Tag Archives: ABPS

“Off with her head!”

Our display “Off with her head!” will form part of the ABPS National Philatelic Exhibition in Perth, taking place 19–20 October 2012. The display consists of four sections; A Portrait with Problems, The battle for Change, The Gentleman Album and The End of the Affair.

In 1964 Tony Benn became Postmaster General and immediately set about trying to change conservative thinking at the Post Office. He had determined ideas about stamps – to widen their scope, and to remove the Queen’s head. He found a like mind in David Gentleman, who already had several stamp designs to his credit.

The Queen did not agree with her head being removed from stamps and in response Gentleman created a small cameo head in profile as an alternative.

David Gentleman's experiments with the cameo head of the Queen.

David Gentleman’s experiments with the cameo head of the Queen.

The cameo head came to be accepted in place of the Wilding portrait. It was used from the Landscapes issue of 1966 until it was replaced with the new Machin commemorative head in 1968.

Uniquely, for the Robert Burns issue, the designers (all Scottish) were instructed that they could also submit “non-traditional” designs. In practice, this meant designs without the Queen’s head. Several did, and a total of 21 (out of 40) carried the legend U.K. POSTAGE, or a crown, or royal cypher.

Jock Kinneir's design, showing Burns’ signature without the Queen’s head.

Jock Kinneir’s design, showing Burns’ signature without the Queen’s head.

Some 12 different designs were essayed and those first chosen were “non-traditional” signatures of Burns. However, in the meantime, it had been decided to retain the head of the monarch and so the designs were re-essayed with that addition. In the end, a more traditional approach was preferred.

Jock Kinneir's revised designs, showing Burns’ signature and portrait without the Queen’s head.

Jock Kinneir’s revised designs, showing Burns’ signature and portrait without the Queen’s head.

For more information on the revolutionary stamp designs of David Gentleman see our online exhibition Gentleman on Stamps.

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.

Solihull Stamp Fair & Midland Philatelic Federation Spring Convention

by John H Barker, Solihull Philatelic Society

Visitors to this third Regional event organised by members of the Association of British Philatelic Societies came to Solihull on a warm sunny day to enjoy the spirit of London 2010: Festival of Stamps.

Brian Goodey, Chairman of the Trustees of the British Postal Museum & Archive opened the Fair with words of encouragement to collectors about the Festival of Stamps and how it is providing a stimulus for organised philately in the UK. Brian outlined some of the developments at the BPMA in its search for new premises. After much thought and careful evaluation, a decision has been made to focus on siting the new premises in the old chain testing works at Swindon.

John Smith, winner of the aerophilately class

John Smith, winner of the aerophilately class

19 competitive exhibits were on display, each of 16 sheets. Awards were presented by John Baron, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the ABPS to John Smith of Solihull who won best in show with his aerophilatelic exhibit of ‘DLH South America’ with Laurance Kimpton, also of Solihull, coming a close second with ‘The RAF Cairo – Baghdad Airmail Service’.

Clive Jones, who won the Postal History class with ‘Halifax Postal History’

Clive Jones, who won the Postal History class with ‘Halifax Postal History’

Clive Jones, Solihull, won the Postal History class with ‘Halifax Postal History’, Chris Jackson, Redditch, won the Open class with ‘ The Fishing Industry in Redditch’, John Smith, Solihull, won the Traditional class with ‘British Somaliland’ and David Gabe, Loughborough, won the Thematic class with ‘Mathematics and Philately’.

Tony Whitehead won the popular vote with GB GV Postal Orders

Tony Whitehead won the popular vote with GB GV Postal Orders

A popular vote by visitors to the Fair for the BPMA Open Trophy resulted in Tony Whitehead of Solihull taking the Trophy with his entry on GB GV Postal Orders and Colin Searle, also of Solihull, coming second.

The British Thematic Association held a successful workshop during the morning and the Great Britain Philatelic Society and Midlands (GB) Postal History Society both held meetings in the afternoon. A steady stream of members of the public brought in collections for valuation by Tony Lester, Auctioneers who kindly supported the event.  John Davies provided a Stamp Active Network table for younger visitors attending the Fair.

The Solihull Philatelic Society starts a new season in September with meetings every Tuesday evening at the Solihull Cricket and Tennis Club, Marsh Lane, Solihull. Our excellent Library, club packets and auctions provide members with support for their collecting interests. New members and visitors are always welcome.

For further details visit www.solihullphilatelicsociety.org.uk or contact Paul Woodness on 01564 776879.

