The Phoenix Trophy
Competition Rules and Results

There is NO Phoenix Competition in 2019 and the future of the competition is in doubt. However there are some useful hints and guidelines in the rules which used to apply to this competition. These are of interest to all competitors in other philatelic competitions. The competition information is therefore being retained on this web site for possible future reference.

(As amended 14 April 2015)

1) The competition will be held annually and is intended to serve as a bridge between club competitions and competitions at County or National level.
2) The competition is open to every member of each Society in Derbyshire. Previous winners will not be allowed to enter again with their winning entry, although they may do so with a new entry.
3) Each Society in Derbyshire will qualify to host the competition when its turn comes round. Nottinghamshire PS may submit entries by invitation but will not qualify as hosts.
4) All entries must be the bona fide property of, and be entered by, just one person.
5) Exhibits will consist of 16 sheets (including a title page), each sheet should be 295mm x 245mm ±25mm
6) Each entrant (individual) may submit just one entry into any or all of the four categories. For the benefit of the judges, the category of each exhibit must be identified. Each entry will cost £1 - the money (less organising expenses) going to the Society hosting the competition for that year.
7) The Competition will be hosted by each club in turn alphabetically. It will be the responsibility of the host Society to ensure successful continuity by formally notifying the following year's host Society of its obligations.
8) Exhibits may be in any category and all will be judged together. Each entry however, will be judged in accordance with the attached marking system. A minimum of two judges will be appointed by the host Society. One judge will be elected as senior judge to ensure a bias is not shown to any one category.
9) Judges will be appointed by the host Society. They will be adequately knowledgable to judge at this level and ideally come from outside the County. No Judge will be appointed for two consecutive years.
10) In the event of a tie, the judge/s may review the 'discretionary allocation' in order to establish an outright winner.
11) The winner will receive the Phoenix trophy (PUC Plaque) and keep it for one year or until the next competition. In the event of a no contest, the previous winner will retain the trophy for an additional year. Although the trophy will be retained by an individual, it will be the responsibility of his or her society to ensure the trophy is made available in time for next year's competition. The winner and his or her Society will be responsible for the general well-being of the trophy while in their keeping.
12) It will be the responsiblity of the individual competitors to deliver their entries prior to Judging and collecting them afterwards. While the host Society will take all reasonable care with security, It will be the responsibility of the individual owners to insure their property.
13) Each entry will receive a certificate of participation showing the marks awarded.
14)The competition will be held each May on the first Friday. Closing dates for details of entries will be 14 days prior to the competition.
15) The number of entries will be limited to 35 from the Derbyshire clubs and 5 from Nottingham. In the event of receiving more than 40 entries, persons with multiple entries will be required to reduce their entries to one.
16) Part of the first page should have a brief introduction stating the scope of the entry. This rule applies to ALL classes. A copy of this part only will be required beforehand by the and should be submitted with your application form.

GUIDELINES FOR COMPETITORS (as amended 14th April 2015)
The following points have been set out to act only as a guide - they do not constitute hard and fast rules.

A thematic entry should tell a story. 25% of the marks are allocated to treatment and originality and another 30% for 'development' so these aspects should be taken very seriously indeed. Judges will look for an introduction, the main story itself, and a suitable conclusion. Covers and cancellations may be included if considered to be appropriate to the subject, bearing in mind that judges like to see meter-marks, slogans and similar items other than stamps. Non-philatelic items should be kept to a minimum. Blocks should be avoided unless really significant. Only genuine stamps should be included in a thematic entry.

Postal history is essentially 'Routes and Rates' or 'Postmark & Cancellation' studies. Such an entry will be predominantly covers, although pieces or single stamps will be accepted if the postmark is rare. Remove dealers pencil prices. For the purposes of this competition, Aerophilatelic entries will be entered as Postal History. Such entries are based on the study of material prepared for and conveyed by airmail and may contain relevant documents, photographs, maps, leaflets and the like.

