europe (basic rate) rising to 42p, heavier items will cost 6.9% more.

Chief executive Adam Crozier has stated “Stamps will remain great value and our prices overall are still falling in real terms. First class postage will still be cheaper than almost anywhere else in the rest of the EU - where the average price of a first class letter is 36p. In Spain a 60g letter costs 45p to send, 79p in France, 80p in The Netherlands, 95p in Germany and even £1.12 in Italy”.

Will this mean new value Machins values and Country definitves will be released on the 7th?

Misperforated £1 Machin

Stamp Magazine reports a misperforation on the £1.00 Machin, on a D1 Dot cylinder, featuring a 2.05 mm downward shift across the whole sheet.

Deegam Handbook on CD

Reports circulating on the MSN groups pages are that Douglas Mayall is to introduce a version of The Deegam Machin Handbook a on a CD. This is great news, just be careful not to scratch your copy.

MCC Catalogue

After a long wait, the MCC Catalogue has finally been published. I have browsed through a copy and can say it has been worth the wait. Melvin and his team have done a great job, the quality and the content of the information is first class. All recent De La Rue singles, cylinder blocks are listed and priced at the current market value. The booklet section is also bang up to date.

Smilers Booklet 6 x 1st class has been reported with 6mm short bands at the top. Cylinder numbers so far are W2 pW2 and W3 pW2.

Flaws on Bronte Sisters prestige booklet

Printed in Gravure by Walsall Security Printers, these are different to the Sheet stamps of De La Rue and are distinguished by a paler printing shade.

The Machin values from this booklet are identifiable from the De La Rue printings, in that the gum is cream and of a shiny appearance where as the DLR printing is matt with a blue tint. The print surface is also shiny compared to the matt appearance of DLR issues. It is also noticeable that the value on the Walsall stamps are set lower and slightly set to the left

Machin Definitive Stamp Change

De La Rue printings of the 35p centre band Machin definitives , cylinder D2 pD1are now on sale date of issue 26/04/04. Specimens seen to date are on intermediate paper with PVA tinted gum. Printing dates 05/04/05 and 06/04/05 have been identified.

Marginal singles are easily identified from the previous emergency Enshcede printings, (issue date 05/04/05) as these were printed on a very dull paper.

Country Definitive Stamp Change

Re prints of the 42p Country Pictorial definitives have also been re issued (10/05/05) for all regions also printed by De La Rue in Gravure, except for Northern Ireland (Litho) issue. These (Northern Ireland) have been delayed due to a problem at the printers. A new date of availability for the N. Ireland issue will be announced in the near future.

Victory Miniature Sheet

A miniature sheet designed by Jeffrey Matthews will be issued on 5th July 2005 to commemorate the 60th Anniversary of the end of World War 11.

This sheet shown in proof stage (left) contains five 1st class gold Machins and a revised 1st class printing of the Peace & Freedom stamp issued originally in 1995 as a 25p value.

This will be an interesting sheet as several new Machin printings will also be available as specialised singles. The stamp borders on the proof seem to bleed on to a background picture of VE celebrations (originally the content of the 1995 19p stamp), and two lines of a red vertical border. Does this indicate that the perforations will have a line of red ink printed images on the tips? Just a thought !

The sheet will be printed by Enschede in gravure and the stamps will have 2 phosphor bands.

Machin Definitives dull paper makes a comeback

Recent news from the Machin Collectors Club has confirmed that De La Rue (Dunstable) are now printing current definitive values on the same paper that is used for the 1st class stamp. ( This paper reacts dull under UV and has a cream PVA gum. ) Details given to date are that the 2p was the first value to be seen on this paper, the printing date given is 22/04/05. Other values reported are the 1p, 5p and 50p, it has been stated "that these values were printed during May 2005". The actual individual printing dates were not published.

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