Radcliffe on Trent & District Philatelic Society

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. (except where shown in red)

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)


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


Society Notices and Miscellany

Miscellany: The View from the Floor.

(27 February 2020) "The Postal History of Oundle"; Richard Capon. Although Oundle is a relatively small town and now has only a sub-post office, it was previously a centre of postal importance, being at the centre of a crossroads of postal stagecoach services. Important delivery of mail involved the aristocracy of Fotheringhay, a privately owned village north of Oundle. Richard Capon has made a detailed study of the postal and social history of the area and the display referenced the postal cancellations of both Oundle and the surrounding villages. This was a delightful talk which illustrated the importance of this area of Northamptonshire. (D.H.)

(13 February 2020), "Penny Universal / Dominion of New Zealand": Brian Clayton. The iconic penny red New Zealand stamp was introduced on 1 January 1901 marking the introduction of ‘universal penny postage’. The last issue as the definitive stamp was in June 1926. Initially superbly printed by Waterlow in London, it has an intricate design and was produced by recess printing from engraved plates. The London printings may be identified as having a dot above the left corner of the value tablet. Later plates were soon supplied by Waterlow and others, for printing in New Zealand resulting in many variations of shades of carmine, paper, watermarks and perforations. Some additional errors were reported, but only those which were reproduced in multiple printings are catalogued. Plate wear became apparent with time and the printing quality of some issues declined. In 1909 the design was altered to include 'Dominion of' in the country title giving rise to a new series of papers and flaws using Plates 12 and 13. These plates had consistent differences and were used to produce the stamps from 1909 to 1918, thereafter only plate 12 was used for the remaining issues to 1926. Stamps were printed for use from sheets, booklets and vending (slot) machines. The 1913 Auckland Exhibition required an overprint, as did official stamps. Overprinted stamps were also in use for the Pacific islands and adopted by two Antarctic expeditions. The display was notable for the detail and completeness of the contents, much of which included substantial blocks of the issued stamps and a range of rarities. Many examples of these penny stamps on covers and picture postcards, and in the Scott and Shackleton Expeditions, gave a delightful insight into the postal history of the time. (D.H.)

(9 and 23 January 2020) "New Acquisitions", Members. The first meeting included items from Hong Kong, Australia and the GB 2019 issues.A thematic display of Orchids was also shown.

(27 November 2019) "Hungary", George Kirkham. This display concentrated on the communist era and centred around 1950- 1965. The stamps of this era were widely distributed, often cancelled to order, and reflected the propaganda drive towards the rest of the world. Evidence that these issues were actually used for postage was presented, and an analysis showed that varieties exist of perforations and watermarks. Although these stamps are generally not regarded as rare, this collection was remarkably complete and presented an interesting view of the country in the post war period. (D.H.)

George has subsequently contributed the following summary in poetry:

The Hon. Sec. put up his display for our inspection.

It was Hungary, I should mention.

The material was in a class of its own,

All was his and none on loan.

Big and colourful, brash and inconsequential

Some that were funny- was that intentional?

I dunno, as this little lot being mint or used

To take the wise as I've been accused

Would not be dignified, good or clever

We'll have a bash at Hungary, come whatever.

Later the members shot off to the pub in great haste

No doubt to get rid of the unusual taste

Of Hungary, not thirsty, but Thursday instead.

The poor Hon. Sec. hung down his aching head

And went home to wife and so to bed.

Maybe in the future he'll have another go,

At which the members all cried "Oh God no". (G.K.)

(24 October 2019) "Luxembourg"; Nick Martin. Prior to the issue of stamps, Luxembourg was part of the French département of Forèts and mail had the cachet "98 LUXEMBOURG". Stamps were issued in 1852 with a portrait of Grand Duke William III, King of Netherlands. A long period of reign of Grand Duchess Charlotte (1919-1964) provided an interesting period, which included the German occupation during World War II. Because the country is small and rural, with a low requirement for postal communications, Luxembourg presents a challenge to collectors. Nick Martin has met this challenge with an interesting collection of definitive stamps and covers. (D.H.)

(10 October 2019) Airmails, Members. The contributed displays consisted of air mail letters and first flight covers. Particular countries were: United States, Hong Kong, New Zealand and India. (D.H.)

