Northern Ireland – Post-Machin. [118]

The regional Machins were last issued for Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales & Monmouthshire in 2000. The last Machin for Northern Ireland was a red First Class with a syncopated perforation.(Figure 1) Replacing them were a series of definitives showing subjects and locations in a region, however, without the regional shield or any mention of the region. They were introduced in 2001 and 2002.

For Northern Ireland, the subjects are: Stone patterns at Giant’s Causeway (Figure 2); an aerial view of green fields (Figure 3); Linen (Figure 4); and Parian china (with a weave pattern) (Figure 5).

The regional designs have continued to be issued in various denominations as the postal rates increased. (Figure 6). The designs used remain the same as the 2001-2 designs and thus are considered regional stamps.

In 2008, a series of souvenir sheets were issued for all regions, to include England, which highlighted various places or items in the area. Entitled “Celebrating Northern Ireland”, the sheet on Northern Ireland has four stamps: Carrickfergus Castle; Stones on Giant’s Causeway; St. Patrick; and Queen’s Bridge and Friendship Beacon in Belfast.(Figure 7). Unlike the previous regionals that were sold only within their appropriate region, these stamps were available at post offices outside their home areas, and, as such, are catalogued under Great Britain proper rather than the specific region.