by John Ineson
The Jamboree is over and many of us were either involved or visited the site at Hylands Park, Chelmsford. Our team of Gottfried Steinmann, Randall Frank, Alex Hadden and Terry Simister manned our booth in the International Badgers Club marquee, where they met many members of the Club and handed out application forms to prospective new members. The Royal Mail missed a great opportunity by not having a Post Office at the Jamboree and I guess our overseas and UK members were most disappointed that facilities were not available. We never had a meter slogan issued by Scout HQ advertising the Jamboree, although I had requested this on a number of occasions. No special postmark was available at the camp or registration. Altogether rather a disaster! The Isle of Man which had its own marquee did a roaring business. As for the UK Scouts stamps, you all have your own personal opinion of these.
The Philatelic press came out with some amusing articles concerning Scouting and the World Jamboree. The July 2007 issue of the British Philatelic Bulletin has an article written by Rosemary Bennett about Brownsea Island "... and in 1907 while Robert Baden-Powell and his wife were on holiday in Ireland". They did not marry until 1912 and had not met in 1907. In another article by Martin Robinson, we were informed that 750,000 visitors came to the Jamboree. This seems a huge number and I guess it may have been 75,000.
Gibbons Stamp Monthly had a five page article 'Scouting Around' by Karen Foy which informs us that in 1899 at Mafeking Baden-Powell was promoted to Major-General. In fact he was not promoted until after the siege in May 1900. She also informs us that B-P wrote 'Aids to Scouting' during the 217 day siege. It was actually written before the siege and the 1st edition states "The corrected proofs accompanied the last despatches that got through the Boer Lines". She also refers to the sporting Scout set of stamps issued by Hungary in 1925 when it was a sports set with one Scout stamp. She also mentions that the Scout uniform has now been changed to blue which is not correct and the Scout Law shown was not the UK one, but the American Scout Oath.
Stamp Collecting had an article by Al Staines entitled "The great outdoors" and referring to the 1st World War that...... "Former Scouts soon proved their worth in that terrible conflict. Most of them obtained commissions following enlistment". I cannot believe this statement. With the illustrations of the three coloured labels produced for the 1920 World Jamboree we are informed "that they are the most sought after items in Scout thematic circles". I never knew that! We are also informed that, "Only the USA in 1967, Canada in 1981 and Australia in 1987 neglected to produce a commemorative World Jamboree issue. The USA and Australia had printed stationery with a Scout stamp, while there was never a World Jamboree in Canada in 1981. It was 1983 and a stamp was issued. Finally we are informed that B-P retired to live at Paxtu Cottage in the White Highlands. Where this is I do not know! For the record he retired to Kenya where he died in his cottage called Paxtu close to the Outspan Hotel in Nyeri in January 1941.
Finally the Stamp and Coin Mart (which produced a first class 46 page Scouting supplement) made the biggest mistake of all time, when the Editor wrote "When Corporal Baden-Powell...." As we all know, he was a Colonel at the time of Mafeking. The article by Paul Chesham informs us that "...the honour of issuing the first stamps with a Scouting theme goes to Thailand. Of course Czechoslovakia issued the fist two Scout stamps in 1918. He also says that Scouting ceased in Hungary in 1947 when in fact it was May 1948. and started again in 1991 but it was in 1989. Also most amusing was the article by Elizabeth Clare writing about the 1957 World Jamboree covers "The different covers quickly subsumed into private collections, became like gold dust, even though thousands were produced at the time....". The 1957 first day cover is currently worth around £35. Many dealers expect this to rise to £60-£70 by the end of 2007. I suggest she look at the prices on eBay which are around £7-£10. James Mackay who is one of the best known philatelic writers does say that the Brownsea Island camp was in July 1907 when in fact it was August. He then goes on to say that B-P formed the boys of Mafeking into a Cadet Corps when in fact they had been going some time before the Siege commenced.
I was pleased to receive a best wishes letter from St P S, the Austrian Scout Stamp Club to the SGSC on our 50th Birthday and with good luck for the future. It was signed by Wilhelm-Otto Neubäck the Secretary, Horst Suschnik, the Treasuer and Horst Ziegler, their Chairman and current IFSCO president. This was a most kind gesture. An email from Ben Adams of the USA, congratulated us on the July/August edition of the Bulletin.