Reports on Club Meetings (2022-2023)
To see reports of meetings held from 2012 to 8 May 2023 please.... click here
Meeting held on 13th November 2023
4 Sheets – Everyone, No Excuses!!
The Club enjoyed an excellent attendance with 23 persons present. No less than 17 presentations were received. Luckily, Programme Secretary Hugh Jefferies’ attention was well glued to the displays, and so the naughty bunch who failed to contribute, despite the ‘three-line-whip’, got away with it (this time!)
As usual, the range of subject was wide, with subjects ranging from Hugh’s ‘Postage Dues - 1930’s Australia’, to Alan King’s ‘Publicity on French Stamps’; from Albert Jackson’s ‘Danzig Corridor’ to, for example’, ‘The History of Painting’ - William Caxton’, by Wendy Buckle.
John Davies’ ‘Disinfected Mails’ was infectious!, as indeed (a different reason) was Spence Coaker’s ‘Hong Kong – The Centenary Issue of 1941’. Here was great artistry and colour at work; familiar stamps maybe, but nevertheless well included. Terry Kirkman as usual provided interest with his ‘4 Aspects of Philately’, which included his seasonal ‘Christmas Crackers’...joke section!! (yes, philately should be fun!!) Other subjects of equal merit were ‘Scuttling the Fleet at Scapa Flow’, ‘The Weirmar Republic’, ‘Bournemouth Postcards’, ‘PoW History’, including Colditz Escapee - Pat Reid (signed cover), Local History in old postcards, fascinating coverage of ‘Luna Exploration’ and ‘Northern Ireland’ philately, ‘Herefordshire via Postal History’, and finally Michael Goodman’s ‘Final Throws of Postal Goes’. (tears indeed!) Somehow Michael will recover, but it may take the Xmas break to achieve it!!
In the meanwhile...Seasons Greetings to one and all!!
|Advertising on French Stamps
||History of Printing - Caxton
Hong Kong Air Mail Cover - Centenary 1941
(Paul Barry Publicity)
Meeting held on 23rd October 2023
"Anschluss" - Albert Jackson
Albert began by explaining that the term Anschluss referred to the unification of Austria with Germany, just before WWII. The idea of an Anschluss began in the early 1920s, with the fall of the Austro-Hungarian empire after WWI. Austria needed financial support and saw the idea of a Deutschösterreich (German-Austria) movement as a solution. However, the Allies’ Treaty of Saint-Germain in 1920 forbade both the union and the continued use of the term Deutschösterreich. Albert went on to describe the turbulent politics that defined Austria throughout the 1930s, with left-wing and more conservative parties vying for power. Eventually, sentiment began to coalesce under Chancellor Engelbert Dollfuss and the Fatherland Front, a right-wing alliance that held power for five years from 1932.
Meanwhile, the Nazi party were gaining power in Germany and Hitler began to have aspirations to incorporate Austria, the country of his birth. In Austria, an extremist National Socialist Party tried to take power by force, mortally wounding Dollfuss who subsequently died from his injuries. Dollfuss‘ replacement, Kurt von Schuschnigg, attempted to make peace with Nazi Germany, but Hitler’s response was to threaten invasion unless radical changes to government were made in Austria. Under pressure, Schuschnigg resigned, but it was too late to deter Hitler. On 12 March 1938, the Germans invaded. In reality, the German army simply ‘walked’ into Vienna unopposed and were welcomed by cheering crowds. Hitler himself was driven to Vienna, giving triumphant speeches on route.
On his return to Germany, Hitler launched a campaign to annex Austria, calling for a referendum to legitimise his decision. Among other organisations, the post offices of Germany and Austria were instrumental in presenting propaganda to encourage people to vote: a special cancel “On 10 April say ‘yes’ for your Führer” was one such slogan. Propaganda cards were produced with the campaign slogan “Ein Volk, Ein Reich, Ein Führer”, as were leaflets, slogan cancellations, postal stationery and matchbox labels. Special election-day stamps, postal stationery and cancellations were also available. The result of the Anschluss referendum was a resounding ‘Yes’ and propaganda cards and postcards were issued celebrating victory. With Austria becoming a German province known as the Ostmark, all national events and festivals were commemorated with special postmarks and propaganda cards, culminating with “The First People’s Christmas in the Ostmark”.
