The Great Britain Philatelic Society
Saturday 30 September 2023 - Stampex MeetingThe first meeting the new season of the GBPS will be on Saturday 30 September 2023 at Stampex in the Business Design Centre, Islington from 2:00pm. The society meeting room will now be on the “Village Green” area (the area you first encounter in the hall when entering through the main doors from the BDC foyer and where the Welcome Desk is situated).
At this meeting John Copeland FRPSL will be giving a display entitled “Bells – A Photographic Postcard Publisher 1902-1957”. John says, ‘’The display is an account of the history of the Bells’ Photo Company, Limited and its postcards. This company was a significant producer of topographical photographic picture postcards of Great Britain with these appearing under their own name, without a publisher’s name and a few under the names of other businesses from the early 1900’s to the mid 1950’s. Up to about 1920 they also produced a number of postcards showing ships of the Royal Navy and other naval topics, while just after World War II they produced some comic postcards. The display includes examples of all of these and also postcards and other documents which throw a light on the business and the production of its postcards.”
Saturday 28 October 2023 – All Day Meeting (partly over Zoom) The GBPS meeting on Saturday 28 October 2023 will be held at the Royal Philatelic Society, 15 Abchurch Lane, London EC4N 7BW from 11:00 a.m. The morning session will consist of a display from Hugh Feldman RDP FRPSL entitled “The Mail Coach Age in Britain”. This will consist of an initial PowerPoint presentation available live via Zoom (and recorded for later offline viewing) followed by a traditional room only display. Hugh says “The Royal Mail, from its inception by Royal Proclamation in 1635 employed a network of “Post Boys” riding horse to carry the mails between London and the provinces and on cross post roads. The transmission of letters was limited to an average speed not much faster than a brisk walk and the mails were not secure. The post boys were frequently robbed of their pouches, or they themselves absconded with the mail as some mails carried either financial instruments or valuables. In the early 1780s the former theatre owner, John Palmer of Bath proposed the use of coaches to carry the mail. He suggested, in 1784, to William Pitt the Younger, the recently installed Prime Minster and Chancellor of the Exchequer that an experiment be conducted on the Bristol to London Road to prove the effectiveness of this form of transport. The first Royal Mail coach left Bristol on 2 August 1784 for London taking just 15 hours for the journey compared to the 48 to 60 hours taken by a horse rider. Palmer was appointed Controller of the Post Office and within two years had established a network of mail coach routes. For the next 50 years Palmer’s system carried securely an ever-increasing volume of mail, the coaches being accompanied by an armed guard. With the establishment of the railroads the mail was gradually moved from road to rail with the last mail coach being retired in 1857. The display illustrates the carriage of the mails on the principal post roads to and from London between 1784 and 1840.”
The afternoon session starting at 2:15pm will be a display from Dave Simmons entitled “London District Postal History”. This will be a traditional two-laydown display. Dave says “My display is for the postmarks used in the London Districts - oval cancellers with the numbers in circles, from 1844 to the 1900’s this seems a long period, and it is, but the variants in canceller is quite interesting. I think so anyway! The collection starts with the 1st series and, to some, the best. These were first issued on the 20 May 1844 and continued for a long time for some offices (the latest I have seen used is 1889 of Bow12), there were recuts of these cancellers with some striking differences and other times subtle differences. There was a transition from the 10 rides or routes to the division of London into districts in 1857 and this gave rise to the use of district initials when addressing a letter. Then the 1861 series and the introduction of the letter B to the office numbers and generally these were all sub offices, their parent office holding the 1st series canceller. Finally, we lead to the 3rd series - vertical ovals, which in my opinion are much understudied and just as scarce as the earlier issues. As a conclusion there are examples of town office cancellers which are different in format so can be regarded in a different light also, unusually, some of these offices were issued duplex cancellers.”
Full details of the Great Britain Philatelic Society can be found at www.gbps.org.uk
For more information about membership, go to: http://www.gbps.org.uk/join
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