2017 News

Text Box: Henley and District Philatelic Society

Members’ evening
13th December 2017

Ten members gathered in the warmth of Bix Hall on a cold winter evening to address the subject of festivals.

Not surprisingly, several displays concerned Christmas greetings and sets of Christmas stamps – including many in attractive minisets or on 1st Day Covers and to designs ranging from those encouraging children to those of Jennifer Toombs.

Other subjects displayed included
Scandinavian Festivals: the Swedish Festival of St Lucy incorporating a winter procession headed by a maiden dressed in white and red and with candles burning in her headdress; and the 1914 celebration of 100 years of Norwegian independence
The Silver Jubilee of King George V – at the height of both imperial stamp issues and of the British Empire itself; unfortunately the king died within a year of these celebrations
Postcards of London, including the Thames ice Fairs and turn-of-the-19/20th century horse traffic congestion outside the Royal Exchange.
The stamps of Anguilla – examples of worthless if superficially attractive mint stamps traded almost solely to attract, mainly young, stamp collectors
Stamps depicting the rise, lavish climax and subsequent downfall of the Persian Pahlavi dynasty
Finely displayed mint sets of Queen Elizabeth GB commemoratives.

Michael Pitt-Payne, Aylesbury PS
25th October 2017
Aspects of Postal History

Michael’s display began with a reminder of the fairly chaotic, limited and very expensive postal system that existed in the UK and elsewhere before the postal reforms of 1840. Most letters, even from one nearby town to another went via London. Letters were charged by weight and the distance sent; a single letter from London to Scotland could cost 16s 4½d (about £75 at today’s prices), but took only three days or so. All letters into Scotland after 1813 carried a surcharge of a halfpenny to cover cost of tolls. 
Postal reforms in 1839 introduced a uniform and much cheaper postal rate of 4d for ½ oz, regardless of distance. This was a reduced to 1d in early 1840 as a precursor to other important introductions including Mulready letter sheets and 1d Black stamps in May of that year.

A mechanism for charging postage due at twice the deficient amount was introduced and also special rates for printed paper. A whole raft of rules and regulations relating to size and the nature of postage material were introduced too, including whether messages could be put on the outside of envelopes and what constituted irregular material e.g. leather, decoration - including glitter, feathers and so on.  W. Reginald Bray purchased a copy of the Post Office Guide, and began to study the regulations published quarterly by the British postal authorities. He is infamous for testing the regs and even tried posting himself.

Michael had made a separate study of postal routing abroad and cited for example the various routes mail could take to Mauritius  via, the Cape, Ceylon or Suez. In 1820 a ½ oz letter would have cost 2s3d to send, but by 1890 this would have been as little as 2½d.

Michael also discussed the social history of some specific examples of letters in his collection.
The Chairman thanked Michael for his first rate talk and presentation style and for bringing his excellent material. He also echoed our hope that Michael would return another evening with some of his other material.
Members’ Evening
11th October 2017

16 members gathered at Bix to display themes related to the Letters U, V and W.  Pages of stamps of various countries included those of
United Arab Republic
Uruguay River Plate Philatelic Exhibitions in Montevideo
UPU 1939 conference in Buenos Aires and subsequent or related occasions
Vietnam – animals, birds, butterflies and insects, fish and railways
Victoria, colony (later state) of Australia including early imperforate issues
Virgin Islands
Western Australia, scarce early and later Black Swans
Würtemberg, including some fine early issues.
Covers of interest included those involving
British Post Offices in Uruguay (Montevideo C28) and Valparaiso (Chile C30)
A wide assortment of other British and foreign correspondence.
Postcards and similar pictures included
Views, some old and including some in paintings of London, Paris, USA, Paris, Bordeaux etc
Wallingford – Bridge, Castle, High Street, Lamb Hotel (now antiques centre)
Waterfront views in Sarawak; also Wakil postal centres some in remote Sarawak locations where people collected their mail
Windsor, House of - Brian and Edna’s Golden Wedding card from HMQ.

A variety of specific themes comprised
Vadso and Vardo, remote North-eastern Norwegian small towns operating local postal services in the 1890s
Victor Emmanual II – King of Sardinia and then of Italy – and the set of stamps which covered both kingdoms in succession
Victor Emmanuel III – a subsequent King of Italy covering the fascist period and the corresponding stamps
Battle of Waterloo
Watermarks – various contributions
William Wyon’s medals – including two copper proofs/moulds – which included the design for Queen Victoria’s profile on early GB stamps.