Rod Greer thanked Albert for his amazing story and supporting material, saying that although most of us had a general idea of events, few of us knew all the details that Albert had so expertly displayed.
|Tyrolean plebiscite for Deutchösterreich
||Left-wing opposition to Dollfuss
||Nazis ridiculing Dollfuss (Punch cartoon)
|Schuschnigg driven out of office
||German leaflet dropped on day of invasion
||First Christmas in the Ostmark
(Alan King and Albert Jackson)
Meeting held on 9th October 2023
8 in 3 "Covers and Postal History ONLY" - Members
Unusually, despite there being a good attendance, there were only three presentations. However these were of excellent quality and interest and were keenly viewed and discussed in the interval, which divided the evening, with a most successful auction. This produced a record surplus for the year, which was due in considerable part to the much appreciated auctioning of a significant range of kindly donated philatelic books. There are still more to be auctioned!
The subject ‘RASC Censored Mail’ was presented by Brian Quist and proved to be part of a significant study. Here was explained that throughout various wars, mail needed to be censored to ensure security of information. He showed examples of such censoring, from the Boer War onwards, including unusual covers and censor marks from the Red Cross and the Salvation Army.
‘Bournemouth Postal History’ was again a well researched presentation. Julian White showed early covers, including Tregonwell (one of the founders of the town) in 1824, from Bournemouth to USA, to South Africa, to Switzerland, to India and to Australia. Additionally fascinating covers were noted from Monte Carlo to Bournemouth, culminating with a rare Mulready, having a Bournemouth address.
‘Covers from Bahamas’ was the final study, being compiled by Hugh Jefferies who skilfully set the scene. He explained that the Bahamas were made up of a large number of islands, with numerous post offices, cancellation methods and styles. He showed covers from well described Long Island and Crooked Island, but the naming of Cat Island was a mystery, not being cat shaped!
Another most entertaining evening in a well packed philatelic programme.
Meeting held on 25th September 2023
"Russia's International Mails/The Mail between Great Britain and Russia" Charles Leonard
Without doubt, this presentation was of top quality in all respects. For many of us mere mortals, this was a little known corner of philatelic study- 19th Century Russia. The write-up was superb, matching the extraordinary and scarce collection on display. When asked, Charles explained how he had been so well placed to hunt down so much elusive material...virtually all covers. He said: ‘I collected Russia from 1978, when I worked for Robson Lowe in Bournemouth’. He had therefore been superbly positioned to monitor the movements of Russian philatelic material as it came through the auctioneering process. He was also in the best of environments for the study of such scarce treasures. Presenting in two weighty parts, with a study break at the half-way juncture, Charles followed a chronological pathway, which revealed fascinating covers, postmarks, destinations, transit arrangements, registered mails...the list went on! All this was underpinned by an in-depth study of the political and economic backdrop of this, the second half of the century. Much detail was provided relating to the 1872 International Postal Union, with on-going reforms and postal treaties generally. Here was a focus on agreements, with all their complexities, colour schemes, transit rates, unpaid mail, printed papers -to name but a few areas considered. Agreements between Russia and Prussia in the period 1866 – 1875 were examined, with the second half of the evening being concerned with ‘The Mail between GB and Russia’. Covers, many which were rare and unique were displayed throughout, with an emphasis on outbound mails. Charles’ anecdotal inputs further enhanced this most memorable of presentations.
In thanking Charles profusely for his outstanding contribution to the Club’s programme, Vice-Chairman Terry Kirkman referred to 19thCentury Russia’s highly professional approach in dealing in inter-national affairs; ‘they kept to their word’ seemed to run throughout, ‘more than can be said of today...’ his voice trailed away.
This was a commentary and analysis of highly complex governmental postal arrangements, set against a turbulent historical, political, economic and social European backdrop.
Meeting held on 11th September 2023
‘8 in 3’ GB and/or The Channel Islands - Members
The Membership enjoyed 5 interesting displays, covering a variety of subjects.
Hugh Jefferies was first in to bat with his well-researched presentation entitled ‘Stamped to Order – Postal Stationery’. Tracing its chronology, Hugh began with the well known ‘Mulready’. This quickly proved unpopular within Victorian Britain, and was soon replaced by new envelopes having the embossed Queen’s head. Organisations were able to have their own company address printed on these envelopes, a practice that was attractive in commercial terms. The display featured covers from Edward VII’s reign. Various rates were available and these could be assisted by adhesives as needed.
