December 19, 2019

More 19 Code issues with fluors and stuff. And Season's Greetings. 2020 will be better.

1p M19L MAIL dull fluor

1st M19L MCIL very deep Royal Mail red

1st M19L MAIL pale Royal Mail red, pale Queen's head, very bright fluor, weak iridescent overprint
(That's enough variations, Ed.)

2nd M19L MAIL bright blue, bright fluor

£1.17 sunrise red M19L MPIL Cartor

2nd bright blue, M19L MPIL Cartor

5p deep ash pink M19L MPIL Cartor

1st Large Royal Mail red M19L MBIL

2nd Large bright blue M19L MFIL

2nd Large bright blue M19L MBIL

2nd Large M19L MAIL bright blue very bright fluor

And that's it for 2019. 

Season's Greetings and let's hope for some excitement in 2020. You almost want inflation to return or Cartor to get sacked or something. 

October 30, 2019

More fluor, 19 codes and some shades

Lots of new stamps discovered by my supplier this month. The 5p M19L and 1st Large M19L MFIL are new and there is a distinctly paler shade of 10p. The others, though, I don't find exciting and I'm not too sure why I have them. They have either a different fluor which I cannot see or detect without special equipment and one or two may be printed on security backing paper which is upside down compared to a previous issue.

Where the backing card features a section of a booklet with text or an element of design then I guess that one can be confident that the stamp hasn't been peeled off and stuck back down the other way up! So I should retract some of my earlier comments about these being questionable items for a collection but I shall continue to refrain from cataloguing them or attempting to collect them myself.

Fortunately, the differences often coincide with a different shade or appearance, especially of the Queen's head so I am happy when that happens. Generally, though, these fluors are getting expensive and I may have to buy an ultra violet lamp of some sort so I can, at least, appreciate what I have. I may then even get some enthusiasm for them! As this little lot has set me back about £60 I could do with some.

I remember the excitement of the monthly arrivals of new Machins in the days when there were three or even four potential printers producing quite distinctly different stamps, coatings that were clearly and obviously a 'different' stamp to look out for and, probably due to the sheer numbers then printed for all of us actually using stamps, even within one printer's output there could be significant differences in shade. Whilst I do appreciate the dealers' efforts to spot and supply all these new 'differences' they really don't have the same appeal.

We are all getting older. I read recently that one long-term Machin dealer was ceasing to supply code changes after 19, telling us how difficult it can be to find the stamps these days as Royal Mail's philatelic people don't announce them nor appear to want to supply them either. Basically they'd had enough and had all kinds of other, probably more interesting, stuff to sort out and get sold before they are too ancient to spend the income.

I am hanging on in there as best I can, hoping that people buying Corgi Toys (my other hobby) will help me afford to keep paying the monthly bills and that I can continue to maintain my albums until this series does one day end. I can see myself closing the many albums after the last few additions and writing to cancel subscriptions. Finally I will know how much space I need for the 1p crimsons and the days of moving everything every few years will be done.

deep ash pink violet fluor M19L
light tan M19L
paler shade M19L
pale light green M19L
pale brown bright fluor M19L
pale orchid mauve dull fluor M19L

red dull fluor M19L MTIL
dull shade dull fluor M19L MCIL

pale red bright fluor M19L MAIL
red dull fluor M19L MBIL
pale red M19L MTIL

deep bright blue M19L MTIL

pale Queen's head dull fluor M19L MBIL

pale bright blue M19L MAIL

October 28, 2019

High Value 19 Codes

I say 'high value' but we have already had many Machins over £2 an £3 but you know what I mean.  These come direct from the Philatelic Bureau and I am assuming that the differences are the new code, the security printed backing and now they come from Walsall printers.

September 29, 2019

More 19 codes and underprints this way and that

Two M19L MCIL 1st Class stamps that appear new - firstly with a paler shade of Royal Mail red and in both backing paper print orders. One, from the Elton John Concrete & Clay book is distinctly paler than its equivalent in the Birds of Prey book. The other is from the Royal Navy Ships Concrete & Clay book and has a duller fluor than those from the Marvel book. I have to admit to struggling rather with fluors which I can't see and underprints which I can never tell one from the other. 

An M19L MTIL from the books of 12. Is this really the first 19 issue for the T code? Gosh.

This £1.55 marine turquoise has a pale Queen's head and a bright fluor (as well as an inverted backing compared to the previously mentioned 19 code for this stamp).

