GBPS Programme 2021-2022
= live display also broadcast on Zoom for members, contact firstname.lastname@example.org for details
John says, "The display sets out to show a wide range of aspects of a much-maligned but short-lived issue of just 10 stamps. Die proofs of the small head design and some of the values are shown, followed by imprimaturs, specimen overprints, inverted watermarks, trial perforations, colour trials, cancellation trials, Government overprints, items overprinted for use abroad, together with a range of covers showing the stamps in use to a variety of destinations as well as a few cancelled abnormally overseas on mail bound for the UK. A couple of the die proofs have yet to be included in the SG catalogue.
The stamps were printed by De La Rue using their fugitive inks, designed to cause the colour to run when fraudsters tried to remove the cancels and re-use the stamps. This makes it difficult for collectors to obtain used copies in the true dull green colours, and the SG Concise Catalogue states that '... Stamps that have been soaked, causing the colour to run, are virtually worthless'. This collection illustrates that the problem can be largely overcome by collecting the values in mint condition or on cover, and avoiding copies soaked in the bath, but at a significant cost to the collecting budget. Some of the covers contain original correspondence with interesting historical and social stories, with others having vague destinations such as 'West Coast of Africa'. The covers indicate the postage rates in use at the time, although with some interesting anomalies."
Collectors Club New York
On the evening of Wednesday 13 October from 10:30 p.m. we have a joint on-line meeting with The Collectors Club of New York. Our speakers and topics will be: Tom Slemons FRPSL, Postal Reform 1837–1840, The Tax On Speech Ends; Chris Harman RDP HonFRPSL, A study of the work of De La Rue as seen through the general duty revenue stamps — 1853 to 1883; John Davies FRPSL, A Jubilee Reminiscence: A Philatelic History of the Great Britain 1890 Penny Postage Jubilee. Each display will last around 20 minutes.
Please note that registration for this on-line meeting will be via the Collectors Club website at www.collectorsclub.org and should be in place by the time you read this.
Alan says: "Having maintained a general G.B. collection all my working life, some 25 years ago I decided to concentrate a little more on an area which attracted me. Hence I looked a little more closely at mail from G.B. to France. I split the collection into subjects – for no particular reason and this has evolved into the present display. The first part looks at pre Napoleonic and some post 1815 mail. The sections that follow include Late Fee mail, Registered, Redirected, unstamped and stamped mail used prior to the General Postal Union in 1875 – a good point to draw the line.
The second part looks at the problems of crossing the Alps during the same period. This includes mail sent to Italy and beyond via the Mont Cenis road, rail and tunnel and the growing need for speedy routes to the East. I deviate slightly by illustrating the need for the construction of Aachen Bahnhof on the border between Belgium and Prussia and examine the routes and destinations following from this. I finish by returning to France and the Alps. Throughout I give information on routes and rates, but the display does not attempt to cover all the detail on what is a very wide subject."
Peter says: "The display will cover the first forty years of airmail, starting with the pioneer period from 1910 to 1933 then continuing with the individual airline companies, many of which were very short lived. Proofs of the companies' labels will be displayed along with time tables and dispatch dockets plus pilot signed covers. The coverage will also include the Scottish airmails as many emergency flights took place, and a crash. A small study of the Lanark air meeting of 1910 will also be shown although no mail was carried but a Grandstand postmark was used."
Maurice says: "This collection started many years ago when I bought a large box of commercial covers from the 1960s and 1970s. Among these were some with £sd stamps used after decimalisation, which intrigued me. Other related items were added along the way, until it developed into a full-size collection aiming to show all the aspects of how the Post Office dealt with the change of currency. (I guess I never know when to stop.)
So what can you expect to see? Well, plenty of Machin material, naturally, both mint stamps and postal history, along with how stamp books, regional and commemorative issues, postage dues and postal stationery changed due to decimalisation. Covers will include mixed frankings and other unusual uses, some of which come from that original box! As collectors of Machin postal history will know well, some of the rates and usages from this era are now surprisingly hard to find.
Of course, postage stamps and rates are only part of the story. As one of the largest organisations in the country, the Post Office had many other changes to cope with. So the display will also show training and publicity material, some of the many hundreds of forms that needed to be revised (often with temporary 'bridging' versions), how postage meters were adapted for the new currency, changes in other items sold at post offices such as postal orders and savings stamps, and a range of miscellaneous ephemera of decimalisation! A look at a 'modern' topic that's now 50 years old.".