Alan King presented his display - ‘Surface Printed GB’, 1851-1880’. This contained stamps and covers, a fascinating collection developed during Lockdown. Beginning with the 4d. Carmine, and then highlighting the 6d.value, Alan progressed to skilfully consider watermarks/errors, shades, papers and plates, and presented here, but a fraction of his collection. The 9d. Straw was well represented, with the 10d being included. The 1/- Green was also promoted, but scarce forgeries were not present, some being far more valuable than the legitimate! Concluding with the 2/- Blue value, he regretted not possessing the rare 2/-Brown!! (a crowd funding might assist!!)
Michael Goodman provided a short display, a study extract from a recent competition entitled ‘The Machin Head, the final years’. This considered ‘Post and Go’, which had its origins in 2008. This service enabled customers to print out their own labels! Those depicted are the basic set from a presentation pack and show the office identifier number. (different!)
‘The 1d Black and the First 1d Red’ display provided early interest. Here Julian White had made a close study and shared a number of covers.
The ‘8 in 3’ part of the evening, prior to the monthly auction, concluded with Rod Greer’s examination of ‘KRAC Machins in NI’. These were well demonstrated though a variety of covers, with one depicting an early (1941) Armagh cancel.
Paul Barry Publicity
Meeting held on 14th August 2023
8 in 3 "Postcards ONLY" - Members
This was a surprisingly good meeting with over 20 attending. There were eight presentations of postcards, and nine providers in the concluding auction.
The presentations were as follows:-
RICK WILLMOTT provided postcards of Enfield and surrounds, the town of his birth, with various views of street scenes and historic buildings.
ALBERT JACKSON followed on from his display earlier in the year, with a focus on handmade stamps by Polish officers in the Holdenberg POW camp. He also showed handmade postcards. He noted, ruefully, that he had not been able to enter them in the HAMPEX Competition because they were rendered ineligible by virtue of having been ‘privately made’.
SPENCE COAKER presented postcards of Hong Kong views, the 18th September 1906 typhoon and tsunami and HMS ships.
ALAN KING’S study of Bournemouth views was pleasing. It included early ‘court cards’, ‘undivided cards, ‘framed’ cards and cards by specific publishers – Raphael Tuck of Bournemouth (his ‘Oilette’ series), Welch and Sons of Portsmouth, Salmon of Sevenoaks (watercolours), and LL – French, very fine quality prints; a page of Bournemouth and a page of Rouen.
JULIAN WHITE can always be relied upon to contribute, and here provided old views of Verwood, Ferndown, Longham, West Moors, Hampreston, Ashley Heath, Tricketts Cross, Parley Cross and Three Legged Cross.
HUGH JEFFERIES explained that he had a brief spell collecting postcards some years earlier, when finances were tight and he thought that they would be cheaper than stamps. He showed 8 sheets of postal stationery cards.
JOHN DAVIS – with postcards he had accumulated for their cancellations – they were all intra-Germany in 1933 and illustrated very clearly the hyper-inflation that year, when the tariff increased from 40 DM’s to 5 Billion DM’s in November!!
ROD GREER – He explained his interest was in Irish postmarks. He showed cards with various views of Ireland, plus ships, passenger ferries and railway company hotels.
An interesting evening!!
The above postcards show the popular public holidays celebrated in Woldenberg POW camp (Christmas and Easter). The Red Cross card is an example of organisations and individuals commemorated by the camp’s inmates: please note the two-colour printing. These cards (and also stamps) were designed and printed individually by hand by the prisoners.
(Report by ALAN KING .. Paul Barry Editor)
Meeting held on 24th July 2023
8 in 3 "'D' is for ..." - Members
The presentations were as follows:-
Phill Olds – Phill showed stamps and complete sheets from Dultia, an Indian state, explaining that it was to be an exhibition entry in HAMPEX, and he welcomed constructive comments and criticism from members – quite a few were provided!!
Albert Jackson – showed WWII covers from Danzig, explaining that it was a ‘free city’, an independent republic and port in Poland, West Prussia, that was occupied by Germany for most of the war, but who continued with its postal system.
Spence Coaker – showed various DeHavilland 1936 covers, mostly air-mails, including direct and indirect flights from UK to Hong Kong and Singapore; he said the indirect flights could take up to seven days.
