Radcliffe on Trent & District Philatelic Society

2016. The meetings are on Thursday evenings, and are held at
St Mary's Hall, Main Road, Radcliffe on Trent
Commencing at 7.30 p.m.

Visitors are welcome.
The meeting room is upstairs in St Mary's Hall and a lift is available.
Free car parking at the nearby Health Centre is usually available

Chairman: Mike Siverns, FRPSL. Hon.Secretary: George Kirkham (0115 933 3293)


  14 Sep
 Something Sporting
  28 Sep
 Visit from Matlock PS
  12 Oct
 George Kirkham
  26 Oct
  Channel Islands  Douglas Harvey
  09 Nov
  Unusual post marks
  23 Nov
  Big Business on the China Coast
 Brian Pugh
  14 Dec
 Christmas Theme
  11 Jan
 New or Recently Mounted
  25 Jan
  08 Feb
  22 Feb
  Germany pre 1933
 David Shipstone
  08 Mar
 Nick Martin
  22 Mar
  New Zealand (Odds & Ends)
  Andrew Dove
  12 Apr
 My favourite stamps plus why
  26 Apr
 Burma (not Myanmar)
  Mike Siverns
  10 May
 Members' Choice- at least one sheet
  24 May
 Anything but stamps
  14 Jun
  12 Jul
  09 Aug

The Hon. club Secretary, George Kirkham (left), with the Treasurer, Bill Whitaker. (Photo: Tony Marshall)


Society Notices and Miscellany

Miscellany: The View from the Floor.

(14 September 2017) 'Something Sporting': Members' Evening. Stamps depicting sporting events from Australia, GB, New Zealand and India were on show, together with some world miniature sheets. Confusion arose concerning the challenge, as philately was not specified and some sporting event programmes were shown. Additionally. a further dilemma arose concerning the definition of 'sport'. This was resolved by accepting 'leisure activities', which appeared to cover most of the activities such as yachting and fishing. There were many items of interest in the varied display, which pleased the chairman, who thanked the contributors. (D.H.) 

(10 August 2017) 'Anything but Stamps'. The members again showed that they have interests outside philately. The contributions were: RAF Christmas cards, maps of Morecambe Bay routes, small ceramic animals, Brooke Bond tea cards, tools of a decorator and wood door locks, and a 200 year old geography book. The chairman thanked the members for providing the entertainment. (D.H.)

(13 July 2017) 'My Most Unusual Items': Members' Evening. This challenge, set by the Chairman, was generally interpreted as ' My most unusual collection of items'. The items included letters to the BBC from listeners who were not fluent in English, unusual mail charges and printers' samples. Unaddressed mail was 'hand delivered by Royal Mail', whilst Irish Post imposed postage due on unaddressed mail. Humour aside, some items of great rarity from Hong Kong completed an evening of interesting items, and the Chairman's challenge was firmly met. (D.H.)  

(8 June 2017) Members' Evening: Your Choice. Six small displays were presented. The subjects were: Cuba, Aircraft Disasters - Recovered Mail, The Stamp Designs of H.L.Richardson, Welsh Railway Mail, Australian Culture and French Mailboats in the South China Seas. Treasurer Bill Whitaker chaired the meeting and thanked the presenters.(D.H.)

(25 May 2017) An Evening Abroad, Frank Broad. The display was a collection of stamps issued at the time of the formation of Yugoslavia. The First World War had left the Balkans in turmoil, with the breakdown of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Separate issues for the Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats and Slovenes dating from 1918 were shown. Bosnia and Herzogovena stamps were overprinted. Croatia used Hungarian stamps with overprints, and Slovenia had stamps printed in Vienna and Lubljana. A complete study of the printing methods and paper used for these issues formed the first part of the display. The Hungarian port of Fiume was occupied by allied troops and initially used Hungarian stamps, which were identified as Fiume by cancellations. In 1919 stamps were issued in Italian currency. The region became a free state in 1920 before incorporation into Italy. Chairman Mike Siverns thanked Frank for the detailed analysis contained in an excellent collection. (D.H.)     

