I decided to take a closer look at what was in the box of labels I had collected and, as I had taken pictures of the different labels, I might as well share them here in case anyone is interested. I will add headings for what seem to be distinct groups but I won't bother with any other identification as that's pretty obvious. Apparent duplicates in groups will be for different years in which they were used and/or a Welsh version.
I do seem to recall that there are more types of security slits or cuts and also printing variations which may require some further adjustment of these when I get a chance to look up the differences and then publish them here so others may be able to distinguish between the less obvious gold label groups.
As and when I find some more informed and accepted 'groups' or terminology I'll update this post - so these are just my own basic findings.
Perforation-style edge, Security cuts, DD-MM-YY date style
Different date display, DD/MM/YY, bold service font
Similar to Group 2 but normal font weight
As Group 2 but with Royal Mail + dot code
Straight edge, No Royal Mail dot code, DD-MM-YY date style
Straight edge, No Royal Mail dot code, DD/MM/YY date style
As Group 5 but now Royal Mail + dot code
White paper, Group 6 style, security slits on right side only
QR Code, 'Royal Mail' in title, security slits right side only.
QR code, 'Royal Mail' omitted from title, security slits right side only
Year code in background, re-arranged and new data, no security slits
From Self Service machines and with slightly smaller dimensions.
This is very much work in progress rather than a definitive guide, more to help me see what I have as it is much simpler to look at these images than sift through the real labels which, being attached to all kind of card or material, are not that easy to handle or file away. The security slits make most of these labels difficult to remove and then they are still sticky on the back or flimsy and prone to damage. So they'll be staying where they were and I'll have to think about storage and display.
Whilst I am only too well aware that many will wonder what on Earth drives me to collect and write about these I can only offer in my defence the fact that these are, at least, all 100% postally used items!! So much of the other new material coming in will never see the front of an envelope or a sorting office.
On that note, I have found in amongst the several hundred Horizon labels (if I can still call the nearly square things that) precisely six Post And Go labels, none of which had any picture or overprint either. I shall collect them - but solely used ones, so I don't expect I shall be needing a massive album for them just yet!
That can never, of course, be a complete collection so it will be something similar to what we used to have when we were young and had a few stamps from different countries. We knew then that we would be extremely unlikely to have all the stamps from any particular set and gradually we lost interest in most of the pages as we decided to specialise in an area where we might hope to have fewer gaps over the years. I'll stick 'em in, using an old 1970s pack of stamp hinges that I've still got. It'll be like old times.
As for these big and quite ugly labels, I feel there is some chance of attaining completeness insofar as types of print, security features and data presentation is concerned, once I can figure out what's missing. Then there is the task of finding the range of the different services. That's trickier as there do seem to be quite a few different 'service' names and abbreviations used even in just 10 years, some of which will be very hard to find. Unlike rare variations of Corgi Toys, however, I am hoping that these things will not yet have become very appealing to many people and I can acquire most at a modest outlay. I mean, seriously, who would want to charge me more than a few shillings for these?!