All posts by pmmorris2014

Simon reviews our new Season to Jan 2019

The 2018/19 season has got to a great start! Our Secretary, David Potts, gave a fascinating display of his wide-ranging collection of Cinderella stamps, aided by an excellent handout summarising the types of such stamps. Then David Walker of Wokingham PS displayed the Antarctic explorer Ernest Shackleton.

 

November saw an unusual event with our Programme Secretary, Bill Jackson, giving a public lecture at the Weston part of the Bodleian Library of Oxford University on our multi-dimensional founding Secretary and Treasurer Frank Bellamy, which included a sample of his collection held by the Bodleian in their extensive John Johnson collection.

 

A large turnout of members at the Christmas lunch in December showed how much this annual social event is now firmly entrenched in our programme. A morning meeting for members to display on the ‘60s produced a wide range of subjects: teenage collecting of China, Austria and Germany, French FDC and Maxim Cards, the GB £1 Windsor Castle issue, Japan’s Millennium sheets and demise of the airmail stamp, and three covers of the 1760s!

 

Hugh Bennet gave a wonderful display on the stamps of the Pacific nation of Kiribati. The first half was on the 1970s definitive stamps, including original designs by local children. In the second half, being intimately involved in planning and carrying out the selection, design and production of recent stamp issues, Hugh helped us gain an insider’s view on contemporary stamp manufacture. Using innovative A3 sheets throughout, we hope other societies consider Hugh for their future programme of events, as such insights made for a memorable and different-from-the-usual kind of display.

 

2019’s first meeting on sports, games and hobbies gave the chance for members to show off everything from Kent County Cricket Club, the World Cup and Olympic stamps to sumo wrestling and gardening!

Dr Simon Heap

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Simon Reports on end of 2017-8 Season!

Oxford

John Davies of nearby Banbury Philatelic Society and Stamp Active Network fame, gave us a fascinating display on the Penny Black Jubilee of 1890, the year that our society was founded. To everyone’s amusement, he began by observing how few modern commemorative make it onto envelopes these days and, being as scarce as Penny Blacks, he offered the audience considerable sums to buy such rare modern items!

 

The 2017-18 season ended with a new event: a ‘social’. On a warm summer’s evening, many members brought things to sell and swop and discuss all sorts of matters, philatelic and not so philatelic. It went well, and has found its place in future seasons. Speaking of which, the new one began in September with subs collected, programme booklets issued and a Silent Auction, with bids written down beside items for sale until a designated time when the last on the list paid and carried off their winnings.

 

A morning meeting on the letter ‘D’ noticeably failed to have any Denmark displayed. Nonetheless members displayed plenty of apposite and interesting ‘D’s: dogs, Disney, the delightful/dire stamps of modern Tuvalu issues, designers and dealers, ‘Dwor’ – the Polish for manor house, postage dues from and to Japan, dancing, dinosaurs, Danzig, the UN Year of the Disabled, disasters, decolonisation and development, and the aircraft manufacturers of Dassalt, De Haviland, Dornier and Douglas.

Dr Simon Heap

 

Simon Reports on start of 2018

2018 started with a morning meeting on ‘monarchy’, which covered Queen Victoria, the Queen Mother, the Austro-Hungarian monarchy, King Farouk of Egypt and the kings of Spain, Sweden, Nepal, Thailand, as well as the rulers of Bahrain and Jordan. The engaging Dave Armit then gave a splendid evening on a miscellany of philatelic matters, not the least was his role as auctioneer at some of the country’s major stamp auctions. This was followed by a beautiful and comprehensive display by Vic Thorpe on GB Prestige Booklets, presentation packs and smiler sheets. Vic deliberately engaged the audience with plenty of interesting observations and comments bringing forth lots of questions, comment, and discussion.

The ever popular quiz night brought out the competitive spirit and deep/shaky philatelic knowledge amongst the eight teams of members, selected in a new way which allowed for a far better level playing field – the order in which members signed the attendance register. A good morning meeting on the Caribbean was followed by the Club Auction which attracted a large percentage of the membership and many welcome clear outs of philatelic material to grateful new owners.
Dr Simon Heap

Simon Reports on 2017

Oxford, Nov-Dec 2017

The society is sad to report the untimely death of Alan Hughes, the author of our recent history celebrating 125 years of our history. Two members, Stephen Marks and David Potts gave the society an illuminating evening on China up to and from 1949. With China being a hot stamp collecting country – even on the school curriculum, everyone was educated into the history of Chinese stamps. The thematic meeting on Fish and Fishing produced a wide array of freshwater and saltwater contributions: from Japan, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Madagascar and Tuvalu, to fisherfolk, subsistence fishing, rod and line, spear-fishing, kite-fishing, Big Game fishing and commercial trawling. Simon Richards gave a wonderful display of Dominica, showing the key milestones in its philatelic history with rich material from his first class collection.

 

December was a busy month. A festive Christmas lunch at the Royal British Legion in Marston was enjoyed by two dozen members and their spouses, made even more enjoyable (and tricky) by some quiz questions for each table to solve. Then the always popular evening of Recent Acquisitions in the week before Christmas showed that members continue to add to their stamp collections and philatelic knowledge: Austria, British POs overseas, Canada, Nigeria, and a large number of forgeries with interesting histories.

