Tag Archives: Westbex

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.

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