GBPS Programme 2019-2020

Saturday 14th September 2019
Autumn Stampex Meeting
Business Design Centre, 52 Upper Street, Islington N1 0QH (map)
2:15pmThe RNAS Armoured Car Division in Russia in WWI (details)
Tony Walker FRPSL

Tony says "It was the British Navy’s use of aircraft early in the war which precipitated the formation of squadrons of land based armoured cars, the forerunners of the tank. This will be explained. The focus of the display will be the campaign of a division of three such squadrons under the command of Locker Lampson, who fought on the southern boundary of Russia in a show of solidarity with our allies.

In his foreword in a book chronicling this campaign, the Duke of Edinburgh wrote : '..The idea that a party of sailors should take a number of armoured cars to Russia is fairly remarkable in the first place, but for them then to become involved in the drama and confusion of the Bolshevik revolution turns the story from bizarre adventure to a grim struggle for survival'.

This extraordinary campaign is described with postal history items as the thread and brings the military, economic and political aspects of these times into sharp focus, supplemented with additional descriptive material."

3pmRAF Airmail APO S40 (details)
Max Melrose

Max says: "The RNAS & RFC combined to form the Royal Air Force on 1 April 1918. As the war ended, troop numbers in Eastern France and the army of occupation on the Rhine caused a large increase in mail. To cope with this, the Army Postal Service and RAF joined forces to solve the problem. Bombers, no longer necessary for that purpose, were adapted to carry mail with suitably large baskets being provided by the Postal Stores department to form APO S40 Cologne.

With Demobilisation, ex RAF pilots became involved with civilian companies forming such as AT&T and Handley Page. The government developed an airmail despatch service with various landing grounds or if necessary air drops."

3:30pm1919 Railway Strike Airmail (details)
Max Melrose

Max says: "When the individual rail companies took back control after WW1 there was unrest with post war conditions of employment and soon it became evident that a strike would be called. The government was well prepared; the despatch service and civilian companies operated an ‘Emergency Air Mail Service’ involving London, Bristol, Birmingham, Newcastle & Glasgow. Flights took place over six days until the strike was settled.

Fewer than 100 covers are known to have survived and the display is an attempt to record all routes and as many flights as possible."

Saturday 12th October 2019
Royal Philatelic Society, 15 Abchurch Lane, London EC4N 7BW (map)
11amMembers' Displays - Any Topic (details)
Unfortunately, due to unavoidable circumstances Richard Farman will not be able to present "Napoleonic Prisoners of War". The display will be rescheduled for a later date.

The morning session will now consist of 'Members Displays' on any GB topic. Please bring 1-2 frames of material to display and (if possible) let the Programme Secretary (Andy Donaldson) know what you plan to bring to help him plan the running order (via, or ring him on 020 8542 4226 - there is an answerphone if he is unavailable)
2:15pmGB from late 16th Century to 1900 (details)
Ken Burr FRPSL
Ken says "My display will span a period from the late 16th Century to 1901 and will consist of a number of topics. These will include mail to and through London from the late 16th century into the 18th century, including overseas letters. The steps on the way to postal reform and the introduction of adhesive stamps with a representative run through to the final issues of the reign of Queen Victoria. Transatlantic mail from Great Britain and Ireland to North America will be shown. This will include letters prior to American independence and letters illustrating rates agreed under later postal treaties with the USA. Mail from the UK to the Italian peninsular illustrating rates applicable between the UK and the Italian states and the gradual assimilation of postal rates applied by the Kingdom of Sardinia as Italy moved towards unification. The display also illustrates the use of surface printed stamps and multiple and mixed frankings. There will also be a display of Scottish island mail from the early 18th through the 19th century and postal instructional marks on mail within Edinburgh. I hope there will be something to interest everyone."
Saturday 19th October 2019
'North East Group' Regional Meeting
Cavendish Philatelic Auctions Ltd, 153-157 London Rd, Derby DE1 2SY (map) (Meeting Notes)
The format of the meeting will be:

1000 Meet and coffee
1030 Invited display: First round. James Grimwood-Taylor: GB Postal History
1125 Second round: James GT: GB Postal History
1230 Buffet lunch
1315 Business meeting
1330 Participant displays. Please bring 10/20 sheets and talk for not more than 5 mins.
1415 Second round of participant displays
1500 Third round of participant displays
1545 Tea and cakes
1600 Fourth round of participant displays
1645 End of meeting.

See this link for further details.
10:30amGB Postal History
James Grimwood-Taylor
1:30pmMembers' Displays
Saturday 23rd November 2019
'King Edwards Day'
Royal Philatelic Society, 15 Abchurch Lane, London EC4N 7BW (map) (Meeting Notes)

This is an opportunity for you Edward collectors out there to bring along some gems from your collection to show to members, be they scarce varieties, errors, usages or whatever. Do you have a new theory to air with your peers? Do you have a problem with which you would like some help? The only restriction for the day is it must be GB King Edward VII or VIII related material.