Queen Victoria featured as a young (including Chalon heads) and old Queen and Empress. Among various QV stamps were the GB White corner numbers. Lake Victoria, Victoria Falls and cities or towns named Victoria were all shown on stamps.

Victory stamps included
The full range of British Empire Post-World War II Victory, Peace and recovery issues
Similar European victory and liberation issues
V-signs overprinted cheekily on Norwegian stamps after the German invasion.

Visit by Paul Leonard
20th September 2017

Work of the RPS and Forensic Philately

19 members and one guest welcomed Professor Paul Leonard to Bix. Paul, who is a retired environmental scientist, has for about a decade been Advisor to the Expert Committee of the Royal Philatelic Society, a panel of eminent philatelists who investigate and certify or deny the authenticity of submitted stamps. The first part of Paul’s presentation concerned philatelic forensics and the activity of the Royal’s Expert Committee, the mean by which they investigate stamps and the sort of forgeries that take place.

Techniques used include enlargement and inspection under ultraviolet and other lights. Some simple approaches include use of available software like Photoshop and of sophisticated equipment developed in industry etc. Equally ingenious is some of the historical forgers’ equipment that has been collected such as Madame Joseph’s franking devices. Forms of forgery which have commonly taken place to enhance the value of stamps include
removal of cancellations – such as fiscal ones - and substitution of false ones,
false covers in which stamps or postmarks have been added or deleted,
faked overprints (Govt. parcels etc) often detected by enlargement showing that the overprints are on top of the cancellations,
besides a range of mysterious or as yet undefined techniques such as that the changes a block of three Plate 77 1d reds into the extremely rare Plate 73s.

The second part of Paul’s display illustrated similar techniques to those used by forgers as applied to fabrication of philatelic material (stamps, covers, etc) in what must be recognized as high art – in this case the work of the illustrator, philatelist and humorist Gerald King to philatelic representation of Lewis Carol (Charles Dodgson)’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Besides references to hairmail, dead letter boxes and cracked plates the display included
a 5th May 1840 with 1d black issued in Wonderland the day before the British post office realized this would be a good idea;
envelopes addressed to Alice Liddell at The Deanery, Christ Church, Oxford and another to her at the Pool of Tears in Wonderland;
a complete perforated sheet of all different mint stamps of Victorian designs with WONDERLAND inserted at the top instead of POSTAGE or other top borders.
Apparently King initiated all this in 1965 when the British Post Office declined to take up his suggestion of a set of stamps to commemorate the centenary of the publication of Carroll’s book. [Alice did appear in single stamps in 1979 and 1994 sets.]

We were privileged to see all this as a preview of Paul’s display to be presented formally to the Royal Philatelic Society on 18 October 2017.

Members’ Evening
13th September 2017

14 members and one guest gathered at Bix for the first meeting of our 2017-18 Season. Besides the traditional opening theme of Latest Acquisitions, there was opportunity to celebrate the 70th birthday of our President, Bob Clements. There were displays of 1/- (‘bob’) stamps including mint varieties of the GB mid-Victorian 1/- Green, 70 examples of Victorian and Edwardian ‘Jubilee’ series shillings; also more than 200 different global 70 (cent etc) face value stamps.

Latest acquisitions including the two different French very high value (20 franc) air mail stamps of 1936 together with the other air stamps issued in that country in the 1930s; also displayed were recently acquired sheets of Mongolian stamps and Russian ones depicting royalty and notable citizens of that country.

Other displays of stamps showed early Austrian ‘arms’ issues, and a variety of Italian colonials relating to Libya and its component Cyrenaica, and Norwegian assays, stamps and covers .

Postcards of Cunard ocean liners were those painted by prominent artists of the day and were accompanied by a book describing the 175 years history of the Cunard line.

Several members displayed covers of great interest from a range of periods and regions. The early ones concerned Norway (a letter posted from China in 1785) and many British examples from 1788 to 1841. These were accompanies by letters and documents relating to eminent Victorians like Sir Robert Peel and Charles Hicks (engraver of the 1d black); also the 18th century construction of Henley Bridge. 

Other covers concerned Austrian ‘balloon’ postage (annually from 1948) and various first flight or first flight anniversaries such as from Vienna to Belgrade, Kiev, Zurich, Barcelona and Milan.

