The Nottinghamshire Philatelic Society
Reports of Recent Meetings
"Tell and Show": Members, 8 June 2018
As with all members' evenings, a variety of philatelic material was on display; but on this occasion, members were asked to explain their exhibits in addition to their displays. Some members recalled the unusual items or bargains that they had obtained from the vast quantity of items that they had looked through in dealers' stocks. This included items from the South Atlantic Islands, Hungary, Portugal and Great Britain. Although British Post Office mistakes are rare, particularly in Victorian times, cancellation errors and forged stamps were discovered; whilst the introduction of phosphor printing techniques produced some unusual GB varieties. Rare postings from Australian sources and Burma stationery trials were items of exceptional interest, whilst amusement was provided from a San Marino adventure. President Brian Clayton thanked the contributors. (D.H.)
"The Amazing Life of Sir Hubert Wilkins": Alan Godfrey, 18 May 2018
George Hubert Wilkins was born in Australia in 1888 and left his studies in Electrical Engineering for a more adventurous life in Europe and America. Many of his adventures reflect the pioneering nature of the times: the polar and world exploration expeditions involved aircraft, airships and submarines, all with the backgound setting of the early 20th Century. The display included photographs, many originating from Wilkins' interest in photography, philatelic items, and some of the advertising propoganda to promote the Polar Expeditions. The failed attempt to cross under the North Pole in a submarine was the pinnacle of his adventures. Alan Godfrey's research and documentation was outstanding and this gave us an evening which was both informative and very entertaining. President Brian Clayton chaired the meeting and gave the vote of thanks. (D.H.)
"Scouting on Stamps": Rowland Tatton, 6 April 2018
The Boy Scouts and Girl Guides organisations have inspired numerous stamp issues. Rowland Tatton, who has had a long association with the Scout Movement, has assembled a thematic collection of stamps and memorabilia. Many of the issues relate to International Jamborees, which have been held in many countries and have been attended by delegates from organisations throughout the world. In the display, some of the stamps depicted portraits of the founder, Lord Baden-Powell, whilst others showed scouting activities. Several of the covers on display illustrated events where special stamps were not available. In part 2, local post activities formed part of the display. The Christmas Scout Post was initiated after a Parliamentary Bill in November 1981, in which specific rules for allowing charities to deliver local Christmas Cards were published. The Scouts responded and Local Christmas Post Services continued with many issues of delivery labels, some of which were displayed on covers. Vice President Brian Clayton chaired the meeting and gave the vote of thanks. (D.H..,S.P.)
"Revenues": Ed Hirchings, 16 March 2018
The first part of the evening consisted of nine separate displays, which were as follows. (1) Documents signed by a prime minister; (2) Letters from the pre-stamp era, dating from the 16th century; (3) Foreign driving licences and stamps; (4) First World War petrol coupons; (5) London landmarks featured on labels; (6) Foreign Bill Stamps on documents; (7) USA Revenues including state stock transfer duty stamps; (8) Retail reward stamps with their issued cards and (9) Some suggestions for new collectors of Cinderella items, which included scratch cards, gift cards and loyalty cards. In Part 2, the emphasis was on stamp forgeries and collections of forged stamps. The first five frames showed a wide variety of stamps relating to world countries. Some were obvious forgeries, including miniature American toy stamps and their envelopes, The remaining frames were devoted to United States Local Issues. These were introduced by private delivery companies when U.S. Mail was unable to handle the mail demand. Collectors' catalogues and albums appeared and to meet the increased demand for collectors with empty albums, huge mumbers of forged stamps were produced. Some of the stamps were in the 'bogus' category, as they purported to be issued from non-existent companies. President Allen Wood thanked Ed for bringing us another entertaining evening with many rarities outside the usual concept of philately. (D.H.)
"Scandinavian Definitives": Mick Inger, 16 February 2018
Mick Inger gave a comprehensive display of the definitive stamps issued by the principal Scandinavian countries. The first part comprised Denmark and Norway. Both countries, being monarchies, produced royal portraits, but most of the stamps were designed around numerals rather than portraits. The Norwegian Post Horn issue of 1873 is still the subject of a current design, making it the longest serving stamp design. The display highlighted the colour and perforation variations for many issues, together with all the overprints. In the second part, stamps of Sweden and Finland were shown, with similar attention to the varieties. The early issues from Finland are rare, but as the country achieved independence from Russia, more stamps were issued. Finland does not have a monarchy and had some pictorial stamps which were on issue for several years; hence these are regarded as definitives. President Allen Wood thanked Mick for the display (D.H.).
"Jersey": Andrew Pearson and "Mishmash": Sandra Poole, 2 February 2018
Andrew Pearson's display was a beautifully mounted collection of Jersey's stamps and miniature sheets. It began with the World War II occupation stamps of 1941 and 1943 and continued up to the 1996 Christmas issue. Andrew pointed out the different sets, picking out his favourites and those he didn't like. The last board showed postage dues and finished with a GB stamp, a 1902 King Edward VII £1 value, used in Guernsey. Alan Squires gave a vote of thanks and commented on how beautiful the Jersey issues were.
Sandra Poole's contribution to the evening was a mishmash of old displays, with some extra items added. The first three boards were devoted to the theme of mosaic art, a form which could be traced back to the 8th century BC. This display, with stamps , photos, covers and postcards, showed its development from the 4th century BC to the modern era. The next items shown were bus and other tickets, some with adverts on the back including one for the Beeston Domestic Burners, the last London tram tickets and those of the special Festival of Britain bus service. It continued with a series of postal slogans. Next on the programme were old banknotes, including one from the German inflationary period denominated 20,000,000,000 marks. Before the war this would have been worth a thousand million pounds and in 1923 it was not even enough to cover a tram fare! These were followed by a section on philatelic items- stamps, postal stationery, covers, censor marks,etc- all in different shades of purple, the speaker's favourite colour. Journals, old and recent, from other societies and the first copies of our own Society Newsletter under three different editors completed the display .Brian Clayton thanked Sandra for putting together these fascinating items. (S.P.)
President's Evening: Allen Wood, 19 January 2018
Allen chose to display a variety of items, commencing with old photographs of bus and trolleybus transport in the Nottingham area. An unusual display followed, of Nigerian stamps used in the British Mandate Territory of Cameroons. A few of the stamps had overprints. An interesting collection of first flight covers of Air Ethiopia was complimented with photographs of the country which had been obtained by a soldier in 1941. In part 2, the main display was stamps of Libya, with several rare miniature sheets. The display was completed with a collection of the stamps of Lesotho at the time of independence. Vice President Brian Clayton thanked Allen for the display. (D.H)
Members' Evening: "Not a Stamp in Sight", 5 January 2018
Twelve members revealed interests outside the hobby of stamp collecting. In the first part, the themes were: ephemera from the reign of King George VI, which a included Festival of Britain programme; an amazing display of badges; family history as revealed from roots in Australia; glass bead making at home; lace making and ornamental bobbins; the Society web site; and postal covers from or to Australia without stamps. In part two coloured illustrated old postcards were followed by commercial vehicle and unusual driving licenses; rocket mail which had never left the ground and Antarctic letters and photographs. The President showed his delight with the interesting response in thanking the members. (D.H.).
