by John Ineson
The National Philatelic Exhibition "Chester 2002" held at the end of November was a great success. The additional attraction of the Queen's Mafeking collection added to the enjoyment of the weekend. Visitors were able to see two frames of the overprinted stamps and covers, with the third frame showing the most spectacular essays of the Mafeking blue stamps. Included was an original photograph of Sgt. Major Goodyear on his bicycle (with one of the pedals being propped up buy a large stone) in front of some buildings. This was then adapted to produce a design in the horizontal format (as illustrated here) and proof sheets of twelve of these were then printed by the ferro-prussiate blue print method. These were too small and very dark, so a second design in the vertical format was prepared but was not satisfactory, so with the background being partly removed a third and final proof was prepared and adopted. In the collection was a large blue print photograph of the Cyclist measuring 4 x 5 inches (10.5 x 13cm), a mint sheet of the 1d cyclist as well as a mint sheet of the cyclist imperforate, followed by a mint sheet of the small 3d BP stamp.
As an added bonus, visitors were able to see a display of the World Scout Jubilee Jamboree issue of 1957. On show were the unadopted essays, colour trials of the accepted design (by three different artists), blocks of the issued stamps from the Registration sheets, together with coil leaders for the special rolls made up to service mechanically the anticipated substantial demand for the first day covers. The catalogue states, "The rolls were also used to dispense from machines specially installed at the Jamboree site at Sutton Coldfield". I was at this Jamboree in 1957 and by that time was a keen Scout Stamp collector but my memory may have faded! However this is news to me and I have never heard or read about this before. Perhaps some of you know different, and the Editor confirms that this fact is not correct.
Still on about the Chester 2002 exhibition, I was pleased to meet and see our member Simon Nanson who exhibited "The Acorn Sown on Brownsea Island". This was a very good display and an interesting observation by him showed that the 1984 Republic of Upper Volta 500f value was taken from a photograph of BP telling a yarn round the campfire at the Humshaugh Camp in 1908.
Please do not forget our Annual Exhibition being held at BP House, London on 22nd February from 1030-1600 hours. Many frames of Scout material will be on show and there will be a chance to purchase items for your collection. Most of the committee will be in attendance and look forward to meeting you.
Just a word of warning! I recently purchased the pair of stamps of the 1958 United Arab Republic (Syria) in imperforate sheets of four at a reasonable price from an overseas dealer. As I had singles in my collection, I went to these and realised that they were slightly different colour. On further inspection I could see that the paper was different and the gum was not the same. With modern technology it is so easy to forge such items especially if they are imperforate. The dealer apologised and reimbursed me in full including my postage.
I recently had some luck when I purchased at auction a very large collection of Scout Memorabilia belonging to a person who joined the Scouts in 1909 and attended every World Jamboree from 1920-1955. When I viewed the material (which took nearly two hours) I overlooked one item, which was the meter mark, on cover from the 1939 World Rover Moot held at Monzie Castle, Crieff in Scotland during July 1939. This meter mark which was used by Scout headquarters in London, is now a very scarce item and less than a handful are known. Now it will enter a philatelic collection for the first time in over 60 years!