On Tuesday 19th February the society held its annual Robson Cup Competition. Members are invited to display between three and six sheets of philatelic interest and talk about them. This year there were six entrants, as always very varied.
We started with Tristan da Cunha, a volcanic island in the middle of the South Atlantic. The reason for this island becoming inhabited is tied in with Napoleon being held on St. Helena: the British were worried about French attempts to rescue him and so set up garrisons on Tristan da Cunha as well as Ascension Island. After ten years on the island, a number of the soldiers opted to stay on and their descendants (and a few new arrivals) have been there ever since.
The second display was of ‘Military Miscellany’ with six letters of military origin. The first was a letter from 1829 during the Greek war of independence, which took four months to get from the Mediterranean back to the UK. The last was from a British soldier in the French Foreign Legion writing from ‘peacekeeping’ duties at Sarajevo airport during the Bosnian conflict. In between were interesting items from the two World Wars.
Our next presenter explained to us that the introduction of postage stamps and pre-paid letters was not universally popular and so Rowland Hill had been forced to introduce a system that allowed companies or individuals to get their own postal stationary (envelopes, postcards or wrappers) embossed at the Royal Mint. The Wyon head was used and the material was very colourful.
The 1890 celebration for the 50th anniversary of the penny post started with a lavish dinner for 300 of the Post Office great and good. This was held at the now demolished Holborn Restaurant and we were shown invitations, newspaper reports of the event and other ephemera from what was clearly a grand venue.
We finished with a presentation of Bahamas registered envelopes from Queen Victoria to Queen Elizabeth II, and a set of complete sheets of the Maltese stamps commemorating the 16th and 25th anniversaries of the George Cross.
The members voted for their favourite display and the winner was Ian Grace for his Tristan da Cunha entry.
The Society will be having its annual dinner at the Joiners Arms in Bloxham on March 5th. Our next presentation evening will be on Tuesday 19th March 2019 at 7:30pm at Hanwell Fields Community Centre when Patrick Reid will display his collection of ‘Tasmania’. The Banbury Stamp Society is on-line at ‘www.banburystampsociety.co.uk’, or contact John Davies on 01295 255831.