Latest Horizon Labels appear in operational Post Offices

Horizon Postage Label

Following on from their introduction at Europhilex 2015, the latest design of Horizon Postage Label has now been seen in day to day use in operational (not event) Post Offices.

The example shown is from Moorgate Post Office a few days prior to relocation of that office.

Europhilex launch for updated ‘precanceled’ Horizon Labels

At Europhilex 2015, as is usual with International Exhibitions in London, as well as the usual Royal Mail ‘Philatelic’ offering, an operational Post Office was established on the gallery.

As part of this and similar to London 2010 where the now widespread  ‘Gold’ Horizon had its ‘First Day’ , Post Office Ltd introduced the latest updated design of Postage Label, with reduced size Queens Head (to allow for more information to be printed) and change to a colour more reminiscent of ‘2000’ Machin stamps.

The first day of use (and therefore introduction of the base label) was 13th May 2015. This is believed to be followed by a limited use in selected branches in the following weeks.

As can be seen, as well as the change of colour, the design features a reduced size Queens Head (Previously announced by Royal Mail at the BPMA Friends Open Day at Debden a year ago on 17th May 2014) and a ‘precancel’ to serve as a reminder that items bearing labels cannot be reused, even though they are not routinely postmarked or cancelled.

The increased ‘white space’ is understood to be made available for a future change in the overprint itself.

Another tariff day, another dollar

New NVI and OV stamps plus a Horizon label 

Monday 30th March 2015 – ‘Tariff Day’ ,  the day that Royal Mail change their prices.  Some up and some down -including some significant drops in the Medium Parcel rates and penny or increases so most other rates.

One of the main changes to interest to collectors is related to the introduction of a new international ‘Large Letter’ size and related increases to the international weight bands for Letters.

But what does this mean to collectors of Postagelabels and Post and Go Stamps  ?

With the demise of the Wincor-Nixdorf Post and Go we are left with the NCR units in the Post Office network plus the IAR units in Royal Mail operational and fixed ‘Philatelic’ locations.

NCR and IAR NVI Stamps

These have been updated to include the two new “100g Letter’ stamps for the new weight bands (replacing the previous 60g step). The collectors set has been updated accordingly.


NCR OV Stamps 

To reflect the introduction of the new International Large Letter size, new Large Letter text has been added to create new OV stamps as applicable.

These appear with a ‘LgLetter’ description and are available in the A, IS, IT and ITS versions.

Our catalogue has been updated accordingly. Please ask for a copy.

Horizon Labels 

One Horizon label has been updated. For details of this change watch this space.

Last Wincor Post & Go safely preserved at BPMA

As reported yesterday, Wincor Post and Go units are now all history for Post Office Ltd. However on a happier note the last operational kiosk – that from the WH Smith branch at Swiss Cottage, was today removed to the BPMA store for preservation for decades to come.














A fitting place for an important part of our Postal Heritage.




Post and Gone

It is with a certain amount of sadness I report that Wincor Post & Go machines are no more in UK Post Offices.

The final curtain fell at a few minutes after 4pm this afternoon where the final operational unit at the Post Office situated in the Swiss Cottage WHSmiths (London NW3) was finally taken out of service .

Picture shows one of the final sets issued.

Yes there is a updated , more modern NCR  kid on the block , but there will always be a certain fondness for the first nationwide “toe in the water” for self service mail in the uk – the Wincor Nixdorf propostal .

What many collectors don’t realise is that this is also the end of “post and go” for the Post Office as the new NCR units are not Post and Go machines – the thinking being that they offer much more than “just post” . They are named “self service kiosk” ( or SSK)  units and so the signage around offices that have never had a a WIncor unit will not mention “post and Go”

The “Post and Go” terminology will live on however , but now will only apply to the stamps produced by Royal Mail .

Self service will never be quite the same again .

Stampex Pre-orders now live on Ebay

A full range of pre-orders from spring stampex 2015 are now available here:-

RM Post and Goes operational – Postage dues paid, VAT accounted for.

RM Latest Operational Machines are not just for Stamp collectors

In an important move in the introduction of self-service automation for customer-facing services, and following on from the temporary placement of exhibition series machines in Crewe and Bradford, yesterday, 9th February saw the A series machines replaced by two new customised RM Post and Go machines, ‘M (or Mailcentre) series’ into Royal Mail’s live operation – and these are not just for Stamp Collectors!

‘M’ Series machines include additional functionality which allows ‘real’ customers to not only purchase the usual range of stamps but also now pay monies due to Royal Mail, such as ‘Postage Due’, VAT and Customs Duty.