(26 September 2019) "Modern Canada": Douglas Harvey. The first part of the display, covering the period from 1952 to 1999, was arranged chronologically beginning with a poor coronation issue, for which no photo of the Queen's crown had been available; in 1954, a new set was produced. 1959 saw the first major error, on a joint issue with the USA celebrating the opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway, in which the central part of the stamp was inverted. An extensive range of issues followed, including those depicting the Canadian provinces, art and flag stamps celebrating Canada Day and finally the hologram stamp showing the year change from 1999 to 2000. The second part was arranged according to themes, with issues from 2000 to 2018, including Lighthouses (with error of a keeper's house on wrong side); Heritage sites (with a photograph error in Dinosaur Provincial Park, Alberta); Sport (with an error of a misspelt bobsleigher's name); Royalty, and Chinese New Year.(S.P.)

(12 September 2019) Own choice: Members. A lengthy discussion during this meeting centred on bogus stamps with examples from Scottish islands and Bangladesh at the time of separation from Pakistan. Format International printers with Clive Feigenbaum produced the stamps. Other topics were: Fiume, and Croatia, initial RAF jet flight to Australia and desert flight, photos of a postmaster and the Australian KGVI definitives. (D.H.)

(22 August 2019) Favourite Items, Members. Five small displays were produced. (i) A look at the postal history of Oundle (ii) items from the smaller Channel Islands (iii) Shanghai military post (iv) the Settlement of Australia (v) The North West Frontier of India. Chairman Mike Siverns conducted the meeting (D.H.)

(25 July 2019) Postcards: Members. Post cards on display included post WW1 propaganda views of battlefiield sites, Anzac Samoa campagin and Gallilipoli, Australian views (mainly Sydney harbour), Hong Kong stamp post cards, Lennox Castle and miscellaneous PHQ and other stamp representation cards. Chairman Mike Siverns conducted the meeting (D.H.).

(23 May 2019) Own Choice: Members. The subjects introduced were: Austria (1917-18) Military Field Post, Hong Kong and Shanghai Paquebot post in the WWI era, Lundy stamps, Pete's Post in New Zealand and A History of Australia Forces during World War 1. Bill Whitaker chaired the meeting. (D.H.)

(9 May 2019) Visit from Lincoln PS. We welcomed two visitors from Lincoln. The first display concerned the stamps of Syria from the First World War up to 1960. Syria was under French administration for the first part of this period, and many of the stamps were overprints of French stamps. The state of Alaquites had separate overprinted stamps up to 1929, after which Syria became a republic, subsequently joining the United Arab Republic in 1958. The second display was a thematic collection based around the fire services of many countries. The display concentrated on countries with names commencing with A and B. Chairman Mike Siverns thanked the visitors for their interesting displays, which also contained some fascinating documentation. (D.H.)

(25 April 2019) "Letters S,M,C and H, part 2", Members. A wealth of items were displayed. These included: old maps, (S,M,C,H countries), censored covers from Australia and RAF censor marks, UN peace-keeping in Cyprus including New Zealand involvement and Northern Cyprus FDC, sheets of Pakistan and India stamps and a philatelic tribute to Marianne of France. This was a three part evening with a wide variety of interesting covers and stamps. (D.H.)

(12 April 2019) "Letters S,M,C and H, part 1":Members. A small attendance of members was reported this evening, but some interesting items were on view. Firstly a look at Hyderabad issues. SG lists 60 stamps plus officials, but variations in perforations, colour and plate wear provide a range of stamps. Sweden stamps engraved by Czesclaw Slania are much admired by collectors and a collection was on display. Cancellation of GB stamps invoked a discussion, with some examples shown. Finally, some illustrated Australian postal stationary was shown. (D.H.)

(14 March 2019) "Anything but stamps": Members. An unusual arrangement of collectibles comprised the show. Envelopes with maps (and stamps - but not relevant), envelopes from former Nottingham traders with machine franked postage paid, ice cream glasses and a collection of match boxes completed the first half. Then New Zealand exhibition programmes, assorted coins and engineering calculators joined with miscellaneous family memorabelia to conclude the evening. (D.H.)

(28 February 2019) AGM and Displays: Following the AGM there were three members' displays: Old Maps on Stamps; Hong Kong Shipping Lanes and Early Indian Mail. (D.H.)