Members' Evening: Asia and Australasia, 1 December 2017
Another presentation of interesting and varied items from the Society members comprised items from or connected with the two continents. In part 1, the displays were India- Boer War Prisoners; Australian Civilian Interrupted Mail (mail to Japanese occupied Asia in WWII); Iraq; Australia and Malaysia; Copyright Labels on Australian Gramophone Records; and Victorian Era Mail to Australia and India. In part 2, the displays were: Russian Exploration of the Arctic; Pages from an old Belgian Stamp Album featuring Australia, New Zealand and Eastern Asia; Australian Year Books and Covers; Modern Japan; and the 1989 issues from Australia and New Zealand. (D.H.).
Visit from Leicester Philatelic Society, 3 November 2017
Four members of Leicester PS presented displays. Michael Berry opened with mail and views from Walvis Bay, a small town in Namibia (formerly South West Africa). The importance of air mail was evident in this country due to the desert conditions and lack of communications. Peter Brooks followed with a detailed study of the Leeward Islands stamps. The constituent islands have also had their own stamps since 1903 and covers bearing mixed stamps and mixed currency were shown, together with some recognised printing flaws on the stamps.
In part 2, Vince Patel showed some most unusual aspects of GB stamps. A few consumer products have had offers of a philatelic nature. These usually consisted of a reward of Royal Mail postage stamps to be redeemed on proof of purchases. The display showed both the offers and the rewards in a complete form. Finally, John Jackson displayed a large number of auction catalogues which were produced to sell the collections of the late Arthur Hind and Maurice Burrus.Both had huge important collections which were sold by auction. The Burrus collection necessitated 70 auction catalogues. Ironically, the unique 1c British Guiana stamp was catalogued but not sold. President Allen Wood expressed the thanks of the Society members for this excellent meeting. (D.H.)
GB Used in Malta: Martin Lloyd, 20 October 2017.
The first local post in Malta and Gozo was established in 1858 and mail was carried without charge. From 1860, a ½d Malta stamp was required. For overseas mail, GB stamps were used and from 1857 these were cancelled with an 'M'. Subsequently, in 1859, the 'A25' cancel mark was applied.
Martin Lloyd showed a remarkable display of these stamps, many of which were on covers. The principal destinations were Italian ports. With the penny reds (1858 - 79) most plate numbers were used in Malta and in addition, International Postal Stationery was available. When the surface printed issues were introduced, most values were available in Malta, the exception being the 2/6d. When Maltese stamps became acceptable for international mail, GB stamps cancelled 'Malta' continued to appear occasionally, but only for 'paquebot' usage. Dennis Boot thanked the speaker for displaying many rare items. (D.H.)
Members' Evening: New Acquisitions and Recently Mounted, 22 September 2017.
Whilst most of the members are now consolidating their collections, a few recent stamp issues were shown. In part one, the display items included Canada (1946-1980) and (2016-17), elephants on stamps, biro cancelled GB, local post forgeries of Denmark and USA, hat tax, Nottingham horse drawn trams, covers from the Crimea War, maps on stamps and miscellaneous items from Australia, Mexico, South America and North Korea. The part two displays included the classic GB £2 Machin error, more elephants, recent Europa covers and a study of the development of phosphor bands in GB commemorative issues up to 1966. Brian Clayton chaired this interesting meeting. (D.H.)
Society Visit to Alfreton Philatelic Society, 15 September 2017
Ten members of the Nottinghamshire Society went to Pentrich Village Hall and eight members displayed items. A minute's silence in memory of the late Ron Stammers preceeded the displays. The items on show were: German States pre-stamp correspondence; postcards of lace making in Belgium; April Fish cards from France; miniature sheets from France; trade plate licence tax discs for motor vehicles; East Essex Scout Christmas stamps; miscellaneous USA philatelic items and part of the collection of the late Derrick Avery. The interval refreshments complemented a succesful and enjoyable meeting. (D.H.)
"European Potpourri": Tony Sibley, 1 September 2017.
The principal theme of the latest 'Potpourri' from Tony Sibley was European postal disruption and difficulties. The first board of the display related to the 1982 Falklands Conflict. A collection of postal history items relating to the separation of Ireland from the UK. followed, with examples of IRA intervention and disruption, culminating in the outcome of the 1916 uprising. Then with the Second World War came a collection of letters addressed to some of the famous German war criminals, and a reference to the youth and women movements in Nazi Germany.
In Part 2, the display concentrated on the disruption of mail services in Europe during the Second World War, with examples from several countries. Suspended mail, detained mail, undelivered mail, censored mail and mail passing through undercover agencies all illustrated the difficulties which were experienced at the time. Some correspondence had been identified as originating from collaborators and some involved war time internees. The final part showed the plight of the Channel Islanders. President Allen Wood thanked Tony for another fascinating display. (D.H.)
"Overseas for ½d": Peter Mellor, 4 August 2017.
"Reflections on a Former Member, (Derrick Avery)": Allen Wood, 7 July 2017.
Members' Evening, 'North and South America', 2 June 2017.
As expected, the displays had an interesting variety of items. The contributors were: Bryan Button, (Brazil, a Family Connection); Minou Button, (Post Cards from the USA, 1902-1911); Andrew Pearson, (British Honduras Stamps from Victoria to George VI.); Bill Whitaker, (GB. Second Class Stamps Posted in America and American Maps on Stamps); George Kirkham, (The 1765 Stamp Act USA.- a card of replica stamps); Mick Inger, (Oddities in USA Postal Items); Douglas Harvey, (The Millennium Issues of Canada): David Shipstone, (The North West Passage) and Allen Wood, (Caribbean Post Marks). Allen thanked the contributors. (D.H.)
"Dodecanese Islands, Postal History": Paul Woodness, 19 May 2017.
The first part of the display concentrated on the island of Rhodes, the largest of the Dodecanese Islands and featured postal items which illustrated the island's history. In the early period, post offices of Austria, France, Egypt, Turkey and Russia all operated, but after the Italian invasion of 1912, foreign post offices gradually closed. The Dodecanese Islands continued under Italian administration until 1943, and Rhodes had its own stamps in addition to overprinted Italian stamps. The Germans took possession of the islands and after the liberation in 1944, the British administration used GB stamps with 'MEF' overprints. The islands have been under Greek administration since 1947.
Items from the smaller islands were on display in the second part of the evening. As some islands had very little postal activity, items are scarce, and Paul Woodness has assembled a remarkably complete collection. President Allen Wood echoed this observation in thanking the speaker. (D.H.)
"All Things Military": Doug Stubbings; 7 April 2017.
Doug Stubbings revealed that he is a descendant of John Stubbings, who was awarded the Waterloo Medal in 1815. After a short history of the British Army, the display moved to the 150th anniversary of the Victoria Cross, with the associated philately showing the medals and the recipients. This included aircraft pilots from both World Wars, who were depicted on illustrated covers. In part 2, the History of Flight was the principal theme, with illustrations taken from the stamps issued for the 25th anniversary of the Battle of Britain and photographs of distinguished airmen. Finally, a small display of cigarette cards showed medals, uniforms and holders of the Victoria Cross. Mick Inger gave the vote of thanks and mentioned the wealth of military documentation in philately. (D.H.)