A day out with a difference

The BPMA's travelling exhibition for regional stamps shows

The BPMA's travelling exhibition for regional stamps shows

by Jennifer Flippance, 2010 Exhibitions & Project Manager

Why not try something a bit different this year?  All over the UK, as part of the London 2010: Festival of Stamps, member federations of the ABPS (Association of British Philatelic Societies) are holding special stamp shows.  

The first of these, WestBex10, takes place this Saturday, 27 March, at Thatcham in Berkshire.  Click here for full details of the show. 

Click here to read about my enjoyable visit to WestBex in 2009

The next special show is the 81st Scottish Congress in Perth, 16-17 April.  Click here for full details

These regional shows feature a wide range of activities with a broad appeal.  You can browse the dealers’ stands, attend a local society meeting or view the fascinating displays and some shows also have activities for children.

One highlight at many will be the valuation roadshow.  Do you have old stamp collection at home? Perhaps you inherited it from a relative. Why not bring it to be valued by the experts on hand during the day?

The BPMA Award for Favourite Stamp Display in Show

The BPMA Award for Favourite Stamp Display in Show

The BPMA has been getting involved by developing a small display and also sponsoring a rather unusual competition.  At each show, the winner of the ‘BPMA Award’ will be chosen by you, the visitors.  Everyone who attends will receive a voting slip to nominate their favourite stamp display at the show.  The winner of this public vote will receive this handsome trophy, engraved with the London 2010 logo.

Almost all the shows have free entry and many also have free parking.  Refreshments are available to buy.

For the full listing of 19 shows and details of what you can expect from each, click here http://www.london2010.org.uk/abps

The Association of British Philatelic Societies is the national organisation catering for the needs of federations, societies, collectors and others interested in stamps and philately throughout the British Isles.

To learn more and find out about events or your local society visit http://www.abps.org.uk or contact John Baron, Chairman – Executive Committee:  baronial@btconnect.com or 01235 832907.

Stamp Active Network

by David Rossall, Stamp Active Network

Stamp Active Network is the national organisation, under the auspices of ABPS, which endeavours to encourage young people to take up stamp collecting as a hobby. Once called the National Youth stamp Group, it comprises a small core team of dedicated volunteers to coordinate actions. It works primarily through Federation Youth Officers, plus publicity in the philatelic press, federation and society newsletter, both to encourage children in their collecting, and request the assistance of more established collectors to provide the necessary backing and expertise.

Stamp Active Network Fun Book

Stamp Active Network's Stamp Fun Book

One of our most successful ventures is the Kidstamp postal club, with over 800 members UK wide, which maintains contact with youngsters, provides stamps to augment their collections and keeps them informed of events and competitions. This needs considerable inputs of suitable material to maintain, and we rely on our adult and trade contacts to keep us supplied.

The Competitions committee is the organising force behind both the Stamp Active competitions and the British Youth Stamp Championships, both annual events held respectively at Spring and Autumn Stampex, and our more outstanding youngsters are encouraged to progress to international level.

The organisation of youth activities at national level exhibitions is coordinated by the Exhibitions committee, who will be especially busy with the Festival of Stamps this year. With this in mind we are appealing for volunteers to help in London in May, especially on the 8th, 9th and 15th, to provide extra hands at the Stamp Active stand at the Business Design Centre. If you are available during that time please contact Dave Armitage at davearmitage@btopenworld.com or on 01279 503 625 for further details.

Stamp Active Network is always available to give advice and assistance to leaders of school and youth stamp clubs. Our latest initiative, sponsored by Stanley Gibbons, is a club starter pack. When Gibbons are given material to auction for charity, the proceeds go into a fund to provide these packs of philatelic materials (worth over £50) to help new clubs get started. Applications for the packs should be sent on an official letterhead to Beverley Davies, SAN Secretary, The Meadows, Chapel Lane, Mathern, Chepstow, NP16 6HS.

Stamp Active Network - The Young Collector's CD guide to Stamp Collecting

The Young Collector's CD guide to Stamp Collecting

During the Festival of Stamps year Stamp Active Network will also be distributing, free to children, a 16 page full-colour stamp Fun Book of activities and a CD guide to stamp collecting, which we hope will generate lots of interest. These are being made available to organisers of any event linked to the Festival of Stamps where provisions are being made for youth participation.

Anyone wanting further information on the work we do is welcome to visit our website www.planetstamp.co.uk. This is mainly aimed at young collectors but has plenty of information on collecting, competitions, guidance for group leaders and a listing of all known events in 2010 which are making provisions to attract juniors.

