Affiliated to the
Association of British Philatelic Societies
Hampshire Philatelic Federation
(Founded 1967)

(The programme for 2021 was during the first part of the year comprised of a series of five newsletters, called UNHINGED, which are now available to be read in Ringwood Society's history page: please click here).

Subsequent issues of Unhinged do not appear on the Society's webpages



President:  Colin V Mount FRPSL
Chairman:  Paul Barry - 01747 631052
Secretary & Approvals Secretary: Gordon D Masson
Treasurer:  John A Stevens 
Competitions Secretary:  David Etchells
 Programme Secretary: Michael L Goodman
Publicity Secretary: Paul Barry - 01747 631052
Competitions Secretary: David E Etchells


Past Meeting Reports

To see reports and pictures of meetings from 2012 to May 2023, please click here


Report on the Meeting held on 14th November, 2023
Mike Smith FRPSL with "Orange Free State"

This was truly an exploration into a little known area of philatelic study. Society Members had within their reach an introduction to, as the Chairman said:
 ‘A huge, deep study of much complexity; rare, superb quality.. exceptional write up’. 
        Mike Smith, besides his ‘Royal’ status, has many crowning glories. He is an International Judge, an authority on Postal Stationery, Secretary of the Federation of International Philatelists’ Philatelic Society Commission (with 4 Large Gold Medals) and recently returned from Essen in Germany, having presented at the Seminar:   ‘Current Trends in Postal Stationery’. (May, 2023)
        Setting the Orange Free State in context, Mike explained that the State principally benefited from its agricultural and mining activities. Mike skilfully traced its postal history in some depth. First administered by GB, this tiny country found itself at the centre of international affairs, being a major focus of the Boer War. (1899) It was inevitable that a chequered philatelic path was to evolve. A complex web of official stationery card printings, (De la Rue) with some locally produced, was to ensue, with many observed within the display. The presentation was far ranging, covering stamp and card production, including overprints (Bloemfontain), and rarities. The accompanying photographs provide a flavour of the specialisation which this presentation revealed. Mike made good use of anecdotes which included insights into how his collection was formed. Amongst the fascinating points made was that on asking dealers to reveal their stock of ‘Orange Free State’ items, frequently bargains could be obtained, since this was a largely unstudied area of philately, and their lack of knowledge could be to his advantage!!   Perhaps with more recent publicity, it is harder to strike such bargains from dealer stock books!!
A wonderful presentation of philatelic material, being of clearly international status.

(images to follow)

( Paul Barry    RPS Publicity Officer)


Report on the Meeting held on 10th October, 2023
Tony Hickey with "Munich 1938 - The Road to War"

Our new Programme Secretary Michael Goodman introduced Tony Hickey from Kent. Michael had seen this display before and had written a long Report in Stamp Lover (December 2022), from which I have quoted and paraphrased.
The stated aim of the presentation was to illustrate an historical period with philatelic material. This was well achieved by the telling of the story of Czechoslovakia (Cz) from its inception in 1918, through the ceding of the German-speaking region of Sudetenland and to the “Munich Agreement” of 1938. Nationalism was rife after World War 1 (WW1) and the Treaty of St Germaine, when Cz and Poland became separate countries. 3.5 million German people were incorporated into Cz borders largely living in the Sudetenland (Sd) province.
The display started with material from Cz and Poland showing the main protagonists in the formation of these 2 countries. Newer and over-printed older stamps were shown. The League of Nations was formed at this time. Communism was spreading too and the Cz Army had to be brought in on occasions to quell rising unrest. Parliamentary elections were put in place, but the German-speaking people (of Sd) were unhappy and Germany agitated for support for their German interests in Cz.
“Germanism” grew with German people living in many European countries, largely fueled by the International Gymnastic League. Hitler’s aspirations for a German Empire (similar to pre-WW1) were becoming a reality (the 1938 take-over of Austria and the eventual annexation of the Sudetenland). No-one wanted another European war, so Chamberlain (UK) went to Hitler hoping for a peace treaty. Hitler made a deadline of 1st October 1938 to sort the situation out. Philatelic material was reflective of these events (postcards, lettercards, caches, stamps, postmarks and over-prints).
Tony related the acceleration of war with a very knowledgeable dialogue backed up by the carefully constructed chronological order of the presentation and display material. The Munich Conference of all concerned countries signed an agreement that Germany should have the Sudetenland and that there should be no war. Chamberlain brought back the famous “agreement” waving it to the crowd as he alighted from the aircraft on his return to London.
Our Member George added his perspective as a Czech refugee after WW2, as his wife and his families had lived through this period; and we learned much from the resulting discussion between him and the Speaker.

