The British Society of Australian Philately

If you are a collector of Australian stamps or postal history, then whatever your level of collecting
we can offer you help and advice and a range of facilities together with friendship and social events.

The National Society runs a packet, has its own extensive library, runs two or three auctions a year one of
which is always held at the annual Convention.   A Bulletin is published six times a year and a range
of specialist handbooks is available. At the Annual Convention competitions are held and cover
Traditional, Postal History, Postal Stationery and Open Classes.  

The South West Section of the BSAP holds three meetings a year at the Greyfriars Community Centre in Ringwood, Hampshire during November, February and April on a Saturday afternoon, starting at 2:30.
Many remarkable collections of Australian philately have
been displayed at these meetings and guests and new members are made most welcome.
If you would like further details about any aspect of our society please contact Colin Mount on
01425 474310 who will be pleased to help.
(For these meetings, members meet at the "Fish Inn" for lunch from 12:30)

The National BSAP Website can be accessed by clicking this link:-

The British Society of Australian Philately : South West Section


The programme for the 2023-2024 Season

Saturday 11th November 2023 Colin Tabeart from Fareham "Gold Mines, Steamships and Other Things"
Saturday 10th February 2024 Brian Peace FRPSL from Leeds "Australian Disaster Mail"

Wednesday 3rd April 2024*

Bill Whittaker from Nottingham; followed by members' displays

"An Australian Trip" 

*Please Note:
The meeting on Wednesday 3rd April 2024 will be an all day meeting, starting at 10.30am through to 4.30pm. Bill Whittaker from Nottingham will present "An Australian Trip". This will be followed by members' displays. An excellent ploughman's lunch will be available at lunchtime. (Meeting to be held as usual at the Greyfriars Community Centre in Ringwood).

Please also be advised that at HAMPEX, on Saturday 23 September, there was a BSAP meeting and a collection of small displays by Members from 2:30 to 4:00pm.. HAMPEX was held at the Wickham Community Centre, Mill Lane, Wickham, Hants PO17 5AL.


Reports on Meetings of the BSAP South West Section at Ringwood
2019 to 2022 Seasons

Saturday 13th May 2023
Michael Drury from Australia with "The KGV 1d Red"

Following his remarkable Eric Ash Memorial lecture at the BSAP Convention at Redditch in May members and guests were privileged to see an outstanding presentation given by leading Australian philatelist Michael Drury with his wonderful display of the Australian King George V 1d red stamp that was issued between 1914 to 1922 and is generally recognised as being the most studied stamp ever. Michael's display included many of the very rare examples of this remarkable stamp starting with the very first De La Rue Die Proof, the item is unique and was only discovered in 1976 when a number of stamp -size die proofs were sold from the De La Rue archives.  Prior to 1976 it was thought that all die proofs were created by Perkins Bacon but we now know that Perkins Bacon sub-contracted the engraving of the master die to De La Rue and these die proofs were pulls sent to Perkins Bacon for their inspection.  Michael continued by displaying examples of the four states of the Perkins Bacon die proofs followed by a number of imperforate plate proofs.  This wonderful presentation continued with examples of many of the major plate varieties, mostly mint such as the Thin G, Die l & ll joined and the CNE Flaw plus a fine example of the 1d Carmine with No Watermark mint and somewonderful mint Rusted Cliches that were discovered when the plates were taken out of store and they found that rats had eaten the protective grease from the plates and urinated on them and so the two offending rusted cliches were cut out from the master plate and replaced with two new cliches of a softer metal, most likely copper.  These Substituted Cliches  were displayed mint.

Michael is well known for the work he has done on establishing a standard for the many different shades of red as he has an excellent eye for variations in shades and is the authority in Australia that everyone turns to authenticate various shades of red, and many of the known shade groups were on display together with some sub-shades, among the rare known smooth paper shades were Orange-Red,Terra Cotta,Maroon and Pink and these were on show together with a range of rough papers which included Damson, Lilac-Rose and the very scarce Plum Shade.     This was followed with a wonderful display of the very rare Eosin shade with some sixty examples on show with a study of the various areas that the stamp had been postally used, mostly in Victoria and New South Wales.

He went on to show a number of booklet panes which included a pane of 30 stamps from the £1 booklet together with examples of booklet panes with a number of mint Die 11's. Other varieties included "Tin Shed Flaws" and examples of the scarce Die 111 both mint and used. The display concluded with a small display of 1917 postal cards, these reply-paid postcards were  running short so they were returned to the authorities for splitting and overprinting for use as single cards, as suitable card was not available to re-print the reply-paid type. Used cards are very rare but several were shown.       I consider this a great honour to have had Michael Drury come to the BSAP meeting at Ringwood and I look forward very much to his return in a couple of years. This was a wonderful display and I can only say that I have been collecting this KGV 1d Red for over fifty years and during this display I thought I had died and gone to heaven!

