In the past we already discussed the fantasy cards from Mary El and Chartonia in this section, and now there is again a new kind of these items: the Palatine Celecbrity "postcard" series. I only know Palatine as a city in the USA and a region in Germany, but not as post delivering country or organization. This series consists of not less than 740 different cards with pictures of celebrities. Among them also the 3 cards shown here with racing-motorcyclists. Carl Fogarty, John McGuinness and Mick Doohan are shown on the cards and in the stamp imprint. Fantasy thus. Just for your information.

Carl Fogarty

John McGuinness

Mike Doohan

What occasions do Postal Services use to earn money?
Earlier the Isle of Man Postoffice already sold pieces of tarmac from the road surface of Ballaugh Bridge, together with a stamp packed in a plastic sleeve. Obviously this has been a very lucrative activity, as they are now going the same (broken) way. After the series "Get the Hump" (of Ballaugh Bridge) we can now find the series "Checkered flag in sight!" with pieces tarmac from Glencrutchery Road where the TT start and finish line has been painted on the street. No less a person than John McGuinness should have broken the pieces of tarmac out of the road surface. And this is reflected by the price of the 750 pieces, which is 50% higher.

Pieces of Glencrutchery Road, cut out by John McGuinness
John McGuinness on the job

But.... if you prefer a piece of road rubble from the corner near the pub at Creg-ny-Baa (Cow's stone) between milestone 35 and 36 of the Mountain Circuit, you can also go to the IOM Post. The "Round the bend" pieces cost the same £ 4.50. If you want to pave your driveway with it you have to hurry, because also here only 750 pieces are sold.

Lumps of tarmac from Creg-ny-Baa (Cow's stone)

And it is rumoured that more Trackies Tarmacs can be expected. Yeah...... To promote the series of tarmac lumps a special movie has been made with a George Formby clone driving the Shuttleworth special. look at: www.youtube.com/watch?v=2VDembyPHKo. Well.....

The next question is already haunting us for years: when is a sheet a block and when is a block a sheet? We have asked the question to many coryphees in the philatelic world, but I have never heard a complete answer from anybody. Some people find the number of stamps in the paper the key characteristic, some say it is only a block when the image is printed over the whole paper. Also the various catalogues did not fully elucidate it, and this is in fact understandable when looking at the many different forms that new issues can take nowadays.
When compiling the new catalogue I ran again into this question, and in an email discussion with the Michel headquarters I also asked this question to them. The answer was surprisingly simple. It is called a sheet when the stamps can be taken out of the paper without using a pair of scissors, thus when the perforation runs to the edge. When the perforation does not reach the edge, it is obviously not the intention to take the stamps out of the paper, and thus they form 1 unit, a block.
Knowing this the question remains why for instance the blocks with four stamps about the Tour de France (2003) are called "kleinbogen" (little sheet) in the Michel. Again a simple answer: too much work to review all the descriptions.
In our MFN catalogue (which is fortunately not so extensive) we did use these clear definitions, also because it is not so easy to give a correct description for everything in Dutch. Thus: a block is a block and a sheet remains a sheet.
Thus even a sheet like this one about Zwolle is a sheet:

Stamp sheet of Beautiful Netherlands - Zwolle


Off course we also have a few stamps that are subject for discussion within the MFN for many years. One of them is stamp #1 from Finland. This stamp issued in 1942 shows the Häma bridge in Tampere with on it a lot of pedestrians and cyclists.

Finnish stamp without motorcycle

Before including it in the catalogue I searched a little bit further in Google and there I found the design drawing for this stamp. It seems very clear to me that it is a cyclist, and also the designer states in his description that it is a cyclist.

Design drawing of a Finnish stamp

Bye the way, many years later another stamp has been issued with the same bridge, now without traffic.

Bridge in Finland without traffic

We did include this stamp in the catalogue, but not called it a motorcycle stamp.

That Google seriously respects the laws on privacy becomes clear when you search for the bridge in Maps and, once on the bridge in Streetview, see that even the faces of the statues have been blurred. Chuckle...

Also faces of statues have been blurred in Google

Also faces of statues have been blurred in Google


Marco Simoncelli on a stamp from Mozambique
As a tribute to Marco Simoncelli the Misano World Circuit added in the morning of June 9th 2012 the name of this MotoGP racing-driver, who died too young while practising his beloved sports, to the circuit's name. This is now called in full Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli. Marco, riding with the number 58 during the last years and because of his style of riding called "SuperSic" by his friends, perished on October 23th 2011 during the GP on the circuit of Sepang. Simoncelli, in 2002 European champion 125cc in 2002 and World champion 250cc in 2008, reached the age of 24.

His helmet designer, Aldo Drudi (who also works for Rossi), got the assignement to design a new logo for the circuit. Next to the newly styled initials of the cicuits name he chose for the number 58, with underneath the nickname of Marco and, how commercial can you be, the image of a helmet.

The new logo of the circuit of Misano

The Misano circuit has an extensive philatelic history. Not only the circuit is often depicted in cancelation stamps, but also various events are amply celebrated with memorial stampings. They exist of almost every recent year.

Memorial stamping circuit Misano 2010

Memorial stamping circuit Misano 2010

In 2010 there was already a stamping for Daijiro Kato (250cc champion of 2001) who perished in 2003. With this frequency the "58" logo of the circuit will probably be crossing our path several times in a stamping, or perhaps even on a stamp.

Stamping for Daijiro Kato (250cc champion of 2001) who perished in 2003


Finally I ran into this picture of a street artist in France:

Street art in Frankrijk

Amazing how fast our jubilee logo travels around the globe!

Hans de Kloet


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