News Items for Session 2021 - 2022

Annual General Meeting

28 April 2022

The AGM was held this evening and there were two changes made to the council.
Treasurer Robert Duguid intimated that he and his wife will be relocating South in the near future and that he would be relinquishing the post of Treasurer. Following nominations David Millar was appointed Treasurer.
Webmaster Norman Kelso also intimated that he wished to relinquish his post and Stephen Kennedy was duly elected as Webmaster following nominations.

Ron Goodfellow - 'Commerce in the Post Part IV'

14 April 2022

Local member Ron Goodfellow presented the fourth part of his series of displays entitled 'Commerce in the Post' to the assembled members and visitor. Ron began the first part of his display, which as everyone will remember was delayed for two years as a consequence of the Covid-19 outbreak, with Retail & Wholesale covers, printed matter and commercial envelopes. These came from a variety of countries throughout the world, but did include a lot of German material. A number of covers from Hotels across the globe were also shown.

In Part 2 of his display Ron carried on with more Hotels from Scotland and other various countries. Ron was careful to point out that one cover was for Tangier and was to Ron's Grandfather, with another letter written to his Uncle.

Michael Ellison (Aberdeen PS) - 'The Canal Zone of Panama'

24 March 2022

This evening members and guests were delighted to be entertained by Michael Ellison from Aberdeen Philatelic Society with his presentation of "The Canal Zone of Panama" and this took place using ZOOM. Michael started this out as a railway collection as the stamps showed railways and this then became a subject for him. He calls this display '1904-1979 A Philatelic Journey'. Michael began by explaining the history of when the thought of a canal was conceived up until its official opening.

Michael explained that the Panama Railroad was the first Transcontinental Railroad in 1855, and this helped during the Gold Rush years. Ferdinand de Lesseps was responsible for building the Suez Canal and he set up and engineering company ti build the canal through Panama, but the company went bankrupt in 1889. On display were some share certificates from this time. The plan was for a sea level canal but this was too difficult due to the terrain. In 1904 the French gave up on their plan and the USA took over, building a deep cutting to get through the mountains.

Michael then proceeded to show the Canal Zone stamps depicting people involved in its build, as well as postcards showing trains and excavation workers who came from the West Indies. There were also overprints and postage due stamps on show, and sets issued to commemorate the opening of the Canal. Michael then showed stamps through the 1920's right up to the 1930's, 40s showing overprints, Air Mail stamps and covers, a lot of whom were issued to commemorate the opening.

Michael finished his display with the 1978 final issue by the Canal Zone, also showing a certificate for clearance to proceed through the canal.

Keith Burton FRPSL (Harrogate PS) - 'Fackellhauf: The Olympic Torch Run of 1972 Olympic Games'

10 March 2022

This evening members welcomed Keith Burton FRPSL from Harrogate PS to provide a display of 'Fackellhauf: The Olympic Torch Run of the 1972 Olympic Games using ZOOM. Harry introduced Keith and mentioned that he is currently the editor of ABPS News.

Keith's display consisted of commemorative covers issued during the Olympic Torch run which began in Greece and finished in Munich, Germany passing through various countries such as Italy, Romania, Bulgaria, Switzerland, Poland. At each stop in the Torch Run the town or city would produce a commemorative cover for the event. A number of the covers actually depicted a historical monument on the cover and Keith in his many travels managed to also show pictures taken on his travels showing the same monument today.

Members' Evening - Annual Competitions

24 February 2022

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:
David Millar with a display entitled 'Medical Instuments from 1874'.
Winning the trophy was Sandy Forbes FRPSL with a display entitled 'Oak Trees' showing examples of different types of Oak Tree and the uses which could be made out of them.

Social Philately:
There were two entries in this competition namely:
David Millar with a display telling the story of 'A Letter to my Sister'.
Winning the trophy was Brian McQueen with a display entitled 'On Your Bike' showing the Social History of Cycling.

National & General:
There were three entries in this competition namely:
Norman Kelso with a display of covers showing the different plates used on the 2d Blue issues.
Winning the trophy was Sandy Forbes FRPSL with a display of South Australian Perkins Bacon plate blocks and proofs.
David MIllar with a display entitled 'Change of J' with regard to the 1d red issues.

