More Royal Navy Museums Fuel The Post and Go Stamp Fire
The new locations in Hartlepool and Belfast will have machines A006 and A008 respectively. They are scheduled to go live on 1st June 2016 vending the Union Flag and Machin Post & Go stamps. The static identifier will be "Royal Navy" and stamps will also carry the "Battle of Jutland" wording in line with all the other Royal Navy sites.
Now, while I fully understand how visitors to these museums may wish to buy a few postcards from the gift shop and use these stamps to create souvenirs, I also know these are going to become another Post & Go variety that many collectors will feel they have to buy.
For me there's now a kind of strange marketplace being created by these static machine locations. While Royal Mail are presumably satisfied with the lion's share of the face value of stamps being vended, it's usually dealers on eBay who end up making a quick profit by distributing the stamps nationally.
I'm not at all critical of these eBay sellers as they spot the opportunity and provide the service that the museums don't appear to recognise or bother about. For some strange reason, the museums seem reluctant to offer even the most basic postal supply service to collectors in return for a modest service charge. If eBay sellers value the income, I would have thought the opportunity to keep museum staff busy during quieter hours and earn a few pounds would be a useful option for them. The demand is obviously going to be there for such a service as the cost of petrol and ferries is a little OTT for people who only want a collectors strip! Is it so difficult to add a postal service for these collectable stamps to the products already being offered in museum website shops?
With the immediate use (and the planned withdrawal) of the Jutland inscription, there will soon be numerous varieties of the basic Machin and Union Flag Post & Go labels attributed to each of these new machines. No doubt there will be the usual range of printing "cock ups" to lever open the wallets on eBay too. For me it's all become a bit tiresome and my initial enthusiasm for an interesting development of postage stamps has fast become a comical suspicion that there's a world record attempt for cash cow milking underway!!
Being more serious, it must have got to the point where someone somewhere has decided to do a specialist study of the Union Flag Post & Go label alone and what a huge challenge that would be now. When you multiply all the date variations of the labels with all the locations, the various overprints and then multiply that by the various service values, the number of stamps required to form a complete collection is enormous. You probably have more chance of doing an entire set of plate reconstructions for the penny red!
GB Stamp Home Page More GB Stamp Articles