Currently fees or charges are raised on a mail item fit into one of two categories, either :-

Postage Underpaid (These days just inland items are surcharged) where the amount of postage underpaid (or due) is payable plus a surcharge of £1 (So technically the minimum payment is £1.01 , but more typically amounts of £1.20 (£1+73p-53p) or £1.52 (£1+52p) are due.


Customs Duty (or more usually VAT) is due on incoming item originating from outside of the EU that has been assessed by HMRC as containing goods over the applicable VAT or Duty threshold. In this case a surcharge of £8 is payable and amounts are typically around £15- £20.

Once a customer has received the notification that a payment is due via a P4605 card, they have had, up to now, three ways to pay the amount due:-

1) Pay online at and await delivery
2) Stick stamps to the card and post and await delivery
3) Visit the delivery Office and pay in cash (Staff will will stick the stamps to the card to show the amount has been paid for accounting reasons)

But now at Crewe and Bradford there is now a forth option available – namely to pay by Credit/Debit card, obtain a Post & Go receipt and then collect your item immediately on production of the payment receipt.

In order to use to use the new Post and Go facility, navigate to the required screen (Customs or Postage Due) input the amount due (As shown on the card) pay via Credit or Debit card and obtain a receipt confirming payment. Your item can then be collected from the hatch.

M series Stamps

The stamps dispensed by M series machines have the office of origin shown ; this is usual for fixed location RM kiosks.

In other respects the Kiosks offer the usual range of Post and Go stamps.

Examples of the 1st and 2nd Class stamps dispensed are shown below:-

Royal Mail Post and Go Home for Xmas

Royal Mail have announced ( at )that their Post and Go machines, previously only used in exibition settings are to be used in real operational, customer-facing settings over the xmas period (Not just for collectors!) The idea is likely to be to  relieve the pressure on queues and provide additional capacity for the sale of stamps.

Machines A003 and A004 are to be put into frontline service (with some slight modifications) and loaded with the ‘Winter Greenery’ stamps.

The two locations involved are

Royal Mail Crewe,

Weston Road,




Royal Mail Bradford North DO

Inkersley Road






Both sites are expected to be operational from 3rd December until Late January 2015 (when the machines are scheduled to be moved to their show locations).


BPMA 1st Class on 2nd Class Error-Not a real swap (sic)

The BPMA – 80th Anniversary of Inland Airmail -1st Class on 2nd Class Reel ERROR

The BPMA are currently marking the ’80th Anniversary of Inland Airmail’ (between 20th August and 20th October 2014) with a special overprint on their A001 Post & Go machine. The 1st and 2nd Class stamps carry an updated ‘overprint’ which includes a ‘Inland Airmail 1934’ plus an ‘Inland Airmail’ logo. So far , A001 has been vending second class Machin Stamps (bright blue – year code MAI2) from one roll and first class Machin Stamps (olive brown – both no year code ‘MAIL’ and year code MAI3 have been available) from the other. Initially the initial configuration was to vend a second class collectors strip of six consisting of 3x2nd Letter and 3x2nd Large but this was available for a few days only. Subsequently, the machine software was modified to vend just a strip two – 2nd and 2nd Large.

New Error

As part of this and subsequent software modifications a further ‘incorrect’ setting arose – known as a ‘Carousel error’- where incorrect stamps are added to the ‘Carousel’ that customers select to purchase their stamps. In this case those stamps that are added to the 2nd Class carousel in error (the 1st Class Letter and 1st Class Large Letter Stamps) meant that they were incorrectly dispensed from the 2nd Class reel – but all other purchases were unaffected. This meant that many collectors had visited the BMPA machine, purchased their Collectors Strips (which would have been printed normally) not noticing this error for the many days it had existed. It is known that a dealer from Germany and one from the Netherlands who purchased single stamps had not noticed the error until later as all of their collectors strips had been printed in the correct way on the correct reels . As this is not a ‘reel’ swap then only 1st class and 1st Class Large values exist printed in this way and ‘collectors Pairs’ of differing values cannot exist (as they would have been printed normally). So far only single stamps have appeared on Ebay although multiples of the same value could exist as well .

Post and Go commemorates the Great War with symbolic Poppy overprinted stamps during Autumn Stampex 2014

Post and Go Single 'Solo' Poppy "First World War Centenary" Overprint Collectors Strip

Countdown to Autumn Stampex 2014

At Autumn Stampex 2014, Royal Mail will issue a special “Poppy” Post and Go stamp with a commemorative overprint “First World War Centenary” . The single image ‘Poppies on a reel’ will be also be available from NCR and Wincor units (A ‘first day’ of 21st October has been quoted in the Philatelic Bulletin, but this is unlikely to be enforced as branches will update their machines once stocks are available).

A mock up of the stamps is shown, and this is subject to change.

The stamps are available via pre-order here