I have to admit that I have great admiration for anyone who can say confidently that they are able to keep up with Royal Mail's Post And Go stamp issues. The efforts of Post and Go entrepreneurs to obtain and sell the never-ending flood of these issues on E Bay are admirable and one may occasionally baulk at the seemingly high prices of such items but when one considers the amount of travelling around to individual sites that is involved in obtaining these products and the constant need to have one's ear to the ground just to keep up with what is being produced by Royal Mail's burgeoning number of IAR kiosks then most of the prices seem quite reasonable.
But there's one kiosk which is an absolute goldmine for those happy few who are allowed access to it. I mean, of course, kiosk M001 which is situated at the British Forces Post Office Headquarters at RAF Northolt (see Blogs 750 and 755) to which BFPO staff have access but, understandably, the general public does not.
In Blog 852 I mentioned that the "Poppy" stamps had been reissued on 24 October 2016 (to be sold until 13 November) with code MA16 for sale from NCR kiosks in ordinary post offices, IAR kiosks in enquiry offices and from the Navy museums. The poppy stamps have also popped up to be dispensed from M001 at RAF Northolt. And of course there is extremely limited access to them which enables a few people to make quite a killing on their sale prices.
The poppy stamp is sold in individual values or the usual "Collectors strips" of 6 different values, total face value £7.75p, with the unique inscription "Headquarters BFPO/Lest we forget" and the two 2nd Class rate values also have a new inscription "Headquarters BFPO ". With their limited availability the strips are appearing on E Bay being offered for auction and 2 strips of poppy stamps (one "Collectors strip" of 6 different values with one strip of 6 x 1st class rate stamps being sold for £55 against a cost to the seller of £11.59p - a near instant 500% profit! - presumably those who work at the Northolt Headquarters view kiosk M001 as one of the perks of the job, a gift that keeps on giving). Caveat emptor!
And there are even more poppies. The Naval museums and Royal Marines museum kiosks are also dispensing Poppy labels from 24 October to 13 November with the added inscriptions "Royal Navy" or "Royal Marines", the latter with an additional logo.
Meanwhile we have also had "Union Jack" labels from the Royal Navy and Royal Marines museums which commemorate the 2016 "Trafalgar Day" which I'm sure Admiral Horatio Nelson would have been pleased to see with his good eye. These were on sale from 23 September to 23 October 2016. Another 2 "Collectors strips" at £7.75p each.
What with the Shakespeare Birthplace Centre stamps issued on 1 November 2016 (Blog 855), which have so far given us 1 strip of Flag stamps and 2 strips of Machin Head stamps (code MA15 and no code), the Trafalgar Day stamps (2 strips), the Navy and Marines poppy stamps (2 strips), the NCR and IAR poppy strips from post offices and enquiry offices (total face value cost £69.75p) this is an expensive time for "Post and Go" collectors who prefer to collect "Collectors strips" and that does not take into account the cost of obtaining the BFPO stamps and the new issues from The Postal Museum.
Shakespeare might well say to Nelson, "there are more poppies in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy". There are certainly more poppies on stamps than are dreamt of in my philosophy. I wonder if any proceeds from the profits of selling these labels is donated by Royal Mail to The Royal British Legion.
India Post issued a single stamp on 31 October 2016 to commemorate National Unity Day, the birthday of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, one of the founding fathers of modern India and who is seen as someone who ensured that India remained a unified entity. Rating:- ***.
The next day a single stamp was released to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the creation of Haryana state. Rating:- ***.
In Blog 799 I mentioned a set of 8 stamps which were issued by IGPC on 15 August 2016 which depicted views of the Great Wall of China. These items are inscribed "Grenada". It's difficult to understand why Grenada would want to issue stamps on this subject apart from a presumed appeal to collectors in China. Below are clearer illustrations of these items than In Blog 799. Rating:- 0.
Also in Blog 799 I depicted a sheetlet of 4 different stamps which was issued by IGPC with a stated date of issue of 29 July 2016 to commemorate the 90th birthday of Queen Elizabeth II and inscribed "Antigua And Barbuda". The sheetlet was accompanied by a miniature sheet which I now depict below. Rating:- **.
Bhutan Post has issued a sheetlet of 4 different stamps and 1 miniature sheet containing 2 different stamps on the subject of the "World's largest statues of Seated Buddha Dordenma and Guru Rinpoche (Guru Nangsi Zilnoen). I find these issues from Bhutan Post to be very interesting and always locally relevant and this looks like another interesting and attractive issue. Rating:- ****.
In Blog 845 I mentioned that Botswana Post had reissued its "Vervet monkeys" miniature sheet with an additional border inscription and logo to commemorate its participation in the Thailand 2016 32nd Asian International Stamp Exhibition held from 10 to 15 August 2016 in Bangkok. It appears that it also reissued its "Elephants in Botswana" miniature sheet with the exhibition logo printed in its upper border and the 2 sheets are depicted below. Rating:- ***.