by John Ineson
As you will have read in the November/December bulletin, I took over as Chairman of the SGSC in October. I follow Ron Howard who has so capably been our Chairman for over 20 years, and we are all grateful to him for the considerable time and effort he has given the club over this period.
A few notes about myself. I have been a member of our club since 1957 and attended the World Jamboree at Sutton Coldfield as a young leader. I cannot recall if I attended the meeting held at the Jamboree, as it was over 40 years ago!
I am the Scout International Commissioner for Suffolk, and have been a warranted leader since 1954. I started collecting Scout stamps in the 1950s and have since specialised in Mafeking, Hungary and now Romania. I am currently Vice-President of SOSSI and last year spent some time at their stand at the International Exhibition held in San Francisco. I have been supporting Hungarian Scouting since it was reformed in 1989, and during my last visit in November I was pleased to spend the day with our member Jozsef Zimmerman.
During my time as Chairman, I hope to see many of you on my travels. In September I will be attending the Euro-Scout weekend at Schwanberg, Austria from 18th-20th September, when I look forward to meeting many of our overseas members. Some of the best collections in Europe will be on show and if it is anything like the last Euro-Scout meeting in Munich which ARGE (the German Club) organised, it will be a first class exhibition.
Varieties and multiples of the Mafeking Stamps
Due to the printing problems during the Siege of Mafeking, a large number of varieties exist on both the locally produced and overprinted stamps. It is only during the last thirty five years that records have been kept to try and ascertain how many varieties were printed and still exist.
A mint proof corner copy of the 1d Cyclist stamp is known, but this is smaller than the actual issued stamp. Various proofs exist in the Royal Collection at Buckingham Palace in the U.K. From the one known mint imperforate sheet of the cyclist, eight stamps have been recorded consisting of two pairs and one block of four.
At least two sheets of stamps had imperforate stamps in only one margin, and from the top of the sheet one is known mint and the other used May 11 th 1900. From the bottom of the sheet eight used stamps are recorded, two pairs dated May 2nd, and four used May 11th. Three mint sheets have appeared on the market during the last fifteen years, and one also exists in the Royal Collection.
There are a number of used blocks of four and the block of eight sold in New York in 1982 is the largest used multiple. Stamps are known used with (Imperf at bottom) the Mafeking telegraph postmark and a backdated cancel of February 30th. The earliest known cancellation is the square postmark dated October 30th 1899, some six months before the stamps were printed.
3d Small Head
The double print is another scarce variety and out of the sheet of twelve printed, only 3 have been recorded all used May 3rd. It is more than likely that others exist in collectors hands who do not realise that they have this scarce error.
3d Large Head
The cracked plate stamp of the large head stamp was caused by the printer accidentally dropping the glass photographic plate. The most spectacular item is the sheet which shows the five positions of the crack and is dated May 12th. This is the only known sheet as none have been reported mint.
The large head is also known imperforate in the top and bottom margin of the sheet. Five used copies are recorded from the top of the sheet and cancelled on April 26th (2) April 30th (3). This confirms that two sheets exist from the top. From the bottom of the sheet only two stamps imperforate in the margin are known and both are used May 11th. The largest mint block recorded consists of four stamps.