News Items for Session 2019 - 2020

Annual General Meeting

1st July 2020

The AGM was carried out via e-mail due to the coronavirus pandemic which meant the members of the society could not gather for their usual meeting.

This was the final year of David Millar's Presidency and he has now passed the baton on to Dr. Harry Jackson who begins his presidency, hopefully in September. This will be dependent on the pandemic having been suppressed enough to allow us to resume meetings.

The Vice President will now be Norman Kelso who will vacate the position of Representative to ASPS

The Representative to ASPS post will now be held by Francis Podger FRPSL.

Brian McQueen will now fill one of the vacant Committee member positions

Visit from Aberdeen Philatelic Society

12 March 2020

There were two displays given by members of Aberdeen PS, both of whom can be seen in the picture opposite.
Dave Edwards was the first to display with "Machine printed Stamps and labels". He began with a few covers with FRAMA labels where in 1966 printer labels were produced where the monetary value was decided at the time of printing. The FRAMA labels only ran in 4 post offices in 1987. dave also informed members that a German company Klussendorf also produced labels and these were on show as well. In 2004 the Post Office introduced Weigh & Vend in three post offices in a 6 month experiment.

The rest of the display covered the Post &Go issues which originated in 2007 with the Wincor/Nixdorf equipment where labels or stamps were available to be purchased. On display were a variety of different typefaces, date codes, overprints and pictorial issues e.g flora, birds, sea travel and scottish congress overprints. Included within this were colour variations and other country issues such as Jersey, Guernsey. Gibraltar and the Faroe Islands.

The second half of the display was given by Alex Walker who put on a display of Wartime Mail, with the emphasis on where any war impacted on the mail service. Alex began with the Crimean war where he explained that this was the first time there was an organised post office in Constantinople and as part of his display he had three letters for a Lieutenant in Balaclava. Moving on to the American Civil War on show were covers with confederate stamps and ship mail from a blockaded ship off Charleston. We then moved on to 1898 and the Spanish American War and Spanish war Tax stamps issued to pay for the war.

This was followed by the Boer War where various post marks were shown on covers including the seige of mafeking which ran out of stamps at the time. Included in this was censorship mail and mail from Boer prisoners held in different countries.

Alex concluded his presentation with a number of WWI Civilian and Military Mail covers including O.A.S. (On Active Service) mail and Indian, Americas,Italian and French postal stationery. Alex explained that the Navy did not get free mail unless they were overseas. Covers included undelivered, redirected and POW mail from Germany.

Visit from Stirling & District Philatelic Society

27 February 2020

There were three displays given by members of Stirling & District PS. Who can be seen in the picture.
Bill Troup displayed stamps of the Cook Islands from 1892. The stern face of Queen Makea featured on most of the issues. The islands were annexed by New Zealand in 1901 and some of the overprint problems were shown. The display also featured the range of colours and shades, the different papers and flaws.

The first half ended with a varied display by Don Crawford. He showed scout stamps from various countries, Philatelic Exhibition cards and covers and bridges on stamps. The latter included bridges that would not be spotted on a cursory glance as in the Pakistan issue of the Khyber Pass. Bill also mentioned that many of the early Australian bridges had been built using convict labour.

The second half featured Bob Clark's display of airmails from the UK to Australasia from 1911 to 1934. His informative display gave details of the various routes used via the Middle East and via the USA. Difficulty in navigating across the desert from Bagdad to Cairo was solved by digging a furrow in the stony desert for the pilot to follow. Early postage from New Zealand to the USA required stamps of New Zealand and of the USA until the practice was stopped in 1931 thanks to UPU regulations.

Members' Night - Annual Competitions

13 February 2020

This evening members pitted their wits against each other to win the National & General, Thematic, Social Philately and Postal History trophies.

There were two entries in this competition namely:
Norman Kelso with a display entitled 'Whales' showing some of the different types of whale which can be found in the world's oceans.
Winning the trophy was Colin Campbell with a display entitled 'Communication' showing the different methods employed in communication such as Postal, radio, Telephone, the Written Word and Satellites.