President's Evening; 17 March 2017.
Brian Clayton presented the evening on behalf of President Oswaldo Ponce. The title was "Four Collections" and Brian had assembled four separate displays from his collection. (Collection 1) The series of GB Prestige Booklets constituted the first part, and Brian had photocopied the contents of the booklets at reduced size in order to display the contents of each booklet on a single sheet. The series began in 1969 with the issue of a cookery book with a recipe for baked fish and a variety of definitive stamps. The original issue was a stapled booklet which was quickly replaced with a stitched booklet. Sponsored advertising booklets followed, and commemorative stamps appeared. More recently, a premium price has been charged and 'Premium Booklets' is the current name. (Collection 2) The HMS Endurance featured as a supply ship in the Antarctic Crossing (1957-8) and a range of covers with the ship's caché was displayed. A variety of caché forms appeared to suit the purposes of the later voyages. (Collection 3) Aircraft from the Royal New Zealand Antarctic Unit took part between 1974 and 1980 in 'Operation Ice Cube'. Special signed covers were issued for each flight, both northbound and southbound, recording the flight details. At the conclusion of the operation, all the aircraft captains signed a commemorative envelope. (Collection 4) The New Zealand Health Stamps constituted an annual issue from 1929. Originally the stamps were in monochrome, complying with the UPU colour rules. Later issues featured the Royal Family, birds, sport, pets and other subjects. The charitable contribution remained constant as each increase in postal charge was introduced. (Conclusion) Allen Wood thanked Brian for a splendid display. (D.H.)
Visit from Derby Philatelic Society; 3 March 2017.
Steve Street opened the evening by showing a collection of the Derby Philatelic Society archives. The Derby Society had started at Burton on Trent in 1905 and moved to Derby two years later. Steve also showed a small collection of Royal Mail Smilers sheets, one of which included his own portrait. Alan Cartwright opened part 2 with an interesting collection of United States Street Car cancelled mail. The street railways of some 15 US cities assisted with rapid mail distribution. The system was replaced with Special Delivery mail, which employed runners, cyclists and motorists for delivery and usually required a special stamp in addition to standard postage. Douglas Harvey thanked the visitors for an interesting evening and explored the possibility of using the modern tram system of Nottingham for mail collection. (D.H.).
"Hungary", George Kirkham; 17 February 2017.
The display covered the stamps of Hungary from 1890 to 1947. Commencing with the Austro-Hungarian empire, the stamp issues were displayed through to the currency reform of 1946. The contents were remarkable for detail and completeness; not only were all the stamp issues covered, but with attention to watermarks and perforations. Postage due and official stamps were included. When the Pengo currency collapsed in 1945, the communist government established the florint currency, and it was at this point that the collection terminated. David Shipstone thanked George Kirkham for an interesting presentation. (D.H.)
Visit to Derby Philatelic Society; 9 February 2017.
Seven of our members joined eight Derby PS members. The displays were: Canada 21st Century (Douglas Harvey), Ascension Island (Alan Squires), Railway and Entertainment Revenues (Chris Tennant) and Germany Covers in the Third Reich Era (Mick Inger). President Steve Street welcomed the Society and thanked the speakers. (D.H.)
Members' Evening, Postcards; 3 February 2017.
A variety of interesting cards constituted the display, with contributions from seventeen of the members who were present. With the pictured views, many of the cards had personal, holiday or local connections, whilst historical records of conflicts, transport, Olympic games and famous women were featured. Art work for movie posters and stamp design was shown whilst Victorian postal stationery illustrated the more practical usage of cards for communications. The President used a Latin American theme to complete the evening. (D.H.)
"Revenues": Chris Tennant; 20 January 2017.
The first part of the display centred around newspaper tax and the distribution of newspapers by railways. Newspaper tax was introduced in 1712, but in 1855 the tax became optional, to include postage if tax was applied. The railway companies realised the advantage of distributing untaxed newspapers and began printing labels to be attached to newspaper parcels. Prior to the grouping of the railway companies, many diverse labels were produced. In addition, railway stations had parcel labels printed, some indicating the point of departure and others specifying the destination. A cash on delivery parcels service began in 1928.
The second part of the evening commenced with an interesting collection of taxation documents concerning Hackney cabs and private hire vehicles, many pre-dating motor transport. Chris then explained how tobacco and playing card taxes had been introduced and showed a variety of taxation labels, together with some original packaged goods. Mick Inger thanked Chris Tennant for an intriguing display of rare items. (D.H.)
Members' Evening: New Acquisitions and Recently Mounted; 6 January 2017.
In part one, the display items included GB. postal history, printing colour variations, South Atlantic Islands, Zeppelin stamps, new Sweden stamps, Leeds railway parcel labels, prints from the USA Postal Museum, Washington, toll road halfpence tax surcharge in India and Isle of Man stamps, The part two displays included old maps on stamps, Australia covers, personal memorabilia, Japanese NVI stamps, Victorian GB., 2012 Olympics and Canada 2016 issues. Allen Wood chaired the meeting and thanked the contributors. (D.H.)
"Europa": Mick Inger; 2 December 2016.
The annual issue from the European nations commenced in 1956, when the countries in the Common Market all issued a set of stamps depicting a common design, 'The Tower of Strength'. This continued with a different common design each year, until control passed to the CEPT - the postal authority for the whole of Europe. Countries outside the community then joined in with the annual issue, which subsequently (1974) changed from a specified design to a specified subject theme for each year. For particular anniversaries, a common design was chosen, in particular for the year 2000, when the Tower of Strength featured again. In recent years over 60 postal authorities have issued Europa stamps, making provision for a substantial Europa collection. For the display, in part 1, Mick Inger showed an issue for each year from 1956 to 2016 and in part 2 an issue from each of the participating postal authorities. In the vote of thanks, Allen Wood congratulated Mick on the colourful collection, making particular reference to the variety of the display of stamps, covers and postal stationery. (D,H.)
"RAF Mail": Mick Britton; 18 November 2016.
The larger RAF bases had their own post offices with appropriate cancellation post marks. As the force grew in importance, the mail diversified to involve overseas bases, and the RAF took responsibility for administration of some British occupations. Mail in war time was usually censored and appropriate cachets were applied, although privilege mail was excluded and some mail transmission used the airgraph system of transporting the correspondence in microfilm. The display also included photographs and some interesting RAF publications, including maps and guidance for navigation in desert regions. Our enjoyment was greatly enhanced by personal recollections from Mick, who has retired from a lengthy career in the air force. Douglas Harvey gave the vote of thanks. (D.H.)
"Portugal": José Teixeira-Gomes and "Selection": Gordon Low, 4 November 2016.
José Gomes opened the evening with a collection of Portuguese stamps. The earliest issue, in 1853, showed Queen Maria II. This was followed by a succession of kings, terminating in 1908, with King Carlos, after which the country became a republic and many interesting and colourful commemorative issues followed. José mentioned the friendship with Britain which had continued over many years. The display concluded with the 1985 year presentation pack.