(Paul Barry)


Report on the Meeting held on 12th September, 2023
Members’ Displays Using the Letter ‘A’ + Bring & Buy’

        This very well attended meeting saw 9 worthy displays, which together with a huge ‘Bring & Buy’ session, certainly secured an excellent evening, the first in the autumn calendar. The subjects were far ranging.
Gordon Masson’s ‘Locomotives’ was the first presentation and comprised 15 sheets. This focussed on old railway engines which were promoted by mainly first day covers and postcards. Under the neat title ‘Art in the Age of Steam-in Philately’, the display depicted railway steam engines dating from 1830, right through to the present.
 ‘Australian Antarctic Territory’ was displayed by Keith Clements. Using album pages which covered both this territory and relevant GB issues,  the subject provided a colourful emphasis on ‘global warming’ and ‘wild life’, ‘scientific’ and ‘trading supply shipping’.
A strong collecting interest was evident in Clarewyn Smitt’s long term amassing of ‘Interesting Postmarks’ (from numerous philatelic administrations). This was a fascinating study of medical themed cancels, many being of health-slogan or recruitment advertising intent,
Michael Goodman considered ‘A is for Advertised’ through a series of covers. This display looked at the Post Office’s practice of advertising, to find addressees.  (Unclaimed Mail)
RPS welcomed new member Rob Hibbitt’s personal contribution of ‘A New Zealand Conception’. This featured ‘Operation Deep-freeze’ - a code name for US missions to Antarctia with a superb airmail bearing a 1978 ‘Polar Star’ cancel.
‘Additional’ was David Etchells’ early study which revealed his finding of a cover with a half-penny ‘Wheel Tax’ handstamp...a tax levied in Scotland. (1813-1839)
‘Anhingas -a snapshot of a colonial past’ was a beautifully written-up display, compiled by Simon Casalis de Pury. This looked at French Equatorial Africa stamp issues - 1936 (first issue) and 1958 (final).
The concluding presenter, Paul Barry, shared his origins of collecting interest in Southern Rhodesian issues, whereby a large box containing an African drum, stuffed with numerous stamps had been posted to him when aged 12, from his godfather, a keen philatelist, based in its capital, Salisbury...magic!! Entitled ‘Acquisitions’, it well rounded off the ‘A is for...’ themed evening, to be followed by a major ‘Bring & Buy’ session, being made possible by a most generous local donor, via Gordon Masson,
the RPS secretary.

(Paul Barry, Publicity Officer)


Report on the Meeting held on 11th July, 2023
AGM and Mini-Displays

RPS  President Colin Mount opened the AGM with much enthusiasm, greeting the excellent numbers present and launched the formal part of evening.  Following the agreement of Minutes for the last AGM 12th July 2022, the usual reports were received. Chairman Paul Barry was on hand to present his annual report which showed huge appreciation for all involved in the successes of the Society, and paid tribute to all the hard work of both Committee and Members. (please refer to the most detailed AGM Minutes for additional reporting, including a photo Appendix, which reported on the worthy Inter-Club and One Page competitions, and also presentation of Awards to  Michael Goodman, David Etchells and John Stevens). Numerous valued activities/events were underlined, especially the Approvals Service, RINGPEX, Displays, Competitions and the excellent RPS Programme. Chairman welcomed Michael Goodman in his now official role as Programme Secretary, noting that an excellent 2023-4 programme was in place. (Michael replaced Colin Mount in this Office, being a huge act to follow!!) With a strong Committee in place for 2023-4, Chairman concluded and welcomed the evening’s Mini Displays….which were as follows:-
1.  Gordon Masson traced a little known ‘History of Australian Settlement’. An interesting series of covers supported the presentation, along with detailed maps and stamps. Here was a real ‘work in progress’.
2. Colin Mount presented an aspect of his famous ‘GV Penny Reds’. Here was a superb detailed study in 15 sheets of ‘Die Proofs’, a most rare collection indeed. His support material included stamps and prints, wrappers, covers and a consideration of perforations.
3. David Etchells continues to develop his collection of ‘Free Franks’. Mail, letters and signatures added to the rich mix of philatelic enquiry.
4. John Davis considered the ‘German Inflation Stamps in the period 1916-23. Over 15 sheets, John ably described the huge inflationary aspects. He produced colourful sets of overprinted stamps.
5. Bert Burton, across 17 sheets, provided a study of Gibraltar, with reference to ‘Hotels’.
6. Wendy Buckle displayed a single sheet from her extensive and high quality study, an extract from WWII Russia. It focussed on ‘Paper Shortage’.
7. John Stevens shared his study of ‘China Treaty Ports 1851, First Opium War’. His contribution was of album pages with stamps from various Cantons. An aspect covered postmarks and overprints from Hong Kong.
8. Paul Barry considered ‘Latest Acquisitions’ and displayed rare/unusual material relating to the GB 1887 Jubilee Series….a superb cancellation on a half-penny orange ‘Army Official’ and an exquisite orange paper parcel post label with 3d stamp, postmarked  ‘Westbourne Grove’, of which few exist.
 Thus concluded a most worthy RPS evening, with more Autumn goodies promised!!