President’s Evening
28 June 2017

Malcolm Gascoyne entertained 16 other members with his recently written up display of the stamps of Sarawak – from the beginning through the reign of the Brooke rajahs up to the George VI British colony pictorial issue of 1950.

James Brooke (1803-1868) had been an officer with the East India Company’s Bengal Army who was severely injured by a bullet in the lung during fighting in Burma. During recovery, he had inherited £30,000 from his father and bought the armoured yacht (six 6-pounder guns) Royalist. After some pleasure cruises he returned to the Orient and helped the Sultan of Brunei to overcome insurrection and later – with British Naval help - to tackle piracy. Consequently in 1841 the Sultan gave him suzerainty over the eventually extensive area known as Sarawak. Thereafter the history of postage stamps of the Sarawak state reflected the rule of the Brooke rajahs and their native-majority council of European advisers.
The figurehead shown on the first stamps of 1869, Sir James Brooke, had by then retired to England and died there in 1868. So subsequent issues showed the head of his nephew Rajah (Sir) Charles until he in turn was succeeded by his son (Sir) Charles Vyner Brooke shown from the 1918 set and other issues up to the Japanese invasion in December 1941. After his restoration in 1945, in view of the chaos in the mercantile system and the fact that the Brookes had probably invested as much in Sarawak as they ever profited from it, Sir Charles Vyner Brooke – with agreement by a close vote from his council, ceded the territory to the British Crown as a colony in 1946. The centenary of the Brooke suzerainty was to have been celebrated in 1941 but the special stamp issue showing all three rajahs finally came out in 1946.
Malcolm’s collection comprehensively covers all the stamps and a wide variety of printers, printing techniques (typo, recess), plates, faults and forgeries. Subsequent discussion concerned the philatelic trading of some of the stamps although never on the scale of selling stamps to collectors that went on in neighbouring North Borneo.
Among the many covers displayed were letters to all parts of the world, using Straits Settlements stamps when Sarawak ones were valid only valid within the territory before it joined the UPU. There were registered letters, airmail covers and a few rare postcards. The latter included views of
James Brooke’s original bungalow by the river opposite Kuching
Song, a remote outstation far up a river*
RAF Southampton Mk 2 flying boats used for aerial survey plus occasional mail trips
Coomoor railway station in the Nilgari Hills of southern India whence European families travelled on open trucks.
* Sarawak is very impenetrable so early communication was all by sea or river. The Japanese started 
   building roads and this led later to depredation of the forest, as was even worse in the rest of Borneo.
Malcolm’s display was complemented by his lavish supply of food and drink. So we all look forward to his next display as President, which will be in our 50-year celebratory year 2015-16.

Visit by Patrick Campbell
14 June 2017

Posted in advance for Christmas and Postage Due on incoming GB Mail

17 members welcomed Patrick and Caroline Campbell to Bix .
The first part of Patrick’s display was entitled Posted in advance for Christmas describing a scheme centred on Manchester that operated from 1902 to 1909. Patrick’s particular interest in this little known scheme was stimulated by
his discovery of four postal covers whilst sorting out a cellar full of family relics,
the prominent involvement of his family in the inception of the scheme.
Patrick’s great-great grandfather was a prominent post office official but it was his great-grandfather (John Philips) – Surveyor , that is chief postmaster – for Manchester who was first commissioned by the Postmaster-General to promote the scheme; and it was Patrick’s uncle and namesake (Patrick Campbell) who later researched and wrote up the subject.

The object of the scheme was to deal with the huge amounts of mail received by post offices immediately before Christmas. The new procedure encouraged people to submit their letters, cards and postcards to post offices well before the festival with request that they be delivered precisely on Christmas day. The standard charge stamps were then cancelled with a special oval cachet bearing the words ‘posted in advance for Christmas – or ‘for delivery of Christmas Day’ – and with letters denoting the post office concerned in the centre. The mail was then stored and delivered by large numbers of temporary postmen on the day itself.

There were soon 32 post offices in England operating the scheme, predominantly in the North and led by Manchester and Liverpool. Some changes including new cachets were introduced in 1905. Patrick’s display illustrated a wide variety of covers of this scheme which was eventually terminated in 1909. Its popularity had been waning and it had never been favoured in London; but the Postmaster-General’s final decision to scrap the project was possibly accelerated by a squabble between Liverpool and Manchester as to whether letters should be delivered on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day or just on Christmas Day.

