January 30, 2015

Quaint old chart in the Bulletin this month

I had to smile at the British Philatelic Bulletin this month, with its quaint chart illustrating an article about scientists in UK stamps. That must have been made with an extremely old version of Microsoft Excel! Now, there is nothing wrong with that - I still use Excel 97 myself when I have to use the official Office product - but the colours and style are just so, so old-fashioned! They are so quaint that they're almost cute.

I made the one below in about five minutes using Google's free Sheets on-line. perhaps someone might gently suggest to the Editor or the author that they might try a little harder to keep up with the times.

January 29, 2015

Curiouser and curiouser

A massive number of Post And Gos would have been required this month if you have still remained a member of the 'I'd Better Collect All That Comes' group! Winter Greenery has 16 different labels and comes in at least three types. 6 new Christmas Robins, 12 new Birds II labels with the new 60g values and a whole bundle of dual values from the old but still going Wincor machines. To that add BPMA Inland Airmail getting overprinted on blue backing at regular intervals and yet another overprint 'The RMM' which will be on at least the Machins and probably more in a while. You poor people will have a hundred or so new items. You must be as devoted to these things as I am to the little definitives.

There is one in amongst all of them that I have added - the odd dual value with the old big font 2 from a Wincor machine with an MA13 date code. It stands out from all the rest of the recent issues like a very sore thumb might do. If you had several thumbs in the same place. 

Just one normal Machin makes this article. A 5p with a M14L date code from counter sheets. (The first M15L was in the Alice In Wonderland booklet featured in an earlier post)

Although not Machins, there's a new Smilers book of 12 1st Class stamps. These are a curious, and in my view curiously bad, designs intended to cover a multitude of sins or greetings. I sort of like the DAD one but, really, we could have done without these and I don't think any will be getting many votes for Stamp Of The Year 2015. There will be some more of these from Cartor (apparently that's who International Security Printers are after all. I do wish the British Philatelic Bureau would say Cartor when it is only Cartor. That's the third time I have created an extra code for a printer I don't need.) The others come from sheets and I hope to have these soon to see what is different.

January 06, 2015

So which was your favourite Special Stamp Issue of 2014?

The good folk at the Philatelic Bureau are asking us to vote for our favourite stamp and set of stamps from those issued in 2014. No, they don't let us vote for the Machins. I thought I would publish the relevant pages here as many of you may well not have even seen any of these. Apart from one or two, I haven't noticed any of these myself and I do try to pay some attention to what appears on envelopes wherever I am.

I have a feeling that the Poppy remembrance stamp, and maybe the slightly more attractive Poppy in the Post and Gos, will feature strongly in the results as well as Winston and one or two of the delightful children's characters. I'll tip Dougall, as he just bursts out at you, Paddington Bear, as there'll be lots of promotion at this time for his movie which could influence votes and all the postmen will presumably have a free vote or two and will nominate Postman Pat!

A red queen, new printer and a 15 date code.

There were just four new Machin basic issues in 2014. If you add in the 14 codes and a few other variations then the numbers do increase quite a bit but it was still a very quiet year in that respect. I include the four new values just as an extra illustration and to save you scrolling back to an April post. Isn't the £1.47 a strange affair?

To start 2015, here's a nice booklet with the first 2015 date code , the 1st Class reds showing M15L MCIL in the iridescent overprint. No doubt there'll be more 15 codes along soon enough.

This booklet is, incidentally, the first production from a new machine at International Security Printers in Wolverhampton. I am not entirely sure who ISP are but thought they were a collaboration between Walsall and others so whether we now need to have an extra printer's code in our lists I don't know. Amusing to see a red queen between the Alice's Adventures in Wonderland stamps!