The Norphil blog entry for 8 January makes it clear that it is unfortunate that a few people trying to make a few pounds because they have found a weakness in a system. I questioned the legitimacy of the extended strips that appeared at Autumn Stampex 2012 and rightly so. At the previous Autumn Stampex, a flaw in the Hytech kiosks allowed a few people pull on the strip of stamps to generate blank and partially printed stamps. This problem was fixed by Spring Stampex 2012 with the addition of a cover making it impossible to reach the strip.
I must point out that a letter to Stamp Magazine at the time of Spring Stampex warned of this mis-use of the machine and rightly so as these "errors" were made available on ebay the same day as they were produced at a heavy premium.
With the new design of Hytech kiosk that appeared at Autumn Stampex 2012, it looked as though the problem could recur and, I mentioned it to others while waiting in the queue to purchase examples form the kiosk on the first day of the show in the presence of the engineer. When this error subsequently appeared, and again quickly appeared on ebay led one to suspect a repeat.
I subsequently asked for information supporting the genuineness of these new errors via the Stamp Magazine forum, Norphil and other sources. This prompted a reply that these were genuine and that a video had been made of the strips being produced. This video is now on You-tube and it clearly illustrates that these particular examples are genuine errors.
I agree with Ian at Norphil that it is ridiculous that some one such as myself has to question the authenticity of some stamps. I apologise if this has upset anyone but surely it is better for this new area of UK collecting that we question the irregularities and stop any abuse before it turns people away from this field of interest.
Once more, I stress that I am not a dealer. I am a stamp collector who has collected since I was 5 (in 1961). I do not have the temperament to be a dealer. My background is science and I have published a number of papers in learned journals. When I see a wrong result, I check it and re-check it to see what the problem was. That was my training and profession.
Therefore if I see something out of place with the Hytechs and Wincors or indeed any other field should I keep quiet and let it go or ask for clarification? I want to hear from other collectors in this area. I want data on usage, dates of use, session numbers, what stamps were used where, faults, receipt varieties, etc. My email address is email@example.com.