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Europe/Great Britain : Machins and Great Britain regional stamps

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Tim Auld (Timauld)
06 Nov 2008
08:49:33pm
Hi Everyone,
As many of you know, I'm a bit of a newbie. I was looking up some Jersey stamps in my Scott catalog this evening, that Lee has in the Auctions and in the end of the Great Britain section there were a few things that caught my eye that I didn't understand.

1. What are "Machins", what does the term mean, and why do they have their own section in the catalog?

2. Why did Scotland and Wales start issuing their own stamps? Aren't they part of the UK?

3. I've never heard of "Monmouthshire". Why are they issuing their own stamps?

Regards ... Tim.
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Randy B. Kerr (Musicman)
06 Nov 2008
09:07:24pm
re: Machins and Great Britain regional stamps

Hi Tim,

Regarding Machins, I'm sure many others besides myself could go into a long-toothed discussion on them, but I think the following link will serve you better;

http://www.adminware.ca/machin/m_intro.htm

Happy reading!
Randy

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Jill Crowther (Jillcrow)
08 Nov 2008
01:24:21am
re: Machins and Great Britain regional stamps

This might be of some interest to you

http://www.linns.com/howto/refresher/regional_20050314/refreshercourse.asp

The Welsh regional stamps were also available in some parts of Monmouthshire. When the counties were rearranged, Monmouthshire became part of Wales, mostly Gwent.

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Tim Auld (Timauld)
10 Nov 2008
05:36:11pm
re: Machins and Great Britain regional stamps

Randy and Jill,
Thanks for your responses to my questions. Both links where fascinating reading. I hope that our members who are selling on our auction will continue to post these regional stamp. They are most interesting. I'll be bidding on them.

Regards ... Tim.

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Mike Owsian (Meostamps)
24 Nov 2008
07:46:09pm
re: Machins and Great Britain regional stamps

Tim, the Eritrea issues all show King George VI. (WWII era). Machins started in 1967 and all show the bust made by Machin of Queen Elizabeth II. Mike in NYC

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Liz Jones (Patches)
24 Nov 2008
07:49:10pm
re: Machins and Great Britain regional stamps

Tim;

Those stamps from Eritrea shown in the auction lot you linked to are not machins.

Machins were first issued on June 5, 1967.

http://www.adminware.ca/machin/m_time.htm

The machins consist of a profile of Queen Elizabeth II and a value or service indicator.

Liz

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David Teisler (Teisler)
24 Nov 2008
08:18:39pm
re: Machins and Great Britain regional stamps

Tim, to add to this, GB issued two major definitive sets featuring the Queen: the Wilding issue (named after the photographer who took the Queen's photo) and the Machin issue (named after the sculptor who created the bust that serves as the image for the stamps). I've never heard anyone refer to stamps of other BC countries as Machins, although many use the same silhoutte that's found on many of the English stamps not called Machins (and I don't know if THAT silhoutte has a name). The Wildings reigned from 1952 to 1967; the Machins ever since. Wildings are 3/4 image; Machins profile. You are correct to capitalize it, as it refers to a specific individual (proper noun, from my days as an English teacher).

David, who has pretty much exhausted his knowledge of Machins

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Tim Auld (Timauld)
24 Nov 2008
09:33:59pm
re: Machins and Great Britain regional stamps

Thanks everyone. It just seemed a similar sort of bust to those of the Queen. I should have realized that it was from an earlier period. They are interesting though aren't they.

Regards ... Tim.

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Greenmouse (Greenmouse)
28 Nov 2008
11:17:29am
re: Machins and Great Britain regional stamps

Tim, are you thinking of starting a Machin collection? I started one a few years ago [when there were less] and it was mind boggling in their extent. If you are and there is anything I can do to help please let me know. Many thanks for all the great work you are doing on the site.
Tim2.

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Greenmouse (Greenmouse)
28 Nov 2008
01:49:10pm
re: Machins and Great Britain regional stamps

Best place to start is by booking a therapist. Only the brave tackle Machins and you have to be at least a green beret with nerves of steel. Will e mail you later on this.
Tim2.