(14 February 2019) Puzzles and Questions, Members. This meeting was more by way of a series of discussions than philatelic displays, and those present participated actively by making contributions towards answering the questions and solving the problems. Most of the problems related to postal delivery in difficult or unusual circumstances (e.g. from the 1932 Everest Base Camp), but some discussion related to stamp production and security. Pre-stamp mail always raises questions, as does redirected mail. When the cover also contains the original correspondence, the problems and questions become endless. (D.H.) .

(24 January 2019) "Tristan da Cunha": Alan Squires. Tristan da Cunha is an island in the South Atlantic. It has earned the reputation as being one of the remotest inhabited islands and still has less than 300 residents. Postal services have always been difficult and prior to 1952, stamps were not available. The demand by collectors for stamps prior to that time had been realised and was illustrated by the 'potato essays' of Allan Crawford which were actually sold for potatoes and the designs were featured on recent stamps. Also, Edgar Weston, a stamp dealer in London, had made several attempts to route mail through Tristan in order to get Tristan cancellations. Postally aligned with St.Helena, the island used their issue overprinted, both in 1952 and when the evacuated population returned in 1963. Subsequently, many attractive issues followed, including art work from island visitors. Chairman Mike Siverns thanked Alan for an excellent presentation. (D.H.)

(10 January 2019) New Acquisitions, Members. The Society welcomed the new year with a review of the GB stamps from Royal mail in 2018. Short displays followed which included the following themes: New Zealand WWI mail, K.U.T. stamps before independence, India war time post and Australia - Return to Sender Envelopes. (D.H.)

(13 December 2018) "Victorian GB": Ian Shaw. The development of a stamp based postal system began in Britain in 1840 with the penny black stamp. Ian Shaw has studied this issue and the subsequent Victorian stamp issues in great detail. All the varieties of the early issues have been identified and presented in a magnificent display. A nearly complete sheet of penny blacks has been assembled and many matching pairs of penny blacks and reds were shown. The presentation continued with the embossed stamps, the high value Victorian stamps and the Jubilee issue. Throughout the display, the quality of the stamps and presentation was superb and the attention given to the stamp details was extraordinary. Of particular interest were the high value stamps, the famous Stock Exchange forgeries and the external attempts to introduce commemorative stamps in the Victorian era. Chairman Mike Siverns expressed the thanks of the Society. A Christmas buffet was available during the interval. (D.H.).

(22 November 2018) "Pakistan, 1947-1962". Our chairman, Mike Siverns, presented a display of stamps showing the first years of Pakistan after the separation from India. The new administration was not ready with new stamps, so the issue of King George VI of India continued in use, although a special cancellation was applied. A first day cover was shown. Shortly after independence, the stamps of India were overprinted 'Pakistan'. The display contained an interesting study of the overprints, some of which were applied locally. When decimal currency was introduced in 1961, a similar problem was encountered due to a shortage of the replacement stamps, and a further interesting study of overprints ensued. The new definitive designs then appeared with mistakes in the characters. George Kirkham thanked Mike for the display. (D.H.).

(8 November 2018) Members' Evening. Bill Whitaker opened with a display of Australian mail sent during the First World War. Continuing with Remembrance Day tributes, Douglas Harvey showed modern commemorations of the war from GB and Canada. Finally, George Kirkham showed a collection of Commonwealth stamps issued in the period from 1935 to 1950. (D.H.)

(25 October 2018) "France", Douglas Harvey. After a review of the definitives over the years, the display highlighted the period of time immediately after World War II, when the engraved stamps of Jules Piel and Pierre Gandon were issued. The National Relief Fund was replaced by the Red Cross Fund, with two issues annually. In the present century, some good quality miniature sheets were issued to publicise the French style of life, but Philpost NVI stamps have dominated in the last ten years. (D.H.)

(11 October 2018) The Society welcomed Mick and Barbara Inger, who gave displays. Barbara commenced with 'New Zealand Mail'. New Zealand Mail is a company which operates under license from New Zealand Post. It oversees the printing and sales of stamps for letters and cards which are delivered by New Zealand Post. About 2000 of these stamps, originating from many sources, were displayed. Each had been identified by means of an imprint showing the licensee and date of issue. The stamps are valid for internal and international postage. In Part 2, Mick showed 'Fauna and Flora of Scandinavia'. This was an interesting thematic collection of stamps from Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland with the stamps grouped by subject. Chairman Mike Siverns thanked the presenters. (D.H.)

