Tag Archives: London 2010: Festival of Stamps

Final two Festival of Stamps stamp shows

The last of the special London 2010: Festival of Stamps regional stamp shows are coming up…

Cornex 2010 – Cornwall Stamp Show, 23 October 2010

Organised by Cornwall Philatelic Federation

Free Admission

Venue:

Liskeard School and Community College
Luxstowe
Liskeard
Cornwall
PL14 3EA

Features:

  • Annual competition and fair
  • Dealers stands (18 dealers expected)
  • Competitive and non-competitive displays
  • Collections valued

 

Postal map of Bolton, 1824, from the Royal Mail Archive (POST 21/111)

Postal map of Bolton, 1824, from the Royal Mail Archive (POST 21/111)

 

North Western Stamp Show, 30 October, 10am-5pm

Organised by North-Western Philatelic Federation

Free Admission

Venue:

St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic High School and Sports College
Chorley New Road
Horwich
BL6 6HW

Features:

  • Dealers stands (16 dealers expected)
  • Competitive and non-competitive displays
  • Open competition voted for by the public for the BPMA Award

Find out about other London 2010: Festival of Stamps events at www.london2010.org.uk

Upcoming stamp shows in Edinburgh and Newcastle

Autumn Stampex isn’t the only stamp show taking place this month; for those in Scotland and the North of England member Federations of the Association of British Philatelic Societies have organised two shows as part of London 2010: Festival of Stamps.

Festival of Stamps & Postcards in Edinburgh & Lothians

Organised by the Association of Scottish Philatelic Societies – Edinburgh Group, the show takes place this Saturday afternoon at St John’s Church Hall, 140 Princes Street, Edinburgh, EH2 4BJ. There will be displays from Edinburgh Philatelic Society, Edinburgh Stamp Group, Lothian Postcard Club and the Scottish Philatelic Society, stamps and postcards for sale, and experts on hand to give advice.

A postman delivers mail at Holyrood House, Edinburgh, 1934.

A postman delivers mail at Holyrood House, Edinburgh, 1934.

Nephilex 2010

Organised by the North-East of England Philatelic Federation this show will take place on Saturday 25 September at The Royal Station Hotel, Neville Street, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, NE1 5DH. Highlights include dealers stands, competitive and non-competitive displays, activities for young people and those wishing to start a collection, valuations and society meetings. Other events, will take place between 5pm on 24 September and 1pm on 26 September, including the awards dinner on Saturday night. The full programme is available from www.nephilex2010.org.uk.

Autumn Stampex 2010

 by Jennifer Flippance, 2010 Exhibitions & Project Manager

Stampex at the Business Design Centre

Stampex at the Business Design Centre

If your interest in stamps and postal history has been piqued by our blog posts or any the events that have taken place this year as part of the London 2010: Festival of Stamps, why not go along to Stampex next week.

Stampex takes place twice a year at the Business Design Centre in Islington, London. It’s free and 2010 Autumn Stampex is on 15-18th September.

There are many dealers’ stands, including a substantial presence from Royal Mail. Get the new stamps (Medical Breakthroughs) from their first day of issue on Thursday and from Friday you can get brand new pictorial Post & Go stamps. Don’t miss the instant Smiler booth.

I like to stock up on attractive commemorative stamps I’ve missed during the year to use on my own post. It’s always much nicer for someone to receive a special stamp.

Competitive stamp displays at Stampex

Competitive stamp displays at Stampex

Everyone who attends Stampex gets a free postcard and the opportunity to buy other special products only available at the show. There are also displays from the National Competitions of the Association of British Philatelic Societies.

The BPMA Friends will be manning a stand as usual. Pop over to say hello and pick up the brand new free 2010 postcard featuring George V. We’ll also have a selection of our postal themed products on sale, including the popular new Post Offices book by Julian Stray.

