Society Programme in 2013

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8 January 2013 The first meeting in January was well-attended, despite the wet weather and the roadworks. Our Chairman, Alwyn, treated us to an eclectic mix of stamps, colour trials, specimens, proofs, and covers from around the world. The connecting theme was that all the issues marked a centenary. Thus the range of subjects was extensive. Of particular note were issues relating to 100 years of membership of the UPU, the centenary of the ITU and of the RSPB. The display included less obvious subjects such as 100 years of electricity in Hong Kong. With such a broad collecting theme, Alwyn's display had something for everyone to enjoy. Chairman's Evening - Alwyn Lowe
22 January 2013 The snow kept many people away, but twelve members were entertained by a selection of material that had been acquired in the previous 12 months.

Chris began with a dozen sheets of stamps from numerous countries including the USA, Thailand, the UK and Iraq, showing a contrast in styles and subject matter. Ivan displayed blocks of ½p, ½d and ¼d British and British Commonwealth stamps. Derek's material included some excellent Victorian and Edwardian stamps, plus some very obvious forgeries complete with watermarks printed on the back!

After some refreshments, Trevor showed some very interesting postcards and postal stationery cards illustrated with photographs by F.W. Sykes, all featuring and posted from the Victoria Falls, together with some wrappers from Rhodesia. Michael then displayed an eclectic mix of items chiefly with a local flavour, including correspondence cards from Sutton & Sons, seedsmen of Reading, and a hitherto unrecorded Wokingham skeleton postmark from June 1843.

Mark finished the evening's display with Jersey scenery stamps, a non-issued set of stamps from 1921 for the Mirdita Republic in northern Albania, a small Victorian envelope bearing the Thayer Street receiving house mark, and stamps issued in Hungary featuring their Holy Crown.
Material obtained in 2012 - new acquisitions, mounted or not.
12 February 2013 Quiz Night - Ray Hook
26 February 2013 This meeting was given over to our members providing displays on the subject of the number 1. We have not used a number as a display feature before but with a good turn out from the members, the evening was fully taken up. As is usual with a members' evening some stretched the concept of the number 1 to provide material, and encompassed "First" as well as "1". Thus amongst the many displays we had 1d surface printed fiscals from 1853 to 1881, GB 1st class booklets, the first stamp issued in Trinidad, and 1d stamps from Tasmania (plus some where the 1 had a 2 underneath it, below a line, a.k.a. ½d). It was good to see Ron Stone's first display, of some very interesting covers from the USA relating to masons. The Number "1" - 10 sheets max or 20p
12 March 2013 This year there were no entries in the "cinderellas" competition. However, there were 3 entries in the "postcards" competition, and these were judged by the members. The results are as follows:

1st Mark Bailey - Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch
2nd Trevor Cornford - The Victoria Falls
3rd Michael Curling - The Royal Mint

After the competition, there was time for members' displays. Eric Holmes provided a comprehensive look at the Reply Coupons that had been used in Gibraltar over the years, including Imperial Reply Coupons, Commonwealth Reply Coupons and International Reply Coupons. Alan Kane had been unable to attend the previous meeting, so he showed chiefly Northern Ireland material relating to the number 1.
Informal Competition - Postcards or Cinderella (9 or 10 sheets)
26 March 2013 Keith Downing, a long-time collector of the theme of Railways and Trams, provided a most enjoyable evening of philatelic material relating to Tramways. The display began with horse drawn trams, which were first used to convey coal from the mines, followed by the first trams in the United States of America. Keith's talk moved on to trams used in Great Britain, France, Germany and other European countries, as well as numerous former colonies and many countries elsewhere around the world, where they were used as a convenient and efficient solution to the mass movement of people. As well as horse drawn trams, the subject matter covered man-pulled trams, steam-driven trams, electric trams and cable-driven trams. The second half of the display included material relating to the special uses trams have been employed for, such as serving as mobile libraries and post offices. This hugely impressive display and talk amply illustrated the transition from the early, primitive forms of this transport into the sleek, sophisticated vehicles of the modern day, and encompassed not only stamps, postmarks and souvenir covers but also postal stationery and postal history. Tramways - Keith Downing
9 April 2013 Dane Garrod has pieced together the philatelic and postal history trail of a love story spanning the Victorian and Edwardian eras. Madeline Clifton, widowed at 32 and left with 7 children, later married a man 10 years her junior. Sir James Hamlyn Williams Williams-Drummond 4th Bart. (1857-1913) owned an estimated 9,282 acres in Carmarthenshire in 1873. In January 1889 he married Madeline Diana Elizabeth Agnew, eldest child of Sir Andrew Agnew, Bart. of Lochnaw Castle. She had first been married at the age of 19 to Thomas Henry Clifton of Lytham Hall, who died when he was 35. Dane's illustrated talk took in military conflicts, overseas travel and relations with the high society of the time through letters, telegrams, cards, diaries, and photographs. Your Very Loving Madeline - Dane Garrod
23 April 2013 Bugs, Butterflies, Bees and Birds (up to 9 sheets)
14 May 2013 Trevor is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and the Chairman of the Polar Postal History Society of Great Britain, and his postcards and postal history relating to Antarctic voyages and expeditions have won prizes in our Society's competitions. On 14th May he treated our members to an amazing insight into Captain Scott's Last Antarctic Expedition, subtitled "Triumph and Tragedy." It is very fitting in 2013 that he presented this material about the expedition that ended in 1913. The array of material and letters that Trevor has gathered from all the participants in the expedition is astonishing, and includes private letters from Scott, Bowers, Evans, Oates and Wilson, as well as a letter from Amundsen after he had beaten Scott to the South Pole. Captain Scott's Last Antarctic Expedition - Trevor Cornford
28 May 2013 Club Auction
11 June 2013 Congratulations to this year's competition winners:

WDPS Advanced Trophy Trevor Cornford Shackleton's Voyage, Endurance 1914-16
Peter Graham Cup for Postal History Eric Holmes Gibraltar Instructional Handstamps
WDPS Thematic Trophy Alwyn Lowe The Centenary of the Penny Black.
Club Competition, Open Competition and Bourse
25 June 2013 In a talk and display spanning from before the Russian Revolution to the end of World War 2, Emily presented postcards, stamps, envelopes, letters, and photographs, the majority of which are from the extensive correspondence between her great-grandmother Clara Hadfield (who attended boarding school in England) and her great-great-grandfather Joseph Hadfield in St. Petersburg. We were treated to a fascinating display based on a family archive of material, with tantalising suggestions of what other items might exist, and this gave us a window into the privileged world of the entrepreneurs who were developing businesses in the "New Russia" at the time of the Tsars. The enthusiasm generated because of Emily's family connection came across very clearly and she painted a vivid picture of how things were before the Revolution.

The material covered not only St. Petersburg, as being a wealthy family meant that the maturing adults went on the "Grand Tour" and there was also material relating to a visit to America. Joseph moved with his family to Mexico to try his luck in gold mining, though this proved to be a failure. In the final part of her talk, Emily explained that Clara's husband, Victor Small, seems to have been involved in intelligence work during both the World Wars. A highlight of this section was a hand-drawn map of the Murmansk area based on his travels.
From St. Petersburg With Love - Emily Woodhams-Beazeley
9 July 2013 Christine Earle provided an extensive look at the way in which the General Post Office worked hard to deliver a great many types of written and printed communications during World War 2. At the start of the war, the GPO lost one-third of its workforce to form the Royal Engineers Postal Service, whilst, with users encouraged to forego telephones to leave them free for emergency services and the government sending information to every house in the country, mail volumes rose ten-fold.

Christine is a Fellow of the Royal Philatelic Society London and a renowned thematic stamp collector. Her Post Office Went to War collection comprises a wealth of supporting material including GPO notices, ration books and saving stamps, as well as relevant items of postal history, making this an outstanding display of social philately.
The Post Office Went To War - Christine Earle
23 July 2013 Annual General Meeting
13 August 2013 Around 20 of our members were entertained by two former Presidents of the Croydon Philatelic Society, a 'return fixture' after our visit there in June 2011.

Dr Christopher Board OBE gave us a very thorough and interesting display on the 2½d stamp issued in 1910 to commemorate the formation of the Union of South Africa. He covered the origins, development and uses of the stamp, including on covers with high frankings, together with a short philatelic section at the end covering the relevant 50th and 100th Anniversaries. He showed how politics was important in the development of the stamp, and illustrated the story with relevant non-philatelic material.

The second display was presented by Christopher Hitchen, describing The Paris Post to 1876. The earliest item shown was from 1520, and there was a good representative selection of material from the late 1700s. We were treated to a clear, straightforward explanation of how the postal system developed, with the offices being centralised and decentralised more than once. The material was related to historical events, including the siege of Paris 1870-1871 (albeit briefly, as that is a vast subject in its own right), and examples were shown of Printed Matter rates, the use of the Dead Letter Office and a range of instructional markings.
Visit from the Croydon Philatelic Society
27 August 2013 Members displayed a wide range of material on the topic of Airmails and Air Letters. This included collections of Gibraltar and UK Air Letters and Aerogrammes, a worldwide selection of airmail stamps and examples of etiquettes and stationery, transatlantic airmail carried aboard the Yankee Clipper, Hong Kong and Vietnamese airmails, local material including picture postcards of the Wokingham Whale (a model airship), a Zeppelin cover and material relating to GB internal airmails during the 1930s including the Great Western Railway Air Service.

There was also airmail material from Sandhurst, Police and Northern Ireland collections, the 1929 SCADTA issue of Colombia and its use on commercial covers, taxed airmail covers from New South Wales, United States airmail stamps, Newfoundland airmail material, including some bogus and forged items, and airmail covers sent from French Polynesia to the UK.
Airmails and Air Letters
10 September 2013 Peter Wood, of the Irish Philatelic Circle, the Cinderella Stamp Club, the British Thematic Association, the Royal Philatelic Society, London and the National Philatelic Society, travelled from London to Wokingham to serve up another helping of Irish Stew, consisting of four main ingredients. These were Irish Meter Marks (including examples of Neopost, Pitney-Bowes and Universal Midget and Frankopost meter marks), Irish Airmails (from Alcock and Brown's first transatlantic airmail flight through to Concorde covers to Shannon and Belfast), Irish Railways (from 1850, through the use of railway letter stamps and parcel stamps, to TPOs and parcel labels from the Great Southern Railways Omnibus Service in Cork) and Irish Cinderellas (year-dated labels, poster stamps and publicity labels resembling stamps, for various events, exhibitions and shows), and he presented 45 sheets on each of these subjects, dividing the evening's display into four quarters.

Chairman Brian Pugsley thanked Peter for presenting such a diverse assemblage of interesting items.
Another Helping of Irish Stew - Peter Wood
24 September 2013 Bourse
8 October 2013 The Colour Yellow (up to 16 sheets)
22 October 2013 The 1937 Coronation - Richard Berry
12 November 2013 Club Auction
26 November 2013 Sports including the Olympic Games (up to 9 sheets)
10 December 2013 Christmas Social and Seasonal Displays

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