Colin Mount FRPSL FBSAP thanking Michael Drury


Saturday 15th April 2023
Malcolm Price FBSAP with "B.C.O.F. - An Australian Perspective"

Colin Mount introduced Malcolm- though none was needed for those of us in the audience. He said we were in for a treat and he was right!
As appendices to this remarkable display, Malcolm had produced a two-page synopsis of the background history of the war with Japan, their eventual surrender, and details of how the British Commonwealth Occupation Forces (BCOF) were deployed as Japan became occupied by the allied countries. He had also kindly produced a summary of his display, which largely constitutes what is written next.
“Starting from VE Day, the position in the Western Pacific was explained with a summary of the Pacific Theatre, focusing on the progression of the Australian forces through the Western Pacific island groups with examples of forces’ mail from various centres and airdrop leaflets in S.E. Asia. Three sheets of outgoing mail from Australia to prisoners of war in Japan, together with “surrender” air drop leaflets and then repatriation mail, were displayed.
The display continued with the “cease hostilities” and the occupation of Japan by the American and Commonwealth forces. Tokyo Bay ship cancels were shown and the Commonwealth Forces operation in Tokyo were also shown. Examples of inward and outward mail at the initial occupation were displayed and a map of the mobilisation of Commonwealth Forces to form BCOF was explained. The publication “Know Japan” was discussed especially the “non-fraternisation” aspects.
Australian troops had not been in Japan long before they found, like occupying troops of other nations in earlier history, that it was profitable to deal in scarce commodities and luxury items. Attempts were made to stamp out the consequent rackets among the troops. One of the most successful was, for a time, the rigid control on the transmission of money from Japan to Australia, but this failed when troops adopted the simple expedient of purchasing large quantities of Australian postage stamps, transmitting them to Australia where they were cashed in at post offices, subject only to a 5% re-purchase discount. To control “money laundering” by Australian Occupation Forces, the issuing of overprints on Australian definitives was explained and displayed-“BCOF./Japan/1946”. Trial over- prints and examples of the immediately withdrawn first issue (due to not having adequate permissions), were shown, followed by a further 3 frames of the re-issued overprints from 1947 onwards, exhibiting the many errors and other varieties including the red, black and gold colours used for the overprints. The display then moved on to examples of BCOF stationery, airmail marks and a few other specific cachets. Airmail services from Australia were described together with the start of the BOAC Flying Boat service.
A peculiar aspect of the Military Mail Service in Japan was the acceptance of commercial mail from companies in Japan for onward distribution. Examples were shown to several destinations including UK, Hong Kong, Australia, Aden, and the Dutch East Indies. The display moved on to “By Favour” internal mail and then to official mail. The “Direct Bag” system used by the Australian Army Postal Service (APS) was described with examples. With forces from Australia, New Zealand, India (to 1948) and the UK serving in BCOF in Japan, the Australian APS also had a system of mutual acceptability of postage from the other BCOF forces, a number of examples being exhibited.
Finally, the display showed telegraph service items and a few commercial postcards, completing with a timetable of the run-down of BCOF units until the end of occupation by Australian forces in 1950”

(Images to follow)

(Gordon D Masson)


Saturday 5th November 2022

The Bi-coloured Dues of Australia by Alan Cross FRPSL

(Report and Images to follow)


Saturday 30th April 2022

"Hutt River Province" by Tom Gillespie

Five members welcomed the return, in very much better health, of Tom Gillespie, having had major surgery. Our host Colin Mount (just turned 80 last week – acknowledged by Patrick) introduced Tom to give his Hutt River Province presentation.
Tom regaled us with facts and anecdotes spread over almost 250 sheets of philatelic material spanning the last 50 years. It started in 1969 when Leonard George Casley, a wheat farmer near Northampton in Western Australia, vehemently disagreed with the Wheat Quota Board over the small allocation he was allowed to grow. His reaction was his proclamation (on April 1st 1970) that in future his farm of 18,000 acres was to become an independent sovereign province with him as head of state – “Prince Leonard” as he was to be known. He produced postage stamps from 1973, approved by UPU but not allowed to be shown on the front of postal items, by the State’s Post Office. He opened his own Hutt River Post Office.   
We saw a very wide range of these stamps, covers and mini-sheets from 1973 onwards (mint and C.T.O.), and much publicity material to “advertise” his Principality, including examples of his specially printed bank notes. Stamp issues ranged from himself (often in regal paraphernalia), his wife and family, scenes of his Province, Christmas stamps, wildlife, airmails etc. With his sale of such material, including Hutt River Passports, and a constant stream of tourists; over the years it became big business. Prince Leonard worked the farm too with his sons, rearing 10,000 sheep, 4,000 cattle and a camel. Some covers were notable: the Round-Australia Car Rally, cycle races, a Tourism issue, a visit to the Pope, his “world tour”; he produced a catalogue of his stamps in 1986, a postage meter in 2016, and much more. His secession as Prince was celebrated with a series in 1974 and another in 1977 for Queen Elizabeth’s 25th Anniversary.
About halfway through the display Tom introduced some more material, mostly official correspondence from eg the Commonwealth Court in Perth, which he had won at auction, previously belonging to Derick Ray (past President of BSAP, Chairman of Philatelic Congress of GB in 1981), whom Colin especially remembered for his mentorship many years ago. Derick Ray had written a book “The Man – His Royal Highness Prince Leonard” published in 1979 costing $14, a copy of which Tom showed us. Newspaper cuttings and a range of religious stamps were inter-woven into this incredible collection of material.
“Prince Leonard” commemorated his wife Shirley’s death in 2013 with a set of stamps and an FDC and he died on 13th March 2019, when a 10 dollar commemorative stamp and FDC were printed by his elder son. However, in late 2019 the Hutt River Province was shut down due to financial problems and the Province was closed in January 2020 and is now up for sale.
So ended an era of, at the least eccentricity, at most good business (until latterly) with a strong sense of doing things properly. The stamps were well printed and perforated and the material was of very high standard. This appeared as neither hoax nor whim, the Principality lasted for nearly 50 years, and “Prince Leonard” was taken seriously eg by tourism, and yet lightheartedly by officialdom.
So who better than Tom Gillespie to give such a diverse presentation with his philatelic knowledge and good humour. An entertaining afternoon commemorated by us few and by Colin with a special Certificate for the Speaker.

