January 29, 2014

My New Year Resolution: to put real stamps on my post

You'd be forgiven for not leaping around with enthusiasm at what 2014 has to offer in January. While we await the first sighting of an MA14 (presumably not an M14L but you never know) all I can entertain you with is a deeper fluor 1st red from the Walsall books of 6 and some short bands, apparently inset left although I can't for the life of me see that, on the Machin Post And Gos with font type 2.

At £25 for the former and £45 for the latter we're talking about some items that will hopefully be pretty hard to come by. I am not terribly interested in either, though, so one copy of each will be easy to track down if anyone's interested!

And that, dear collectors, is 2014 for now. I know, hardly worth opening the link. Sorry. Here are some other bits and pieces that arrived this month which will cheer up the post a bit...

The first is the wonderful Miniature Sheet issued in 1990 for the Penny Black 150th Anniversary.  You can buy these for under a pound so I did. I had given a couple away as birthday presents and was amazed at how cheap replacements were. That makes me feel slightly guilty about my apparent lack of generosity but I am hoping the people concerned will go for the It's the thought that counts option. Seriously, though, where else can you get such a beautifully printed and presented 1d black (well, a copy of a 1d black)?

Next in my mail this month was this odd little item from a mere 52 years ago. Again, costing next to nothing but featuring what appear to be three 'stamps' that look the same size as their issued counterparts in violet, purple and green respectively. You wonder whether they could have been cut out and actually used. Maybe I am just a little uninformed but I am surprised that a bunch of stamp collectors were allowed to print such an item. Even Scottish ones.

Looking at the mail itself, I have noticed a marked increase in use of the gold Horizon labels. I seem only to get VAT codes d, f, g and y. I looked around for an up-to-date list of letters and VAT codes but I am still searching. Postagelabelsuk.com have a list that needs some attention.

These are not easy items to collect. At the moment they're just accumulating in a box but the time will come when I need to do something. In some case I have had to add some backing where the label has partially come away - the backside is extremely sticky and if you're not careful you'll ruin whatever it happens to come in contact with. Currently everything seems to be the latest Walsall type 3.

The Horizon labels also do the Special Delivery thing too. That's a shame because the stamps are attractive and not that easy to find, with a hefty purchase price. They are still the MA10 variety so it looks as though more than enough were originally printed.

It's also just nice to get stamps on envelopes these days. It happens rarely and when it does is quite a nice surprise. This was particularly welcome - and also quite intriguing as the second highest face value available in June 1970 now pays just the 2nd Class rate!