Tribute to the Duke of Edinburgh

As a holder of the Gold Award of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award scheme, I would fully agree that participation at age 16-18 was very formative and I have reaped the benefits of knowledge of our world, social skills and interests acquired at that time. It is only a small thing that I can do but, trawling through my “hobbyist” commonwealth stamps, I have come up with a couple of pages where I feel that Prince Philip appears to be the subject of the stamp either equally or more than the Queen:

The ones of Prince Philip with a beard are my favourite, but perhaps that is because they also have wild scenery!

This is only a small selection of the “Award” stamps to celebrate the 25th Anniversary in 1981, because of my rather slow style of collecting. However, it is enough to illustrate the different sections of the Award. The media tend to concentrate on the physical activities, but one could opt out of these by getting involved with doing a “worthwhile project” for a week or taking some instructive “design for living” course. The Service section was very important and lasted a full year…the residential qualification was a week of social interaction away from one’s parents!

It is a gorgeous sunny day outside and the Committee has decided that today will be the last of our 4.15 p.m. Zoom Meetings. If anyone would like to bring some more stamps to show…or just to exchange news, the please turn up on the usual ID and Passcode. Meetings in Future will be held at 7.30 p.m. on Monday evenings, starting from 3rd May, which is also a Bank Holiday.

Cheers, Priscilla

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Committee Meeting on 12th April, 4.15 p.m.

The Committee will meet to consider the draft 2021-2022 season’s Programme, assuming that we can return to having indoor Meetings by September. We will also review the activities of OPS during this last year and consider lessons learned and changes that we could make. Much depends on news from Rose Hill Methodist Church! Your Treasurer will propose one year only of a much reduced subscription, to reflect our much reduced spending during this financial year.

I propose that our next two general Zoom Meetings should be on April 19th and two weeks later on May 3rd. Perhaps the Committee will think of rustling up a surprise display for May?!

Cheers, Priscilla

Stamp Packet circulation to resume on 29th March

We enjoyed a fine display of the George Vth “Seahorses” stamps on 15th March. I had no idea that there could be so much interest and history associated with a single design stamp: from speculation as to the inspiration for the design, to the different printers involved in its production, the overprints for the Levant, Morocco, Bechuanaland and Nauru and the associated Colonial history…thank you Julian! You can now view the display on our SLIDESHOWS page.

We decided that our next Zoom Meeting will be on Monday 29th March at 4.15 p.m., with our usual meeting ID 693 819 5805 Passcode 928886 (to save you rolling back a few posts). “Recent Aquisitions” is the topic. Monday 29th March is also the day when some of the Lockdown restrictions in England are being lifted. As we will be allowed to travel again, we have decided that the Packet Circulation can resume using the ground-rules that we had in place last summer. In particular, you should check in advance that the next person on the list is willing and able to receive it on their doorstep. Social distancing must be maintained and no signature will be needed. Each box will contain a printed sheet outlining the necessary procedures.

Alan reminded us all that Stampex will be “virtual” again this year and will take place between 25th and 27th March inclusive. The web site at: gives details and how to register etc. The programme of talks is at : The non-competitive virtual exhibition is open until 30 April. I believe that Alan has put in an entry…probably some aspect of Japan, knowing him!

Cheers, Priscilla.

Seahorses on March 15th…

Thank you all for your good wishes after my op…I am well on the road to recovery, being able to walk out for an hour a day without tiring. I’m particularly pleased that the Meeting hosted by Julian went well and that there was enough time available to enable Tony to answer questions. I will be hosting the Zoom meeting on Monday on the usual ID/Passcode. Julian has offered to show us his seahorses and I’d be pleased to see anyone’s recent acquisitions and hear your news if time permits. Meanwhile, here is a glimpse of what I have been doing over the last month:

These are these are the stamps that Mike P. gave me at Christmas, sorted by country. There are about 163 different postal authorities represented and I have been busily filing all these in my stock books, noting about 500 new stamps. What a brilliant way restfully to pass the hours and at the same time to review my entire collection, which has little value except to myself! Cheers, Priscilla.

1st March 2021…Tony Stanford Presents:-

Julian has kindly offered to host our next Zoom Meeting, when Tony will be presenting a display on “The  Morocco Agencies overprints of GB stamps”. Zoom invitations have been sent out with the new Meeting ID and Passcode. If you haven’t had one and want to join us, please contact Alan Cowie for the details. This is our first venture into having a visiting speaker (from Maidenhead and District PS)…we welcome Tony and thank him for this opportunity!

Alan reports on OPS Zoom Meeting, afternoon of 1st Feb 2021

Another pleasant and interesting meeting with 11 members partaking:  David P, Priscilla M, Simon H, Godfrey T, Julian B, Neil H, Michael A, Colin D, Dave C, and Mike K.

On the theme of the letter P:

Julian led off with some pre-paid GB QV postal stationery with the penny and the penny farthing values.  We saw several interesting items from the Channel Islands and the Levant (look on our website “Slideshows” page).

Then David P entertained/educated us with a display of 3 sheets of stamps from current, unfamiliar, or dead stamp issuing territories – all letter ‘P‘ and ranging from Pahang to Puerto Rico —  a total of 22 different places.

Neil then showed stamps from Paraguay, Palau, and Poland, which had subjects of his topical interests, namely bridges and warships.

With time running out, Priscilla then showed a fine Portuguese miniature sheet from 1998 celebrating the 500th Anniversary of Vasco da Gama’s discovery of the sea route to India (see “Recent Acquisitions” page on this website).

A short follow-on session was chaired by Julian in which Alan C showed some of his Japanese National Parks collection with attention to Planes and other Postmarks on the stamps & covers.