Please bring along something to show and it would help plan the day if you could email Andy Donaldson (via or ring him on 020 8542 4226 (there is an answerphone if he is unavailable) to let his know how much you plan to bring and the topic.

11amMembers' Displays - KEVII and KEVIII
2:15pmMembers' Displays - KEVII and KEVIII
Wednesday 11th December 2019
Stanley Gibbons Christmas Evening Reception
Stanley Gibbons, 399 Strand, London WC2R 0LX (map) (Meeting Notes)

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.

An invitation from Stanley Gibbons to the event is included within the Nov/Dec mailing. Please remember to RSVP (to S.G. not the GBPS) 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 Andy know ahead of time so he can get a head start on a running order and determine the number of laydowns we will need, so please email or phone.

6pmEvening Reception and Standing Displays by GBPS members
Saturday 25th January 2020
Royal Philatelic Society, 15 Abchurch Lane, London EC4N 7BW (map)
11amThe Card Post (details)
Maurice Buxton

Maurice says, "Postcards as a distinct class of mail were first used in Great Britain in 1870, and quickly became extremely popular with the public. 2020 therefore represents the 150th anniversary of the postcard - a good time for a display of them! This is yet another of my collections that started out as a small side line and turned out to be a huge subject - it aims to cover the many aspects of the story of postcards, and so takes in postal history (rates, rules, cancellations and uses), postal stationery (from proofs to production, and plenty of private stamped to order material), some examples of things called 'stamps' issued specifically for postcards, and lots and lots of 'social philately' showing the many ways that people have found to use and abuse the humble postcard over the years. Hopefully there should be a little something here for everyone."

2:15pmSociety Competitions: Lee, Willcocks, Jones, Macpherson and Overseas awards (details)
Followed by display of Competition entries and judges' critique (entry details)
Saturday 22nd February 2020
Royal Philatelic Society, 15 Abchurch Lane, London EC4N 7BW (map)
11amBritish Levant (details)
Tony Stanford FRPSL

Tony says, "The 'British Levant' display features the stamps and postal stationery used by the British Post Offices which opened along the Ottoman Seaboard during the second half of the 19th Century to provide a reliable mail service for British administrators and merchants.

The Constantinople Post Office was originally established in June 1854 for the British Army in the Crimea. It was closed in 1856 after the troops were evacuated but was re-opened for civilian use in July 1857. Subsequently offices were opened in Smyrna (1872), Beyrout (1873), Stamboul (1884) and Salonica (1900). Initially unoverprinted GB stamps were used until August 1885 when inflation of the Turkish Piastre caused the most frequently used values to be surcharged. From 1905 GB stamps were also overprinted 'LEVANT' for use on postcards and parcels. With the outbreak of WWI the British and other foreign offices were closed in September 1914 and only the Smyrna and Constantinople Offices re-opened for a brief period after the war.

This display features mail going in and out of these offices throughout this period, particularly illustrating the various usages of the surcharged and overprinted stamps and postal stationery provided for the British Levant and includes a brief overview of the postal history of the British Salonica Force during the Great War and the Black Sea Force based in Constantinople after the Armistice."

2:15pmThe Post Office Telegraph Stamps of Great Britain 1875–1881 (details)
Ian Pinwill

Ian says, "The display and presentation are formed around the comprehensive web site on these issues put together by Dr. Paul Ramsay and myself which can be found at: It will follow the order outlined there, namely the First Issue, Second Issue and Later Issues as this is a far more appropriate and chronological approach than covering their issue by face value alone.

The analogous nature of these De La Rue stamps with those of the contemporary surface printed postage stamps means there is a much wider sphere of interest within the GB collecting field than that of just a rare bunch of telegraph collectors (or the telegraph mafia as we have been referred to by a certain GB dealer!)

As a consequence of this, part of the presentation will specifically focus on aspects of research of the telegraph issues that have direct implications to general GB philately of this era. In particular the imprimaturs and certain specimens will be dealt with in some detail presenting new information and some intrigue relating to historic vandalism occurring around some high valued items! If time permits the preparation of probably the most expensive Victorian stamp produced will be covered, and no it is not the £5 orange!

The display itself will cover essays, proofs, colour trials, standards and of course the issued stamps both mint and used. It has been put together with completeness in mind and as such includes material from what are probably the two largest current private collections of these issues, namely Steve Lawrie's and my own. Several uncatalogued and formally unknown stamps will be shown (with explanations!) and usage will be covered in some detail, particularly in the latter half of the display."

Saturday 21st March 2020
Royal Philatelic Society, 15 Abchurch Lane, London EC4N 7BW (map)
11amQV Mixed Franking Covers (details)
Ray Simpson FRPSL & Karl Louis FRPSL
Ray says: "This display is all about Victorian stamps. Or maybe postal history. Or perhaps bits of both. Whatever your verdict on that, this display is wide-ranging, beginning with 'mixed frankings' on covers from the 1840s through to the beginning of the KEVII period and the first mixed-reign frankings.