The second part of Patrick’s display concerned Postage Due on incoming GB Mail. Again he showed a wide variety of letters from many countries of the world, surcharged for many reasons, chiefly underpayment of the amount appropriate to the whole journey. These irregularities were indicated by a hand-stamped I applied in the country of origin and then another hand stamp showing the amount due and usually with postage due stamps added. Other intriguing examples included
letters bearing illegal (Rhodesia) or unacceptable (Czech) stamps,
long distance complex journeys (e.g. Rabat to London and back to sender),
customs duty of £96.25 made up in £5 and other GB postage due stamps.
Outstanding features of Patrick’s Postage Due display was the variety of circumstances and the detailed explanations which he added showing how each charge was calculated according to the rule books and currency conversion rates.

Visit by Dane Garrod
10 May 2017

Royalty and Other Stories

15 members welcomed Dane Garrod, a social historian long renowned in Thames Valley philatelic circles. His display of Royalty and Other Stories was presented as Dane’s self-proclaimed final such presentation. So we were privileged to see this very much updated version of themes previously shown to us in 2008 and 2010.

Not least of the innovations in the display was the manner of its presentation. Dane’s commentary on the exhibits was accompanies by visual aids - blown-up views of many of the items which were set out on panels for our leisurely inspection before and after the presentation and during the interval.

The form of the items displayed included
numerous mainly early Victorian covers, often with the royal sender’s brief name appended by their own hand at the bottom left-hand corner; or with crests on the top or the back flap;
actual letters from numerous nobility or celebrities to each other or to aides, servants, mayors and so on;
invitations to dinners, celebrations and funerals;
royal train schedules, Princess Elizabeth’s 6-year old autograph and similar ephemera.

Among the many senders or recipients were various queens (including Queen to Dowager Queen), different Princes of Wales, Princess Elizabeth as Duchess of Edinburgh, the (Percy) Dukes of Northumberland, the Duchess of Kent (Queen Victoria’s mother) and her ally in power-seeking Sir John Conroy, Princess Alice – Duchess of Athlone and first Chancellor of the University of the West Indies, Lord Shaftsbury, the Keeper of the royal stamp collection, a British ambassador given a state funeral in Constantinople, and a letter from the young Lord Lucan to his mother.

Places concerned included Buckingham Palace, Clarence House, Kensington Palace, Syon House, York Cottage (Sandringham) and numerous other English stately homes
Incidents recalled were the murder (or suicide) of Amy Lockhart, wife of Robert Dudley – favourite of Queen Elizabeth

One of Dane’s speculations was that, if either sex first-born succession to the throne had effective at the time of Queen Victoria’s death, then Kaiser Wilhelm II would have been King of England as well as Germany!

The whole evening, especially the second part, was much enlivened by Dane’s numerous anecdotes about his seeking of information and incidents meeting people at various institutions and stately homes.

Visit by Barry Stagg
26 April 2017

Postcards Depicting Parachutes

14 members welcomed Barry Stagg who came from Cheltenham to show us his award-winning display on Postcards depicting parachutes.

The development of parachutes commonly started from umbrellas although – perhaps before these were invented – attempts to float in air were attempted in China.
Manufacture of parachutes was illustrated, as well as the silk from which most were made. Traditional demi-spherical balloons were made up of triangles joined at the top and with an equal number of suspending cords at the bottom. Packing and repacking parachutes correctly in their bags has always been a perhaps tedious task but of great consequence to those who pulled the cord.

Take-off points for parachutists were first from existing or specially constructed towers; then from gas or hot air balloons and later airships, eventually from aircraft. Incidental and amateur enthusiasts’ leap-off points have included
bridges, preferably long span and over deep ravines,
buildings, preferably high, upright and with spacious surrounding land,
high icons like the Eiffel Tower – invariably fatal because of the outstretched lower steel structure impeding clear descent,
the undercarriage or even the braked wheels of small early airplanes
more modern box-car aircraft from which lots of men and provisions, even vehicles, can be parachuted off.

Floating down is what most of us have seen as the graceful descent in the sky. Barry’s collection included some remarkably sharply focussed wartime photographs taken from nearby air space of formations of descending parachutists. It was not always a comfortable float; early heroes and heroines had to hang on to trapezes.

Landings have always required considerable practice can be dangerous where the flight to soft clear ground or a target landing area cannot be easily manoeuvred. Many landings were humorously depicted but descent into water could be a fatal.