(27 September 2018) Black, Blue or Brown. The Chairman set another challenge to the members to produce displays relevant to the title. The displays commenced with cigarette cards in these coloured albums, followed by GB stamps printed in black. The blue of the RAF in Japan was followed by stamps of Australia and maps on stamps in the prescribed colours. In part 2, more world stamps in these colours appeared, followed by some Indian documents with appropriate fiscal revenue stamps. A tough challenge for the members, but an interesting evening nevertheless. (D.H.)

(13 September 2018) Visit from Grantham: Jeny Wolvers presented "Algeria". This was a comprehensive collection of superb quality stamps covering the French period of Algeria, terminating with the independence of 1948. Wojciech Kierstan then presented a "Miscellany of Czechoslovakia". This covered the initial issues from 1918 and some interesting Second World War time covers, including cachets of the Free Czechoslovakia army in Great Britain. Chairman Mike Siverns thanked the presenters for providing an evening of outstanding interest. (D.H.)

(9 August 2018) Summer Meetings, 3. Six members presented displays: (i) Rumanian Occupation of Hungary, (Debrecen and Temesvar) (ii) Australian Animals, (iii) Honk Kong Ship Post (iv) Anzac WWI Commemorations (v) Nordic Mythology (vi) North West Frontier India. Chairman Mike Siverns thanked the presenters. (D.H.)

(14 June 2018) Summer Meetings, 1. Four members presented displays: (i) Some unusual features of first day covers, and Heritage Railway Mail; (ii) New Zealand: problems with the early QE2 issues; (iii) Hong Kong, Air Mail stationery and (iv) Australian mail with a finger directive of Return to Sender. Chairman Mike Siverns thanked the presenters. (D.H.)

(26 April 2018) 'Burma, not Myanmar': Mike Siverns. The initial stamp issues relating to Burma as a province of India were India stamps, with appropriate cancellations which revealed their usage. Overprinted stamps of India followed in 1937, and the 'service' overprints revealed that some stamps had been overprinted twice. Burma issues followed in 1938, and these were replaced during the Japanese invasion in 1941. Post war issues initially had the pre-war stamps overprinted 'MILY' and then had altered colours. Burma participated in the 1946 'Omnibus' Victory Issue, and in 1947 the Burmese Government was set up and the stamps required independence overprints. Bill Whitaker thanked Mike for the display. (D.H.)

(12 April) Members' Evening:"My Favourite Stamps Plus Why?". Not all of the members have favourites in their collections, but some interesting items were on show. These included: Recent Curiosities from Canada, Mail in Victorian times from GB to Japan via Hong Kong, Australian Classics and a 'Smilers' Sheet, The Hidden Post Boxes in Dartmoor, Franz Liszt, and Elephants. Chairman Mike Siverns thanked the contributors. (D.H.)

(22 March 2018) 'New Zealand Odds & Ends'. Andrew Dove presented four displays of New Zealand postal history and stamps. The first part was entitled 'The Home Front, 1939-45' and dealt with the emergencies that arose during the Second World War. Although New Zealand was not invaded, precautions were taken with censorship in place and food rationing. Some correspondence with forces serving overseas and with war prisoners was on display, including Red Cross communications. Part 2 was a display of Express Mail, invoking discussion concerning the tariff for the service, which involved knowledge of the distance from the main post office to the delivery address. Part 3 was a detailed analysis of the Peace Issue stamps of 1946, together with errors and overprints. Finally, in part 4, the rôle of New Zealand Post in promoting tourism was on display, with a colourful range of stamps, post cards and posters. Chairman Mike Siverns congratulated Andrew on his recent gold medal success in representing the Royal Philatelic Society of London during his visit to New Zealand and thanked him for a splendid display. (D.H.)

(25 January 2018) 'Two Speakers': Mick Britton and Mike Siverns. Mick Britton showed a comprehensive display of Hong Kong stamps up to 1952. The attention to detail was impressive, with identification of watermarks, paper and errors. Many stamps had overprints and explanations for these were given. During the Japanese occupation (1941-45), Japanese stamps were used and cancelled in Hong Kong. Mike Siverns then displayed a range of covers and documentation relating to the Indian Expeditionary Force in France during the First World War. Bill Whitaker thanked the speakers for providing a most interesting evening. (D.H.)

(11 January 2018) Members' Evening: "New or recently mounted". On display were Maps on Stamps. Australian Infrostructure, Mail by Sea from France to China, New Zealand Occupation of Samoa, GB issues for 2017, a Hungarian Miniature Sheet and Miscellaneous India Items, which included the WW1 Brighton Hospitals for wounded Indian troops. Another evening of varied and unusual items. (D.H.)