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."
2:15pmMembers' Displays - Mixed/Unusual Frankings (any reign) (details)
This is a call to dig out from your collections your covers with mixed/unusual frankings and bring them along to show to members. 1-2 frames (of up to 16 sheets per frame) are ideal. Do you have mixed reign frankings, unusual combinations, mixed pre-decimal & decimal frankings?

Please bring something along to show. As always, advance notice of what you plan to bring (type of material and quantity) is useful to Andy to help speed up planning the running order on the day so please email him via or ring on 020 8542 4226 with brief details.
Saturday 18th April 2020
Royal Philatelic Society, 15 Abchurch Lane, London EC4N 7BW (map)
11amThe President's Display: A Jubilee Reminiscence - A Philatelic History of the 1890 Penny Postage Jubilee (details)
John Davies FRPSL
John says "The display will feature the display 'A Jubilee Reminiscence' telling the story of the 1890 GB Penny Postage Jubilee. The collection has achieved several Large Gold Medals and was awarded 'Best in Class' at the Stockholmia International Exhibition last year.

The events, which included major exhibitions at the Guildhall and South Kensington Museum, were important for the introduction of Great Britain's first commemorative postal stationery. The celebrations also led to the first International Philatelic Exhibition as well as the first decorative handstamps in GB.

The collection features a wide selection of different types of material including stamps and postal stationery, essays, proofs and ephemera, so, there should be something of interest for all."
2:15pmMembers' Displays - The Penny Lilac (details)
This is a call to dig out from your collections your material related to the 1d Lilac and bring it along to show to members. 1-2 frames (of up to 16 sheets per frame) are ideal. Do you have interesting 1d Lilac material – imprimaturs, controls, proofs, varieties, unusual usages, etc.?

Please bring something along to show. As always, advance notice of what you plan to bring (type of material and quantity) is useful to Andy to help speed up planning the running order on the day so please email him via or ring on 020 8542 4226 with brief details.
Saturday 25th April 2020
'North East Group' Regional Meeting
Billingham Bowling Club, John Whitehead Park, Billingham TS23 2DD (map) (Meeting Notes)
The schedule and booking details for this regional meeting at Billingham Bowling Club are now available. It includes a presentation by David Foster and displays by members. See this link for details and a booking form.
10amPostal History of Berwick-upon-Tweed (Part 1)
David Foster
11amMembers' Displays
1:30pmPostal History of Berwick-upon-Tweed (Part 2)
David Foster
2:30pmMembers' Displays
Wednesday 6th May 2020
London 2020 Meeting
Business Design Centre, 52 Upper Street, Islington N1 0QH (map)
12pmOverseas Members' Displays (details)
Andy says "The GBPS will be holding a display meeting on Wednesday 6 May from 12:00 to 1:50pm with our overseas members invited to provide the displays for the meeting. We will have 6 frames available (each of 12 sheets in 3 rows of 4) and time available for two laydowns. Due to the limited space and the desire to have as many overseas members display as possible I would like to invite members to drop me a line with offers of one or (space permitting) two frames they would like to show.

For any overseas members exhibiting at the show colour photocopies of selected pages from your exhibit would be welcome to give a flavour of the overall exhibit - as it is unlikely that the real material will be available on the Wednesday of our meeting whether your exhibit will be in the display frames for the first or second half of the show.

As usual I can be contacted by email via Thank you in advance for your support and I look forward to seeing an interesting and diverse range of material on show at the meeting."
Saturday 20th June 2020
Royal Philatelic Society, 15 Abchurch Lane, London EC4N 7BW (map)
11amThe President’s Guest: The Philatelic Congress of Great Britain (details)
Steven Harrison FRPSL
Steve Harrison is one of GB's leading philatelists as both a collector and contributor to organised philately. Amongst his various interests he has a specialised collection of GB registered mail. As an organiser, he is the current Chairman of the Midlands Philatelic Federation, a Council member of the Royal Philatelic Society and Vice Chairman of ABPS amongst others. In the latter role, he has served on the organising Committee of the ABPS Congress for some years. He already had a good collection of related material to Congress but, in 2019, he acquired the substantial collection of Colin Searle. This subject brings together both aspects of Steve's personal involvement in philately. As a result, Steve will now be giving the presentation on 20th June.

The Philatelic Congress of Great Britain was first established in 1909 in Manchester and has been held every year (some War years excepting) since. In many years, the signing of the Roll of Distinguished Philatelists has also taken place at Congress. It took place first in 1921 at Harrogate, so 2021 will see the 100th Anniversary of the RDP ceremony. Alan Huggins and Chris Harman, Past Presidents of the GBPS, have both become RDPs over the years.

Congress has been remarkable in different ways, both for the range of philatelic material that has been issued over the years but, also for the way it has impacted philately in the UK. Steve will tell the story of the evolution of both aspects in his display which must be the most comprehensive that exists outside of institutions with many unique pieces.
2:15pmAGM (followed by Members' displays)
Wednesday 12th August 2020
Stanley Gibbons Summer Philatelic Gathering
Stanley Gibbons, 399 Strand, London WC2R 0LX (map)
6pmEvening Reception and Standing Displays by GBPS members