Increases at the end of this month have produced six new Machin definitives and eight Regionals. Covering a range of parcel and international rates the face values start at £1.35 and this is quite an expensive lot to acquire. However, unlike many recent issues, these will get some real postal use and certainly need to be added if you are trying to keep that Machin album complete.
There are the usual two Regionals - now at £1.35 and £1.55 values in the same designs that have now lasted far longer than I am sure anyone would have predicted. Now I should know the answer but I am intrigued by the fact that there is a £1.55 value in the Regionals but a £1.60 value in the Machins. I had though that the Regional pairs were two of whatever was issued nationally but clearly I am mistaken. I shall to look back and also look at which rate is which. Still seems odd.
The Machins are printed by Walsall and have the M19L code. It is not easy to read and I can imagine it being difficult to distinguish M18L from M19L in Walsall printings should they use a similar process for some future values that are already out with M18L codes. I presume that the Regionals are Cartor products but I have not seen confirmation yet.
One would expect to have all these details, if not in the description at the Royal Mail shop at least in some article in the Philatelic Bulletin. There are pages of quite tedious text about forthcoming events and exhibitions but little by way of useful detail of issues. Once the Bulletin was a very useful reference for issue detail but these have not even been deemed worthy of a mention. Interestingly, the whole panel of 'Forthcoming Issues' in the recent Bulletin is taken up by the Marvel issues!