Gordon Low chose to show seven aspects of his world collection. He started collecting the GB Machin stamps when they were first introduced. He has an interest in United States airmails, and when his sister was living in Kenya, he collected the stamps of that country, including KUT. issues. 'Railways on stamps' was followed by football world cup stamps and lighthouses. The last board was devoted to the attractive 'free gifts' which occasionally accompany the monthly SG magazine. David Shipstone thanked the two speakers for producing an interesting and varied display. (D.H.)
"Birds and Nottinghamshire Postal History": Alan Marshall, 21 October 2016.
The evening opened with a thematic display with a difference. Alan had confined the display to stamps depicting birds which were printed in a single colour or which illustrated printers' errors. Of particular interest was a detailed study of the 1966 GB issue of British Birds (SG 696-9). The 'Concise' catalogue reports 14 error varieties and most were on display. Also from the 1897-8 Imperial Chinese 'Bean Goose' issue were genuine stamps and forgeries. The remainder of the display consisted of items from many countries.
In part 2, a selection of correspondence which passed through the postal system in Nottinghamshire was displayed. The earliest letter was dated 1664 when the spelling of 'Nottingham' had not been finally established. An unusual item was a Mulready envelope bearing a penny stamp. Many of the items had the complete letters included, and some additional post office cachets were shown. The markings applied at the Bingham office were also the subject of a detailed analysis. Douglas Harvey thanked the speaker for a splendid display and mentioned his enthusiasm for the local post office service. (D.H.)
"British West Indies", 23 September 2016.
Ian Jakes arranged the evening and invited two guest speakers, George Dunbar and Peter Fernbank. Ian Jakes opened with an impressive display of overprinted postal and fiscal stamps from the West Indies. The quality of overprinting was variable, as some stamps had been overprinted locally, and Ian has identified examples which are not yet in the SG catalogue. George Dunbar then displayed a selection of Jamaican stamps. Of particular interest were the fiscals issued after the death of Queen Victoria, but still supporting her image, and definitive and pictorial stamps of King George V, where the dies which produced the stamps had suffered progressive wear, resulting in flawed stamps. In part 2, Peter Fernbank discussed the development of air mail from Bahamas, inaugurated in 1929, with many first flight covers. Several of these had been produced by a philatelist, Dr Walter Hess. Finally, Ian Jakes returned with a fine selection of Red Cross labels and covers from the islands. Details of the Trinidad Red Cross Post have appeared in the Society's newsletter (Winter 2015) and the covers were on display. Chris Tennant gave a vote of thanks to the three speakers. (D.H.)
Society Visit to Alfreton Philatelic Society, 16 September 2016.
Although only three speakers and two supporters represented the Society, the evening was a success, and nine members of APS. were present. Chris Tennant gave three short displays. Commencing with 'Newspaper Tax', he showed how expensive newspapers were in the 18th and 19th centuries, and how the rail companies also charged for their distribution. Allen Wood showed an interesting collection of miscellaneous items of world postal history, and explained his interest in the revenue stamps of the British occupation of Italian Colonies. In part 2, Chris Tennant showed items of the railway Green Arrow registered parcels service and a small collection of exercise duty stamps which were used when entertainments were taxed. Douglas Harvey showed a collection of Canadian stamps, all from the 21st Century. During the interval, refreshments were provided and Ron Stammers cut a special cake to mark his 30th anniversary as the Alfreton PS. President. (D.H.)
"Germany": Philip Fearnley, 2 September 2016.
Philip explained that before 1871, Germany was a collection of pricipalities and kingdoms. "On 10 Deccember 1870, the North German Confederation was renamed the German Empire and confirmed the King of Prussia, Wilhelm 1, as German Emperor. In total, the German Empire consisted of 27 separate states of the North and South German federations The new constitution was adopted by the German Reichstag on 14 April 1871, but although nominally a federal empire, it was dominated by the largest and most powerful state, Prussia."
The German Empire (Deutsches Reich) lasted until its defeat at the end of WWI in 1918, when it became a federal republic.
The first part of the display was devoted to this period and contained a wealth of picture postcards (royalty, charity, propaganda etc), as well as some covers, postal stationery and stamps.
Stamps dominated the second half of the presentation, which concentrated on the Weimar Republic (still known as the Deutsches Reich), although covers and some postcards were also included.
Alan Squires gave a vote of thanks for a really good display and in-depth study of a very complicated history. (S.P.).
Members' Evening: Eastern Europe, 5 August 2016.
As most of our members do not collect the Eastern European Countries, and some even sought to find a definition of Eastern Europe, it was pleasing to see that all 18 boards were filled. The contributors were: David Shipstone (Czechoslovakia),George Kirkham (Bulgaria and Roumania in the time of severe inflation), Bill Whitaker (Gallipoli in WWI, involving Australian Soldiers), Gordon Low (Sport in USSR), Mick Inger (A-Z of modern Eastern Europe), Douglas Harvey (East Germany), Sandra Poole (Letters from the East and Cinderellas). This was a successful meeting, although rather lacking in the detailed information that usually accompanies the displays. An ambitious challenge from our President, which did not defeat the membership. (D.H.).
"South Atlantic Islands, part 4"; Alan Squires, 1 July 2016
This talk and display centred around the Antarctic Continent and the surrounding islands. Maps of Antarctica were available even before the discovery of the continent, and these were completely inaccurate. When exploration began, with the famous Amundsen and Scott expeditions, the difficulties presented in visiting the continent quickly became apparent. Herbert Ponting's photographic documentation of Antarctica at the time of Scott's expedition was impressive. Despite the absence of inhabitants, the British Antarctic Territory has issued substantial quantities of postage stamps. While some were actually used by visiting tourists and resident scientists, most were sold overseas to collectors, and this was reflected in the display. The quality of the stamps and covers was excellent and most of the stamps were issued more recently than those featured in previous displays at the Society. Brian Clayton added his congratulations in the vote of thanks to Alan Squires for an evening which was informative, innovative and entertaining. (D.H.).
"Victorian GB"; Dennis Boot, 3 June 2016
The cost of sending letters by Royal Mail was originally based upon distance, and the display by Dennis Boot included several items of pre-stamp interest. The charge for receiving mail from abroad was especially high, the tariff being paid upon receipt. Free frank mail comprised letters sent by Members of Parliament, a privilege which was often abused. Royal Mail looked attentively for reasons to impose delivery surcharges on free frank mail. When the Penny Post was introduced, Parliament lost the free service. In 1840, with the Post Office Reform, the Mulready envelopes proved to be less popular than adhesive stamps. The original black 1d stamps were quickly replaced with 1d red stamps and some matching pairs were displayed. These were stamps printed by the same printing plate and from the same sheet position in the two colours.
In the second part, the De La Rue surface printed stamps were shown and the display featured the 'Jubilee' issue of 1887. Overprinted stamps for use in post offices overseas were introduced and attractive commemorative covers appeared. Gordon Low gave the vote of thanks for a splendid display. (D.H.).
Club 16 Sheet Competitions, 20 May 2016.
The winning entries were as follows:
Open Class: Brian Clayton "Antarctic Patrol Ship - HMS Protector, 1959-68" and Chris Tennant, "Green Arrow Railway Registered Freight Service Labels", The judges decided that this should be a tied result.
Postal History: Dennis Boot, "Irish Free Frank Mail".
