Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Autumn Stampex 2012 – The First Day

Autumn Stampex opened at 11.20 a.m. on the 26th of September. The weather was slightly overcast. The big news for GB and ATM collectors is the presence of two new kiosks from Hytec. In addition, two further kiosks are in the back of the stand to run off pre-ordered faststamps. 

The programme of releases during the show include Flag fastsamps with and without the Jubilee overprint, Pig fastamps for the first two days and the new Cattle faststamps from Friday 28th to close of show. All of the faststamps will have a new office ident and machine ident. Thursday 29th sees yet another Olympic minisheet.

For this show, the Royal Mail stand is up one level and at the back of the hall. I suspect it is to encourage people beyond the entrance of the fair. Most of the early visitors seemed to be heading there to access the Hytecs or fill the gaps in their collections from the main part of the RM stand.

My target was the Hytecs. However, there were teething problems. A check on one kiosk threw up a little error on the “Europe up to 40g” which required a last minute reprogramming before we were allowed access to the machines. It originally read “up tp”. This change then lead to problems getting the machines working with a number of re-boots required which delayed things for 20-30 minutes. This was followed by printer error messages every so often requiring the engineer to open the units.

Kiosk A2

Kiosk A1

Visible inside the unit were three printers in the order stamp, receipt and stamp. From the angle that I viewed the “works” I could not see much more than the printers and what could be a power supply unit. I also noticed a toy racing car and suggested that they had done away with the conventional bus system and replaced it with a “high speed racer”. It didn’t go down well. (A2 is the closed kiosk and A1 is open).

From what was being said, there were also similar problems with the backroom kiosks and the engineer was making regular trips back and forward.

Unfortunately, the reflections on the screens make it difficult to photograph the text.

Flags Kiosk A1

Pigs Kiosk A1

Flags Kiosk A2
Pigs Kiosk A2

Both public machines were set up to deliver either the flags or the pigs. Kiosk A1 was not producing flags with the Jubilee print while Kiosk A2 plus the two in the back were. It should be noted that the backroom kiosks (B1 and B2) were only being used to produce the overprinted flags to keep up with the orders (circa 1.30p.m.).

 Flags Kiosk B1

Flags Kiosk B2

As previously reported on the Norphil blog site and the postagelabelsuk web site, a new format for the office ident and kiosk ident is being employed on these kiosks.

A9GB12 A2-000026-01

A9GB12 is the “office” ident currently in use. The significance of the first A is unknown. The 9 signifies September, GB is Britain and 12 is the year 2012.

A2 is the kiosk identifier. A signifies that the kiosk is accessible to the public and the 2 identifies the kiosk.

000026-01 is the session number and the transaction number as with the Wincors and previous Hytec issues at Stampex.

I also must apologise for the quality of the images presented here. Usually I scan the faststamps before uploading but this time I used a digital camera at the show before applying the stamps to cover. I will be including scans of the receipts and upload the material shortly.

I hope to revisit this show on the 28th and I will try to add a few more images of the units and screens.

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