I have been reading some stamp blogs today and thought I’d pass on the links for you. If you are interested in GB Machins in particular, and …….some thoughts.
To start with there is the excellent blog from Roy Simpson, with three other brilliant writers all with excellent knowledge of the Machin issues at Machin Mania
And second this link takes you to a page from Ian BillingsNorvic Philatelics
site, where you can see some good scans and read the listings of new Machin issues in 2009.
One link you may not be aware of is this, it is Dave Arthurs Machin Forum
A discussion board site for all topics and discussions on Machins.
If you collect Machins and want to continue to collect in 2009 it could be a very expensive year – as Roy so rightly says – as you will see from the price of the stamps and Prestige booklets packs that will be issued.
If you collect Machins now you might well be thinking, why bother? I quote from Royal Mail (italics) about the new Security Stamps due to be issued in February.
" The slits do not affect removal of the stamps from the backing sheet or from stamp books.
( I actually doubt this because have you ever peeled of a sticker that has a tear in it.. it tears further – thus for the stamp .. the stamp, many of them, could be damaged when it goes on the envelope – I wait for you to tell me I am wrong) - An additional iridescent print working repeats the words 'Royal Mail' in a wave design in the background. The text is designed to be prominent only when viewed at an angle.
(You can this in the scans I am showing – very pretty!!) The new features will affect collectors of used stamps, as the new self-adhesive laminate does not allow stamps to be soaked from substrate. Whilst this is unfortunate for collectors of used stamps, it does reflect the need for Royal Mail to ensure that postal revenues are protected and costs are controlled. "
If Royal Mail had technology that worked and franked the stamps this wouldn’t be the case: only today I received a letter from the UK. The stamp was unfranked. Now here is the next thing: I read this and it might not be as silly as it sounds… the die cut is going to become a pre frank; in other words, they (Royal Mail) can do away with the whole process of franking once they know all stamps will be these security featured stamps. (Don’t mock me. Think about it. Oh and just think what overseas postal workers will do….. scribble in biro on the stamps to cancel them ha ha )
Fanciful I think, but then again, as someone wrote it could be 2030 by the time there are no unused stamps. Now this is
possibly silly because as I think we know, when there is a new constitutional monarch in Great Britain we will see a new issue of stamps showing (we assume) the Kings head and the stamps with the Queen’s head will be unusable (not valid) for postage. Will this happen? What period of time will elapse before this happens I wonder? In the same way that the stamps of George VI were replaced by new stamps (Wildings) bearing the likeness of the Queen), and these stamps became the postal usage currency of the day from 1952 onwards. So, will the Machins we know and mostly still love today have any postal currency when there is a new monarch? Precedent suggests not. I could continue my thinking and argument of this for quite some time but I feel that might bore you. And you all probably know where I will end up.
So dear readers, I am wondering, and seriously wondering, will I bother anymore with new Machin issues. To be honest I think not. And will there be new collectors? I think not. And will Royal Mail find the revenues decline or increase. For those of you who studied economics I am sure you will know the answer. For those who didn’t. You know the answer too I suspect. I’d suggest Royal Mail have neither the education nor the common sense to see where this is heading.
Enjoy your stamps ……… Michael
PS with thanks to Roy, Ian, John. Larry and Charlie for their writings that moved me to this and to the Royal Mail who have copyright and ownership of the images of course, and, I welcome your rebuttals and further thoughts.