January 26, 2020

Beyond the pale.

Just for a change, a 'Horizon' label (if that is what they're still called). I am a bit out of touch with these but do find then interesting in a strange way. These things are everywhere now and seem to be almost the only way that my local Post Office has to affix any evidence of postage payment to an item.

None of the labels I have watched them affix there, however, look like this one, which also is quite different to any of the many that arrive on parcels here each week. (Readers of my other newsletter will understand).

This may be the lastest design, although the proximity of the postage price to Her Majesty's image is surprising. There also seems to be a lot of unnecessary underlining which tends to remind me of how teaching colleagues in the 1990s would use both bold and underlining to emphasise something but achieve the opposite effect of making it more difficult to read. At least Royal Mail software doesn't provide access to the Comic Sans font. We should be thankful for small mercies.

I used to keep the gold labels and have a box full of them and variations on the white theme but I didn't bother keeping what looked like unchanged designs over more recent times. I think I shall have to loo a bit more closely and dig out those old ones as they could make an interesting study.

Just as many of my colleagues thought I was mad to collect so many seemingly identical Machin stamps and nod or mumble sympathetically as I show them pages and pages of seemingly, indeed, identical little 1st Class red stamps, I have a feeling they will regard me now as quite beyond the pale.

Update: As you may see from the helpful advice in a Comment from Ian at Norvic, who knows a lot about these, I am way behind the times on these. Indeed I have two more labels which arrived in early 2017 and somehow didn't catch my attention. I see that, unlike the other labels which are affixed by the Post Office people, even, it seems the very latest, these from Self Service machines have a date code just below the back of the crown. So I have MA16 and MA17 and will remember now to look more closely at any others coming in.


  1. This label is from the Post Office Self-Service Kiosk (or Post and Go) machine - see https://blog.norphil.co.uk/2018/08/horizon-and-ssk-labels-compared.html

    1. Can you see a year date behind the Queen's head?

  2. Your fine blog was the first place I went to, in fact! But I didn't go back far enough and now feel a bit of a fool as these have been around for a while! Indeed, I have now found a couple of others in the box to be sorted properly! Thank you. I will now look at dates which I missed completely!

  3. That one was MA17. I have MA16 on the other two I have. So just three in total - not many out of the hundreds in the box so I don't feel quite so foolish!