Social Philately:
There were Three entries in this competition namely:
Peter Dix with a display telling the story of Mutiny on the Bounty with a bit of bias towards Lieutenant Bligh.
Winning the trophy was Brian McQueen with a display showing the Social/Economic impact that the British Open Golf Championships have had on the Dundee Area in the 80's, 90's.
Colin Campbell with a philatelic tribute to people who made, did and discovered.

National & General:
There were five entries in this competition namely:
Sandy Forbes FRPSL with a display of the South Australia 2d surface print by DLR and the problems they had when running out of paper.
Norman Kelso with a display of the Post & Go issues at exhibitions from 2012 up until 2018.
Winning the trophy was Charles Lloyd with a display of the Belgian Congo War Issues 1942 covering Belgian Congo and Rwanda-Urundi.
David Easson with a display showing the use of overprints in Uganda since independence
Colin Campbell with a display of ephemera relating to the Philatelic Congress of Great Britain including the tickets and a picture of a bus transporting the RDP signatories to the signing ceremony.

Postal History:
With the only entry in the competition Francis Podger FRPSL won the trophy with a display of The Postal Agency of the Netherlands Indies in Singapore 1878 - 1920. Mail going to or from the Netherlands went via Batavia and to improve it a Post Office was set up in Singapore & Penang.

Sandy Forbes FRPSL - 'Trees and Timber'

23 January 2020

This evening local member Sandy Forbes FRPSL provided a fascinating thematic display entitled Trees and Timber. Sandy introduced the display by informing members that this is now the 3rd edition of this display, with the first display being written up and shown in 1972/73 and which has been added to over the years. He also informed everyone that Trees have three names, the one we know them as, one that the timber trade call them and the botanical name.

Sandy's display contained a collection of stamps showing explorers, botanists and collectors with some people who gave the trees their names. The display then proceeded to show how the leaves from certain trees were used for medicinal purposes.

The display contained an incredible number of different types of tree, covering hardwoods, softwoods such as Pines, Larch, Western Red Cedar (used by native Indians for Totem Poles), Acers, Sycamore, Alder, Birch, Chestnut, Beech and Oaks. Also on show were things that were made from Oak Trees e.g. Houses, Windmills, Leather, Ink, Boat Building. The display covered the well known ships such as HMS Victory and HMS Endeavour.

The second half of the evening covered more trees such as Walnuts, Boabab trees, Kapok trees, Gum Trees, Ash, Rowan, Hornbeam, Cherry, Poplar, Elm and Teak trees. This was followed by a number of fruit trees such as Pear, Breadfruit, Apple, Fig, Banana, Plumrose, Pomegranate, Olive and Mango.

Sandy finished off his display with a selection Deciduous trees and the flowers they produce and followed this with a selection of Bonsai trees.

Members Night - 'Q' Night

9 January 2020

This evening eleven members of the society rose to the challenge of pulling together displays based on the letter 'Q'.

The evening began with a display of Queen Victoria line engraved stamps which contained the letter Q as well as stamps from the House of Questa, famous quotes and finally a quartet of Queens.

The next display consisted of some places and postmarks within the district of 'Quelimane' in Portuguese East Africa. Also shown were FDC's from the Queen Mothers' visit of Southern Rhodesia with the town names and postmarks from the towns she visited. Rounding off this display were Queen Astrid stamps and Queen Elizabeth stamps (Wife of King Albert).

Next up were 'Quit ' India movement stamps followed by stamps from Berlin and the DDR all of which contained an image of a 'Quadriga', which is a chariot drawn by 4 horses.

The next display showed the ingenuity of the members where the stamps shown covered three subjects, namely Quick, Quicker and Quickest. Quick was represented by stamps depicting people running, Quicker by Concorde and Quickest by Rocket stamps. and this was followed by UPU Covers where the covers were 'Quadrilateral' and because all UPU sets consisted of 4 stamps the covers included a Quartet of stamps.

Finishing up the first part of the evening we had a display of stamps from the Qu'aiti State of Hadhramaut, Quebec stamps, and stamps all printed by the Questa Security Printing Co. Ltd.

