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News Items for Session 2020 - 2021
  • Meeting Presenters
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 18th October 2021


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