Personalities mentioned were the daring Dolly Shepherd, Marylyn Monroe (who once packed chutes) and more unfortunates like Amy Johnson, Lily Coake and the early Russian cosmonaut Komarov who was trapped in an orbiting spacecraft whose parachutes had been destroyed on takeoff. Luftwaffe General Kurt Student first invested in the concept of military parachuting (airborne) troops. British and US paratroopers were able to steer their descent and make organized mass landings of large contingents. Japanese soldiers – who were sent as advance or auxiliary forces for larger land assaults – had to land wherever the wind took them.

No doubt the award winning qualities of Barry’s display lie in the vast range of the postcards he has obtained (several are particularly rare), their presentation in illustrating so many aspects of parachuting, the remarkable quality of some of the photographs and the variations of presentation from military or scientific record to a wide variety of comic and saucy postcards.

Members’ Evening
12th April 2017

19 members gathered at Bix to display up to nine pages from their collections. Such a wide choice allowed scope for a broad range of philatelic and other interests. Postal features of deeply researched historic interest included
transit cancels on letters posted in Colombia (with Panama) between                                                                     1804 and 1839 including the period when the British postal authorities operated the post offices.
Mid-19th century GB mail including to North America.

Items of particular country interest included
Norwegian stamps during World War II; the enforced replacement of Queen Maud,s profile by Quisling and other German propaganda; and surreptitious victory signs painted on the road; also stamps issued by King Haakon’s London government in exile, mainly for use by Norwegian sailors.
Early Ecuador – stamps on cover.

Landscape stamps included fine Argentine views and the US 1934 National Parks issue and more recent views of Mount McKinley etc. Thematic material comprised
Birds of the World, from many countries and fully written up.
A miscellany of gemstone stamps or covers and their geology and production.
Architectural features were
Postcards or photos of (Argentine) buildings.
The palaces and public buildings of St Petersburg, a city built by construction of canals, drains and bridges by many thousand of slaves employed by Peter the Great; a majority of these workers died but survivors were finally released.

Postal historic matters encompassed
the history of British travelling post offices from the first call on the railways to carry mail in 1838, through the glory days of the Lincoln Sorting Tender, 130 TPOs in 1914, the decline to none in 1940 and the short revival from 1947 to final demise in 2004.
Post codes and other Australian postal features.
The fortunes of various Presidents
in USA where four were assassinated whilst in office;
in Argentina, a turbulent country, where none were assassinated in office;
in Columbia where 24 of 25 presidents died in office.
Particular stamps shown were
some from North Korea, showing topical matters of only global interest (e.g. Princess Diana).
Two contiguous Penny Blacks on cover.
The complete GB mint issues of King George VI.
Three sheets (each 30 stamps) of the three GB 1957 World Scout Jamboree.
A selection of early/mid-20th century British Empire stamps.
Austrian Christmas stamps and conference commemoratives.

Visit by Tony Stanford
22 March 2017

Indian and British Post Offices in the Persian Gulf

17 members welcomed Tony, familiar to many of us through the activities of the Thames Valley Federation and recently as judge of a Henley competition evening at Bix. On this occasion he presented a display concerning British post offices at Muscat and Arab sheikhdoms on the southern shores of the Persian Gulf. The first half covered the period when Indian stamps were used, the second the post-war period using GB stamps.
British outposts on the Arabian coastline stemmed from protective agreements with the local sheikhs and sultans to resist the power of the Ottoman Empire. The first post office opened in the telegraph cable station of Muscat in 1864, being a sub-post-office of Bushire in Persia, which in turn was served by the Bombay or Sind Circles of the Indian postal administration. Tony displayed a variety of covers on which a variety of local cancellations were used on Indian Victorian and subsequent stamps. He showed similar covers for letters from Bahrain and Kuwait where British Indian post offices operated from 1882 and 1915 respectively.

Particularly interesting postal developments between the world wars were the RAF and then Imperial Airways air mail services through the region. Starting from extension of the 1927 Cairo to Baghdad services to Basra and Kuwait, flights extended through the 1930s until there were regular connections from London to India and beyond. Tony’s material included a 1938 notice by Imperial Airways offering air mail post as far as Samoa or New Zealand for 1½ annas per ½ ounce for letters or one anna for a postcard. Such astonishingly low prices were conditional on not appending on an Airmail sticker.