Thematic: David Shipstone, "Russian Exploration of the Arctic".
Traditional Stamps: Dennis Boot, "Inland Revenue and Government Overprints".
No other competitive entries were submitted. Douglas Harvey also showed a display of Nordic Mythology.
"Three Times Round the World"; Minou Button, President's Evening, 1 April 2016.
"Commonwealth Antarctica, 1940-75"; Brian Clayton, 18 March 2016.
In this presentation, Brian Clayton showed examples of stamps and mail from the British Antarctic Territory, the Australian Antarctic Territory and the New Zealand administration of Ross Dependency. Both Brian and David Shipstone have visited Antarctica and they recalled their perilous journeys in small ships to reach the continent. In the reign of King George VI, the Falklands Dependencies, on the edge of Antarctica, had an established postal system. The first attempt to set up a permanent base on the main land mass was Operation Tabarin in 1944, but the principal early development of the continent was during and after the International Geophysical Year 1957-58. Postal activities were active during this time and many letters and covers were displayed, including mail signed by Sir Edmund Hillary. He and Sir Vivian Fuchs were leading the Antarctic Crossing expeditions. With the bases built and maintained, attention turned towards university research, but the flow of mail continued and new stamps were issued. The ships of Antarctica have played a vital role in the continental development. The display included many photographs and illustrated covers, some with attractive labels and multiple cancellation cachets. Alan Squires expressed the appreciation of the Society for a splendid display and presentation which included a great many interesting items and facts. (D.H.).
"Moving the Mail by Rail": Yvonne Wheatley, 4 March 2016.
With the establishment of faster travel by railways, an Act of Parliament in 1838 made provision for mail to be carried by rail. Yvonne Wheatley gave a comprehensive report on how this was implemented by the railways, with reference to the development of apparatus to facilitate the exchange of mail bags at speed and the governing rules for the operation of Travelling Post Offices. Initially. although the railways were employed to carry letters for Royal Mail, they were also allowed to operate parcels services. In 1890, a second Act of Parliament granted the railways permission to operate their own letter services, in conjunction with Royal Mail. The letters for rapid delivery carried both Royal Mail and Railway Delivery stamps. A few additional services were provided, especially for newspaper reporters.
Douglas Harvey thanked Richard and Yvonne for visiting the Society and Yvonne for bringing a splendid display. (D.H.)
"Zeppelin Mail": Doug Stubbings, 19 February 2016.
It was in 1928 that the Graf Zeppelin, the LZ 127 airship designed by Hugo Eckener, completed an inter-continental flight. Then in 1929, the airship made a round-the-world flight, landing at Tokyo and Lakehurst (United States) before returning to Friedrichshafen in Germany. Commemorative postal items were produced and in recognition of this important technological development, several countries issued stamps which were specifically intended for use in airship mail. The Zeppelin service to South America commenced and in the United States, an attempt to build a larger airship resulted in a disaster. Doug Stubbings showed a fine collection of the stamps, the mail and photographs to document the era. With the rise of Nazi Germany, swastika Zeppelin stamps appeared, with great expectations for airship travel; but after the Hindenberg disaster in 1938, aircraft rapidly took over from airships. Douglas Harvey thanked the speaker for illustrating the impact that the Zeppelins had upon on the world in the 1930's with an excellent display. (D.H.)
"Rumania": George Kirkham, 5 February 2016.
In the first part of the evening, George Kirkham showed his collection of Rumanian stamps in the period 1928 to 1947. Although the spelling of Rumania differs in the English speaking groups, it also differs in the country itself. The stamps were of mint quality and were notable for the completeness of the sets.
In the second part, a wide range of covers was shown to illustrate the postal history of Rumania, with the WWII years dominating. Red cross communications continued after the hostilities as the wrath of communism took over. The vote of thanks was given by Gordon Low, who congratulated George on his attention to detail in this collection of a 'difficult' country. (D.H.).
"Overprints and Errors": David Gabe and Brian Phipps, 22 January 2016.
David Gabe opened the evening with many examples of stamps with overprints. These included currency surcharge or revaluation, country reassignment and official or specific purpose usage. Brian Phipps followed with examples of used G.B. stamps with overprints. The first part concluded with some interesting examples of forgeries, including some recent fake G.B. Machin stamps.
The second part was devoted to errors. Brian Phipps opened with some remarkable printers' errors in GB stamps. He also showed a few examples of thematic collections which he had initiated. David Gabe then took designers' errors as his theme, with examples of inaccuracies in stamp design. These included incorrect music, wrong cartography and portraiture error. Mick Inger thanked the speakers for producing an evening of great philatelic entertainment. (D.H.).
(L to R : Brian Phipps, David Gabe and President Minou Button. Photo: Bryan Button)
"Denmark in the World Wars": Chris and Birthe King, 8 January 2016.
The first part of the evening was a taken up with an illustration through postal history of the effect of World War 1 on neutral Denmark. In a PowerPoint presentation, Chris King explained that, because of the vicinity to the German state of Schleswig Holstein, Denmark was inevitably involved. The state had a high proportion of Danish-speaking men, who were conscripted into the German army and Danish was disallowed in correspondence. The display of censored letters from soldiers, prisoners, nurses and volunteer servicemen was complemented with other interesting postal items from the Danish West Indies and Internment camps in Denmark.
In the second part of the evening, Birthe introduced her Open Philately display of Denmark in World War II, by giving members some details of the requirements which have now been set for National Open Class competitions. Together with a 50% philatelic content, the display frames included postcards, newspapers, posters, identification papers, badges and arm-bands. On a more personal note, her late father had been involved with the anti-nazi resistance movement in Denmark. Mike Siverns thanked the speakers and commented on the excellence of the displays. (D.H.).
"East Essex Scout Mail and Africa": Sandra Poole and Gerry Rose, 4 December 2015.
The first half of the evening was taken up by Sandra Poole's display of East Essex Scout mail. The Scouts' and Guides' Christmas mail delivery service commenced in 1981 and in the following year, Beacon Hill Scouts issued a set of attractive stamps. These were initially priced at 5p for local post and 10p for further afield, The tariff increased during the 1990's. Some covers were shown, many of which had high quality cancellations. The delivery service became widespread in Essex, with mail originating in several towns. Some interesting varieties of stamp design were shown. Some stamps were perforate and some were overprinted. Colour variations in printing were also evident.
In the second part, Gerry Rose presented a display of stamps from Africa. Starting with the pre- Union of South African States stamps, a tour of the continent followed, including examples of the Crown Agents classics. More recent stamps had interesting thematic designs. Chris Tennant thanked the speakers. (D.H.)
"An Evening with John Jackson", 20 November 2015.
Curaçao and Suriname have been Dutch from the 17th century. In 1870 Royal Mail provided the shipping connections. These were taken over by the Dutch KWIM company in 1883, which also brought mail from Haiti. Other countries' shipping companies operated through the last century and provided a more international service. The display featured covers with cancellations from a variety of ships. John Jackson then introduced a collection of postal communications from prisoners and internees of the two world wars. In World War I, some internees suffering from ill health were transferred to Swiss hotels and their correspondence received local cachets. Postcards of the hotels and photographs illustrated these covers. Finally, in World War II, correspondence from Dutch prisoners in Borneo and Japan was featured. Allen Wood gave the vote of thanks and commented on the high quality of the display material. (D.H.).
