Saturday, 25 May 2013

Machin Diary

The Beginning

For several years now I have been planning to start a Great Britain Machin Head collection. Due to many different circumstances I have put it off and put it off. That is until the other day when I found a great website that sells Machin Head Album pages already laid out for the collector. Click HERE to have a look for yourself. It's well worth it. After looking at the site I decided to go for it.

So, having decided to take the plunge, I thought, wouldn't it be great to document my Machin journey for posterity? A collection such as this will be full of excitement, pitfalls, and perils. But what an amazing journey.  If you are new to Machins yourself, perhaps you can learn along with me. If you're an old hand at these heads, then maybe you'll get at least a little entertainment over my fumblings. There are sure to be a few of those!!

To begin our journey, let's return to the Machin Album website. Upon close inspection I discovered that there were a few choices that must be made immediately. Oh dear!! I've only just started. But I took the bull by the horns - as it were - and probed deeper. 

Firstly, I was then prompted to choose which type of collection I was to embark upon. Basic (free). Novice. Intermediate  Advanced. Each of the categories delve a little deeper into this amazing branch of philately. I carefully studied each category to see what it had to offer. (In my next diary entry I'll look more in depth at each of these categories). I also tried to take into account my budget. I didn't want an album that I knew I'd never be able to fill because of high-end material that was out of my reach. Herein lay my first problem! I know little about these stamps so how do I know if I am getting an album that I can fill? A quick consultation with my Stanley Gibbons gave me some answers. 

Now I felt I was armed with enough knowledge to choose. Being a novice, but wanting a bit more of a challenge than the Novice collection allows for, I chose intermediate. Then it was simply a matter of parting with some hard earned cash, and pressing a button. Then presto, I was now the proud owner of over 300 Machin Head album pages.  

Here is a sample of one page from the album:

Now that I had my album sitting on my hard drive ready to go, I came to my next big question. So many questions so soon!! Aarrgh!! What weight paper should I use to print out my album? Research suggested no less than 160 gsm paper. I live in the country, so I don't exactly have a wide selection of stationery to choose from. I found a ream (500 pages) of decently priced 100 gsm paper. I reasoned that it would do the trick for me as I intend to place the pages in protective plastic sleeves. Now it was simply a matter of loading up the printer. And waiting...

Within minutes I had an album sitting before me. Well, not quite. Studying the album pages I found that it was yet again decision time. Hinges!! But I'll leave that dilemma till next time...

Until then...
Stay Stamp Crazy!!


  1. The first day of the rest of your life! Good luck with your Machin collection and I'm looking forward to regular updates!
    Just one thing though, I know you've already bought it, but I would really reconsider your paper choice. You may find that the paper is too light to support the stamp hinges you propose to use. If I were you I'd have another browse on line. There's plenty of options to order 160gsm paper on line and have it delivered. I live in the country as well, with the nearest stationery shop one hour's drive away, as is my local printer who sold me proper acid free 160gsm paper for a more than reasonable price. It's only one journey if you order by phone and well worth making the trouble.

    1. Thanks Adrian!! I'm glad you enjoyed the post. I've been wanting to start my Machin collection for many years now, and I'm super-excited about it. I'll take a look at the 160 gsm paper...