(11 May 2017) Greece, Adrian Ritoridis.  The first stamps of Greece resembled those of France and were printed in France. When Greek printers took over the printing, the quality deteriorated and Adrian Ritoridis has made a study of the results. During the First World War, Greece was divided, with opposition to Germany in the north and support in the south. This resulted in mail delivery difficulties  and suspensions of postal services. In the Second World War, further disruptions to the mail services occurred, although a temporary reprise was obtained by routing mail to and from United States via the Pacific. Even after communisim was established in Eastern Europe some problems were encountered. The chairman thanked Adrian for providing a most interesting talk and display. (D.H.)

(27 April 2017) The Hon. Secretary had requested a display of recent GB stamps. This originated from the meeting on 24 November, when the 2016 issues were on display. Douglas Harvey responded with the commemorative issues from 1998 to 2006 in part 1. The Part 2 display comprised the commemorative issues from 2009 to 2015, omitting the Olympics issues. The omissions were necessary in order to accommodate the display on the 100 sheet boards. A lively discussion during viewing centred around the ever controversial Millennium Series and the depiction of non-royal persons on stamps. (D.H.)

(9 March 2017) Chairman's Evening, Mike Siverns. The development of Pakistan from independence to 1961 was the theme for the first part of the evening. The first issue for the country, which  preceeded independence consisted of the George VI stamps of India overprinted Pakistan. Early issues were printed by De La Rue, with Pakistan Government printings to follow. The definitive red crescent moon was redrawn to show a waxing moon, and other issues also appeared with varieties. The eventual separation of Bangladesh was apparent even in some early issues of Pakistan. The second part of the evening was a display of Indian Military correspondence mail in Victorian time and some interesting mail covers, which included  Boer War prisoner censorship. A display of exceptional high quality. (D.H.)  

(23 February 2017) "Kingdom of Italy", Tony Clayton. The Italian States issued stamps from 1851 and the issues of Sardinia became accepted for the whole of Italy in 1862. The embossed portrait stamps were not easily produced in the required quantity and redesigned stamps printed by De La Rue replaced the local printings. The printing plates were transferred to Turin. Frequent tariff changes were introduced with many issues requiring overprinting. Air mail commenced in 1926. An interesting issue of air mail stamps in 1933 for the Balbo Transatlantic flight had overprints which identified the pilot's name. The stamps issued in the Second World War had evidence of fascist propaganda. The collection terminated when Italy became a republic, on 10 June 1946. The display was remarkable for completeness and the condition of the stamps was exceptional. (D.H.) 

(26 January 2017) "Hungary", George Kirkham. The Society Secretary presented a display covering the stamps of Hungary to 1946. Commencing with the Austro-Hungarian empire, the stamp issues were displayed through to the currency reform of 1946. The contents were remarkable for detail and completeness; not only were all the stamp issues covered, but with detail to watermarks and perforations. When the Pengo currency collapsed in 1945, the communist government established the florint currency, and it was at this point that the collection terminated. (D.H.)    

(12 January 2017) Members' Evening: "New or recently mounted" There is an interest inside the society for censored mail, and several examples of covers were on display, from Australia, New Zealand and India. Other interests included The Postal History of Ruddington, Opera Houses and Musical Theatres on stamps, Hungary Watermarks, Halfpenny Surcharge, Old Maps on Stamps and The Engraved Stamps of C.Slania. Another evening of varied items. (D.H.)
(8 December 2016) Christmas Theme. Three presentations preceeded the refreshments: German Fairy Stories from East German stamps; New Zealand Christmas booklets and post office subscriber 'rewards'; and Hong Kong in December 1941, at the time of the Japanese invasion. The wine and cheese which followed the displays provided a fitting end to the 2016 programme. (D.H.)

(24 November 2016) Members' Evening: The evening opened with a review of the 2016 year issues from Royal Mail. A display of covers from RAF bases in the far east during the reign of King George V followed, with examples from Hong Kong and Singapore. A thematic colloection of maps on stamps was shown and the meeting closed with an update of  the Chairman' s collection of Belgian Congo. (D.H.)
(10 November 2016) "Falkland Islands", Alan Squires. These remote islands have had a turbulent history. In the early years of settlement, invasions were the problem. Then naval battles in both world wars involved the islands. When apparently, peaceful times had been reached, the Argentine invasion brought Britain to war again to liberate the Falklands. It is hardly surprising that ships feature on many of the islands stamps, and there are many relevant ships yet to be recorded in stamps. The islands are home to more penguins than people. Postal services are clearly an important feature of island life, and a name on an envelope can suffice for an address. Some of the attractive stamps have been designed by residents, others by British artists who have never ventured to visit. Mick Britton recalled his own adventure to the islands in 1982 and thanked the speaker for his display. (D.H.)    