"Mainly Black"; Mike Brindle, 6 November 2015.
This was a display of a thematic collection of black stamps. The choice of black as a colour for a stamps was originally obvious, as illustrated by the penny black and the Brazilian 'bullseyes', but its limitations became apparent with cancellations in black and overprints, also in black. Mike Brindle's collection has a wide range of exhibits, some unusual, but all of which have black as the dominant colour. Printing techniques and paper selection can affect the appearance, and the inclusion of a second colour as background or border can produce enhancement. Black is for mourning and traditional photography, but it has also been chosen by a wide range of postal administrations, including GB, for the dramatic effect which can be produced. A most intriguing display. (D.H.)
"The History of the USA"; Mick Inger, 16 October 2015.
The United States Postal Service has produced many commemorative stamps illustrating the country's history, not the least being the issues for the Bicentennial Year (1976). Mick Inger has assembled all of the stamps into an excellent thematic display, arranged in the chronological order of the events depicted, starting from dinosaurs and finishing with the space exploration achievements. War conflict played an important part in the history, commencing with the War of Independence, then the Civil War which had the postal effect of dividing the country, with separate issues from the Confederate States. Later, the two world wars generated philatelic interest. David Shipstone congratulated Mick on the quality of the presentation and the background study that was illustrated in the display. (D.H.).
"The Variety of Collecting Belgium"; Nick Martin, 25 September 2015.
The focus of the first part of the evening was on the postal history of Antwerp. Nick Martin, who has lived in Belgium, explained that Belgium had become independent from Dutch and French administration in 1830, but postal communications pre-dated this. After the introduction of adhesive stamps, communications grew extensively and Antwerp had 14 post offices. Commemorative and collectable postage stamp issues commenced in the 1930's with support for the anti-tuberculosis charity.
In the second part, an assortment of thematic displays of postcards and stamps included Orval Abbey reconstruction, the long series of birds stamps, exhibitions in Antwerp and Brussels, the 1920 Antwerp Olympic Games, Ghent Flower Shows, Stamp Day issues and Railway parcel labels. Douglas Harvey congratulated the speaker on the quality of the display and the background research. (D.H.)
Society Visit to Alfreton Philatelic Society, 18 September 2015.
Seven members presented, as usual, a varied selection of displays at Pentrich and four others went along as support - this meant that the competition to provide the most members at this event resulted in an honourable11-11 draw! Last year, to celebrate their 70th anniversary, Alfreton PS provided us with a special buffet; we were surprised and delighted to see that they had done it again this year! Maddie Tennant and Minou Button, on behalf of our Society, had each baked a cake to keep up Allen Wood’s tradition of always taking a cake.(Allen had to miss this year’s visit due to illness). It has always been a friendly event and this year was no exception. (S.P.)
"Military India, Part 2": Mike Siverns, 4 September 2015.
Mike Siverns display, through philately, portrayed both the social and military history of India during World War II. When the war broke out, civil censorship began and all sorts of marks and labels were used. Pre-printed reply cards also became available for servicemen. As the war progressed, unofficial concessionary mail appeared, special postal stationery was issued and airgraphs were regularly used. All these were on view, along with prisoner of war mail, an RAF base postal section, naval mail, comic postcads for British troops, an assortment of Christmas illustrated airgraphs, anti-British propaganda stamps and even an illustrated first day cover celebrating the maiden voyage of S.S. Extavia!
The second half, arranged chronologically focused on mail from the military campaigns, starting with the Sudanese, Eritrea and Abyssinia campaigns,1940-1943. Again, there was a wide range of different censor marks, labels and postmarks.
George Kirkham gave a vote of thanks for a first class display. (S.P.)
"South Atlantic Islands": Alan Squires, 7 August 2015.
Alan Squires' third presentation featured the Falkland Islands and Tristan da Cunha. The first part centred around the wealth of commemorative and thematic Falklands issues which initiated with the Crown Agents 'omnibus' issues from the King George V Silver Jubilee and the Coronation, Silver Wedding, Victory and UPU. from the reign of King George VI. The extensive definitive, commemorative and thematic stamps issued in the present queen's reign formed a colourful display, notable for completeness of the sets, documentation of the subject matter and credit to the designers and printers. Alan has also made an extensive study of life and wildlife in the Falklands. After showing the issues for the Falklands Dependencies, the second part featured the issues from the remote island of Tristan da Cunha, which commenced in 1952. The demand for stamps prior to that time had been realised and was illustrated by the 'potato essays' of Allan Crawford which were actually sold for potatoes and featured on recent stamps. Postally aligned with St.Helena, the island used their issue overprinted, both in 1952 and when the evacuated population returned in 1963. The subsequent definitive and thematic issues were shown. Brian Clayton recalled his visit to the Falklands in his vote of thanks for another interesting presentation. (D.H.)
"18 Aspects of Cinderellas": Chris Tennant, 3 July 2015.
Chris Tennant explained that the popularity of collecting non-postal items had declined during the 20th Century, but was now increasing again. He had assembled 18 frames of examples of different types of Cinderella stamps and documents from around the British Isles, which ranged from revenue stamps through railway newspaper and parcel labels to tax discs. Not only taxation of motor vehicles and their drivers, but items issued when horses were hired for licensed carriages and when tax was levied on playing cards, dice, tea, entertainment and almost everything, even bath chairs. Private issues were for copyright payment and contracts and a curious attempt to circumvent Royal Mail by the National Delivery Company. This was a colourful display of interesting items which philatelists are now taking with increased seriousness, especially when the selling prices are revealed. Sandra Poole thanked Chris for producing a remarkable display. (D.H.)
"Travel through the Ages": Dennis Boot and Douglas Harvey, 15 May 2015.
Dennis Boot's display focused on the carriage of mail in 19th century Britain, beginning with the mail-coach, continuing with the railways and ending with sea travel. Examples of mail carried in these different ways included a selection of entires bearing the additional ½d mark and an Admiralty entire dated 1818, covers with TPO marks and railway stamps, and an entire sent from Taunton to Bombay in 1808.
Douglas Harvey moved us into the 20th and 21st centuries and his collection of modern illustrated covers and commemoratives depicted a huge range of ways to travel- from the simple Shanks's pony and penny farthing to hot air balloons, passenger ships and Concorde. The display also included sections on RAF illustrated covers, the London !980 Exhibition and US inaugural flights. (S.P.).
"Another Potpourri": Tony Sibley, 10 April 2015.
The fourth of a series of displays of mixed philately proved to be well up to the usual high standard from Tony Sibley. Commencing with a few items of mail from the 1982 Falklands conflict, the main theme of the first part was censored mail at the time of the two World Wars from a very wide variety of countries, including mail from and to internees and prisoners of war and undercover mail. Some interesting fascism propaganda items were shown. Part two opened with maritime mail, including mail salvaged from shipwrecks. Some letters with railway stamp labels followed. Covers from the Channel Islands occupation were shown which also illustrated the isolation of the islands. The Post Office strike of 1971 provided some unusual local mail covers and the display ended with some more recent Post Office publications. (D.H.).