The second half of the night's entertainment started with a display of Queen Victoria Postal Stationary from the Straits Settlements between 1879 and 1902, which also included Specimen covers.

This was followed by a series of Uganda stamps printed by Questa depicting Orchids, Butterflies, Monarchs, Popes, Trains in Africa, Cats and Dogs, Queens Elizabeth and Victoria. We then had the Six wives (Queens) of Henry VIII and covers for the Queen Mary, Queen Elizabeth maiden voyages. In finishing up the evening we has stamps for subjects such as Question?, Quarrels, ands Quadrupeds and covers from the Queen Elizabeth era in the 70's.

One-Sheet Competition & Recent Acquisitions

12 December 2019

Tonight members gathered for the first of the years competitions, namely the one-sheet competition, for the rosebowl. 9 members entered and for the first time three members tied for first place and the rosebowl was awarded to all three. The picture opposite shows President David Millar presenting the trophy to Colin Rochester, Norman Kelso and Charles Lloyd.

The Nine entries for the competition were:
Francis Podger: FRPSLIndia WW2 undelivered mail to Singapore
Norman Kelso: Saskatchewan Application for Electrical permit document where customer had to pay for a re-inspection.
Ron Goodfellow: 'What's in a Name'. A letter to Ronald Goodfellow with a postmark 'Ronald' in USA
Brian McQueen: Stamp from Hyderabad re Mr Osman Ali Khan
David Easson: A North Polar World Flight 1971 cover celebrating Sheila Scott's North Pole Flight
Robert Duguid: A Belgian stamp depicting Professor William Philip, Pioneer in treatment of tuberculosis.
Peter Dix: An FDC from Tristan Da Cunha on Coronation Day for KGVI in 1937
Colin Rochester: A Peru Cover from the Kontiki expedition to Tahiti
Charles Lloyd: A Mozambique cover with a shipping newsletter for the Port of Beira

The second half of the evening was a chance for all members to show of their latest acquisitions and ths covered a variety of subjects.
Some of the items shown were, A Victorian Cover, Incoming Postal Stationary to Singapore, various first flight covers from Canada, wildlife stamps from the Falkland islands and the Indian Ocean Territory, stamps and miniature sheets from Hong Kong, Postcards from leading German Philatelic events, stamps from Kyrgystan and a leaflet from Croatia, stamps from Tanzania, Bulgaria and the USA as well as French and British South Africa stamps, Irish provisional overprints and Australian peace issue stamps used in Papua New Guinea, covers commemorating William Bligh, stamps showing extinct birds and giants from NZ, covers and post crds from named ships as well as two covers from 1840 which were delayed by fog crossing the Atlantic, censored letters from Southern Rhodesia, Nyasaland stamps and a Postage Due cover from the Belgian Congo.

Visit from Edinburgh Philatelic Society

28 November 2019

This evening members of the society gathered to see four different presentations from members of Edinburgh Philatelic Society, Irene Catto, Steve Cowles, Sid Morgan and Bob Catto (as seen in the picture on the right).

Irene Catto began the evening with a display entitled 'Maritime' and the consisted of stamps, postcards, covers and other memorabilia. Irene outlined the history of each ship in the display, which covered Steamships, Battleships and Shipwrecks, finishing up with two covers commemorating the new aircraft carriers Queen Elizabeth II and the Prince of Wales.

Steve Cowles followed on with a display of 'Stamps with Stories' and was a selection of some stamps that he likes to collect as well as some covers from the same era. These included stamps from the KGV and German 3rd Reich time, and some covers from Egypt to Scotland which were addressed to a relative of Steve's in Tillicoultry. Also shown were stamps from the USA, Austria, Poland, Belgium and the Netherlands.

Next to display was Sid Morgan who presented a display of 'Birds of the World' which as would be expected consisted of stamps from all countries of the world depicting birds, such as Owls, Penguins, Pigeons and various other varieties of birdlife.