Next meetings: The meeting closed by agreeing that we take up  Maidenhead PS / Tony Stanford’s offer of a ZOOM presentation on “The  Morocco Agencies overprints of GB stamps” on 1st March; meanwhile Alan would prepare a display of Japanese Airmail material for 15 February.

Since writing our report (above), Alan has received by email the latest copy of the ABPS Newsletter, dated Spring 2001. It contains the articles on the future of organised philately and on using Power Point:

” A Personal View ” (By Dave Cleaver, Torquay and Teignbridge Stamp Club, on the future of philatelic societies) pages 17-21

” Simple Rules for Effective digital Presentation ” by Richard Smith, Leeds Philatelic Society, pages 23-27

” Power Point Experience ” by Alan Spencer p 27/29

 It should shortly be available for downloading from the ABPS Website, which you can access quickly by selecting and clicking on the appropriate link on this website page (usually left hand column).

Some Seasonal Scenes…

January has brought us snowdrops and just a little snow in the back garden, which had melted by lunchtime! If we run out of stamps to show at our Zoom meetings, we can always share photographs, which don’t require having a scanner.

At our Zoom meeting on 18th January, David showed us an interesting artistic composition, signed by the Austrian engraver Georg Wimmer, of various figures featured on Austrian stamps during the period 1947-1948. David had done some research to identify the stamps…you can see this on our “Recent Acquisitions” page. There was also a discussion about the variation in VAT rates duties in post Brexit Ebay sales of stamps from overseas. Simon R was able to give us some news of The Royal and of course, we brought in news of other Members that we have been in touch with. Come and join us…detail on previous post.

We decided, for our next meeting on 1st February, that we should have a themed display from as many members as have both Zoom ability and a scanner…a few pages each on “the letter P”. Loads of countries to choose from and I hope that David will show us some that I have never heard of…Pakhoi, Pechino, Piscopi and Poonch. Not sure if I have ever seen anything from Palau (1981), Then for the thematic collectors amongst us, there’s the penny post, politics and Parliament, Princes and Principalities, Presidents and Prime Ministers, population and people, peace and peacekeeping (we’ve done that already), pictures of penguins, pillar boxes, ports, pottery….

Looking forward further to 15th February, Alan C. will show us some of his Japanese air mails. We are delighted to have an offer of a display by Tony Stanford on Morocco Agencies, possibly on 1st March. Meanwhile, we are sorry that the packet circulation still cannot be resumed as we cannot justify the necessary travelling until that restriction is lifted.

Keep safe and well…Priscilla

Zoom into the New Year!

Our Zoom meetings are continuing at 4.15 p.m. on the first and third Mondays of the month, corresponding with our Programme dates. But of course, our published Programme remains on hold until we are allowed and willing to meet again! Meanwhile we have about ten Members keen to tell each other about our latest acquisitions and to offer up scanned-in material for mutual enjoyment. It is also a chance to check that we are still all OK.

ON January 4th, Julian showed us a couple of his recent acquisitions (covers  with interesting stories). Then Colin showed us some African Commonwealth George V1. I had found a few pages of a 2007 display “X on stamps” with a rather broader interpretation of “the letter X” that people were expecting…well, I’ve got to do something with all the low value stamps that I seem to acquire! I might try adding that one to our new “slideshows” page for some unsophisticated fun. David Potts rounded off with more “One stamp from every country/territory listed in the index to Stanley Gibbons SOTW”, D-M, I think, and then we ran out of time. The next Meeting is on Monday 18th January….do join us to chat about your collections and to show them as well! [ID 693 8195805 Passcode 928886 as usual]

Cheers, Priscilla

Christmas is coming…on Zoom

There were nine of us today…the joy of seeing and hearing familiar faces and voices sharing a common interest…our Membership is up to forty-two now and we would love to see more of you for our last two meetings of this year. David showed us part of his “One stamp from every country/territory listed in the index to Stanley Gibbons SOTW”, just the A to C pages…it is a massive undertaking and very challenging of our general knowledge! Alan C. was inspired (by a B page) to display some of his early Belgian Congo sets – the 1923 one printed by the American Bank Note Co. and later by Waterlow and Sons is such a finely detailed set of engravings. Julian showed us some more overseas frankings on British stamps heading for Jersey…you can see them on the new “Slideshows” page.

Next week (7th Dec) Julian will give us a Christmas-related display, finishing off with a debate on which is the first Christmas stamp – it’s all in the definition. The following week (14th Dec.), Mike K. will be challenging us with a quiz, which will be half and half philately and general knowledge…help from the family is welcomed! As we cannot fit it all in forty minutes, we will have a restart…just rejoin on the same ID and pass-code as usual [693 819 5805 pass-code 928886}. We practised doing this today and all nine managed it OK within about three minutes…even A.H!

See our New Acquisitions and Slideshows on two new pages!

Some of us Members of the Oxford Philatelic Society have been meeting up on Monday afternoons on Zoom to talk about our collecting interests and use the Share-Screen feature to show each other material that we have scanned into our computers. We have now developed a couple of website pages to allow those who cannot access these Zoom meetings to see some of this material. Of course, we Zoomers also get the chance to see it again and to read the interesting write-ups…perhaps not so good as having it presented to us by the authors, but the best we can do until face-to-face Meetings can take place again. If you feel like contributing to these pages but cannot come to the Zoom sessions, just send us an email or leave a message on this post. Single scanned pages accompanied by a short description and reason for selection are welcomed as well as multi-page written-up displays. We know how keen Members are to share their “finds”…now you have the opportunity…and it is much appreciated.