Hugh Jefferies – showed Australian postage dues, which he admitted were rather boring – 7 pages were all green, although the 8th page was green and red!! Within this, there were 2 pages of the original 1892 New South Wales design, which was then adopted by the rest of Australian 1902, but with the NSW at the bottom obliterated. The last page, of green and red, showed the change to the Victoria design, without the kangaroo and emu motifs at the side, and continued from 1908 until 1963.
Bob Small – gave a presentation of D-Day/’Operation Overlord’ material, which eventually happened on 6th June 1944 following delays because of bad weather. He actually showed 15 pages (as there was a shortage of other presenters), with pictures of different landing craft and the five different beaches on which the landings took place. He showed a page of the Mulberry floating pontoon harbours that were constructed, also the pipeline built to supply petrol for the tanks and various transport vehicles used in the landing and subsequent land campaign.
Terry Kirkman – showed 8 pages of dreadful commemorative sets from recent Australian new issues, including dolls, bears, rock ’ n roll, teapots, toys, the ‘long weekend’ and the ‘fair dinkum’ alphabet. He noted that he’s now stopped buying their new issues!!
At the conclusion of the evening, a number of members stated that they had postcards worth sharing, and Hugh conceded that a ‘postcard evening’ might have to become a regular item in the programme, despite his personal preferences!!
Meeting held on 10th July 2023
"Supermarket Philately" - Jean Alexander FRPSL
‘Lightbulb moments’ or in this case ‘hairdryer moments’ are fairly rare for most of us, but when they occur, the world can change! Hugh Jefferies, the Club’s Programme Secretary had again secured an excellent guest speaker. Jean Alexander was warmly greeted by the Membership.… ‘a big name’ on the philatelic circuit. Jean, a Fellow of the Royal Philatelic Society London, and a past Member of the Royal Mail Stamp Advisory Committee, was pleased to share her story and collection, which began whilst reading magazines under a salon’s hairdryer. Jean was drawn to a soup advert by Heinz which promised ‘New Stamps for Old’. Here was an opportunity to collect brand stamp coupons and exchange them for official Christmas stamps. Her interest in such promotions grew in tandem with an increasing publicity drive involving over time numerous company names such as – Cadbury (Chocolate Fingers), Kellogg’s with Cornflakes, Unilever, Sunday Express (Rupert Bear), Nescafe, ASDA, Boots, WHS, Woolworths, National Trust and others, and eventually The Royal Mail with its ‘Jolly Postman’ offer. These varied consumer rewards of postage stamps, special stamp booklets and packs, postal orders, vouchers and publicity gifts stimulated Jean’s collecting interests and she began to amass a large amount of related items, including associated advertising material. Her fascinating presentation provided Members with a unique opportunity to examine at first hand a wealth of ‘free goodies’ acquired over many years, some of which were rare indeed and totally unknown or now forgotten!!
At the conclusion, Hugh Jefferies voiced very sincere appreciation of Jean’s amazing contribution to philatelic study.
This collection proved to be both valuable and fascinating. It has its roots in a quiet moment in a hairdresser’s salon!!’
‘Get your hair done!! You never know what philatelic journeys await!!
(Paul Barry, Publicity Officer)
Meeting held on 26th June 2023
"1890 Penny Postage Jubilee" - John Davies FRPSL
Members were keen to welcome speaker John Davies. He presented a treasure trove of mainly Victorian philatelic material. His early collecting interests centred on late 19th Century GB, and in particular the 1890 ‘Penny Postage Jubilee’. He outlined the history of this celebration – being both a commemoration, (50 years since the arrival of the Penny Black) and a charity event. The highlight featured was the London Guildhall Exhibition, where the Commemoration was fully promoted. John’s presentation was a rich philatelic feast with supporting – stamps, covers, embossed and charity envelopes, correspondence, postcards and postmarks, supported by a rich variety of original catalogues, official stationery and advertising material. John’s own publication, ‘A Jubilee Reminiscence...A Philatelic History...’ was a further most interesting addition. It also needs to be mentioned that John has played a huge part in launching and promoting ‘Stamp Active’, a major encouragement to junior collecting. Little can be achieved here, in promoting such a special presentation, but a hint at its magnificence can be glimpsed by examining the accompanying photographs. A measure of the evening’s success was demonstrated by the lengthy time needed for Members’ perusal.
Another great philatelic event in the Club’s programme!