The final display of the evening was from Bob Catto who displayed a series of American pre-paid Postal cards from the United States of America ranging from the 1880's to the 1960's. Included within the display was a card with a prepaid stamp of George Washington which when the card was turned over to see the back contained a prepaid postmark with the image of Martha Washington.

Award from Revenue Society

14 November 2019

The Revenue Society have awarded the Research Medal to our local member Francis Podger FRPSL, in recognition of the work done in producing the recently issued publication.
Straits Settlements Revenue Stamps
1867 to 1902
The Postal Museum De La Rue Archive

Paul Stephens (Perth P.S.} - 'Sudan Censorship'

14 November 2019

This evening members had the pleasure of receiving a display on "Sudan Censorship" from Paul Stephens (a member of Perth Philatelic Society). Paul's particular interest surrounds the resealing labels used during the censorship period. Paul began by explaining that during WW1 all military and civilian mail were censored by the same people whilst in WW2 they were separated and censored by separate groups of people.

In the first part of his display Paul began with covers sent and received in Sudan during World War 1, where all covers were stamped 'Passed by Censor' using triangular censor stamps. Two types of resealing label were used, general issue blue labels followed by orange labels which were only used in Sudan. These labels were all tied by the censor stamp or routing stamp. In 1917 the labels were changed, and these are quite scarce to find. Paul then showed an unusual cover sent in 1924 which was still censored.

The first half of the display was completed with a set of covers sent during World War 2 covering the military censorship with active service covers, and different shapes of censor stamp being used e.g. Round, Oblong, Square, Octagonal and Tombstone styles. Finally, on show was a set of French Sudan Covers and a cover with both British and Indian censorship. Indeed, one of the covers on display was sent to an address in Bulawayo at which our Secretary used to cycle past when he lived there.

The second half of Paul's display covered the civilian censorship during World War 2 and Paul explained that most civilian letters in and out of the country were censored, and which used a number of different types of label. One cover shown was censored twice, once in the Sudan and the other censorship was carried out in France. A number of Airmail covers were shown, one of these was actually crossed out as it couldn't be sent by Air. Most covers contained censor marks using the same number as the resealing label, but a few on display showed different numbers. One of the covers shown was sent from a member of the armed forces based on HMS Illustrious.

One or two covers on display also had a horseshoe cancellation to show that they had to be flown via this alternative route during the war.

John Sussex FRPSL RDP - 'Modern British Postal History'

24 October 2019

This evening members had the honour of welcoming a distinguished philatelist to the society. John Sussex is a fellow of the Royal Philatelic Society, London and a signatory to the Roll of Distinguished Philatelists. John's topic for the evening was 'Modern British Postal History' and he began by explaining that he started out collecting over 65 years ago and eventually after buying a collection of Machin covers decided that he needed to do something with them. Hence tonight's display which starts from 1952 and runs up to the present day.

When setting up the display John had some ground rules in that all covers used must be commercial, define the rates to be used at the time and have a readable cancellation. In total John has amassed over 7000 covers to date and finds it very difficult to find covers for the period 1990's onwards.

John's display began with a series of covers with Scottish Regionals and explained that it was easier to find covers using 2nd class stamps than it was to get 1st class ones. He also explained that over a period of 30 years there were 28 changes of postal rates. On display were internal mail covers and some foreign mail covers, overseas mail being hard to find using the regional stamps.

Following this a number of covers, including air mail covers, sent to various destinations in Canada were on show, covering a number of different rates. These were then followed by a number of postage due covers. John highlighted the fact that the post office charged VAT using postage due stamps and one parcel cover on display had postage due stamps to the value of £99.97.

In the second part of his display John concentrated on the Postal Services functions. John informed the members that Royal Mail gave up Registered mail in the 1990's but following an insistence from UPU that it be replaced International Recorded Delivery was introduced. John's display included examples of Special Delivery, Recorded Delivery, which is now Royal Mail Signed For, and Advice on Receipt labels. Also shown were Express Service Labels and Registration labels. John went on to show examples of Special Delivery Machin's and a cover showing an SG label, for Saturday Guaranteed. John finished his display with express to overseas covers, Parcel Datapost which is not seen very often, and a scarcely seen London Parcel service label.