Dr Simon Heap

 

 

 

Oxford, Sep-Oct 2017

The new season began in mid-September with a silent auction. Many auction lots attracted a lot of bidding with pens but not much silence amongst the chatter of the evening as member paid their subs, some new members joined us, and an extra copy of our recent history publication was distributed to members who had donated to get one in the first place.

 

In early October, the Letter “L” guaranteed a wide variety of philatelic translations by members: amongst which I can list Lebanon, Lithuania, Leopards, Lions, Llama stamps of Peru, as well as QV Line-Engraved, Lifeboats, Lace, and Lacrosse.

 

China, fish and fishing, Dominica, recent acquisitions and a festive lunch are lined up in the coming months running up to Christmas

Dr Simon Heap

 

Oxford, Apr-July 2017

April saw members of the society display their competition entries to be judged; when the society held its AGM a few weeks later, certificates, shields and cups were handed out to entrants. The wide range of entries showed that members collect all sorts: the battles of Coronel and the Falkland Islands in 1914; North Borneo; paquebot marks of 1920-30s Japan; tourism in Abbazia between the wars; propaganda mail of the Chinese Cultural Revolution; art work associated with the stamps issued with the UK postal strike of 1971; classic cars and tigers.

 

In mid-May, Stephen Marks gave his final Presidential display on Regime Change, a fascinating evening covering the stamps and postal history of, amongst many things, El Salvador and the overthrow of Arturo Araujo; Bosnia and Yugoslavia; Spanish Civil War’s propaganda labels; Vichy France; Post-War Germany’s four Occupied Zones, as well as Sardinia and Italy, and San Marino.

 

In July, Tony Stanford gave a very comprehensive display on the Indian and British Post Offices located in the Gulf States of Muscat, Bahrain, Dubai and Kuwait, finishing with Das Island, the last ever British overseas post office. Later that month, members of the society met at the hostelry of Sandford Lock, just south of Oxford, for a very sociable summer’s evening together.

Dr Simon Heap

 

 

Alan Hughes R.I.P.

With regret we announce the passing of member Alan Hughes, on 23 October 2017, who will perhaps best be remembered for his outstanding work on the research for and compilation of our 125th Anniversary souvenir handbook.

 

Alan had a long career with the Oxford English Dictionary and it particularly resonated with him that the first Editor of the Oxford English Dictionary, Dr Sir James Murray, had also been the first President of the re-named Oxford Philatelic Society from 1892.

Through his research, Alan was instrumental in highlighting the career of Frank Bellamy, a notable citizen of Oxford for whom a Blue Plaque is to be shortly erected. Bellamy was OPS founding Honorary Secretary and Treasurer from 1890 to 1936 and also a key member of the Oxford Photographic Society, an active member of the Ashmolean Natural History Society and a significant observational astronomer at the Radcliffe Observatory. It was Alan who spoke to set the scene at the 125th anniversary event in 2016 bringing together the Oxford Philatelic Society, the Ashmolean, the Museum of the History of Science, and the friends of St Sepulchre’s graveyard where Bellamy rests.

Our thoughts and sympathy go out to his widow Freda and his family.

Michael Proffitt, the Chief Editor of the Oxford English Dictionary, has given us a copy of his tribute to Alan, which you can read on our NEWS page.

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Simon reports….Auction success

The year kicked off with the ever popular Ladies Choice evening of display on the theme of “capitals, cities, and cathedrals”. Bob Galland gave an excellent display of Queen Victoria surface printed stamps at our next meeting. In February, Oxford’s Publicity Secretary Simon Heap gave a morning display on the postal system of Calabar, Nigeria, during the colonial period, which included a detailed history of the four GPOs, numerous pillar boxes and expanding postal service of the town across the seventy years up to 1960. Quiz night brought out the competitive spirit and deep philatelic knowledge (and ignorance!) amongst the six teams of members. In the meantime, the society’s annual 9-page competition was being judged – full displays and results at a future meeting. Two more Oxford members, Alan Cowie and Jan Simons, combined to provide a fascinating morning meeting on aspects of Japan: a glorious trot through Japan’s postal issues from start to present-day and then a wonderfully specialised display on the Japanese postal history in Manchuria. The very well attended society’s auction concluded this quarter’s meetings with over 200 lots providing for an exciting evening of viewing and bidding for all.

Dr Simon Heap

Note from treasurer: 25 members bid for lots, spending on average £30 each. The OPS lots made a profit of about £120 for the Society…suggestions for library purchases are always welcomed!

Simon reports on our New Season

The 2016-17 season, which has seen two new members recruited, began with a Silent Auction, A morning meeting was devoted to Art and Artists. At the next meeting, two members of Leighton Buzzard Philatelic Society, John Hossack and Richard Page, gave noted displays on Sierra Leone and Birds of Prey respectively. Another morning meeting covered the letter ‘P’, with Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Port Said displayed as well as GB POs abroad, Paquebot Covers through Japan, and Pottsville, USA. Malcolm Gascoyne of the neighbouring Henley Philatelic Society gave an excellent display on the stamps and postal history of Sarawak. In December, the society held its well-attended Christmas Social. Later in the month, the always popular ‘Recent Acquisitions’ evening gave members a chance to show everyone their new philatelic procurements.

Dr Simon Heap