21st March 2017 Philatelic Autobiography/Separate Studies of Japan – Bill Jackson/Alan Cowie

On Tuesday March 21st, the Society welcomed Mr. Bill Jackson and Mr. Alan Cowie who gave two very different and entertaining displays. Alan Cowie started the evening by revealing that he had been collecting Japanese stamps for 65 years. He is currently Secretary of the British Society for Japanese Philately and his presentation was a composite of that society’s material intended to promote the subject – which it did very well. The display started with material from the Treaty Ports in Japan, and moved on to the first Japanese stamps from 1871 featuring dragons in the design. Alan explained that while the Penny Black plates were created from a single ‘master’ engraving, the Dragons were printed in sheets of 40 with each stamp on the plate engraved separately. We moved on through the early 20th Century, covering other definitive issues and on to Japanese stamps used in territories occupied in what is now China and Korea, as well as the Second World War occupation issues. The post war issues reflected Japan’s changed status in the world.

Bill Jackson started the second half by describing himself as a stamp collector rather than a philatelist. His presentation was a philatelic illustration of his life, starting from his upbringing in Northern Ireland, through his education at Trinity College Dublin and on to a career including stints with Oxfam and the United Nations with overseas postings. The philatelic material was varied and interesting – a 1911 cover for the first air mail flight in Northern Ireland; a Penny Black on cover; a First World War letter sent to one of his relatives on active service in the Dardanelles and returned with ‘Killed in Action’ marked on the front; Postage due covers from when his mother failed to put sufficient postage on letters to various African destinations. All in all, it made a great ‘Social Philately’ presentation.

The next meeting will be on Tuesday April 4th at 7:30pm at Hanwell Fields Community Centre when presentation will be ‘Ten Collections – One Collector’ by Dane Garrod. The Banbury Stamp Society is on-line at ‘www.banburystampsociety.co.uk’, or contact John Davies on 01295 255831.