When the Machin head definitives first came on the scene in 1967, I immediately fell in love with their elegant simplicity. Over the years many changes have occurred including decimalisation, phosphor band variations, perforation errors, security cut-outs, colour changes and the seemingly unstoppable effect of inflation on postage costs.

Considering only the standard sized Machins, the lowest value one was 1d (one old penny for the benefit of the younger readers) and the highest value to date is £2.65 (but watch this space!).

Having embarked on a Machin collection, I soon discovered that many of the rare and desirable variations occurred only in the counter and machine stamp booklets and particularly in the so-called prestige booklets. So inevitably I started collecting GB booklets and it seemed logical to work backwards into the Wilding era and then back into earlier reigns.

As a result I now have a GB booklet collection that stretches back to the early days of Edward VII. Arnold Machin has a lot to answer for!

Ian Anderson