The year started with a session on the recent acquisitions of members, which showed the width and depth, as well as buying power, of the society. At the next meeting, I displayed my long-postponed postal history of the Nigerian city of Port Harcourt, starting off with controversial naming of the fresh site using a soon-to-be-discredited British Colonial Secretary, Lewis Harcourt, who lived and is buried just south of Oxford! Knowledgeable on the country, a great many of the wider contexts were discussed: from the rapidly increasing population to the landing strip for the American space shuttle. At the end of January, members displayed single frames on the environment and climate change, a philatelic topic stretching back many years and illustrated by the air pollution, acid rain, depleted ozone layer, greenhouse gases, and soil and water conservation topics of the late twentieth century.
In February, the annual Philatelic Quiz saw teams tackle rounds on such diverse and tricky subjects as postcodes of the world and trying to list all the 50+ countries and territories beginning with “M”. At the same time, member’s competition entries were judged by Malcolm Gascoyne, and a future meeting will display and discuss the entries in detail.
A fascinating evening on ‘The 1920s’ drew displays on the Malaya-Borneo Exhibition, British Levant, German inflation, Jersey, Scandinavia, New Zealand, and Nigeria. It can be reported that the society’s auction of nearly 300 lots drew a large and friendly competitive audience, ably auctioned by Dave Armit, with extra funds raised for the society.
Dr Simon Heap
OXFORD PS SUMMARY FOR ABPS NEWS, Oct 2021-Jan 2022 (Sorry, Your website manager forgot to add this in the correct sequence!)
Oxford Philatelic Society
Our first main evening session saw Gerald Marriner of Solihull PS provide a strong display with the stamps and postal history of the Belgian Congo, with some rare and beautifully designed items from that troubled part of Central Africa.
Three well-attended meetings in November covered a great deal of philatelic ground. First, the letter “C” provoked displays on Christmas, Spanish and German censored mail, Crimea, Norwegian charity stamps, coils, chess, Canada, cartoon characters and Cinderella stamps. Second, with time spent with the United Nations in Geneva to aid his collecting, Bill Jackson showed Switzerland, and shared the meeting with Julian Bagwell who teased the audience in his worldwide hunt for the first Christmas stamps. The meeting was completed with more “C”s covering cricket such as WG Grace and Arthur Conan Doyle (whose only first-class wicket was the aforementioned Good Doctor), as well as short displays on mail coaches, and cattle. Third, with many years of collecting and auctioneering to call upon, Dave Armit completed the month with a wide-ranging and engaging display on the stamps of the Balkans.
In December, Tim Harrison of High Wycombe and District PS beautifully laid the interplay of Estonian, German and Russian elements in the postal history of Estonia in the first half of the evening. In the second half, members were grateful for the tremendous material and clear explanation of how each territory issued its own stamps and then came under the umbrella of the Union of South Africa in 1910.
At the start of 2022 many members took the opportunity to show off their Recent Acquisitions, and we hope we can continue to meet in person, safely and enjoyably.
Dr Simon Heap