Peter says: "This display is based on my book of the same name, and on the exhibit which won 'Best of Show' in Cairo, looking at some of the curious occurrences in our postal history. Britain was at the forefront of developing a postal service: there is no doubt that leadership in developing a good postal service contributed greatly to Britain’s industrial success from 1780 to 1880. The flip side to this is that almost every single development was a 'world first', and there were bound to be oddities and teething troubles along the way!
Before 1840, there were two separate 'official' Postal systems operating in Britain: mostly making separate charges. In addition there were several types of 'private carrier', most more or less illegal, and at least one unofficial private post system sanctioned by the Post Office. Initially all post had to go through London (or Edinburgh), postal charges until 1788 (1801 in Scotland) were the sum of the charges to and from London, charges were based on distance - sometimes just on estimates or guesses of distance - and on number of sheets of paper, rather than weight. Hypothecated extra charges were allowed on a few routes, and MPs (and a few other odd bods) were allowed the privilege of free post in the general but not the local post. This free post privilege was widely abused - MPs apparently did not always have the integrity which characterises modern members of the Government!
I have attempted to put together examples of all the oddities and anomalies, and to explain them. It has been a lot of fun making this collection; I hope you will find it interesting."
This meeting will be held via Zoom and will be an ensemble display by members. This will have a similar format to the one held in December 2020 with members invited to submit a single item or page (which will be converted into a PowerPoint slide) to be shared with members. For preference material should be of a seasonal and/or humorous nature but any small offering you think may be of interest to others is welcome. Members can either leave the item to speak for itself or will be given the opportunity to talk (for around a minute) about the item.
If you have something to offer then please contact Steve Teuma via email@example.com with details (i.e. your name and a brief description of the item(s)). Don’t be put off if you are not familiar with PowerPoint as we can handle that side of things - you just need to provide a suitable scan of the item(s).
Christmas Evening Reception
Our final meeting of 2021 will be on Wednesday 8 December. This will be the annual Stanley Gibbons Christmas Evening Reception from 6:00pm-8:00pm at their premises, 399 Strand, London WC2R 0LX. They are good hosts, providing a variety of food and drink as well as generous discounts on their stock on the night. Please remember to RSVP (to S.G. not the GBPS) regarding your attendance in good time so they know how many people they are catering for.
Members are invited to bring up to two frames (of 12 sheets per frame in 3 rows of 4 sheets) of material to show during the evening. Please dig out something to bring along, as it is a highlight of the evening to see a mix of material from as many members as possible. As usual, if bringing a display it helps if you can let us know ahead of time so we can get a head start on a running order and determine the number of laydowns we will need (out of a maximum of three for the evening) so please email Steve Teuma via firstname.lastname@example.org with details (i.e. your name, how many sheets/frames you wish to bring and a title/subject).
Throughout, the focus is firmly fixed on transition from one issue or type of stamp to its successors. So you will see 1d Blacks used with 1d Reds and 1d Pink postal stationery uprated with various adhesives. Technical developments like perforation spawned examples of perforated stamps used with imperforate stamps. The introduction of adhesive embossed and surface printed stamps in the late 1840s and 1850s widened the range of stamps in circulation and created conditions for some surprisingly rare and unusual frankings. Progressive changes to the check letters on the surface printed stamps, and colour changes, led to a range of mixed frankings, some of the rarest of which will be on display.
Also covered will be the major change from line-engraving to surface printing for the lower value stamps, and also the raft of technical and administrative developments in the early 1880s, all illustrated with stamps of different types and origins used together on the same cover. High-value stamps used with Jubilee and other stamps will be displayed, and the show will conclude with examples of mixed-reign frankings, many of them surprisingly scarce.
The display will start with a PowerPoint introduction and commentary, supported with something in the region of 160 sheets of real live covers."
Please bring something along to show. As always, advance notice of what you plan to bring (type of material and quantity) is useful to our Meeting Manager, Steve Teuma to help speed up planning the running order on the day, so please email him via email@example.com or ring on 01394 246224 with brief details.
Summer Philatelic Gathering