October 2017

The 60 members were thoroughly entertained this afternoon by Chris Harman FRPSL, a renowned philatelist who was elected to the roll of Distinguished Philatelists in 2003 and was President of the Royal Philatelic Society (RPSL) in 2005, along with many other distinguished posts. He is also currently Chairman of the RPSL Expert Committee, as well as being a Judge and International Large Gold Exhibitor. After such an introduction, Chris lived up to the billing with a superb display of ‘Modern Postal History 1936 – Decimalisation.’

Chris explained that it was a display that was affordable and you just needed to know what you were looking for. In the first half we saw single and combinations of stamps from different reigns and their usages from KGV, KEVIII, KGVI to QEII. They included inland covers, Air Mail letters, covers abroad, especially a cover to General Franco’s wife.

Chris mentioned a couple of rarities in stamp usage, the Wildings 75d black which was issued on 28 January 1974 and was only in use for 4 days before the postal rates were increased on the 2 February. Chris pointed out some other rarities, such as the Wildings 11d, the KGVI colour change 1d blue and the 1d brown. Chris finished the first half with commemorative stamps on cover.

In the second half we enjoyed viewing covers used abroad with the use of a variety of stamps that included QEII Regionals with Chris pointing out that the Northern Island stamps were hard to find on cover. We also saw covers with Perfin stamps, stamps on telegraph forms, WWII censorship covers, Registered and Express covers, illustrated/advertising covers, stationery and the use of high values with Chris sating that one of his favourites was an oversize Registered Air Mail letter to Argentina from Leatherhead dated 21 July 1942 which had a total £11/11/3d of stamps on the envelope – photo above.

Chris showed what can be done with modern postal history. Perhaps this is a stark reminder to us all who neglect today’s stamps/rates etc., what we could do with a little foresight.

An amazing eye-opener and a wonderful entertaining afternoon, thank you Chris.