Paul Barry, Publicity
Meeting held on 12th June 2023
"12 in 5 "Stamps ONLY" - Members
The Meeting was low on displays, but excellent interest and variety on show, between the four presentations. Rick Willmott opened the batting with his contribution on Narrow Gauged Railways in East Germany and 1927 Estonia Charity Stamps.His display was of complete sheets, which he enjoyed collecting; in the case of his Estonia items, he explained that there was a single watermark in the middle of the sheet, so covering only a handful of the stamps. He was unable to see how this unusual practice had been properly addressed in the catalogue. Hugh Jefferies showed a worthy entry from Ascension GV & GVI Varieties; he said there were ‘bucket loads’, unlike for example, British Honduras, where there had been very few, but he didn’t know if this merely reflected the keenness of Ascension collectors badgering the SG Catalogue editor! Phill Olds showed Jaipur, one of the Indian States and material he didn’t think he had shown before., including complete sheets, blocks and individual stamps and including different shades. The concluding display was presented by Julian White who focussed on ‘Cinderellas’ that he had come by over the years, although had never explicitly collected, including agricultural shows, exhibitions, royal events in particular, coronations and jubilees, NHS stamps, STAMPEX, the Bournemouth 1910 Centenary and the Bournemouth Philatelic Congress.
Another excellent home-grown evening!
with Paul Barry, Editor
Meeting held on 22nd May 2023
"Labuan" - John Higgins FRPSL
Thinking back to school days, and those very simplified printed stamp albums, I have firmly fixed in my memory that the page titled ‘Labuan’, was always bereft of stamps. We just did not see any issues. So, when I saw Club was to have a major presentation on this country, I was hard pressed to find much enthusiasm! Except, that is, for two facts, one being the Club’s Programme Secretary -Hugh Jefferies, who always sources superb displays, the second being the Speaker, Dr Jon Higgins FRPSL.
What a treat there was in store! First, it was essential to get pronunciation correct! Was it ‘Labu-anne’ or ‘Laboon’? No, said Jon, - ‘La-boo-an’ is correct’. We moved on to maps and location, revealing Labuan to be an island off the coast of North Borneo. It was ceded to Britain by the Sultan of Brunei in 1846. Jon provided further geographical and historical background, stating: ‘Labuan is a small island, about a third of the size of the Isle of Wight. Prior to it becoming a Colony, it had no permanent population due to the activities of pirates, but after 1846 it was gradually settled by Chinese or Kedayan farmers and traders. Until the advent of Malaysia in 1963 there was only one post office in the capital, Victoria. Labuan became important during conflicts, notably during the 1945 Japanese presence, and the Indonesia confrontation in the 1960s. It is now a thriving free port with a population of 90,000 plus’. (Courtesy of Jon Higgins and ‘Stamp Lover’ publication, and again below)
Jon most ably traced the philatelic history, commencing with the island joining the U.P.U. and in 1877 stamps were required. The design featured the head of Queen Victoria, based on the ‘Young head’ Wyon medal minted to mark the Royal visit to City. Taking pride of place in this magnificent display was Jon’s own cased silver Wyon Medal!! ...I held it in my hand for at least 10 seconds! (one of 120 minted; the one gold medal being presented to Queen Victoria!!) The first philatelic item displayed was a die proof of the 12c value, the only die proof recorded of any of the Queen’s Head stamps of Labuan. To qoute: ‘I never expected to own it, it was part of an SG investment portfolio which was sold to venture capitalists who then sold it on through an obscure Channel Islands auction house, and only paid reserve...’. This issue of 1879 was the first recess stamps printed by D.L.R., but there was much more to follow.
The overall display was of high quality indeed and focussed greatly on plate proofs, production process, engravings and Specimen stamps, all relating to the May 1879 issue. It then progressed on to later issues. It had huge range, incorporating drawings, stamps, including sheets, postal stationery, covers, watermark varieties, over-printings, temporary cancels, postal rates, printers' and details of the island’s administration over time.
The presentation was superbly composed and written-up. For those philatelists wishing to delve deeper into this fascinating collection, there is a magnificent Labuan report resource to consider, being that in the publication ‘Stamp Lover’ Vol. 115 June 2023. (with grateful acknowledgements to Jon and the Editor) Mentioned here, there are also Jon’s excellent Zoom presentations to NPS to further develop the subject.
Chairman, Rod Greer gave a most enthusiastic vote of thanks, and presented Jon with an engraved glass whisky tumbler, a memento of the Club’s appreciation of a truly great evening!
Paul Barry Publicity Officer