The ongoing story...
But I think I'm really getting somewhere! In order to get a grip on these stamps I figured the best way would be to be systematic and not deviate from the chosen path. So I decided to first start with a singles collection. I took my catalogue (The Complete Deegam Machin Handbook) and made a list of all the main entries and the years of those entries so I ended up with a list per year of issued stamps (either new or with different features). The great thing about this handbook is, that it is subdivided into various levels, from simplified to specialised. You can choose your own level, or mix and match. I find that the intermediate level works fine for me, for I'm not always interested in phosphor band shifts, direction of printing and stuff like that. My eyes just aren't good enough for that. But even this intermediate level has me puzzled every now and then, when they go on about phosphor screens, which again I just can't make out. But generally speaking, this level works fine.

So what I've done is take it year by year, make my own album pages (dead simple, in Word and on A4) with a nice border, info from the handbook and I've drawn squares for the mounts and then I just try and find the stamps to go with it. I have three stockbooks full of mint Machins but there are still many gaps to fill! I've done a number of years now (1967-1971) and find it works well. I'll see if I can scan a page to show you, later.

I'm not allowed to work in the next level even though I could every now and then when I happen to know whether a stamp is from say cylinder 2 or 3, but I just keep those apart with a little note, and I've promised myself that once I've done my singles this way I may consider stepping up a level. But I believe that doing the intermediate level will amount to thousands of stamps so I think I'll just leave it at this level and see if I can make something good of it. Similarly, that is the reason why I won't be touching blocks and booklets and miniature sheets etc anymore. I know they are nice but this singles thing is a massive task on its own, so I don't think it's a good idea to get bogged down again in blocks and booklets.

The only remaining doubt (so far) is this block.

As you can see, it includes the missing pound sign stamp. That stamp would be on a more specialised level, so won't be included in my current way of thinking, and even if I were to do singles on a higher level I'd have to break up this block which is a sin, if only for financial reasons. I might just sell it and buy a single copy or I might just sell it and buy something else. Or I might just keep it somewhere.

We'll see!


nnnnnn said…
Adrian, Hi.. great stuff you are writing.. good to see the scan of the missing two pound .. I wrote about this some months back.. worth an investment dollar in my view if you can find a block of 6

Really enjoy your writings..

hope you enjoy my latest :-)

best wishes.. Michael