Kids auction at Stampex

Kids auction

One of my favourite parts is the children’s auction on Saturday, which is always great fun to watch. Any young philatelists who come along get the chance to collect points by doing activities and these can then be spent at the auction on stamps. There’s always a lot of tactical bidding!

For more details including directions and opening times see – http://www.stampex.ltd.uk/

5th Festival of Stamps postcard now available

A fifth postcard is now available in the popular series promoting the London 2010: Festival of Stamps. This postcard looks at the stamps produced for the Silver Jubilee of King George V in 1935.

The postcard features a photographic portrait of George V by Vandyk, alongside essays from 1934 that used this image at two different sizes. It also features an essay with an alternative portrait by Bertram Mackennal, which was much preferred by George V. It was this design that was eventually chosen by the King for the issued stamp.

The fifth London 2010: Festival of Stamps postcard, featuring stamps produced for the Silver Jubilee of King George V in 1935.

The fifth London 2010: Festival of Stamps postcard, featuring stamps produced for the Silver Jubilee of King George V in 1935.

The stamp was designed by Barnett Freedman, the 33-year old son of Jewish-Russian political refugees. He had grown up in the East End of London, starting work at the age of 15 as a draughtsman to a monumental mason. He studied art at night school and in 1922 won a scholarship to the Royal College of Art. As well as the stamps, he produced several posters and other illustrations for the GPO.

Freedman wrote of his design for the Silver Jubilee stamps;

The fundamental idea in designing the Silver Jubilee Commemoration Postage Stamp, was firstly, to obtain an effect of dignity and simplicity:- that the design and the lettering should be clear and legible, so as to give at once the function of the new issue, and that the complete stamp should be essentially classical in character.

Secondly, I have used only the very simplest forms of symbolism, the main themes being the Laurel Leaves and the Olive Branches, the Laurel for Triumph and Reward, and the Olive branch for Peace and Goodwill.

The Royal Crown is depicted in each of the four denominations but the Laurel and Olive branches have been interchanged in various forms, with the addition of the Oakleaf and acorn (symbolical of strength and stability) so that with the difference of each denomination-colour, there is also a subtle change of design, without alteration to the fundamental character of the stamp.

Many of the rejected designs by other artists for a George V Silver Jubilee stamp can be seen on our online catalogue.

The new postcard will be sent out this week free with the BPMA Newsletter to subscribers. It can also be obtained from the BPMA Search Room (Freeling House) and will be available at Autumn Stampex (15-18 September) from the Friends of the BPMA stand.

Limited edition complete sets of London 2010 postcards will be available for purchase later in the year.

BPMA Curator of Philately Douglas Muir will be speaking on the stamp, medal and coinage designs of Bertram Mackennal at the BPMA on 7 October 2010. See our website for details.

Upcoming stamp shows in Amersham and Croydon

Over the next two weekends there will be two further special stamps shows organised by member Federations of the Association of British Philatelic Societies.

Middlesex Diamond Jubilee Stamp Show organised by the Middlesex Philatelic Federation takes place on Saturday 4th September at Amersham Community Centre. As well as dealers and displays there will be activities for young people, including hands-on activities, competitions and puzzles.

Surrey Stamp Show organised by the Federation of Surrey Philatelic Societies will take place at the United Reformed Church Hall, Croydon, on Saturday 11th September. There will be dealers and competitive and non-competitive displays.

Admission to both shows is free.

Streamline airmail van beside an Imperial Airways plane at Croydon Airport

Croydon was once home to a major airport, which was a key hub in the early days of airmail. This photo from 1935 shows a Streamline airmail van beside an Imperial Airways plane at Croydon Airport.

There are many more special stamp shows to come, with one taking place every weekend between now and the end of October. Find the full list on www.london2010.org.uk.

A weekend at Bletchley

Several BPMA staff and Friends had a very enjoyable two days at Bletchley Park over the Bank Holiday weekend.  We were there as part of the Post Office at War weekend, an event organised as part of the London 2010 Festival of Stamps.

