The Christmas meeting was attended by 35 members which was a good turnout considering the circumstances with the current variant of covid.
The members enjoyed some fine wine and the usual superb buffet lunch supplied by Harringtons.
The Membership Secretary supplied a wonderful PowerPoint/video presentation running in the background for all to enjoy that included our previous 20th and 25th anniversaries and Christmas meetings.
The Secretary drew the raffle prizes which including the unusual from a torch to a watch along with the usual festive prizes, candles, chocolates, biscuits and booze. But the star prize was a hamper, which was won by David Plant.
We had two non-philatelic displays from David Bravery and Chris Bishop. David displayed a selection of very early “miniature” maps of the Bay of Cattaro, from the first very inaccurate to a fairly accurate depiction in the early 1800s.
David also talked about Barry Feltham’s display of Christmas Local Post that included Fetcham, Effingham and Bookham. David being a founder member gave us the background and the money raised over the 35 years of continuous service. Starting in 1984, nearly 500,000 cards have been delivered and over £100,000 raised for Third World charities. Sadly though, it has come to an end and I’m sure many who used this valuable service will sorely miss it as well as the charities that they have supported over the years.
Chris talked about his family company “Bishops Move” with a few anecdotes along with a few models and some items from their archives. Bishop & Sons’ Depositories was established in 1854 by Joseph James Bishop, who was a farm worker from Norfolk who came to London to join Robert Peel’s newly established police force. J.J. as he was known, left the police force to open a green-grocers in Elizabeth Street, London. And it is from there he developed the business to include general cartage services. This soon evolved to become a growing business moving and storing household furniture and effects from Pimlico, London.
J.J. operated a farm in Morden and used this land to grow feed and rest the horses. He purchased premises on Hugh Street off Belgrave Road in SW1, which gave J.J. the perfect opportunity to grow the business as Victoria Station had just been built.
Over the years, the company evolved and always appeared to have members of the family within the business to ensure a smooth transition to the next generation. During these years, many potential family members learned their trade working for competitors and it is now the largest privately family-owned removals company in the UK.
A very successful, enjoyable, and fun afternoon.