by John Ineson
It was good to see sixteen members attend our October meeting, which is the highest number for some years, and in particular to welcome Richard Cowan from Canada. The programme was 10 sheets or more from those attending, and this produced some good displays. Frank Spencer from Worcestershire has offered to hold a regional meeting next year to replace the one held at Newbury by the late Ron Pickett and this will be held on Saturday 9th November 2002. More details will be given nearer the time.
Unfortunately the cost of our room at Baden-Powell House in London has risen so much that we can no longer use this venue. In the past we have hired a small room for the afternoon, but in future this must be booked for a full day at a cost of £88.00, which is unacceptable. We have used B.P. House for over 30 years and it will be sad to move, so future meetings from next year will be at the Richmond Scout Headquarters and the British Red Cross Hall at Upminster. Both of these venues are on the underground and a short walking distance from the station. Further details will be published in the Bulletin next year. In the meantime our Annual exhibition will be held at Gilwell Park, Chingford on Saturday 2nd March 2002.
Congratulations to Hallvard Slettebø from Norway on obtaining his first International Gold Medal together with a special prize for his Scout collection at the philatelic exhibition HAFNIA 01 in Denmark. His collection now includes one of the famous Hindenburg crash covers, one of only 17 salvaged, with the 1937 Netherlands Jamboree stamps. He also showed the original coloured artwork for the 1982 U.K. Scout stamp and three black & white sketches of the Guide stamp all signed by the artist Brian Saunders. It was surprising to find in the exhibit "Be yourself in Christ" (by an exhibitor from Italy) showing a black and white signed artist sketch of the Scout stamp as well as coloured photographic proofs of the two stamps signed on the back by Saunders.
While in Copenhagen Hallvard and I attended the Annual General Meeting of the Danish Scout Stamp Club "Spejderfrimærkeklubben" where we met our members John Andersen and their Chairman, Ib Sandahl (who is member number 1000 in the SGSC). After the meeting an exchange and trading session took place until everybody stopped for a very good lunch, with drinks supplied by the club.
Christine Earle, Vice-Chairman of the British Thematic Society showed two pages of scouting items in her exhibit "The Grey Goose Wing". The French Archer card of 1939 addressed to Switzerland was of interest as you can see that it includes two postage due stamps. It was posted from France on 28th October 1939 with in-sufficient postage. Arriving the next day, the postman unsuccessfully attempted to collect the 25c postage due, but as nobody was available, the stamp was cancelled. On 30th October a new label was affixed and the 25 cents tax was collected.
Over 12,000 Danish school children between the ages of 8 and 11 were asked to draw a stamp to show a Circus. Each was given a sheet of A.4 paper which included an area of 16 x 24 cm (6½ x 9¾ inches) for the actual design. All of these drawings, and some were extremely good, were placed on the outside walls of the exhibition hall. The best four were later going to be made into stamps and issued by the Danish Post Office. I think this is a very good way to encourage young collectors and I am sure the same theme will be taken at future International shows.
During October, Argyll Etkin of London held one of the largest auction sales of Mafeking stamps and covers for some years, and I know that a number of our members found items for their collections. For the first five months of the siege there was no regular postal service although native runners occasionally carried letters through the Boer lines at night. Very few covers from this period of the siege are known, and the 11 items in this collection were the largest single group ever put together.