Forty-five Sheet Displays: 20 March 2015.
The first half of the evening was taken up by two displays. George Kirkham showed stamps of Hungary around 1946, being the time of the collapse of the pengo. In the same period, some covers from Roumania showed evidence of political turbulence. Dennis Boot followed with his study of the 1840-41 GB issues of penny and twopence stamps. The matched pairs of penny black and penny red stamps having the same lettering and produced by the same plate made this an impressive exhibit.
In the second part, President Alan Squires presented a sequel to his South Atlantic Islands Presidential Display with philatelic items from Ascension and Saint Helena. The strategic position of Ascension Island was reflected in the items shown, with evidence of the American base on the island in the Second World War. Also, a forged Harris first day cover was on show. St. Helena, best known for the imprisonment of Napoleon, was also used for Boer War prisoners. The more recent covers from the island complimented this superb display. (D.H.).
Ladies Evening: 6 March 2015.
The evening commenced with a thematic presentation "Saint George and the Dragon" by Wendy Orr. Wendy has expanded her award-winning display to include countries outside England where St George is honoured. These include Russia, Bermuda and Malta. Following on, Minou Button presented a further insight into her family's 1912 stamp collection, which she has inherited, with pages from Central and South America. The stamps are pasted on to the original annotated album leaves.
In part 2, Sandra Poole showed a splendid collection of Danish telegraphs. Many of these documents were illustrated, with the telegraph company's logo carefully included in the art work; the total design providing an elaborate greeting card, e.g. for a silver wedding. President Alan Squires thanked the presenters and commented especially on the quality of the handwriting in the telegrams. (D.H.)
"South Atlantic Islands": Alan Squires, President's Evening, 20 February 2015.
The display featured the Falkland Islands in the first part and Tristan da Cunha in the second part. The Falkland Islands had been claimed by British as a Crown Colony in 1840 and Port Stanley became important as a ship repair yard. The Argentina invasion in 1982 was supported with philatelic propaganda. With Tristan da Cunha, philately also formed an important aspect of the island's development. As the British Post Office had refused to accept the demand for stamps from the colony, philatelists were supplied with covers by Edgar Weston. Attempts to introduce stamps in 1932 by Allan Crawford failed. When in 1953 issues appeared, the philatelic market was finally realised, although disrupted by volcanic action on the island which caused evacuation in 1962-3. In his thanks, David Shipstone congratulated President Alan Squires on presenting a splendid display of inaccessible philately from these isolated islands. (D.H.)
"Space": Doug Stubbings, 6 February 2015.
The conquest of space, the final frontier, is the greatest challenge to mankind. Philatelists have available a wealth of documentation and Doug Stubbings has assembled an amazing thematic collection at a modest cost. The early rockets of the Soviet Union feature on many issues from Eastern Europe with the first manned flight by Uri Gagarin being hailed as the pinnacle of achievement. But postal authorities(and bogus stamp producers) having no connection with the projects also provided excellent illustrations. Obituaries of the brave astronauts were only illustrated by Equatorial Guinea. By the time of the Moon Landing, commemorative covers were in abundance, and these continued into the era of the Space Station and Shuttle. Although the space race now has less news impact, the collection is incomplete as further amazing achievements lie ahead. (D.H.)
"New Zealand, 1915-1935": Andrew Dove, 16 January 2015.
The display concentrated around the development of the design for the King George V definitives, which were first issued in 1915. The original submission from H Linley Richardson was rejected by Perkins Baker in favour of a side face portrait which was modelled on the famous penny black stamp. The study by Dr Andrew Dove was comprehensive, with drawings, die proofs, paper changes, colour trials and perforations for this issue and the subsequent revisions which occurred during the King's reign. Some rare overprints were shown of surcharged stamps, officials, specimens, cancelled stamps and issues for Pacific Islands. The display was completed with some early airmail covers and a variety of interesting revenue stamp items. The President expressed the thanks of the Society to Andrew for a superb display. (D.H.)
A full report of the main display appeared in the Autumn 2010 Newsletter, which may be viewed in the Archive.
Members' Evening: Letters G P O, 2 January 2015.
The meeting opened with a musical performance of Japanese songs from stamps (illustrated below), with Douglas Harvey (keyboard) , David Shipstone and Chris Tennant (vocals). Some items from the General Post Office era including HMSO printed labels, Post Office Christmas cards and publicity for the Beeston sorting office were displayed by Allen Wood, Dennis Boot and Wendy Orr, whilst Gordon Low and Tony Plowright showed some of the technical developments of the GPO era. Other contributors, who took the individual letters for their themes, were Chris Tennant (railway labels and tickets), David Shipstone (Prussia), Brian Clayton (Antarctica postcards), George Kirkham (magazine gifts), Mike Siverns (early Pakistan), Sandra Poole (Copenhagen local posts), Mick Inger (Europa Post Offices) and President Alan Squires (pioneering flight commemorations). This was another evening of high class entertainment. (D.H.)
"Zeppelin Era (1900-1938)": Brian Hyner, 5 December 2014.
When Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin invented his airship, the prototype received little attention. It was Hugo Eckener who realised the potential usage of the invention with sponsorship, and philatelic mail played a very important part in the development. Brian Hyner presented a detailed historical account of the airships, which was supported by a splendid display of philatelic items. In World War I the Zeppelin had military supremacy in the air until 1916, when the improved biplanes were capable of attack. After the war, the primary use of airships was to transport mail and this continued when the larger passenger carrying craft were introduced. Mail from near and remote parts of the world was carried across the Atlantic Ocean, often with special stamps attached and always with an identifying cachet. Philatelists marvel at these items, which can be precisely assigned to their flight history. Even after the Hindenburg disaster some mail was carried in the Graf Zeppelin, although closure became inevitable. The President thanked Brian for an interesting talk and an amazing display. (D.H.)
"G.B. King Edward VII and King George V": Ian Shaw, 21 November 2014.
Following his superb display of Victorian stamps in December 2013, Ian Shaw returned to present another display of British stamps, which covered the stamps which were issued around the time of the formation of the Society. This collection was amazing for its completeness, with the variations in paper, printing, printers' plates, watermarks and ink colours of the definitive stamps, all examined in minute detail. In addition to the stamps, some interesting covers were on show, including some pre-printed cards used by the WWI soldiers. The famous 'sea horses' stamps were shown in full detail, and the display concluded with the pictorial issues for the 1924-5 British Empire Exhibition, the 1929 Universal Postal Union Congress, and the 1935 Silver Jubilee. This was another impressive display of stamps, many of which were around 100 years of age and were seen preserved in perfect mint condition. (D.H.)
An Evening with Bill Whitaker, 7 November 2014.
Bill introduced his display with examples of his several collections, of which philately had become the most important. As a schoolboy, he assembled complete sheets of 1d reds and also collected the George VI silver wedding issue. But it was due to his great aunt, a widow, who at 53 years of age had emigrated to Australia, that he developed a specialist interest in the philately of Australia. This initially centered around the early kangaroo issue and the many varieties of the George V head issue. Censored Australian mail from WWII was displayed with comparative censor markings. Also shown was a small collection of maps on stamps.
