Years of the Corpus Christi procession of Valencia
Valencia celebrated 650 years of the Corpus Christi procession.
This religious celebration dates back to 1355, when Valencia's
bishop, Hugo de Fenollet invited the inhabitants to decorate
the streets and squares, and to participate in a procession with
the civilian and religious authorities.
This tradition has been followed year after year in the Corpus Christi
festivity, and nowadays, thanks to the work of the Association
del Corpus de Valencia, it has become a magnificent example
of Valencia's popular traditions.
the occasion of this celebration, on Thursday May 26 th 2005
a thematic philatelic exhibition on the subject of the Corpus
Christi was held in the Exhibition hall of the main
Post office of Valencia.
At same time a commemorative postmark of the 650 years
of the Valencia Corpus was produced.
the assistants at the inauguration could see that the franking balance
installed in the Philatelic window (nr. 7567) had been
prepared to issue labels with a commemorative legend.
Although the exhibition remained open for only one week,
the use of the postmark and the issue of commemorative labels
continued for a total of 45 days.
for the first time, the balance was configured to print the
commemorative text in 3 lines in the upper part of
the adhesive label, on the design, and not replacing the name
of the post office as in previous similar issues.
This arrangement allowed the printing of a longer text, had already been
tried in April 2005 on the occasion of a similar issue in Manlleu,
Barcelona, but after some tests and the issue of some labels, they
rejected this option because the information is kept in the balance
in a special type of memory (RAM) that is erased when the equipment is
In Valencia, because of the same problem, they decided to leave
the franking balance switched on for the 45 days (!!!).
What happened over these 45 days it's a succession of blunders
that perhaps will amuse some, but the reality is that the ATMs
issued are far from anything that can be considered a serious ATM issue.
The technician in charge of setting up the balance made a mistake
when entering the text for the ATMs, and on the first
day (May 26th) the balance issued labels with
Realizing the error (the 3 SSS), on the next day, May 27th,
the new (correct) text on the labels read:
This text continued like this for some weeks, despite some balance breakdowns
and repairs during June. However in the first days of July,
a further breakdown took place and again the text was changed. The new
legend on the ATMs now read:
language, the correct word is PROCESSO, with 2 SS, not
1. And it's ANIVERSARI, not ANIVERSARIO).
This, however, is not the end, because after yet another breakdown some
days after, the technician introduced yet a new error in the text:
previous errors, the correct word is VALENCIA, not VALENCIS).
The irregularities continued with the use of different designs
of labels during all these days:
the rolls of the first design used, (Postal architecture. Cadiz),
were exhausted, a search was made for some other label designs with
a clear background that allowed the commemorative overprint
to be seen more clearly.
this excuse, they used (at least) 6 different designs (!!):
Arquitectura postal. Cadiz, J. Carrero. Carta
desde mi tierra, Sammer Gallery. El Verano, Berliet
1926, Milord 1900 and Rolls Royce 1947.
It's surprising to see 6 different designs used in a month
and a half and in a unique balance, considering that
in most of the Spanish post offices the design of the label
changes every 2 months, on average.
But maybe we still have to be congratulated (...) considering that
in a Exfilna over a one week period, 16 different
designs were used each overprinted with the commemorative
legend, or that in some of the local overprints in which
the balance was in service for 2 or 3 hours only,
the organizers-collectors changed the paper on average each half
an hour (...).
sheet edited by the Valencia Philatelic Service
(Size: 21,00 x 29,70 cm)
it's still more surprising when we discover how some of the designs
have been issued with more than one overprint variety.
This was not a normal sequential use (where the postal employee
changes the roll when it is finished), it's just a wish to create
a maximum of options legend / paper, authentic philatelic
creations for collectors and philatelic dealers.
We repeat again: It's possible that all this can amuse or even interest
someone, but in no way can this be considered as a serious issue of
a franking label.
If someone wanted to promote and to display this cultural event through
the post, they could have requested a mechanical slogan postmark,
and all the correspondence dispatched from Valencia could have
carried with pride the advertisement of such a worthwhile commemoration
someone was interested in making a philatelic commemorative item,
why not just issue just blank labels with the commemorative legend
They could have been distributed through postal counters and post
offices, not only for philatelic collectors, but to be applied like
an advertisement on all type of correspondence !
So, please, -- forget the ATMs !
The issue of a franking label or stamp, a variable value stamp
or an ATM, is something both important and serious. It should not
be possible to allow the issue, characteristics and all the varieties
produced to be caused by a technician in the maintenance of balances,
a exhibition organizer (ATM collector), or the postal employee
(or the friend collector of the employee) that issue the ATMs.
ATEEME, as a study and collecting group specialising in ATM
issues, deplores the attitude of Spanish Post - Correos
to churn out ATMs just simply to make more money, and the wrong
purpose that some private organizers (always ATM collectors)
make of the ATMs with these overprints, to suit their own interest.
Web - Spain and Latin American Postal Services: http://www.ateeme.net
© J. Jove - M. Sans. ATEEME.
Variable value stamps study group. All
This page was created in July 2005 and
English edition rewrited by S. Goodman (27.08.05)