Third London 2010 postcard coming soon

We will soon be publishing the third in a series of postcards raising awareness of London 2010: Festival of Stamps. The postcard is a limited edition of 5,000 and will be released at this year’s Autumn Stampex (16-19 September 2009).

The image on the postcard consists of a relief of the head of King George VI by Edmund Dulac, which was the basis of the effigy on all his definitives. In the right-hand corner is an essay dated 27th November 1937 of Eric Gill’s unadopted “Heraldic Lions and Dragon” design, incorporating Dulac’s effigy.

London 2010 postcard #3: A relief of George VI by Edmund Dulac

London 2010 postcard #3: A relief of George VI by Edmund Dulac

Artist Edmund Dulac (1882-1953) came to London from France in 1904. He was mainly known as a book illustrator, but had a successful period of designing coins, banknotes and stamps from the mid 1930s, and his designs for the British Post Office span a period of 20 years. One of his greatest achievements was his work on the definitive series for King George VI. He created the portrait as a plaster cast used thereafter throughout the reign (apart from the Royal Silver Wedding issue of 1948), working from photographs rather than from life, and the border designs used for the low values from 7d to 1/-. He also created the designs for the 2/6 and 5/- high values issued in 1939.

The first postcard in our London 2010 series was issued at Autumn Stampex 2008. It features the 1984 Mailcoach Bicentenary stamp issue, an initial engraving by Czeslaw Slania based on a James Pollard print of the 1816 attack by an escaping lioness on the leading horse of the Exeter mailcoach passing The Pheasant Inn near Stockbridge.

London 2010 postcard #1: An attack on the Exeter Mail in 1816

London 2010 postcard #1: An attack on the Exeter Mail in 1816

The second postcard issued depicts an essay of a 1s pictorial stamp for the coronation of Edward VIII, showing St James’s Palace and the photograph (taken by the GPO Film Unit) on which it was based, and is currently available from selected shows organised by member federations of the Association of British Philatelic Societies (ABPS).

London 2010 postcard #2: St Jamess Palace and the coronation of Edward VIII

London 2010 postcard #2: St James's Palace and the coronation of Edward VIII

Please go to www.london2010.org.uk for further information about London 2010: Festival of Stamps.

For more information on stamps from the era of George VI please visit our website.

The man who posted his dog and other reasons to visit a stamp show

by Jennifer Flippance, London 2010 Project Officer

Stamp shows are an important element of philately and stamp collecting, providing an opportunity for collectors to catch up with friends, purchase items, exchange material, attend society meetings and enter their collections in competition.

Visitors and traders at Westbex 2009

Visitors and traders at WestBex 2009

Last weekend, I took a trip out to the first show of the year to be held by one of the regional federations of the Association of British Philatelic Societies, the Thames Valley & District Philatelic Federation stamp show – Westbex 2009.  It was hosted by the Thatcham and District Philatelic Society, a popular stamp club of over 80 members who meet twice a month.  The show took up two halls in a local school, which were mainly filled with dealers, catering for a wide range of tastes and budgets.

In addition there were prize-winning displays from members.  Stamp collecting has an active competitive element.  Enthusiasts collect, write up and display a topic of their choosing and these displays can be entered into a variety of classes.  These range from the more formal classes like traditional philately and postal history, but also include thematic classes and open classes where a much wider range of material, beyond stamps, can be displayed.

The National Philatelic Society also held a meeting where members could present a small selection of their collection.  These covered a broad range of subjects, from Machin stamps to posted autographs, to the history of the Post Office Savings Bank.

Viewing the competition entries, WestBex 2009

I found one prize-winning exhibit particularly interesting.  Its subject was W. Reginald Bray (1879-1939), who experimented by sending items through the post that challenged the postal system, for example, by being unusual objects or through having challenging addresses.

Bray posted himself (he is actually believed to be the first ‘human letter’) and the family dog, along with less animated items such as a turnip, sheep’s skull and bowler hat.

Some of the fascinating items on display from this eccentric individual included postcards made from shirt cuffs and others addressed, ‘to a resident of…‘ followed by an image of the town cut from a picture postcard with no other clue as to where it might be.  Some letters had addresses written in verse or picture puzzles.  Many were returned, officially stamped (and you can imagine the rather vexed postal employee) ‘CONTRARY TO REGULATIONS’ or ‘INSUFFICIENTLY ADDRESSED’. 

Next year, ABPS regional shows like WestBex, will form part of the London 2010: Festival of Stamps, aiming to attract new members to this rewarding hobby.  The dates of 2010 shows are available at www.london2010.org.uk/exhibitions-and-events