In 2013, the first ATM issue in France eventually appeared, bearing in mind the progressive increase in the number of commemorative issues in recent years, after which the "deluge" of sets was unstoppable - up to 6 issues in just two months, coinciding with the period of maximum philatelic activity in France.

Two philatelic events - the PHILAPOSTEL annual meeting and the traditional Salon Philatélique de Printemps, held during the first weekend of April 2013, each got their corresponding ATM.

As usual, PHILAPOSTEL organized its annual meeting in one of the Azuréva resorts, in this case in the remote holidays village of Bussang, in the Vosges, a department in northeast France, near the border with Germany.

(Read the articles devoted to some past PHILAPOSTEL meetings, also with special ATM issues - Raedersheim in 2009, published in VARIABLE 13, Trégunc in 2011 - VARIABLE 21, and Arêches in 2012 - VARIABLE 25).

The 61st PHILAPOSTEL general assembly was held from April 4th to 7th. During these four days, the 94 delegates got together to review financial accounts, renew the board of directors, and agree joint actions for the next year. During the meeting the organization also arranged a regional philatelic championship and a mail art competition.
PHILAPOSTEL is the main philatelic association in France. In 2013, it brings together near 2,600 members, collectors, employees of La Poste and France Télécom, grouped into 27 regional and departmental associations.

Staff of La Poste from Le Thillot and Bussang installed a small temporary post office on April 5th and 6th, in one of the resort's buildings (pictures below), where visitors and those at the meeting were able to buy recent stamp issues and other postal items related to the region, as well as obtain the special commemorative postmark.

Phil@poste, once more, granted the release of a commemorative ATM issue to the PHILAPOSTEL assembly. To do this, two IER - LISA 2 thermal printing postal kiosks were installed next to the temporary post office, where visitors could get the special 'vignette d'affranchissement'. These kiosks were separated, for the occasion, from nearby post offices - On the left, a IER LISA 2 Évolution machine coming from the Le Thillot post office and, on the right, a IER LISA 2 XP kiosk from the Remiremont post office.

The design of the 'vignette' is a composition by Jame's Prunier, showing the Théatre du Peuple, in Bussang, and a Vosges landscape.
The artist used two photographs given to Phil@poste by Anna Broquet, the public relations officer of the Théatre du Peuple, and Raymond Nicolodi, the PHILAPOSTEL-Lorraine president.

Rarely can we show the original images used as reference for the design of ATM issues. In this case, the picture is the landscape view from the entrance to the Azuréva resort, taken by Raymond Nicolodi during a visit to the holiday village on August 29th 2012. In the background of the picture it is possible to distinguish the Ballon de Servance, the mountains on the border of the departments of Vosges and Haute-Saône.

The Théatre du Peuple was created in 1895 by Maurice Pottecher, a writer and poet born in Bussang. It was conceived as a popular theatre. It is built completely of wood and can seat up to 850 spectators. The back doors of the stage can be fully opened, showing vegetation and the mountainside. The theatre was classified as an historical monument in 1975, and is still running today, offering performances during the summer months.
In 1975, La Poste devoted a stamp issue to the Théatre du Peuple and its creator, Maurice Pottecher (left maximum card).

The rolls of thermal self-adhesive labels were manufactured by Phil@poste and printed by offset. The label size is 80 x 30 mm. and incorporates a phosphorescent vertical strip at each edge of the design. The total printing for this design was 25,000 labels.

Jame's Prunier is a renowned Lorraine illustrator. He has designed various stamps for La Poste, mainly airmails. He attended the Bussang assembly on Saturday April 6th, signing autographs, along with Patrick Hamm, author of the postcard produced by PHILAPOSTEL (right image), and Alain Sirakian, the postmark designer.
The organizers of the meeting prepared different philatelic souvenirs for the occasion - personalized stamps, pictorial covers and commemorative postcards.

The two IER LISA 2 postal kiosks installed in the temporary office used the LISA v5 software (see article >, also published in VARIABLE 27), so it was possible to obtain ATMs of this design with up to 40 different texts or indicators (20 shipment types + 20 franking complements for the shipment types), as well as ATMs with no text, just the face value.

The face values ​​correspond to new postal rates in France since March 1st 2013.
TEST label

Minimum face value programmed Inland economic mail - EC    ECOPLI
Inland priority mail (J+2) - LV    LETTRE VERTE Inland priority mail (J+1) - LP    LETTRE PRIORITAIRE
International priority mail
Inland priority mail - Small parcel
International priority mail - Small parcel
Registered domestic mail, first security level

The LISA v5 software allows users to obtain franking complement ATMs for all the 20 delivery types currently programmed. In the images, these are ATMs with 0.56 EUR face value (minimum value programmed in the two postal kiosks during the assembly), to be used as a franking complements for ECOPLI and MINI MAX shipments.
Franking complement ATMs for MINI MAX shipments are the only ones that do not include the special text 'COMPLEMENT D'AFFRANCHISSEMENT'.

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This page was created in JUne 2013
and last updated: 15.06.13 . English edition rewritten by S. Goodman (15.06.2013)