Illustrated Machin Decimal Stamp Booklets.postal history.


This months article looks at the mix of Regional Issues of Great Britain to match the
illustration shown on the cover of a pictorial booklet from the 'Postal History' series.

Pictorial Booklets of Great Britain

Walter Owen

Booklet number 10 of the Postal History series was issued on October 26th 1983.

The cover illustrations were of "Regional Stamps" to commemorate the Silver Jubilee of the first Regional Stamps. (Fig 1)

click here
for larger image

From left to right they are :- Wales 3d, Northern Ireland 1/3d, Scotland 1/3d.

The booklet cost £1.46 and contained a mixed value pane of 10 Machin definitive stamps, 6 at 16p, two band phosphor (first class) and 4 at 12½p, one phosphor band at left on two stamps and at right on two (second class). (Fig 2)

click here
for detail

Issued with the binding selvedge to the right and to the left, this copy has the selvedge at the left and shows the ink cylinder numbers B26 and B5. The phosphor cylinder number is B55 and can be seen when held at an angle to light or with the aid of a special lamp.

On the inside front cover of the booklet there is a brief history of the issues and the inside back cover shows postal rates effective from April 1983 plus the name of the designer — John Gibbs, and the printer — Harrison & Sons Limited, June 1983.

In 1958 there were six 'Regions' for which the stamps were issued:-

Guernsey, Jersey, the Isle of Man, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

Guernsey and Jersey are Islands in the English Channel and the Isle of Man is in the Irish Sea, some 60 miles from Liverpool.

The issues of Regional Stamps, now known as 'Country Stamps' are quite complex and in this article I am dealing only with the Sterling values as it is those which are illustrated on the booklet.

On the stamps for all regions the portrait was by Dorothy Wilding and the printing in photo by Harrison and Sons.

Basic Issues

Guernsey (Fig 3)

Designer:- E. A. Piprell.
1958-67 Watermark Multiple Crowns.
2½d, 3d, 4d.
1968-69 No watermark.
4d (pale ultramarine) 4d (olive-sepia) 4d (brt vermilion) 5d.

Jersey (Fig 4)

Designers:- 2½d — E. Blampied. Others — W. Gardner.
1958-67 Watermark Multiple Crowns.
2½d, 3d, 4d.
1968-69 No watermark.
4d (olive-sepia) 4d (brt vermilion) 5d.
The islands of Guernsey and Jersey both became postally independent on 1st October 1969 and issued their own stamps.

Isle of Man (Fig 5)

Designer:- J. Nicholson.
1958-68 Watermark Multiple Crowns.
2½d, 3d, 4d.
1968-69 No watermark.
4d (blue) 4d (olive-sepia) 4d (brt vermilion) 5d.
The Isle of Man became postally independent on 5th July 1973 so they had one issue of four decimal currency Regional Stamps in 1971 before they issued their own stamps.

Northern Ireland (Fig 6)

Designers:- W. Hollywood (3d, 4d, 5d.) L. Pilton (6d, 9d.) T. Collins (1/3d, 1/6d.)
1958-67 Watermark Multiple Crowns.
3d, 4d, 6d, 9d, 1/3d, 1/6d.
1968-69 No watermark.
4d (dp brt blue) 4d (olive-sepia) 4d (brt vermilion) 5d, 1/6d.

Scotland (Fig 7)

Designers:- G. Huntly (3d, 4d, 5d.) J. Fleming (6d, 9d.) A. Imrie (1/3d, 1/6d.)
1958-67 Watermark Multiple Crowns.
3d, 4d, 6d, 9d, 1/3d, 1/6d.
1967-70 No watermark.
3d, 4d (dp brt blue) 4d (olive-sepia) 4d (brt vermilion) 5d, 9d, 1/6d.

Wales (Fig 8)

Designer:- R. Stone.
1958-67 Watermark Multiple Crowns
3d, 4d, 6d, 9d, 1/3d, 1/6d.
1967-69 No watermark
3d, 4d (ultramarine) 4d (olive-sepia) 4d (brt vermilion) 5d, 1/6d.

As can be seen from the illustrations, the designs are very distinctive and a collection of even the basic values would be very attractive. I myself have a soft spot for the dragons on the Welsh issues. If you feel you need more of a challenge there are the usual variations of phosphor bands, missing phosphor etc. in just the sterling issues.

Financial Alert!!

Before jumping in for these be aware that the watermarked Northern Ireland 1/6d missing phosphor is catalogued at UK£200 and the no watermark 1/6d at UK£500.
However, if you simply need an example of a missing phosphor variety the 4d brt vermilion is catalogued at a mere UK£4.50.
Getting into the decimal issues opens quite a can of worms and provides scope for a large collection, even if you concentrate only on the basic values, of which there are a fair number. For instance the Northern Ireland 1971-93 issues comprise about 58 stamps.
Once again I have had to delve into odd corners to find stamps to match this booklet and as usual I think what an interesting collection this would have made if I had begun at the beginning. Another missed boat? Perhaps. Maybe if I had collected them I would not have been able to afford the stamp booklets which started the ball rolling on this series of articles.
As a matter of interest new Scottish and Welsh Country Definitive Stamps were issued on June 8th 1999 and they are completely different. I got those! Perhaps the start of another interest, but I think not. I still have to finish writing up the booklets.
Doing that will lead on to MandM part 5 — I wonder what that will be...

Happy collecting.


British Philatelic Bulletin

Stanley Gibbons Great Britain Concise Stamp Catalogue

This article was first published in Stamp News the Australian monthly magazine, March 2001.
Copyright EARS Leisurewrite 1996.

Return to Stamps page.

next article in this series Mix and Match part 5