BPMA Friend Richard West and Exhibitions Officer Alison Norris staff the BPMA table

BPMA Friend Richard West and Exhibitions Officer Alison Norris staff the BPMA table

The BPMA had a table where we could meet visitors to Bletchley Park and let them know about the BPMA and its collections. Several of the BPMA Friends made a much valued contribution, helping to promote us and sharing their personal expertise on a number of different topics with visitors. 

They also helped us sell a variety of BPMA products, including books and postcards.  The new Shire Post Offices book by our curator, Julian Stray, was particularly sought after, selling out on the second day.

Some of the creative designs for stamps

Some of the creative designs for stamps

Our activities for younger visitors proved very popular, particularly designing your own stamp and making secret codes.

Curator Vyki Sparkes gave a well received talk about the vital and difficult work of the GPO Rescue and Salvage Squad during the Second World War.  They salvage squad had the responsibility of rescuing mail from pillar boxes that had been damaged or buried by enemy air raids.

Visitors enjoying the BPMA display

Visitors enjoying the BPMA display

It was standing room only in the cinema at Bletchley Park where films were being shown from our third collection of GPO films – If War Should Come.  We also took a graphic display of ten panels illustrating the essential work of the GPO on the home front during the Second World War.

1940s postman, complete with authentic bicycle

1940s postman, complete with authentic bicycle

There was much else going on during the weekend including tours, WW2 re-enactors, several other talks (including Christine Earle’s ‘The Post Office Went to War’) some rarely seen items from the Royal Philatelic Collection and other children’s activities, including letter writing and games with a former evacuee.

Bletchley Park is well worth a visit and your ticket allows admission for a whole year.

Philatelic Congress of Great Britain

The Philatelic Congress of Great Britain, one of the highlights of the British philatelic calendar, takes place in Kenilworth next week. Amongst the special guest speakers is our Curator of Philately Douglas Muir who will speak on the work of Bertram Mackennal, designer of stamps, coins and medals during the reign of King George V.

Bertram Mackennal’s “Seahorses” stamp design, issued 1913

Bertram Mackennal’s “Seahorses” stamp design, issued 1913

Bertram Mackennal’s most admired stamp design was for the “Seahorses” High Values, originally issued by the Post Office on 30th June 1913. This design was seen as revolutionary for its time, being the first British stamp to bear a pictorial illustration alongside the monarch’s head and the value. In many ways it can be said to be the pre-cursor to the first British commemorative stamp, issued to celebrate the opening of the British Empire Exhibition 11 years later.

Other speakers at this year’s Congress of Great Britain will also cover stamps and postal history from the era of George V. In addition there will be a number of static displays, society meetings and social events taking place throughout the three-day event.

The full programme of events and booking details for the Philatelic Congress of Great Britain can be found on the Association of British Philatelic Societies website.

KentPex 2010

There have been many special stamp shows held throughout the country this year, making London 2010: Festival of Stamps a truly national event. KentPex 2010, another of these special shows, will take place tomorrow, in Tonbridge, Kent.

Postman at Tonbridge Castle, 1935

Postman at Tonbridge Castle, 1935

Presented by the Kent Federation of Philatelic Societies and the Royal Tunbridge Wells Philatelic Society, KentPex 2010 will feature dealers, competitions, displays, advice and valuations, and much more.

The organisers hope to “increase the awareness of the general public to the joys and benefits of collecting stamps” as well as “show by the study of the postal history within Kent, and in other areas of GB, and indeed the world, how the world’s communications have developed over the centuries before arriving at the current age of immediate communication by e-mail and the web”.

We wish them the best of luck with that and hope those who attend enjoy the day.

Visit the London 2010: Festival of Stamps website to find out about stamp shows in your area.

Maritime Stamps at Aberdeen Maritime Museum

Opening today at Aberdeen Maritime Museum is an exhibition of maritime stamps. The exhibition was put together for London 2010: Festival of Stamps by Aberdeen Philatelic Society, who are celebrating their centenary this year.