(27 October 2016) "Elephants". The chairman, Mike Siverns, has a collection of elephants - not the real ones, but a thematic stamp collection. Over 150 pages of elephant related items were on display, starting with stamps showing their extinct forebears followed by examples of all aspects of the animals. The wild life, the hunting scene, their employment, the literature, the circus, the zoos, the mythology and symbolism, and their wild life protection - just about all there is to have concerning elephants. As a thematic collection, this was quite extraordinary, and it is difficult to think of any aspect of elephants that was not covered. Chronologically, the display started with the Mulready envelope with the elephant as a symbol of India, and after a world tour, it had an open ended finish. (D.H.)  

(13 October 2016) Members' Evening:"Orange Green and Black". The chairman issued a challenge to members to display philatelic items appropriate to these colours. The Penny Black came immediately to mind and the more recent commemorative issues were on show. As the black design made cancellation less obvious, the stamp was reprinted in red in 1841, but Royal Mail has continued to issue black stamps up to the present day. The New Zealand All Blacks Rugby team featured in a large thematic display with several special philatelic items. The orange and black colours were supported by stamps of Croatia, Hong Kong and Burma, which included a sheet of orange stamps of very low face value and a part sheet of green stamps with a high catalogue value. A challenging members' evening which produced a small but interesting response. (D.H.) 

(22 September 2016) "Gallipoli". A very detailed historical account of the 1915-16 Gallipoli Campaign was given by Chris Grimshaw. The campaign, which lasted from April 1915 to January 1916, was a disaster for the British. The postal history presented showed the optimism at the time of the landings on the peninsula through to the horrific fate of the casualties when the army withdrew. The research into the background of the correspondence was impressive, and the presenter is to be congratulated on assembling such a wealth of documentation. Bill Whitaker highlighted this achievement in his vote of thanks. (D.H.)

(8 September 2016) "Your choice". The Hon.Tresasurer opened the meeting with some splendid 1960's Australian first day covers. He related the story of the first Australia- England Christmas Post flight in 1931, which had numerous setbacks. Then Mick Britton showed some interesting Hong Kong Maritime mail. Finally, the Chairman, Mike Siverns, showed first world war prisoner of war mail from India. This was an evening of surprises, especially that the programme simply said "TBA". (D.H.)

(11 August 2016) "Bangladesh - The Birth of a Nation", Mike Siverns. The Society Chairman presented an interesting and fascinating account of the early postal developments in Bangladesh. Following the Indian independence in 1947, Pakistan was formed with the two sections of the country far apart and with a very different population in each part. As the eastern part moved towards independence, many varied postal overprints were issued. The exiled government had prepared an issue for independence, and this appeared in an incomplete form in 1971. Subsequently, the country moved towards issuing attractive thematic stamps, but with regular acknowledgement of the martyrdom which had ocurred in order to establish the country. George Kirkham thanked the Chairman. (D.H.).

(14 July 2016) "Hungary 1870-1946", George Kirkham. In a change to the advertised programme, the Hon.Secretary presented a remarkable collection of Hungarian stamps, commencing with Austria-Hungarian empire and concluding with the currency revaluation by the communist regime. The earlier issues comprised definitive stamps and postage due issues, with the latter issued in surprisingly large numbers, all with reference to perforations and water marks. After Admiral Horthy assumed command from the royalty, commemorative stamps appeared and the issues during the second war were particularly impressive. The collapse of the pengo currency and the establishment of the forint concluded the display.(D.H.)