Robert Murray - 'Philatelic Vexillology'

10 October 2019

Tonight's meeting was an excellently presented and explained display of philatelic vexillology (Flags on Stamps) from Robert Murray of the Robert Murray Stamp Shop in Edinburgh. Robert began his display by posing a question to his audience asking what other uses flags can be used for. Some suggestions were as Warning/Signal flags, Communication, Celebration, Mourning, Protests, Changes of national Status to name a few. he also explained that there are three types of Territorial Flags, National, Supra National and Territory.

As part of his display Robert showed some of the uses flags were put to and followed this up with flags from USA, African, Latin American and European Countries. During this display Robert imparted two facts to the members. He explained that the Brazilian Flag depicts the star positions in the sky at the time the nation of Brazil was born. He then informed everyone that the Venezuala was named from early Spanish/Italian navigators who found villages on stilts over water and named it Little Venice.

In the second part of the display Robert displayed more flags on stamps from Asian and European countries and others from the Scandinavian countries. Robert explained that the scandinavian country flags have the style of a christian cross on its side.

Also on show were stamps from U.S.S.R., Taiwan and the Provinces and Territories of Canada.

In finishing his display Robert highlighted the fact that there are no flags shown on old stamps, and this is simply due to the fact that old stamps were in single colour and it was only when multi-colour printing came along that flags started to appear.

President's Night

26 September 2019

The President's Display: Part I - 1967-91

David Millar presented his 3rd Presidential Display. This was a comprehensive collection of GB Machins from 1967 to 2019 - a very long run. He stated that the commercial aim of the Post Office was to market stamps and make money. Hence every stamp that was not used postally was a source of profit.

The Machin design was from a plaster cast by Arnold Machin. The £.s.d. stamps included the 4d sepia, liked by the Queen because it resembled the penny black but unfortunately postmarks did not show up well and the colour was soon changed to red.

David showed examples of Machin issues in their various guises, including First Day Covers, Presentation Packs, stamp booklets both machine issued and sold over the counter. These latter had various series of pictures, often changed when the stamps in panes inside changed. To make up the cost of the booklets the panes inside were invariably made up with different se tenant values with an almost infinite number of variations.

Prestige Booklets, first issued in 1972, initially annually, contained several booklet panes, one of which se tenant, initially included one value with a unique phosphor band pattern not used elsewhere in sheet stamps. Initially priced £1, the most recent issues attracted VAT due to EU regulations.

Annual increases in postal rates meant new Machins being issued, usually in March or April with up to seven new values in different colours. David said that between 1980 and 1990 postal rates were increased eight times. Other Machin oddities illustrated by David included High Values in large vertical format including the parcel rates - £1.30, £1.33, £1.41, £1.50, £1.60, Europe and Worldwide rates, Recorded signed for, Special Delivery.

Most of the stamps are rarely seen used apart from on First Day Covers!

In 1971 came decimalisation. Unfortunately the Post Office was on strike on February 15th the date of issue, and the stamps were delayed. The initial decimal high values had previously been issued in June 1970.

The President's Display: Part II - 1992-2019

No value Indicated (N.V.I.) stamps were first issued in 1989 (1st and 2nd class) and self adhesive stamps date from 1993 (horizontal format). There were various colour changes over the years. A new 1st class stamp design was issued for 2000.

Other changes included elliptical perforations to discourage forgers (1993), four die-cut U shaped slits and an overall iridescent ROYAL MAIL overprint (2009) to discourage reuse of uncancelled stamps. Seriously, for self adhesives there was no longer a water-soluble layer of gum between paper and self adhesive so used stamps could no longer be soaked off envelopes!

The final items of David's magnificent display were examples of the counter-printed self adhesive labels which are now the most convenient way of posting parcels at a post office especially as many don't seem to stock higher Machin values anyway.

Will the only Machins readily available in the future be the 1st and 2nd class self adhesives from booklets widely obtainable from supermarkets, card shops, W.H.Smith and other newsagents?

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