21st April 2015 Sport on Stamps: Cycling to Gymnastics – Michael Chapling

Michael Chapling gave the talk at the last meeting. There are many ways of collecting stamps and, although collecting by country is the best known, many collectors are attracted to collecting by theme and in Mr. Chapling’s case he has chosen sport on stamps. He started off by outlining the scale of his collection – there are about 34,000 different stamps that would fall into the sports category. At this point many collectors would choose to narrow down the collection to a single sport, or particular sporting events – but not Michael. In order to be able to give the society a representative presentation he limited the stamps to the sports that fall alphabetically between Cycling and Gymnastics, but excluding Football (predictably another large collection in its own right). But even after narrowing down the presentation topics, this still represented 400 display sheets, for a display that needed only 144. So there was further selection to give us a taster for each of the sports.

The display started with cycling as an Olympic sport followed by other major events – Commonwealth Games, Asian games and then went through the Tour de France, World Championships, other notable tours and classic races. Included in the display were the stamps issued for the GB gold medal winners from the London Olympic and Paralympic games.

Darts came next and was the one sport displayed in its entirety – two stamps! Decathlon and Discus were relatively small sections followed by Diving where he apologised for having to include Disney thematics – in this case, Donald Duck attempting a dive.

The first half finished with Fencing, which also kicked off the second half. Figure Skating at the Olympic Games was followed by Fishing and Gliding. Golf provided a wide range of stamps with famous courses being nearly as popular as famous golfers. The evening concluded with Gymnastics with examples of famous gymnasts as well as the various disciplines from rings and pommel to beam and rhythmic floor work.

As well as stamps, the display included miniature sheets and imperforate proofs (particularly from Eastern Bloc countries) as well as commemorative and first day covers, postcards and examples of commemorative slogan postmarks.

The next meeting will be on Tuesday May 5th at 7:30pm in the Hanwell Fields Community Centre. The topic will be ‘Greek Islands’.


For more information contact J. Davies 01295 255831.