(12 May 2016) Postcards and ephemera provided a members' evening. Some of the ephemeral items brought by the club Secretary were in the form of unidentified objects, which brought about discussion. The postcards were colourful and ranged from childrens' drawings to Himalayan views. This was a surprising display of many philatelic and non-philatelic items, a few of which also had unusual stamps attached.(D.H.)
(10 May 2016).  Group visit to Chesterfield. Five members of the club travelled to Chesterfiekld on a cold wet evening and were given a warm welcome by the host society. Our displays  were by Andrew Dove - New Zealand and the Anglo-Boer War, Mike Britton - British Forces post in Egypt in the 1920's and 40's, Dave Brown - Canary Islands post during the Spanish Civil War and last but not least George Kirkham - Romania during the First World War. The audience were attentive and knowledgeable and enjoyed our offerings. Mike Siverns thanked Chesterfield P.S for their invitation and the half-time refreshments and their welcome. (M.J.S).

(21 April 2016) Commonwealth Antarctica comprises the Falklands Dependencies, the British Antarctic Territory, the Australian Antarctic Territory and the New Zealand administration of Ross Dependency. The first attempt to set up a permanent base on the main land mass was Operation Tabarin in 1944, but the principal early development of the continent was during and after the International Geophysical Year 1957-58. Postal activities were active during this time and many letters and covers were displayed, including mail signed by Sir Edmund Hillary. He and Sir Vivian Fuchs were leading the Antarctic Crossing expeditions. With the bases built and maintained, attention turned towards university research, but the flow of mail continued and new stamps were issued. The ships of Antarctica have played a vital role in the continental development. The display included many photographs and illustrated covers, some with attractive labels and multiple cancellation cachets. (D.H.).

(24 March 2016) Stamps from Trieste and Tripolitania were on display. Trieste was part of Istria, which after the defeat of Italy in WWII was divided into a section to Yugoslavia, Trieste 'A' which subsequentially reverted to Italian administration and Trieste 'B' which became Yugoslavian. During the interim period, numerous overprinted stamps were issued with minor variations in the overprinting and watermarking being of interest. Tripolitania was an earlier Italian colonial administration inside Libya, which became part of Libya immediately before the period of WWII. This was an unusual display of interesting stamps and a few postal history items. Mike Siverns thanked Tony Clayton and congratulated him on the intensity of detail in the display. (D.H.).

(10 March 2016) The Society was treated to a magnificent display of GB Queen Victoria stamps. Starting with the Penny Black and moving to the Jubilee Issue, every aspect of stamp variety was illustrated, providing the members with forensic evidence of painstaking microscopy. As with all early stamps, quality is an important consideration, and the display was noted for the quality of the stamps and the background knowledge presented by the speaker. (D.H.)

(25 February 2016) It was a pleasure to welcome visitors from Derby Philatelic Society. After viewing an extraordinary forgery collection of Spanish stamps and covers, we were treated to a display of Mulready envelopes and the stamps in the 1887 GB. Queen Victoria 'Jubilee' issue. The second half comprised letter cards from the United States with street-car cancellations and a brilliant review of the GB. 1d lilac issue of 1881. David Brown thanked the visitors for an excellent meeting. (D.H.)

(28 January 2016). The Annual General Meeting was held and no significant changes to the Society were suggested. The meeting was followed by a short members' evening and five members showed items of philatelic interest.(D.H.)

(14 January 2016) Members showed the items they had recently bought or received. The items covered the time span from pre-post to the present time and included censored mail, postal history and stamps. (D.H.)

(10 December 2015) Christmas stamps, Christmas dinner menus and Christmas cards were on show before the members abandoned their discussions in favour of a wine and cheese celebration. (D.H.)

(26 November 2015) Visitors from Grantham provided the displays for the evening. Commencing with an unusual display of additives to stamps we had optical illusions, stamp odour, gum taste and colour change due to heat. What ends will post offices go to to sell stamps? Then undelivered mail and postage dues, where the post office can recover more than its fair share of the delivery cost. Thematic stamps followed - umbrellas and tapestry. Then a great insight into the early Barbados overprints. Finally, a look at issues of stamps and postcards from the cold regions of the two poles, where polar bears have some difficulty in reaching penguins. Andrew Dove thanked the visitors for providing a splendid philatelic entertainment. (D.H.)

