by John Ineson
Some of you may be aware that Spink's of London will be selling by auction, my collection of Anglo-Boer War Paper Currency on 12-13 April. Of particular interest to Scout collectors will be the Mafeking Banknotes, including a number of varieties, as well as Soup and Sowen tickets. Most items are being sold individually with over 160 lots, and on checking my records I see that some of these I purchased from former SGSC members over 50 years ago. It will be sad to see them sold, but at the age of 82, I trust other people will have pleasure in owning a great part of pre-Scouting history, as without the Siege of Mafeking, it is very unlikely that Baden-Powell would have ever started Scouting.
My "Jottings" for the Winter 2015 issue of our Bulletin proved to be of interest, especially to our Canadian members when I showed a badly perforated 1955 Jamboree stamp. Thanks to both Alex Hadden and Tony Manson, I can now show two more items from their collections including possibly the only known cover with this variety. If you have any interesting varieties of Scout stamps, why not share them with our members.
A few months ago, I gave a display of my U.K. Scout collection to a local Philatelic Society, and when it came to the 1957 World Jamboree set, I asked the audience how many issues of commemorative stamps had been issued since the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953. By then four years had passed, and knowing how many sets our Post Office issues these days, the answers were all wrong. The World Jamboree stamps were the first set to be issued in four years. It then came to the 1957 coils, and the members were most surprised to learn that the Scout issue was the first and only set of U.K. commemorative stamps to be produced in coils. At the time the Post Office was informed to expect to sell some two million covers, so they commissioned a special machine for applying the set of three stamps. What the Post Office did not realise was that many people and companies produced their own First Day Covers, so in the end only 60,632 official covers were stamped and sold by the Post Office. The machine required the stamps to be in continuous rolls, so an order was placed with the printer for these to consist of 4800 stamps. The following were produced for the machine and for sale at the London Chief Office, 2½d...487, 4d...480 and 1s.3d...482, but due to the lack of sales, only just over 20 rolls were sold of each value. As the Post Office had a considerable number of rolls left, it was found that the quantities were too large for stamp collectors, so some were rewound into smaller rolls of 480 for the 2½d and 4d and 240 for the 1s.3d and placed on 2nd September 1957. The total amount sold was 49 of the 2½, 37 of 4d and 33 of the 1s.3d value. To prove that stamps came from coils, you had to collect the coil leaders as shown or find a strip of 21 stamps, as the original sheets consisted of 6 x 20 stamps.