Machin Collectors Club

You never know where life will take you!

A couple of years ago our colleague Tony Hender of Arun Stamps was asked to supply 5,000 used Red Machin stamps, which he was able to do. This request has led to the discovery of a story that is about the have a wonderful ending. 

About 10 years ago a gentleman called Peter was taking a close look at a 6½p Machin stamp through a magnifier and he noticed that the image was made up of lots of small dots. As he was also interested in computers he likened these ‘dots’ to pixels in a computer image. This sparked his curiosity even further so he scanned this 6½p Machin to the highest magnification possible at the time and he then noticed something that was to take him on a ten year journey that has finally reached it’s destination.

He realised that a giant image of this stamp could actually be made, utilising used Machin stamps themselves. Using a combination of mathematics, rulers and patience he made a mosaic template for a 6½p Machin magnified 300 times and duly started to fill in the spaces - all 110,000 of them! 

During the completing of this task he found out that the record for a mosaic of this type in the Guinness World Records stood at 220.28m2 and is currently held by a gentleman in Spain. This offered Peter a challenge he could not resist - after all he was already half way there - so he started adding to his existing project. Most of you will recall that in the March 2016 Newsletter we reported a sale of 186,000 used Machins that was made at Spring Stampex by Tony. Well, now you know where they went!

We can now tell you that Peter has now finished his project after these ten years. His completed mosaic measures a massive 27 metres (88½ feet) x 9 metres (29½ feet) and comprises over half a million used Machins - in fact there are 528,220! 

To go for the Guinness World Record Peter obviously needed a hall large enough to accommodate the mosaic. As there was nothing near where he lived, he asked Tony if he had any ideas. I think you all now know where this item is going! Tony contacted myself and told me the story above and wondered whether we could incorporate this into the Southern England Stamp Show next March. Bearing in mind the hall is 35 metres square it would be ideal. More importantly from the club’s point of view, 2017 sees the 50th Anniversary of the issue of the Machin. We thought this would be good for Peter, good for Machin collectors, good for the show, and perhaps we could also do something for charity at the same time? So, here in summary, is what we have  planned so far - there are more details to work on but the Guinness World Record attempt will be made at the Southern England Stamp Show at Farnborough on Thursday March 9th 2017 - the day before our show opens.

We have extended the hire of our venue to four days from Wednesday 8th to Saturday 11th March. The mosaic will be laid out on the Wednesday (it will take a whole day to do). On Thursday morning the public will be admitted to see the display. Peter’s record attempt will be verified by the rules imposed by Guinness World Records, and hopefully his name will eventually go in the records. We have also invited a celebrity to appear from Childline for this event as well as the media. A photographer has been commissioned to record the mosaic, and the resulting image will be used to prepare a souvenir to be printed by our printer in Norwich, couriered down overnight, to be on sale at the start of the show on Friday and Saturday in aid of Childline. At present this event is being supported by the Machin Collectors Club, Arun Stamps, Stanley Gibbons, Gibbons Stamp Monthly, Stamp Magazine,  Stamp & Coin Mart,

Richard Bond (Photographer) & Catton Print. More details are being worked on but this should be quite an event!


Below is a reproduction of the advert that will publicise this event in the philatelic press

for which we thank them.