Guidelines for New Members

1 THE COMMITTEE : The Committee is elected annually at the AGM and consists of the officers ( President, Vice-President, Hon Secretary, Hon. Programme Secretary, Hon. Treasurer ( currently also the Website Manager) Hon. Exchange Secretary , Hon Exchange Treasurer ) together with the Auctions Manager, Competitions Manager ,Representatives for the Thames Valley Philatelic Federation (TVPF) ,Librarian, Publicity Officer plus 2 other members, one of whom acts as Refreshments Officer. Three meetings are held per year.

2. THE AGM : The Annual General Meeting is held in June or July and as well as elections for the committee consists of brief reports from the club officers and the opportunity for discussion and comment.

3. THE LIBRARY : The Library is a small mobile unit, which is unlocked at each meeting. It contains specialised and general catalogues from around the world. Any book can be borrowed, but must be signed out in the loan book provided and handed back to the librarian on its return to be signed back in. The service is free.

4. THE PACKET is available to all members who ask to be included in the circulation list. Each ‘packet’ consists of a box of up to 30 booklets of stamps for sale covering a wide range of countries. It must be handed on to the next member on the list within 3-4 days and payment sent to the Packet Secretary. Special care must be taken since the contents of each packet are not insured . All members are encouraged to make up some booklets of surplus material for inclusion.

5. SILENT AUCTION Each year the season starts in September with a meeting when subscriptions are collected and at which a so-called ‘ Silent Auction’ is held. Members may put out to sale up to 20 lots which are listed on a sheet alongside them stating minimum starting bids for each lot . Bidders add their bid and name – overbidding others’ bids as wished. Viewing and bidding take place in the same 45 minute period following any opening remarks and notices by the committee. When time is called highest bidders settle up with the vendor ( bring cash and small change ) and take away the lots they have won. Thus all bids are open to view and overbid if wished until time is called.

6. THE ANNUAL CLUB AUCTION is usually held in March and is for OPS members only. The Auction aims to provide low to modest cost material to encourage members to ‘branch out’ into new collecting areas and, of course to allow surplus material to be sold off. The Auction Secretary issues the catalogue about 3 weeks beforehand but viewing only takes place on the day from 7.0-8.15pm when the live auction starts. Members wishing to sell lots need to complete a special sheet giving a brief description of each lot (maximum 10 per member ) and minimum asking price and return to the secretary by the stated deadline. Lots need to be handed in to the auction secretary on the auction day between 6.45-7.0pm during which all lots are laid out for viewing. They should be numbered with the labels provided by the auction secretary. Viewing starts when all lots have been received. All winning bids are to be settled with the Treasurer before departure and all lots are then to be taken away.

7. MEMBERS DISPLAY EVENTS Members are invited to display on at least 6 occasions during the year. The display can consist of 1 or 2 sheets ( pages ) or a full frame ( 12-15 sheets ) Speaking time should be kept to a minimum especially where sheets are fully written up – 5 minutes maximum is recommended with speakers facing the audience rather than the displays !

8. BRING & BUY : This has become a popular and regular feature for 30-40 minutes at the start of each meeting. Members may bring in material to sell which is laid out on tables at one side of the hall. All material must be clearly identified with owner’s name and prices asked. Buyers pay the vendor during the course of the meeting.

9. COMPETITIONS : Members are encouraged to enter the annual OPS 9-Page Competition which is held in Spring . Members may enter any or all of the recognised competition classes : Traditional, Postal History, Thematic, Open, Cinderella and Novice. Judging is by a team of 2 TVPF ( Thames Valley Philatelic Federation ) accredited judges.

Success in the OPS 9 Page competition qualifies entry for the TVPF 9 Page competition held in Spring and the TVPF 16 Page competition held in the Autumn. All entrants are expected to bring their entries back to the Display Evening usually just after the TVPF competitions have taken place. A folder of rules, results, guidelines and judging comments is in the OPS Library for reference purposes.

10. SECURITY & INSURANCE : All members are responsible for the security of all their possessions during the meeting.