(14 December 2017) Christmas Theme. Six presentations preceded the refreshments: GB Christmas Covers, Greenland Christmas Labels, Australia Postmarks and Christmas Stamps; Canadians in Hong Kong in December 1941, at the time of the Japanese invasion, miscellaneous Christmas Issues and GB Christmas Aerograms. The wine and cheese which followed the displays provided a fitting end to the 2017 programme. (D.H.)

(23 November 2017) 'Big Business on the China Coast': Around 1750, the East India Company commenced trading with China, initially establishing an opium market. After the 1838-40 Opium War, trading opened up and Chinese exports centered around tea, porcelain, cotton and silk. Hong Kong introduced postage stamps in 1862, and Peter Pugh's display concentrated on the commercial use of Hong Kong and China stamps from the coastal ports in the period up to 1930. The trading companies applied overprinting or used perfins as a security measure and these were grouped in catalogued form. The larger companies, (e.g. Jardine Mattheson, Butterfield and Swire), had high postal requirements and consequently their overprinted and perfin protected stamps were relatively abundant, but the display also included rare varieties from many small companies. Banking, newspapers and shipping also had security stamps, and the display featured postcards showing their buildings and ships. This brilliant research showed the origins of our important present-day trading with China. (D.H.).

(9 November 2017) 'Unusual Postmarks': Members' Evening. The chairman challenged the members to display covers with unusual postmarks. Some interesting items from the Canary Islands were shown, followed by GB first day covers with cherished cancellations. The recent policy of Royal Mail to abandon legible cancellations and make more use of post codes was illustrated. The Chairman showed Indian stamps used in Aden and a cover from the break away of Pakistan from India. Finally, the Treasurer showed some examples of maps on stamps. (D.H.)

(26 October 2017) 'Channel Islands'. Douglas Harvey entertained us with a comprehensive display of the Channel Islands, given in two parts. First, Guernsey from the German occupation through the regional stamps of the 1960's to the opening of the Guernsey Post Office and the pictorial issues, printed by Harrisons, of the new definitives of 1979. Also shown were items from Alderney, Herm and Sark. The second half covered Jersey occupation issues and the post war issues with the Harrison and Courvoisier pictorials. Both halves were accompanied by Douglas' own witty and amusing anecdotes. A most enjoyable display. (M.J.S.)

(12 October 2017) 'Hungary': George Kirkham. The display consisted of a very complete collection of stamps covering the period from 1870 to 1945. With the break-up of the Austro-Hungarian Empire at the end of the First World War, Hungary moved from having an empire to being a republic and experienced severe monetary inflation before the rise of communism. The changes were reflected in the complex stamp issues, with many sets of definitives and postage dues, together with a few commemorative stamps and charity stamps aiding the tuberculosis eradication. An interesting discussion amongst the members ensued, and chairman Mike Siverns thanked George for presenting the display. (D.H.)

(28 September 2017) Visit from Matlock P.S. Four members of Matlock P.S. travelled to Radcliffe to provide a most entertaining range of displays. First was Tim Essex-Lopresti who showed his competition winning display of Anniversaries on stamps and covers. This covered well known anniversaries relating to people, places and events. Tim amusingly explained that he had formed it as an exhibition entry for the thematic section of the “Phoenix Trophy” competition and being the only entry won that section. Next to show was Roger West who gave superb display of “Royal Errors”. All stamps shown were examples of GB and Commonwealth issues showing the monarch’s head but with some sort of error in the design or printing. Some very rare stamps were on view from QV to QEII. Les Pearcy continued with a fascinating display of material relating to Czechoslovakian forces in the UK during World War 2. On display were patriotic covers, labels, and other ephemera produced by the Czech government in exile and the troops themselves. This continued after the break with propaganda material and patriot ephemera produced in the USA that was available to Czechs forces in the UK. Finally John Cooper gave display of items related to the Coronations of British monarchs from Charles II to our present Queen. Of note was a letter commanding the attendance to his Coronation, tickets, passes and other items relating to past Coronations. This jaw dropping display included many unique and historical items. Andrew Dove thanked our visitors for their excellent displays. (M.J.S.)

(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 communism 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 preceded 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 Chesterfield 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.)