An entry in Stamps (Traditional class) may comprise Locals, Revenues or Cinderellas. Most judges frown upon mint and used on the same sheet. Sets should certainly be either mint or used but not mixed. Large sets should run on to a second sheet rather than overcrowding the one. Covers may be used if deemed to be essential to the exhibit but should be kept to a minimum number. An exhibit of mint postal stationery would qualify for this class.

SOCIAL PHILATELY ('see also separate sheet' [not available])
Social Philately relies on non-philatelic material (ephemera) and to this end, virtually anything is permitted. However, for practical reasons, space and security, the Phoenix Trophy competition must restrict the use of such material to items that can be mounted on a standard album page. This can include maps, photographs, prints, postcards, cigarette cards, newspapers, documents, tickets, programmes, textiles (lace or braids etc), leaflets, and so on.Non-philatelic material may be included but should not comprise more than 50% of the exhibit and should be directly linked to a postal system. Non-philatelic material not linked to a postal system may be included but should not be more than 10% of the exhibit.


1) Mint and used items on the same page should be avoided.
2) Black mounts can enhance the appearance of a display but should be trimmed as close as possible. They have gradually become more and more acceptable although some judges still don't like them.
3) Care should be taken to ensure stamps or covers are held securely and are mounted 'square'. Mounts hinged on one side only tend not to hold stamps as securely as double hinged mounts.
4) Catalogue numbers are no more than a reference for a commercial price list and should not be quoted.
5) Expert certificates may be referred to for rare items which would otherwise be considered forged. Such certificates should be fixed to the back of the sheet.
6) Forged items should always be accompanied by their genuine counterpart.
7) Sheets should look 'balanced' both individually and as a complete entry. Too few or too many items on one sheet can cost marks.
8) Very few judges are biased one way or another by hand-written/ type-written/ computer assisted write-ups although they will insist the entry is legible. Lettering should be clear, a reasonable size and in a suitably contrasting colour.

9) Sheets should be written up in the vertical format wherever possible and be protected by transparent pockets. If A3 sheets are used they must be in the horizontal format and will count as two sheets.
10) Part of the first sheet should have a brief introduction stating the scope of the entry (see rule 16). A copy of this part only may be required beforehand by the judges - in such an event, it should be submitted with your application form.




Gordon Hardy, "Festival of Britain 1951": 61 (Silver-bronze medal)

Les Pearcy, "Uses of Succulent Plants": 74 (Silver medal)

Philip Fearnley, "Battle for Berlin & the end of the War in Europe,March-May 1945": 70 (Silver medal)

Gerald Wiley, "Pub Signs of Derbyshire": 64 (Silver-bronze medal)

John Hales, "Annonay to Lakenhurst ":75 (Silver medal), Winner of Thematic Class


Gordon Hardy, "Wirksworth 1675-1833": 83 (Silver-gilt medal) Winner of Postal History Class

Les Pearcy, "Czechoslovakia Postal Rates": 70 (Silver medal)

*Alan Squires, "The Early Cachets of Tristan da Cunha" :77 (Silver medal)

*David Shipstone, "Hamburg’s Postal Services during the French Occupation 1806-1814": 82 (Silver-gilt medal)


Les Pearcy, "Czechoslovakia - Provisional Newspaper Stamps": 73 (Silver medal)

Brian Flude, "GB Underprinted Stamps": 76 (Silver medal)

James Ward. "A Selection of Postal Issues from the Reign of Queen Victoria": 81 (Silver-gilt medal)

Gordon Hardy, "Newspaper Tax Stamps": 85 (Silver-gilt medal) Winner of Traditional Class and OVERALL WINNER


Gordon Hardy, "The Impact on Postal & Revenue Matters in the Great War": 70 (Silver medal)

Les Pearcy. "Propaganda for the Czechoslovak Forces in WW2": 75 (Silver medal) Winner of Social Philately Class

Tim Essex-Lopresti, "Collected Memories": 63 (Silver-bronze medal)


* Nottinghamshire Philatelic Society Member.


This Web Page Created with PageBreeze Free HTML Editor