The Banbury Stamp Society members have provided their own entertainment in February. At the beginning of February, the theme was ‘Stamps and Covers with the letter G’. We started with German territories lost at the treaty of Versailles, with German patriotic and propaganda labels commemorating the European and Colonial territories that were lost. We had a small selection of 1946-48 German occupation issues including stamps ‘improved’ by the addition of fake cancels. The Guildhall lettercard was produced for the 1890 Guildhall Exhibition celebrating 50 years of the Uniform Penny Postage. It had a face value of 1d, but was sold for 6d with the balance going to the Rowland Hill Benevolent fund: all 5,000 of the first printing sold out the first night and so a second printing was required to meet demand. The next display was of the George Cross medal awarded to Malta on September 24th, 1940 by King George VI in recognition of the resilience of the Maltese people under the face of 2,000 German and Italian air raids between 1940 and 1942. We saw a number of stamps issued to commemorate the medal, as well as postcards showing the destruction of the bombing. Gallipoli followed with a range of maps and letters from the battle which it was hoped would pacify Turkey and provide the Allies with access to Russian grain from Odessa. We were treated to an in-depth analysis of the military campaign along with individual insights from the letters. Our final display was the Great Seal of the Bahamas which was designed to commemorate the end to piracy in the region and used in the stamps for the tercentenary of the discovery of the islands by Columbus.
On February 20th, the Robson Cup was held and we had four entrants in the 3-6 sheet competition. The first was a collection of letters from Jamaica in 1805-1806. The correspondence was related to the 55th Regiment (Westmoreland) and detailed the day to day life in the army at that time. Staying near the Caribbean, we had Bahamas Postal Cards from 1891. Moving across to the Mediterranean we had a display of Maltese postal censorship markings from the First World War. We finished with a Pacific Island: Samoa, which had its first postal service in 1877 using a locally produced label that was not recognised by the Universal Postal Union; mail leaving Samoa required New Zealand stamps.
The society met for their Annual Dinner on March 6th and a very convivial meal was had at the Joiners’ Arms in Bloxhan.
The next meeting will be on Tuesday March 20th at 7:30pm at Hanwell Fields Community Centre when Peter Wood will be visiting to talk about ‘Ireland Troubles and Transition 1900-1930’. The Banbury Stamp Society is on-line at ‘www.banburystampsociety.co.uk’, or contact John Davies on 01295 255831.