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David Teisler (Teisler)
28 Nov 2008
05:14:30pm
re: Machins and Great Britain regional stamps

Tim L, Tim A is an Aussie, and would properly need to be SAS.

Tim A: Tim L has booklets to trade, and perhaps you might inquire what he has IF you want to delve deep into the Machins. I suspect that it's the prestige booklets that are the difficult (expensive) part of a Machin collection. Randy B (Musicman) has recently gone great guns into Machins also; perhaps he's got trading material.

Incidentally, I used the new searchable member dBase to confirm that Tim L was from the UK, as I thought, which is where I saw his trading stock of booklets. What a wonderful tool you've given us, Tim (A for Aussie).

David

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Malcolm197
04 Dec 2008
03:03:29pm
re: Machins and Great Britain regional stamps

About Monmouthshire.

When the Government reorganised local government some years ago Monmouthshire ( England ) became Gwent (Wales ). This ( among many other issues surrounding the reorganisation ) was VERY contentious - the majority of people in the West of the county considering themselves Welsh, while in the east they were basically English - this dating from the cattle stealing days of the 13th century when the 2 sides were very warlike.
Culturally it is still a bit of an "inbetween land". So much so that in tourism terms Gwent and the Forest of Dean ( West Gloucestershire,England) do a lot of joint marketing.

The Post Office response to this situation ( at the time) was to have both Welsh and standard definitives on sale in some ( all ? ) Gwent post offices to assuage the various nationalistic feelings. You could request whichever you wanted.I don't know what the present situation is but I suspect that only Welsh Stamps are now available.

However note that only the major letter rate definitives are available in the regional variations - make-up values and second weight-step and beyond values are only available as "standard" Machins.

A typical British compromise !

malcolm

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Timauld
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Just one more small cover .....
04 Dec 2008
05:31:22pm
re: Machins and Great Britain regional stamps

Thanks Malcolm,
That clears it up for me a lot. Why didn't they just call the two areas England and Wales? Why Monmouthshire and Gwent?

Regards ... Tim.

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Jansimon
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05 Dec 2008
02:53:38am

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re: Machins and Great Britain regional stamps

Monmouthshire and Gwent are (were) the counties. If I am not mistaken, the role of counties in the UK is similar to that in the USA. Regional government within the countries/states.

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Malcolm197
05 Dec 2008
03:26:37am
re: Machins and Great Britain regional stamps

The county is the "second tier" government authority - responsible for highways,education,public transport,libraries and the fire service among other things with some counties having responsible for police, while other police forces are run by consortia of counties. They are (roughly) based on the old "shires" of mediaeval times. Some have survived virtually intact while others have been messed about by successive governments for various reasons. Welsh and Scottish counties were particularly vulnerable to change.

The old county of Monmouthshire was definitely in England while the new county Gwent ( covering virtually exactly the same "footprint" )is most definitely part of Wales. The population is a mixture of English and Welsh, although it should be noted that there are relatively few native Welsh speakers.

The counties while relatively unimportant governmentally are part of the identity of many Britons ( some counties inspiring more loyalty than others ) so when they are messed with people get upset, and in the case of Monmouthshire/ Gwent it changed country as well. It is like the President of the USA suddenly taking a slice of New York State and giving it to New Jersey - only more so.

Also in some cases ( but not in this one ) bits of economically efficient counties were given to profligate spenders, with consequent hikes in property taxes, and where counties were lumped together extra levels of ( expensive) bureaucracy were introduced.

Given that the British in general ( whether English, Scots or Welsh) are conservative by nature and like the status quo, almost no local government reorganisation is popular, and in fact quite a lot of the other changes introduced at the same time as the Monmouth/Gwent changes have been quietly reversed.

I am sorry if I gave the impression that Monmouthshire was synonimous to England and Gwent to Wales , but they are regions of same.
Malcolm

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Timauld
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Just one more small cover .....
05 Dec 2008
08:02:56am
re: Machins and Great Britain regional stamps

Hi Malcolm,
Thanks for going into detail on this. That explains a lot. I find it a facinating topic. I'll go back and read up more on the regionals now.

Regards ... Tim.

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