Postal History:
There were four entries in this competition namely:
David Millar with a display of Victoria Post covers.
Winning the trophy was Norman Kelso with a display of covers from various post offices in Saskatchewan.
Colin Campbell with a display of covers from varioius ASPS Congresses.
Charles Lloyd with a display covering the Early Imperial Airways Africa Service.

Visit from Perth Philatelic Society

10 February 2022

Alastair Ferguson kicked off the evening with a display of Prisoner of War Mail from Malta during WWI and informed us that 4 POW camps existed in Malta. Being displayed was incoming and outgoing mail from all four camps. Two covers deserving of special mention were one to Adolph Hess (Father of Rudolph Hess) and one by George Hess (Uncle of Rudolph Hess). Included in this display were censor marks, Christmas cards designed by the prisoners, who also printed their own stamps in different colours.

Michael Bracket displayed Women’s Fashion in the send part of this section. Michael explained that sometimes fashions change and stamps ended up showing the wrong fashion for the period being shown. On show were stamps and miniature sheets from various countries between the 1800’s and 1914.

Colin Caskie began the send half of the evening with a display of covers relating to the Royal Highland Show which used to travel round the country and had its own mobile post office. In 1963/4 the show settled on taking place at Ingleston each year ending the need for the mobile p.o. This was then followed by a display of covers and postcards with a theme of the Social Impact of Railways, covering such issues as Sugar, Livestock, Holidays and the steel industry finishing with Railways in wartime. Colin finished his display with cylinder and plate blocks, coil stamps, perforation jumps and propaganda forgeries from the KGVI era.

Janet & Nick Nelson (Wales) - 'An Evening in Brazil'

27 January 2022

Nick explained that the title comes from their traditional display at which the audience is immersed in Brazilian culture & history to better understand the philately of the country. Brazil was discovered by Portuguese explorers in the 15th century and claimed as a colony. It became a kingdom in the early 19th century and after the defeat of Napoleon an independent kingdom in 1822 ruled by Dom Pedro I, son of the King of Portugal. It was soon renamed the Empire of Brazil, justified by its size and state structure. In 1889 a revolution backed by the army ended the monarchy and since then it has been a republic seeing periodic revolutions and military juntas. Today it is the Federative Republic of Brasil. (In 1897 the spelling officially became Brasil).

Philatelically, Brazil’s claim to fame is being the second county in the world to issue postage stamps. The first design was the famous Bull’s Eye and a number of different variants were shown. Janet & Nick focussed upon definitive issues because the number of stamps has to be fewer at a Zoom meeting and selecting these gives a flavour of the evolution of philately in the country. Under Dom Pedro the postal authority moved to more conventional designs with the King’s bust. When finances were better production was undertaken by the American Banknote Company and Waterlow & Sons, as well as domestically. The quality of printing was seen to improve. Perforation was introduced in a different way to everywhere else. Imperforate sheets were sold to customers who took these to perforating machines in the postal hall to perforate the sheets themselves. Within a short time, sheets became sold (pre)perforated. With a change in ruler, the emperor’s image was replaced by politicians (Presidents).

More thematic designs were selected in the post WW2 era. Some of these are very pleasing – others are not. There was sufficient time to see a selection of airmail covers. Airline companies produced stamps to apply to pay for air carriage in addition to normal post. There were a variety on display. Very interesting transatlantic flown covers were shown, which included mail flown to a tender in MidAtlantic at which the plane was refuelled and Zeppelin mail.

'R' Night

13 January 2022

Eight members displayed a total of 113 sheets. The topics were quite varied and everyone kept within the accepted bounds. All items were interesting and enjoyed by those present

Subjects were: Rhodesia (BSACo., Southern Rhodesia, Rhodesia & Nyasaland, Rhodesia, Zimbabwe-Rhodesia), Ruanda-Urundi, Rwanda, Revenue stamps and documents, Railways, Ross Dependency, Rhineland Pfalz, RNLI, Russia, Royalty, QV registered postal stationery, GDR roses issue & Rumpelstiltskin, BDR hot off the press stamps featuring QR codes in the design. David contributed a “recent” acquisition, WWF stamps and covers featuring endangered animals that have (scientific) Latin names beginning with R.

In addition to his R contribution Robert produced what he called “Rubbish”. This was, in fact, far from rubbish: his 1950s food ration books and National Identity Card. Everyone was fascinated by these and they provoked much discussion!

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 to 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.

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

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

Charles 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".

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'.

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.

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