On Tuesday 3rd May, Banbury Stamp Society welcomed Malcolm Batty who presented his display of stamps and postal stationary from Sweden. Malcolm turned out to be keen on all things Swedish and proceeded to talk us through the history of the stamps of the Swedish Post Office. The first stamps came out in 1855 and were printed by the British America Bank Note Company in Ottawa. These stamps were available in booklets or were dispensed at the counter from coils, and Sweden has continued to follow this pattern. The stamps were generally engraved and to a very high standard – as well as local engravers, many issues were engraved by the famous Polish engraver, Czeslaw Slania. Printing eventually moved to Sweden with the purchase of their own presses, but stamps were single colour right through to the 1960’s. Eventually, multiple colour presses were procured and the 1966 Speed Skating World Championships were commemorated with a multi-value se-tenant pane. Malcolm also related the story of Stamp Magazine giving away free Swedish booklets – he realised that the magazine was being sold at less than the face value of the stamps and so purchased a large number. From this he was able to show some of the control and plate markings that add interest to any booklet collection. Other interesting issues were joint commemorations with the USA, Russia and France where the same design was used in both administrations.
In the second half Malcom showed us the printed postal stationary of Sweden, much of it used and including a number of very well-travelled – and postmarked – covers. The material covered envelopes, reply cards and finished up with air letters.
The next meeting will be the club AGM on Tuesday May 24th at 7:30pm at Hanwell Fields Community Centre.The Banbury Stamp Society is on-line at ‘www.banburystampsociety.co.uk’, or contact John Davies on 01295 255831.