An example (taken from eBay) of some Hutt River stamps
with Leonard George Casley illustrated top right

(Gordon Masson).


Saturday 2nd November 2019 - Members' Personal Displays

Our President welcomed the seven of us who had braved the wet and windy weather, to a Members’ Display afternoon. Apologies had been received from several of our regular attendees especially Colin Mount (at a Judging event) and Tom Gillespie (family event).
Before he introduced the five who had brought display material, David announced two meetings of the “Wessex” region, both to coincide with Michael Hale’s Stamp Fairs. The first will be Members’ Displays at 2pm on Saturday 15th February 2020, and the second will be a Speaker and Members’ Displays on Saturday 18th April 2020 at 2pm. Further arrangements (Speaker, Venue and Refreshment details) to be announced through the Bulletin.
Pat Reid was first to display with a small slice of his recent 55 frame display at the “Royal”. He focussed on Queen Victoria Side-face and Tablet Issues of Tasmania, which were brought in as an attempt to rationalise their issues but which continued alongside earlier issues. Many shown were over-printed to bring values into line with other States and to use up surplus stock eg 9 pence o/p 2½d. The new newspaper rate of ½d was achieved by over-printing the 1d (written as “HALFPENNY”), and some varieties and forgeries were shown including the AL of HALFPENNY sideways. Varieties in papers, perforations and quality of printing, as well as watermark were shown. These contributed to the very complicated display of nearly 900 sheets. The Tablet design also showed a very large range of usage including some on covers with interesting stories. Pat showed us that Tasmania could interchange fiscal and postage stamps from 1882 to 1900 as well as these newer issues with existing older issues.
Brian Hunt was up next to show some cover and postal history examples of the Development of the Empire Airmail Routes System 1919 to 1939 in three sections: Cairo to Singapore, Australia and then New Zealand to the Empire. One example was of the RAF based in Cairo digging 400 miles of trenches into the desert from Cairo to Basra to guide the early fliers with 26 refuelling areas. Covers showed many of the experimental flights which finally made up the London to Brisbane route which was the target. Brian’s father had worked at the Short Aircraft Factory in Kent and the Short Flying Boats were vital to important parts of these routes before, during and after WW2.
Alan Whitaker then showed two Australian linked historical items from the interment of a particular soldier, who was captured during the German Occupation of the Channel Islands in WW2. He had been interred in Europe and he and colleagues were allowed to hold sporting and entertainment activities in the concentration camp, with a newspaper (The Times) and a Stage Programme being shown as examples – the latter in commemoration of Anzac Day. Alan thought many BSAP members would be interested in these unusual items.
The President himself then put up six pre-printed letters and envelopes from the six State Tax Administrations used for a new tax collection process from 1994 to 1995, which enabled tax fees to be posted in the form of stamps up to 20 dollars. A very specialised and interesting aspect of postal history.
Gordon Masson then displayed his up-dated range of States’ Queen Victoria Designs, which focussed on the variations for each State :- throned, half-throned, head facing, side and half-facing, from different ages and with differing headdress/crowns etc. One or two of the examples raised some interesting comments from the floor concerning facsimile stamps and over-printing of letter cards. Emphasis was on the wide range of variation exhibited in early Australian philately.
A full afternoon of display and discussion was enjoyed, unmarred by weather or quantity of members, but favoured by quality and range of display.

(Gordon Masson)


To see reports for the meetings from 2012 to 2019, please click here


The BSAP meets three times a year at Ringwood and also has a
meeting at Hampex, the Hampshire Federation's Convention when members and guests entertain
with mini displays.  If you would like further details about the Australian Specialists' meetings please
contact us. You will be made very welcome:- telephone 01425 474310 or email

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Last updated on 25 September 2023