The second half of Tony’s display concerned the period from 1948 when the British postal administration took over from that of now independent India. For a short period in 1947/48 Pakistan stamps (Indian stamps overprinted PAKISTAN) were used as the Indian postal circle concerned had been that located in Karachi, Pakistan’s first capital. Various King George VI and Queen Elizabeth GB overprinted stamps were then used up to the time when the states concerned assumed postal control and issued their own stamps. Issues concerned included
GB penny or shilling value stamps surcharged in annas and rupees for British Post Offices in Eastern Arabia, used first in Muscat but later also in Dubai and other emirates;
stamps similarly surcharged but overprinted BAHRAIN, KUWAIT or QATAR; these included many of the GB commemorative issues;
similar stamps overprinted in NP (naiya paisa) when Indian-type decimal currency was in use and until each Arab state adopted its own currency.

A fascinating evening concluded with avid discussion of comparatively recent British Empire history in a region familiar to several older members. 

Competition Evening
8 February 2017

15 members gathered at Bix for our annual philatelic competition and welcomed Tony Stanford from Maidenhead PS as this year’s judge. A gratifying number of high quality entries were on display comprising five 9-sheet and five 16-sheet panels.

The nine-sheet displays were
Postcards of Sarawak produced by SW of Singapore, mostly of happy topless ladies, often in boats.
The (British) Royal Tour of South Africa of 1947; stamps and covers from GB and South Africa and the various imperial colonies and protectorates of the region.
Foreign Mail: letters from the foreign section of the post office at Lombard Street in London (the others were the Inland Section and that for London itself); covers shown were from the time of Charles II’s Restoration under the postal reorganization of Colonel Henry Bishop and included those prepaid, partly prepaid and paid on delivery.
The Sarawak de la Rue stamp issue of c.1889.
Copper for craftsmen – postcards, stamps, documents and covers relating to copper mining and production.

The sixteen-sheet entries comprised
The Centenary of the 1853 Assembly to produce a constitution for the Argentine Federation, including 26 postal stationery envelopes depicting different delegates.
Connections to the World’s First Postal Labels: an impressive display of documents and 1d blacks, a Mulready and other covers; also a variety of correspondence from eminent people of the time and a copy of Rowland Hill’s Petition to Parliament. [This exhibit to be shown at the forthcoming Stampex.]
British Commonwealth Victory and Peace stamps issued after World War II including issues from GB, India, Burma, southern Africa, Malta, Canada, New Zealand etc and the omnibus colonial issue of 1946.
British Guiana: a comprehensive display of the many variations of the Waterloo lithograph (Sailing Ship) stamps issued from the 1850s.
Austrian Airmail stamps (and a few others) issued from as early as 1918.

Tony Stanford gave us a full explanation of his judgement of the displays with a host of hints and suggestions concerning desirable features of Open and other classes of competition. He mentioned introductory sheets, printers, perfs etc, non-philatelic items, gaps, bibliography and appropriate amounts of textual explanation.

Whilst Tony was making his detailed inspection of the entries, the rest of us were entertained by attempting to identify features of stamps circulating among four groups of us in a fascinating quiz prepared, as often before, by David Armit.

Members’ Evening
25th January 2017

18 members gathered at Bix to display themes related closely or loosely to the Letters L and M.  This was the 10th Alphabetical Meeting held since 2009 and this is the 8th record of such meetings. 17 panels were displayed on a wide variety of topics, eight before and nine after an interval for coffee and (lots of) cake.

Latvian stamps printed on the back of maps. Lebanon tax, revenue and other stamps.
Letter boxes, Australian. A wide ranger of letters, including from homesick miners.
Levant: Austrian, British, French, German, Italian, Russian and Polish stamps used at foreign post offices in the Ottoman Empire.
Liberty: Argentine allegorical symbols of Libertad and similar national ladies including Marianne and Mother Russia.
Lighthouses on stamps. Liners (oceanic) including Queen Mary, SS Manhattan, etc.
Locally-posted stamps, mainly early Latin American.

