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News Items for Session 2020 - 2021
One-Sheet Competition & Recent Acquisitions

9 December 2021


Tonight, members gathered for the first of the years competitions, namely the one-sheet competition, for the rosebowl. 10 members entered and this year two members tied for first place and the rosebowl was awarded to both. The picture opposite shows President Dr. Harry Jackson and Francis Podger FRPSL sharing the rosebowl.

The ten entries for the competition were:

Francis Podger FRPSL Ex POW mail from internee in Java to Singapore
David Easson Block of 4 KUT Stamps with a rare error on one, the rope not joined to sail variety.
Peter Dix A sheet of Xmas labels from South Africa
Norman Kelso A Saskatchewan Promissory Note with an inverted centre revenue stamp
Norma Reid Stamps showing Russian participation in the Olympics
Brian McQueen Covers related tp the Tay Bridge disaster.
Ron Goodfellow 'On Top of the World'
Harry Jackson The Ruhrkessel provisional
Charles Lloyd Stamps issued for the TATI Concession in NE Botswana
David Millar 'Hot Dog' pictures of dachshunds

Please NOTE: Clicking on either of the winners titles above will open up their entry to be viewed on a new page.

The second half of the evening was a chance for all members to show of their latest acquisitions and this covered a variety of subjects. Some of the items shown were, Charity stamps from Mozambique, Southern Rhodesia Revenue stamps, printers proofs from Rhodesia/Nyasaland, coil stamps, UDI covers and postage dues. There were also two early victorian covers addressed to someone in Dundee, Hong Kong stamps and covers, Canadian first flight covers, whale stamps, part of a cover with quite a number of old GB stamps and GB stamps with the new QR codes in the design. We then saw some covers relating to the sailing of the Mayflower, American bird stamps for each state, South Australian stamps, Ross Dependency and FSAT covers, Ugandan stamps and Miniature sheets finishing off with a nunver of Revenue documents from Singapore.

At end end of the meeting a fun competition was held to see who could show the worst cover. The prize of the Fun Cup was won by David Easson.

Stewart Gardiner FRPSL (Caledonian P.S.) - 'Germania'

25th November 2021

Winners Stewart opened the display with a fascinating selection of Prussian History Mail from the 1800’s to 1840s which included some parcel post letters whereby when a parcel is sent a letter accompanies it which provides a description of the parcel, weight etc. Also included was some Official Mail where the Justice Department Officials names were on the cover.

Stewart followed this with stamps and covers from the local post of Germany, including Hamburg messenger post, explaining that most covers were actually philatelic in origin. The stamps on show included original printings, reprints and forgeries. Stewart explained that with local post, postal history is just about non-existant. The first section of the display was completed with stamps and covers from the district of Thurn and Taxis.

The second half of the evening began with stamps and covers relating to an internment camp from WWI, which occupied an old racecourse. The internees created their own postage stamps and cancellations and Stewart was able to show some genuine and forged mail as well as some external mail sent from the UK to the camp.

This was followed by a series of stamps and postcards related to Espionage and propaganda. There were stamps produced by Britain, America and France for use by allied forces illegally operating in Europe. For propaganda there were anti-British parody stamps as well as ant-French ones and Britain also produced their versions of anti-German stamps. A number of forgeries were also on show.

Stewart also displayed stamps and covers from the occupied zones after the end of WWII from the British and American zones, finishing up his display with Prussian Fiscal stamps on documents.

Charles Lloyd (Dundee & District P.S.) - 'Portuguese East Africa - Part 1 Mozambique'

11th November 2021

WinnersCharles began his display by providing a potted history of the development of Portuguese East Africa from being a Kingdom, through its revolutions and coups up until it became an independent country in 1975. In total 7 districts and 2 chartered companies existed until they all merged to become Mozambique.

In the first half of the display Charles had on show a number of stamps and covers from areas such as Lorenzo Marques, Timor and other colonies as well as stamps with surcharges due to postal rate changes or inflation. Also on show were charity tax stamps, triangular stamps, stamps from the Nyasa Company and some stamps which should have been destroyed but managed to escape to the philatelic market.

In the second half of the display Charles then focused on the stamps and covers of Mozambique explaining that it started off as an island off the coast and was the administrative centre for Portuguese East Africa until this was transferred to Lorenzo Marques. The first issue of Mozambique stamps was in 1876 and on show were stamps from the King Louis I issue which were embossed stamps and then some surcharged and charity stamps. Charles also explained that there were some stamps printed with no value and these were given to the Red Cross to allow them free mail.

An airmail cover without stamps (The stamps were not printed in time) was shown which had a registration label and the value was written onto this. Charles ended his display with air mail stamps, some covers, some commemorative stamps, thematic issues of fish, butterflies and ships.

Gerald Marriner FRPSL (Belgian Congo Study Circle) - 'Congo 1960-63 - The Katanga Crisis'

28th October 2021

Gerald displayed the postal history of this breakaway state which seceded from the Congo a few weeks after independence from Belgium. The reasons for this were complex, being both internal and external. With the immediate collapse in law and order white people associated with the colonial era were threatened with violence which created a flight of refugees. In his first part, Gerald showed a selection of refugee telegrams and letters from and to Katanga, some via Rhodesia. There was a Belgian military presence at Kamina, a base just north of Elisabethville, and from there (refugee) military mail supplemented the civilian mail.