(12 November 2015) We welcomed a distinguished guest to give a talk on the 'Weird and Wonderful' Indian states. Prior to the independence of India, the individual states had ruling Maharajas and had their own postal systems for in-state mail, Taking Jaipur as an example of a larger state, as postal demand rose, quality stamps were printed by Perkins Bacon. These were replaced with lower quality Indian printings before De La Rue produced the final issue. The smaller states had used more primitive printing systems which produced massive variations in their stamp issues. These variations were illustrated in a superb display, which involved detailed and in depth research into the printing errors and postal activities. This area of philatelic study, formerly regarded as of low significance, has gained much interest in recent years, especially from philatelists in India itself. (D.H.)

(22 October 2015) The chairman presented a medley of assorted philatelic items. He was born in Bilston, Staffs- now West Midlands, and had received a first birthday card, to which he has yet to reply. His passion is for India and he introduced items from the Delhi Durbars - the celebration of a coronation of an Emperor of India. This was followed by some early India military postal items and some later first flight covers. He also has a collection of Belgian Congo stamps which is nearly complete except for a few postage dues ("Taxes" overprints). The Hon.Sec. gave an entertaining vote of thanks . (D.H.).

(8 October 2015) In a meeting rearranged at short notice, Chris Tennant presented a selection of revenue items. Commencing with the taxes introduced in motoring in the period of 1903-30, This was followed by an insight into taxation in the non-motoring island of Sark, and other items from the Channel Islands. A section on Hackney carriages and taxi cabs completed the first part. The second part was devoted to labelled taxation of tobacco and playing cards in Britain. Although the display was non-philatelic, the members applauded the speaker for producing an outstandingly interesting evening. (D.H.)

(13 August 2015) "Anything but stamps". This was more of a social evening, as the philatelists were challenged to show that they are not entirely confined to their hobby. We saw a variety of collected items, of which the sports programmes - cricket and football - dominated the scene. Also featured were maps, gold coins and letters from MPs. There were many postcards in excess of 100 years of age and some illustrated envelopes. All of this went to prove that the Radcliffe Philatelic Society members, excepting the Hon. Secretary, do indeed have non-philatelic interests too. (D.H.).

(9 July 2015) The title of the members' evening was "F.D.C. Selection". Although most members recognised that the Chairman had intended to specify first day covers, not all of the exhibits were inaugural issues. However, the evening was filled with a variety of interesting postal items. (D.H.).

(11 June 2015) The Hon. Secretary disclosed that he had been a customer of Stanley Gibbons and had a receipt to prove it. His purchase related to a Rumanian stamp with a colour variation, apparently arising from a printer's error. (Further details of this purchase are not available for general disclosure). The other members were asked to show five sheets each. Some had interpreted this as five sheets of stamps, whilst others had assumed five sheets of paper. Also, adherence to the five-sheet requirement was not always observed, as some members exceeded their ration with larger collections of rare items. (D.H.)

(28 May 2015) In Victorian times, Inland Revenue taxed receipts and drafts. The fiscal stamps used for these documents were originally larger than postage stamps. In the 1880's the two types of stamps became rather similar and by an Act of Parliament, could be used for either purpose. Some confusion arose concerning the validity of fiscal stamps for postage and eventually stamps for "Postage and Revenue" were issued. An interesting evening of unusual items. (D.H.)

(23 April 2015) The title of the talk by the visiting speaker, was "The Austrian Navy". With my knowledge of the distance between Austria and the sea, I was intrigued with the subject. But when the Austria- Hungarian empire extended to the Balkans, a substantial naval fleet existed and featured in the first world war. Sadly, these ships are not now in steam, but the documentation remains and it was presented in an interesting way with an emphasis on the philatelic memorabelia. (D.H.)

(23 March 2015) "Another Bloody Railway" was the title of the evening talk. When Hong Kong was developing trade with Europe, mail was transported either via Suez or via the Trans Siberian Railway. The latter route was the subject of the display, which featured postal covers which had travelled from Hong Kong to Britain via the railway. The railway was operated during times of political turbulence, justifying the unusual title. Trouble on the railway was evident in the philatelic items displayed and the members showed excitement in their discussion of this fascinating documentary. (D.H.)