by John Ineson
No doubt of interest to Mafeking Siege collectors will be the recently published book "The Queen's Stamps" by Nicholas Courtney (published by Methuen ISBN 0 413 77228 4 at £25.00). It has been known for some time that there are exceptional pieces of Mafeking in the Royal collection, and this book shows for the first time, a number of these in colour. There is a full page reproduction of the original photograph of Warner Goodyear on his bicycle in front of a group of buildings. This shows him posed in the road, as though riding with a dispatch in rather an unsteady position with the down pedal of the bicycle on a stone. This original was then re- photographed with the buildings removed and from this a proof sheet of 12 stamps was prepared in four rows of three. This is also shown in colour and has the following inscription around the margin "Proof of the new 1d. I am doing another as this is not clear enough - W.A.Hayes PMO Siege of Mafeking". There is also another large second design of the cyclist stamp measuring 4 x 5 inches (10.5 x 13cm) which has written in the top margin "The Second stage of the stamp manufacture" and in the bottom margin "The 3rd is the final one. I did the design. W.A. Hayes, PMO Mafeking". The final one is the cyclist 1d stamp that was used during the siege. This 337 page book has had very good reviews in the philatelic press. I was asked to proof read the Mafeking section, but I see in the acknowledgements that the author has given me the name of Inestone.
On a recent visit to Hungary I was most surprised to hear, that as a member of the EU, I was entitled to free travel throughout the country. This includes all trains to the borders of Hungary as well as buses, trams and the metro. Hungarian pensioners and children under six have always had this facility, but to allow all members of the EU to have free travel is a big surprise and cannot be good for the economy. It is at least one advantage of being a member of the European Union!. To try this free travel out (having already paid for a Budapest weekly ticket) I used this on the bus into the country to visit our SGSC member Jozsef Zimmerman. I showed my passport to the conductor who hardly looked at it before speaking to the next passenger.
During July I was privileged to attend the memorial service to Betty Clay held at Wells Cathedral, Somerset. This was attended by her husband Gervas (aged 97) and by members of her family as well as a congregation of over 900, made up mostly from members of the Scout and Guide Movements. This was a most inspiring service which was attended by the George Purdy, Chief Scout and Jenny Leach, Chief Guide. The Lord Lieutenant of Somerset, The Hon. Lady Gass represented the Countess of Wessex, President of Girlguiding UK and Garth Morrison, our former Chief Scout represented the Duke of Kent, the President of the Scout Association.
I am still not having much success with the organisers of the 2005 European and 2007 World Jamboree regarding the attendance of IFSCO at both of these events. In less than a year the European Jamboree will have taken place, and despite continually telephoning the organisers, we have still not been informed if we will be able to take part. It is only hoped that we shall know what is happening before the IFSCO meeting being held in Prague during October. It has been decided by our committee that SGSC would not have the amount of support to be able to take part on our own without help from other clubs, and so this is why IFSCO is applying.
I know that I often mention the Internet auction Ebay to report on unusual items or others that make a price much higher than their true market value, but during the summer very little of interest has appeared for sale. However I see that for some time that "yeppers" has been offering postcards from the collection of the late Claude Marchal. A considerable amount of early World Jamboree material has been sold, but some of my favourites have been the 1933 and 1937 Polish postcards produced by the Boy Scout Troop of Dąbrowa Górn (coal mine district) of Poland.