On Tuesday December 19th the Society welcomed John Gledhill as presenter. His subject was overprints of British stamps, and John started by explaining how his overprint collection was originally a side-line to his main British collection as overprints were a useful way of identifying stamp varieties, and were often cheaper with the overprint. The first stamps he showed were for Cyprus which used Queen Victoria stamps overprinted Cyprus between 1880 and 1881 while the new stamps were being designed and printed. In contrast, Bechuanaland used ‘temporary’ overprints from 1887 right through to 1937. The colonial issues included trials, local overprints and all of the errors associated with these issues such as misplaced overprints and changes of typeface half way down a sheet.
The next section of the display covered Post Office Agencies where the British Post Office provided a postal service in countries not deemed to be able to provide a reliable one of their own. These included the Turkish Empire where British stamps were overprinted Levant and used between 1885 and 1923. This also happened in Morocco, as well as Tangier which had become an international free trade zone in 1924.
From 1948 to 1966, the British Post Office was contracted to provide postal services to a number of Gulf States including Bahrain, Kuwait and Qatar.
Then there were temporary occupation stamps: MEF overprints for the occupation of former Italian colonies and EAF (East Africa Forces) for the occupation of Eritrea, Somalia and Tripolitania.
John ended the presentation with a selection of Post Office Training School overprints.
The society welcomed its members back for the New Year on January 2nd with nibbles and members presenting recent acquisitions. As always there was a rich variety of material obtained from stamp fairs, dealers and on-line auctions.
The next meeting will be on Tuesday January 19th at 7:30pm at Hanwell Fields Community Centre when Dr. Ken Flint will give a presentation titled ‘Cyprus – Its history in stamps’. The Banbury Stamp Society is on-line at ‘www.banburystampsociety.co.uk’, or contact John Davies on 01295 255831.