Michael Goodman with 'The Imperforate Washington 3c of 1851'    Winner of the Traditional /General Class, being congratulated by Colin Mount, President David Etchells being awarded for 'The Franking System in England'   Winner of the Postal History Class AND Overall Competition Winner John Stevens being awarded for his 'GB Stamps Over-printed in Africa'   Winner of the One Page Competition David Etchells in full flow describing his part of his 'Free Franks' display

(Paul Barry RPS Publicity)


Report on the Meeting held on 13th June, 2023
John Davis, FRPSL with "A Look at Venice"

          For any philatelist needing a trip to Venice, but unable to make the journey, this was the answer! Over the course of some two hours, members were transported to this magnificent ancient city through the speaker’s amazing holiday experiences, knowledge of the historical time-line, his familiarity of its geography, culture, people architecture, traditions, art,  sculpture, glass, music and cinema….AND a visit to the St Mark’s Square Stamp Shop!!...the list is endless!  Here fellow Member John Davis FRPSL, underpinned his presentation with rich resource material encompassing stamps, miniature sheets, covers, disinfected mail, documents, maps, photos...and more!  The first half examined the time-line of Venice and its origins, up to 1796. Beautiful stamps celebrating famous painters featured, with Letter Sheets (philatelic?) that were issued to raise finances to assist the city’s flooding problems. The fall of the Republic in 1797 was considered, then moved on to 1866 when Venice was united into the Kingdom of Italy. Within the display following the break,  the study of rare and unique material, was possible, including that pertaining to the three Venices - 1918/1922.  Stamps were examined which were issued following the defeat of the Austrians by Italy. With Dalmatia being a part of the original Republic of Venice, the German Occupation of Zadar stamps issued in 1943/1944 were interesting indeed. The time line moved on to the end of the 2nd World War, when the Yugoslavs attacked, and the resulting provisional stamps were displayed, that were issued for Trieste, Istra and Fiume/Rijeka. 1945-1947 stamps were covered, these being from those parts of the Istrian Peninsula that were separately occupied by the British and Yugoslav Military Governments. Italian overprinted stamps relating to the 1947 period were particularly interesting, as were the new stamps issued up to 1954, when territory was formally incorporated into either Italy or Yugoslavia, whose own stamps were then used. John continued the display with items illustrating some of the Islands in the Venetian Lagoon, followed by a trip down the Grand Canal….wow!!
          This was a fast summary of the City’s story, liberally sprinkled by numerous supporting philatelic and other items, perhaps the most memorable of which were two modern examples of superb turquoise Morano glass, (decanter and tumbler) which John had borrowed from home, ‘under pain of death’...please do not touch!!
 (someone did, and I had to look away!!

Another wonderful event in the RPS calendar.

 Paul Barry, Publicity Officer


Saturday 3rd June, 2023 - "RINGEX"

Without doubt, this year’s Philatelic Fair - RINGPEX, was one of the best and most enjoyable in recent years, achieving an excellent attendance, busy and most friendly atmosphere, with a good variety of purchasing opportunities, a healthy Penny Black and assorted raffle prizes, a day long availability of the  famous RINGPEX Bacon Roll and other cafe facilities!! 
        Bearing in mind that the majority of such fairs nationally are experiencing reduced interest and footfall, the RPS committee, with all its hard work, felt this had to be a major plus in its current programme.  The event proved to be as strong on providing an opportunity to engage with regular dealers, as it was in providing the setting for collectors and philatelic trading friends to discuss the latest matters of interest. 
Among the many visitors, an encouraging number took an interest in the Society’s official table, and requested further information, with a desire to join in membership. 

 RINGPEX certainly still has that magic ingredient
to set itself apart and be a firm diary favourite!

Gordon Masson studying some Australian items for sale

Paul Barry    RPS Chairman and Publicity Officer



For further information contact either Colin Mount on 01425 474310 or cv.mount@googlemail.com
or Gordon D Masson (Secretary) on 01425 470710

on the second Tuesday of each month (except August)
at the
Greyfriars Community Centre
Christchurch Road
Starting at either 2:00pm or at 7.30pm


To see reports and pictures of meetings from 2012 to May 2023, please click here

    The next meeting will be
held on Tuesday, 12th December 2023 (2:00pm)

Christmas Get-together (partners welcome)


Visitors and new members most welcome.

Meetings will start at 2:00pm or 7:30pm (see programme) at the Greyfriars Centre, Ringwood (Room to be advised)



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Last updated on 20 November 2023