As well as being a long standing member of the Banbury Stamp Society, John Davies has worked tirelessly in promoting youth philately and is also a qualified judge. He talked to the society about a range of collecting techniques, from how to remove gummed and self-adhesive stamps from envelopes to the guides available to measure perforation spacing. He brought a range of tools and demonstrated their value in identifying stamps – both relatively standard stamps but also scarce varieties. One of my favourites was an illuminated magnifier which allowed printing detail to be seen quickly and easily. He continued his presentation with an introduction to philatelic competitions which can be a great step in developing a collection by increasing your knowledge of the topic. He explained the scoring system and just what judges were looking out for: a clear introduction and then telling a story with the stamps.
After the break, members displayed their best buys and as usual we had a wide range of material. We started with some Newfoundland stamps in mint blocks showing the unusual roulette method to separate them rather than the more common perforations. This was followed with the Bahamas 2 ½ d showing a flaw that first appeared on the Queen Victoria issue and continued through the next two monarchs until 1918 when the printing plates were remade. Next was a collection of First World War trench ‘runners’ orders from the East Surrey Battalion which included hand-written medal commendations and ‘mentioned in despatches’. We finished with an 1890 Guildhall Exhibition invitation found stuck to the inside of an e-Bay album lot and painstakingly removed and conserved.
The next meeting will be on Tuesday December 20th at 7:30pm at Hanwell Fields Community Centre. Society member David Hood will be presenting. The Banbury Stamp Society is on-line at ‘www.banburystampsociety.co.uk’, or contact John Davies on 01295 255831.