On a less serious note, to prove the value of the humble 2nd class Machin stamp, Bill and his friends had posted letters home from many parts of the world with only that stamp affixed- just to see how the postal authorities reacted. Mail from Africa to the BBC Overseas Service illustrated the difficulty of transferring speech to words. Bill had also made a personalised portrait stamp - this originated in Australia before the GB 'Smilers' were introduced. Finally, Bill showed how his camera had captured some amusing public notices, to bring an informative and entertaining evening to a conclusion. (D.H.)
"Military India, Part 1": Mike Siverns, 17 October 2014.
The East India Company initiated a military police presence in India to protect the company's trade interests in the 1830's and this was followed by the formation of a national force, which allowed soldiers leave of absence to take part in the Boer war. Stamps overprinted with 'C.E.F.' for the field post offices of the Chinese Expeditionary Force were issued in 1900. Kitchener used his Indian connections to recruit a large expeditionary force at the commencement of World War I, which had Indian stamps overprinted 'I.E.F.'. Most covers show concessionary free postage, but this was not granted for registered letters. Mail to the army field posts used special postcards which were coded A-G according to the field post destinations and these cards were routed via Bombay. During the World War, Indian posts were active in East Africa, and a controversial issue from Mafia Island (off Zanzibar) was shown. After the war, military operations continued, including internal action in the North West Frontier region of India. With the introduction of the RAF, early air mail letters appeared. A special feature of the display was a group of letters from a serving officer sent to his parents in England. President Alan Squires congratulated Mike on the depth of his research into this important piece of military history. (D.H.).
Illustration: Peter Ball and President Alan Squires (Photo: Tony Marshall)
Illustration: Bryan Button with the Letter Extraction Machine.
"Big Business on the China Coast": Peter Pugh, 5 September 2014.
Around 1750, the East India Company commenced trading with China, initially establishing an opium market. After the 1838-40 Opium War, trading opened up, and Chinese exports centered around tea, porcelain, cotton and silk. Hong Kong introduced postage stamps in 1862, and Peter Pugh's display concentrated on the commercial use of Hong Kong and China stamps from the coastal ports in the period up to 1930. The trading companies applied overprinting or used perfins as a security measure and these were grouped in catalogued form. The larger companies, (e.g. Jardine Mattheson, Butterfield and Swire), had high postal requirements and consequently their overprinted stamps were relatively abundant, but the display also included rare varieties from many small companies. Banking, newspapers and shipping also had security stamps, and the display featured postcards showing their buildings and ships. This brilliant research showed the origins of our important present-day trading with China. (D.H.).
"The Society's Forgery Collection": Sandra Poole (Curator), 1 August 2014.
The Society's collection of forgeries and other items was displayed by Sandra Poole, who is the curator of the collection. Sandra made mention of the several curators who have looked after the collection, which was started in 1914, soon after the formation of the society. Much of the collection had been documented and prepared for display, with examples of genuine stamps and their forgeries. Other pages remain incomplete. Nearly all of the examples related to stamps issued in the period from 1860 to 1900, a time before philately became popular. The forgeries or facsimilies of these stamps were made in the early 20th century in various attempts to satisfy the demand for rare stamps by collectors. Examples of forged stamps of over 50 countries were shown and a high proportion of these countries were within the British Empire. Often the forgeries can be recognised as being of lower quality than the originals, although expert opinion had also been sought in a few cases. The collection included forged overprints and a range of Cinderella stamp labels which had been prepared for exhibitions. An interesting display, with a very wide range of examples. (D.H.)
"St Helena Forgeries": Roger West, 4 July 2014.
The little island of St Helena, with a population of 5000, commenced issuing stamps in 1856, with an order to Perkins Bacon for just 2000 copies of a recess printed 6d blue stamp. Around the turn of the century, as stamp collecting became popular, this issue was almost unobtainable and forgeries began to appear. In 1861-3 perforate stamps were issued in various colours, with new values, overprinted in order to reduce production costs and these also appeared as forgeries. Roger West has completed a comprehensive study of these forgeries, and has identified no less than 16 sources of forged examples of the stamps. The forgeries have been identified by their various mistakes: lithography printing, design errors and printed cancellations. Bogus covers were also shown. Most of the forged stamps originated from Spiro Bros. of Hamburg, and complete sheets of four plates of their forgeries were on display. When the real issue was withdrawn, the St Helena Post Office disposed of the stamps, obliterated with a violet cancellation. Immersing in bleach removed the obliteration and created new colour varieties. Finally, Roger showed a collection of facsimiles of the stamps which he had produced himself, together with a letter of sanction from Crown Agents. This was a most fascinating talk with an amazing depth of knowledge. (D.H.)
"Scott and Shackleton Polar Expeditions": Trevor Cornford, 16 May 2014.
The final presentation in the Society's Centennial Programme was a detailed insight into the early expeditions to the South Polar region, given by Trevor Cornford, who is the chairman of the Polar Postal History Society of Great Britain.
Preparations for South Polar explorations began at the end of the 19th century, when the map of Antarctica showed a huge circular unexplored area The 1901 Discovery Expedition, organised by the Royal Geographic Society, was named after the purpose built ship. Led by Captain Robert Scott and with Ernest Shackleton as third officer, they carried out scientific surveys in Antarctica. On display were several items of mail which had been despatched from New Zealand and carried an expedition logo, which appeared both on a special postage stamp and also on the notepaper. The ship was damaged by ice and the rescued party was returned to New Zealand. Scott returned home and commenced a fund-raising lecture tour.
Shackleton returned to the region in 1907 as leader of the Nimrod Expedition, again named after a ship. The display included letters with specially overprinted New Zealand stamps. The explorers reached the Magnetic Pole and climbed the Mount Erebus volcano, but could not reach the South Pole.
Scott's last Expedition was the ill-fated Terra Nova Expedition (1910-13). The main items on display were the letters and covers sent to his mother by Captain Oates, who also died on the expedition. The Scott party reached the South Pole on 17 January 1912, where they found Amundsen's flag. The few survivors returned via New Zealand, which had again issued overprinted stamps.
Shackleton's next attempt, The Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition (1914-17) was also ill-fated, as the ship Endurance, was destroyed by ice. After serving in World War I, Shackleton made a final attempt in 1921, but he died while his ship Quest was moored in South Georgia, where he lies buried.
This outstanding display concluded with thanks from Brian Clayton, the Society's Centenary Year President. (D.H.).
"Anglo-Belgian Families and War": Bryan and Minou Button, 11 April 2014.
In their Social Philately display, Bryan and Minou Button associated postal materials and back of the book items with the various conflicts experienced by an Anglo-Belgian family. These were not all exquisite items, more those that various strands of the family had kept and acquired and are now in their collection of Belgian memorabelia. Their aim was to identify the postal material issued during and after wars, battles, rebellion and occupations, together with the aftermath and commemorations, and to illustrate life during those troubled times. The periods of interest were: (i) the eight occupation periods before Belgium became independent in 1830; (ii) the Napoleonic wars and particularly, the Battle of Waterloo; (iii) the Franco- Prussian War; (iv) the Boxer Rebellion; (v) World War I and (vi) World War II. A splendid presentation which included a display of many unique items. (B.B./D.H.)
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