Gerald presented a table of postal rates and had been able to obtain examples of each on cover. This included the highest franking possibility, such as 120Fr for heavy, express, registered airmail letters (when the normal internal rate was just 1Fr50). Pre-independence colonial stamps, colonial stamps overprinted CONGO or KATANGA and others inscribed Katanga were all to be found on these covers. He noted that Katangese commemorative stamps were used but are difficult to find on cover. Letters had been sent to countries all over the world and some were marked “destination inaccessible”.

One envelope was notable, being from the Katanga President’s Office. It contained a letter personally signed by President Moise Tshombe.

Censorship took place with crude resealing. These are rare items and Gerald was lucky to find a collection of correspondence from M. Holland to Ruanda-Urundi. Not all letters sent to destinations outside the state were censored.

As a young collector, Gerald had assigned metered mail to the bin as was the practice of the time. Now he was a more enthusiast and showed envelopes with different meter marks, mostly from banks but there were some from small companies. (Several of these are the only known examples.)

Postal Stationery: Used examples overprinted Congo and used in the June – September period before the remaining colonial stock was overprinted Katanga. Katanga overprints, used as soon as they were available and after that new Katangese types printed just before the forcible reintegration into the Congo by UN military action.

Albertville, a town on the northern border is of particular interest. It was captured by the Congo army in December 1961. At first Katangese stamps remained in use, but very soon these were crudely overprinted CONGO in an attempt to obliterate the word Katanga. On cover they are extremely rare and it was a pleasure to see a collection of covers with a variety of frankings. Some of these had been censored by the Congo administration. Such were the chaotic conditions that it took some time for these overprinted stamps to be replaced with contemporary Congo stamps.

Meanwhile in Katanga, the postal service was operating comparatively normally with taxation of under-franked letters, illustrated by an attractive cover bearing Katanga overprinted colonial postage due stamps. But shortages were evident. At Kamina, when registration labels were exhausted hand written register numbers were applied before Elisabethville labels overprinted Kamina were obtained. To end his section on smaller towns the only known surviving example of metered mail from Kamina was shown.

Gerald’s display was a comprehensive and authoritative one of the postal history of Katanga during the 1960-1963 secession period. The covers shown were genuinely used examples in excellent condition. Many of these are very rare and a number unique.

Bruce Gillham (India Study Circle) - 'Disastrous Philately'

14th October 2021

Tonight's meeting saw members welcome a visitor from the India Study Circle, Bruce Gillham, who provided a fascinating display entitled "Disastrous Philately".

Winners Bruce began his display by informing members that a lot of disasters have been accurately reflected in philatelic material and in this display, he will cover some 22 different types of disaster using covers, letters, postcards and pictures.

The first subject Bruce covered was the Boer War and within this he showed a 1901 letter from a Private Young addressed to c/o Rev. Wood in Sanquahar. The letter was sent with no stamp attached as the regiment was currently fighting the Boers. Sadly, on arrival in Britain it was stamped "Taxed 1 Penny to Pay". This was followed by a section on "Treason" and here a letter of 1781 was shown sent for a merchant asking to meet up with 2 Dutch Merchants. We were currently at war with the Dutch. A "Treasonable" offence. Bruce then went on to describe the efforts made to get mail in and out of Paris during the Siege of Paris in 1870 and here he produced a letter which was sent using Boule Mail. A number of attempts were made using Boule's which contained a large number of letters and were sent along the Seine but none ever reached Paris. Indeed, some are still unaccounted for.

Covers then sent to imperial orphans in the 1800's, the subject of rampant inflation and a disastrous trip to Everest in 1924 where Irving & Mallory perished were then shown and the first section finished with a display of early Russian Notes from 1910.

In the second half of the display Bruce began with a number of letters, postcards covering subjects such as Rocket Mail, experimental flights and why some letters could not be delivered for reasons such as "Bad Handwriting", "Badly Addressed", Not Wanted", "Breaching rules during war". These were followed by a fascinating insight into the forgery of the 1/- Green stamp of 1870. This happened in the Stock Exchange and was only discovered some 35 years later. The forged stamps were used on telegraphs sent from the stock exchange.

Bruce finished off the evening with a selection of cards, covers covering major earthquakes such as the ones in Kangra in the Himalayas and Quetta in India as well as the earthquake in San Francisco, and then Aeroplane Crashes and some Shipwreck Disasters.

President's Display

23rd September 2021

At our first meeting of the society for the current year, indeed our first in-person meeting for some 18 months or so, President Harry Jackson provided everyone with a fascinating display of 'Germany from States to the Weimar Republic'.

Winners Harry began the display by showing stamps from mainland Germany (No Colonies) which were issued from Postal Authorities. Some of these stamps are the earliest stamps produced by Germand States. At that time there was no overarching authority and each state operated independently. Issues started slowly with Bavaria being first and things then quickly picked up as each of the other states issued there own stamps. By the 1860's all the states had pulled together after the Franco-Prussian War and this became the German Empire which ran from 1870 till 1920 after WWI and the Treaty of Versailles.

The second half of Harry's display covered the period from the Weimar Republic up to the Start of WW2 showing the stamps and postal history issued in Germany during the Weimar Republic. Harry emplained the terrible consequences the Treaty of Versailles had on Germany when it was carved up around its borders and how rampant inflation caused prices to skyrocket. Harry finished off his presentation with the stamps and postal history leading up to the creation of the Third Reich.

This page was last modified on 29th December 2021

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