by John Ineson
Our Secretary had a request from Sandy Kerr for any information regarding two covers produced for the exhibition of Scouting held at the Oxford Street, London store of Selfridges. This was held on the third floor of the store from 12-23 April 1955 and a report appeared in The Scouter of May of that year. The Scout Association was grateful to the Directors of the company for making available three thousand square feet of floor space on the third floor of their store and, in addition, providing fittings, furniture and the help of their display staff, to make his exhibition possible. During the eleven days it was open, it is estimated that it was visited by 45,000 members of the public. The exhibition was opened by the Chief Guide, and during its course was honoured by the presence of the following distinguished Scouts and Old Scouts: The Chief Scout; the Deputy Chief Scout; The Lord Chancellor; Lord Baden-Powell; Ralph Reader; Colonel Arthur Young, Chief Commissioner of the City of London Police and Chairman of the Committee of the Council of the B.-P. Guild; : and Gordon Pirie, the great athlete. Each gave a short talk and the Lord Chancellor's references to the early days and his knowledge of Scouting for Boys were an inspiration. In addition to the many attractive displays, every day there were demonstrations of Highland dancing and piping, first aid, Hindu crinoline spinning and bench demonstrations including puppet-making, toy-making from scrap, bamboo pipes, fancy rope work, aircraft modelling and model aero engines, homemade camping equipment and clothing, plaster casts, model pioneering and the construction of a soap-box car. A cine cabinet displayed Scout films throughout each day. There is no doubt that a great many members of the public know a lot more about our Movement than they did before the exhibition.
Évora, the beautiful Portuguese World Heritage City, hosted the 12th Euro-Scout from May 4 - 6. At the same time, it also hosted the 37th World Scout & Guide Collectors Meeting. It was held at the Évora Arena, the former bullring, but now used for all kind of other events. The organising committee had given a lot of importance to the activities with Évora's Boy Scouts. Not only were they present at the inauguration ceremony, but some hundreds (looking so very smart in their shorts and wearing the old Scout hats) visited the exhibition. On Saturday they played a game around the city, which finished in the Arena. They were also responsible for organizing and serving at the official dinner. Thirty collectors from twelve countries participated with their exhibits. This exhibition is celebrated every two years, in different European countries, and because it is a non-competitive exhibition, it gives a lot of freedom to the collectors and the variety of matters and topics is very wide. The Walter Grob Award, in memory of this great Swiss collector, pioneer of the Scout Philately, is donated by his family. It promotes the new one-frame exhibits, never before presented. The most important criteria is the treatment, not the rarity or the value of the items. Also, it is focused to the open class exhibits. In this edition, six collectors have presented their works. And the winner has been Benito Gonzalez Bugallo from Spain with his exhibit about the founder of Czechoslovakian Scouting "Josef Rössler Orövsky with the title of "Drugs, Sports and Scouting)". The next Euro-Scout will be held at Lido Degli Scacchi near Comaccio, Italy from 15-17 May 2020.
Did you know that Mafeking has changed it name again from Mafikeng to Mahikeng? The town's name was first spelt by British settlers as Mafeking, but the name reverted to Mafikeng in 1980 following its incorporation into Bophuthatswana. In February 2010, the Minister of Arts and Culture approved the town's name to be changed again to Mahikeng. Despite this, the town's ANC-run local government and most local residents still refer to the town as Mafikeng both informally and formally.
As in many walks of life, fakes are known on stamps and recently this 1d Mafeking blue stamp. was sold on eBay for £90. The seller mentioned that it had "four toned perforations at the bottom (and a tiny weak corner perforation mentioned for accuracy). A superb cancel; a very worthy example of this fine classic. MAFEKING 1900 1d FINE USED cat. £325". To me the stamp looks like a fake, although it is much easier to confirm this if I had seen the reverse to check on the paper used. The semi oval postmark is definitely fake, and has been seen a number of times over the years, including at least one known example on cover.
While looking at some old SGSC Bulletins, I see that Peter Duck, our Editor in 1984 wrote "35 members attended the Annual general Meeting at Baden-Powell House on 2nd June. This represents 5% of our membership, or almost 10% of our U.K. members which is very encouraging. Two overseas members were present; we were pleased to welcome Sheldon Levy from New York and Dick Cowan from Ottawa, Canada. Those were the days! as last year only five committee members attended the A.G.M.
Over the years various contingents to World Jamborees have produced their own postcards and Covers. For the 1929 Jamboree, the Danish cover does appear on the market occasionally, but I have never seen the Belgium contingent postcard for sale since I started collecting over 60 years ago. Therefore I was delighted to see the display of Estanislao Pan de Alfaro from Spain at the Euro-Scout event in Évora where he showed three copies of these Belgium contingent cards. The postcards were sent by a Scout to his girl friend, and these were posted at Ostend, Birkenhead and Liverpool. On browsing through old copies of our Bulletin, I did see one illustrated in the January 1979 issue which was sent from the camp to Antwerp on 12 August 1929.
Earlier this year Stade Auctions of Grenzach-Wyhlen, Germany sold this Baden-Powell printed Founders Day card dated 22 February 1939. The vendor was lucky, as the internet catalogue showed the reverse where it had been posted on 24 April with the very rare 1939 World Rover Moot slogan meter cancel "8000 Rover Scouts bid welcome to the World Rover Scout Moot, Crieff, Scotland" This is only the second one recorded, as after 28 April this was changed to read "Visit the International Gathering of 8000 Scouts at Crieff, Scotland 18-25 July 1939" of which a few more are recorded. Estimated at €30, it sold for €1300. More information was provided in my Jottings dated January/February 2013.