Machin stamps: The 50-year old GB series, designed by Arnold Machin to succeed the 1952 QEII Wilding design and to recall something of the purity and dignity of the 1d black.
Mail, transatlantic, in the years 1841 and 1850, carried between Liverpool and Boston including the new postal charges in the Retaliatory and Restored Rate periods.
Various airmail letters including early first flight covers.
Malayan tigers and Malaysian wildlife.
Malta: a display of between–the–wars fine mints; also general views, the Malta Railway and first flight covers by BOAC (to the Far East) and BEA (to Cairo) calling at Malta. 
Maltese Cross and other early GB cancellations.
Manchuria: the 1932 Linyang Pagoda set and 1937 (nominal) Japanese Relinquishment of Extraterritorial Rights. Hard times for the puppet Emperor. 
Mercury, head of, on Argentine revenue stamps.
Merlins, Lapwings, Little Egrets and other birds including a Lesotho set.
Millennium mail, Australian: also Australian post boxes and miscellanea.
Mixed franking on early covers, mainly transhipped mail from Peru and including two examples of covers of which only three (each) are known to exist.
Mines and minerals including correspondence and stamps of marble mining etc.	
Money: Argentine bank notes and reminiscences of hyperinflation.
Morocco Agencies: overprinted GB stamps of Kings Edward VII, George V, George VI and Queen Elizabeth.
Mother’s Day stamps issued occasionally in Austria.
Motor bikes and Monuments of the Isle of Man.

Chairman’s Evening
11th January 2017

18 members gathered at Bix on a crisp moonlit winter evening to enjoy the display and hospitality of our Chairman, Bob Clements. His previous Chairman’s nights had included early English postal history (by Alan Holyoake), a display of the stamps of the four British kings (Edward VII to George VI, with Stephen Sanders) and his own displays of the stamps of Edward VII and George V as well as an earlier version of Victorian British philately. This time Bob entertained us with an updated show of Queen Victoria, the Complete Works – almost. This carefully planned use of Bix Hall and its amenities was distinctive in four respects.
His explanation of the historical and technical aspects of Victorian stamps
The stamps themselves
A3-size enlargements of particular stamps
Scrumptious food and drink.

Bob’s explanations - verbal and written - reviewed the history of British postage from Roman times, through King Charles I’s Royal Mail (for government and the nobility) and subsequent accomplishments of such as Henry Bishop (dated hand-stamps), Dockwra (London penny post) and John Palmer (mail coaches) to the radical reforms of Rowland Hill. The latter included the 1839 4d post leading to the universal (pan-GB) 1d post from 1840; at first this allowed a choice of four methods of paying (on receipt as before, by paying and marking of the envelope at the post office, by prepaid Mulready envelopes or by the ultimately triumphant adhesive labels. Bob had made some huge blow-ups of the 1d Black and 2d Blue and continued his presentation with technical recall of the printing processes, perforation and corner lettering systems that followed.

The stamps themselves were immaculately set out and titled mint or fine used examples of nearly everything listed in the GB Concise Catalogue including all the plate numbers of the penny reds (except of course Plate 77) and other issues, giving a clear impression of their sheer variety of values and colours of all issues up to the 1887 Jubilees.

The A3 size blow-ups were perhaps the outstanding innovation of the display – both for Bob to wave at us to illustrate what he was saying and for us to examine carefully afterwards. Never before has some of us been able to appreciate the intricacies of plate faults, printing alignment anomalies, the inverted S on a 1d red or the round or oval Os on the 14 and 16-dot Id lilac varieties.

The food and drink was laid out by Bob on tables tops laid on the school desk units covered in a festive red cloth - enough wine to stimulate our taste, plenty of soft drinks to follow up and a wealth of delicious food prepared by Bob himself.

Inland Mail Office, Sarawak 	
Indo-China, including overprints
Inverted Watermarks, GB		
Investiture of Charles, Prince of Wales, on 1st July 1969 and related naval visits including HMS Nurton’s collision off Portland	
Ireland – Bird stamps, also some from Israel and Jersey
Kestrels and kingfishers		
Kilburn, photo
King Edward VIII – all four stamps!  
King George VI including colourful displays
Kingston, Jamaica – early postage was 4d within 30 miles of Kingston, 8d beyond inland but only 6d to Britain
Kirchner, President(s) of Argentina
KuK =Austria: 60th year of reign, 80th birthday of Emperor Franz Joseph, and non-issued military post set for his successor Karl
KUT – the combined issues for George V, George VI, Queen Elizabeth and after independence; also the preceding British and German East African constituents
Jamaican railway (now only freight); and Japanese Shinkansen trains
JAPAN – national park issues (from 1920s); and early cherry blossom forgeries
Jersey – Eastern and Western railways
Jewelry, particularly diamonds and Kimberley mine.	
J Flaw - a flaw on the corner letter of a GB 1d Red
Jordan: young King Hussein set
Junkers – early German military and civilian aircraft, including pioneer metal one