M18L MFIL 2nd Large. I'm not entirely sure why I have this. I am advised that it has full length bands whereas a previous issue had short bands at the top. I stopped collecting the short or misplaced bands where this was the only difference a long time ago. However if that variety was the only one available before then I can see some logic in my needing the 'normal' stamp with bands where they're supposed to be now. Needless to say, if you are still collecting these different types (and underprint orders) then you'll need this one too.

Rather more normal, now, we have some more 19 codes for the 1p crimson, 2p dark green and 5p ash pink and the 1st Class Royal Mail reds with codes B, S and T as well as the T code 2nd Bright blue.

I did think we'd had all these but clearly I am imagining things! It is nearly October and these are the issues which I expect people to use the most and to have been needed rather earlier.

The Concrete & Clay booklet contents for the Royal Navy ships issue.

Some time ago my son bought me a couple of fat 'stock-book' style albums for my birthday which I thought would be sufficient to see out the Machins. It looks as though I shall need another as the NVI album (started with the new coded issues) is full to bursting as a consequence of so many variations within each year code (and not helped by two anniversaries). I bravely drew a line at short bands and underprint directions in the hope that the pages might be adequate. I should also have stopped getting fluors which, without an ultraviolet detector, remain what appear to be duplicates of stamps already there in some cases. Often, though, the different coatings had coincided with a distinct shade and they do continue to relieve the boredom.

So I'll stick with the fluors a little longer and just start a new album in 2020. I just hope like mad that I can actually fit in the rest of this decade in the old one.

As for the issues with specific denominations, I place these in individual mounts stuck on the pages. The number of times I have had to move huge numbers around and insert extra pages when yet another 20p or 2p arrives is crazy! And just as you think the higher values are fairly safe in their line-up, along comes a £1.88 or something to insert somewhere you really had not expected to have to disturb!

As for where to put panes from prestige books, I have left most of them loose around the page for the lowest value shown. To make space for these is an even more disturbing task. I get slightly annoyed with these books anyway and, whilst I am now committed to seeing them through to the end, they are now just an expensive thing that has little to do with the stamps I originally started to collect. I used to get quite excited when these booklets came out with their several panes of Machins.

Even then, I realised that the chances of finding a genuinely used stamp from a prestige booklet was minute but I didn't mind too much. They're fine production items now and certainly informative but the predominance of what seems pure advertisement rather than celebration gets on my nerves. They're often even worse now than the sets of plates or figurines which were promoted in mailings and the pages of Sunday Magazines. I do not want a hole on the page where a Marvel 50p should go!

I shall end on a more cheerful and appreciative note. The last few months' Philatelic Bulletins have had excellent articles on Machins and it has been a pleasure to see so many pages devoted to these stamps each month. As I have been banging on a lot in the past about how this publication seemed to have forgotten all about us Machin collectors it is only right that I should now give credit where credit is due and hope that they can keep up the good work.

September 05, 2019

Underprints and another 19 code

Add another 19 code to the list. This is the 2nd Quite Deep Bright Blue Business Sheet issue M19L MBIL.

Rather more interesting is this M18L MTIL item - from the booklets of 12 - which has come to light on the old 'Type 1' backing paper (in which the text is all the same way up as opposed to every other line being inverted in Type 2)

Not a great deal more has been happening in the world of Machins recently. There will be some new Concrete & Clay books for ships and now Elton John is getting some promotion but I expect this will produce merely the same MCIL stamps that we have seen already.

July 09, 2019

An odd Welsh 1st issue and more 19 codes

Cartor have come up with an oddity for Wales, using the old sans-serif style tablet for the denomination. Maybe the others will revert - or was this just a mistake?

Another M19L MCIL from the latest Concrete & Clay book issued recently for the D Day celebrations.

An M19L code for the 100g Special Delivery stamp.

20 p, £1 and £1.55 get M19L MAIL codes

May 14, 2019

Some more 19 codes

This month we have the recent new values, all M19L MAIL an showing a bright fluor.

Next we have two 1st Class issues, each in Royal Mail red. The M18L MSIL stamp has a brighter fluor than before and the M19L MAIL is the first with a 19 code.

The £1.55 in marine turquoise is also now showing a MAIL M19L code, as are the 1st Large and 2nd Large issues.

Everything here is from Walsall.

It should also be noted that the 1st Class Machin in the Birds of Prey Concrete & Clay book seems to be a distinctly darker shade of Royal Mail red.