The exhibition will run until 14th November, but the stamps on display will change approximately every 4 weeks. Amongst the topics covered are lighthouses, paquebots and Guantanomo Bay.

It’s great to see Aberdeen Maritime Museum and Aberdeen Philatelic Society collaborating on this fascinating thematic exhibition.

Cruising Yachts stamp from the Sailing issue, 1975

Cruising Yachts stamp from the Sailing issue, 1975

Maritime Stamps Programme

17th July-14th August
Royal Yachts
Guantanamo Bay
Gambian Ship Mail
Paquebots
Lighthouse Development
Airships

Cockle-dredging stamp from the Fishing issue, 1981

Cockle-dredging stamp from the Fishing issue, 1981

15th August-11th September
Denmark Maritime
Fishing Industry
St Clair
Naval Mail from Iceland
Shetland Scottish Steamers
West Africa

Bell Rock Lighthouse, Arbroath stamp, from the Lighthouses issue, 1998

Bell Rock Lighthouse, Arbroath stamp, from the Lighthouses issue, 1998

12th Sept-9th October
Lighthouses of GB
Canada
Indian Ship Mail
Transatlantic Mail
Polish Gov. in Exile
St Kilda Mail

10th October-14th November
World Explorers
Aberdeen Maritime Mail
Ships on Stamps
GB Maritime Booklets
Lighthouses of the World
Nelson

See the London 2010: Festival of Stamps website for information on many more events and exhibitions.

Keep Me Posted

Opening today is Keep Me Posted the inaugural exhibition of POSTED – a temporary exhibition space in a former post office in East London, which is directed and curated by Julia Royse. This show launches POSTED as a platform for a series of art exhibitions, performances, screenings and workshops celebrating the ‘post’ and exploring our postal heritage.

POSTED - an exhibition space in a former post office in Hackney

POSTED - an exhibition space in a former post office in Hackney

The General Post Office used to be a powerful and important institution in Britain and, with postman delivering mail up to 8 times a day, it was relied upon to make same day appointments as well as communicating the usual news and views.

Mail art on display

Mail art on display

In 1902 the postcard appeared and was hugely popular as a quick and cheap method of sending announcements and thoughts and coined the phrase “I’ll be post carding you”. Today there are many artists who use postcards, stamps, stationery and letters in their work as well as those that use the postal service as part of the creative process either by writing letters, or sending artworks by mail.

George Bernard Shaw once said, “The perfect love affair is one which is conducted entirely by post”. We still enjoy poring over old letters examining the style and idiosyncrasies of handwriting and the choice of stationery however today we are less inclined to communicate through letters and cards. As texts and email are currently the most popular means of communication and many schools now use computers instead of pen and paper, one wonders what will happen to our handwriting skills over the forthcoming decades and there must be many young people today who have never experienced communication by post.

The exhibitions presented at POSTED will hopefully inspire people to put pen to paper again as well as reminding us of a time when communication was more personal and less generic.

The post office counter reimagined

The post office counter reimagined

Keep Me Posted is an exhibition of newly commissioned and loaned artwork, in a variety of disciplines, by established and emerging artists including Andreas Blank, Claire Brewster, Jo Broughton, Oliver Clegg, Julie Cockburn, Adam Dix, Sean Dower, Tracey Emin, Angus Fairhurst, Tom Gidley, Cate Halpin, Susie Hamilton, Rachel Howard, Duncan MacAskill, Polly Morgan, Julia Riddiough, Liisa Roberts, Jane Simpson, James White, Rachel Whiteread and Miyo Yoshido

Keep Me Posted runs until 26 September at 67 Wilton Way, London E8 1BG. The exhibition is open Thursday to Sunday, 11am – 5pm, or else by appointment. Keep Me Posted is part of London 2010: Festival of Stamps.