Society History

In the autumn of 1980 a course in basic Stamp Collecting was started at the North Oxfordshire Technical College under the direction of David Hood. This brought together enough collectors for the idea to be forwarded that a Stamp Society be formed. The college actively encouraged the venture with the offer of the college premises as a venue.

A meeting of those interested was held at the college in December 1980, a committee was elected under the Chairmanship of Ron Elliott, and the Banbury Stamp Society was launched. A constitution was drawn up and a programme of events arranged, with a review to be held at the first A.G.M. on whether to continue or not.

This first hurdle was successfully surmounted and the society started to flourish as membership gradually increased. In 1983 negotiations were held with the Northamptonshire Philatelic Society on joining with them as affiliated members. This provided many of the benefits of a large society, whilst leaving the organisation, management and financing of the society under our own control.

In 1991 the college premises were put on a commercial footing, and the large increase in hire charges for the premises forced a move to a new venue, the Elephant and Castle in Bloxham. In January 2000 the society moved to larger and more comfortable premises, the Calder Day Centre in Grimsbury.

In 2006 the society celebrated its 25th Anniversary with a special dinner, a commemorative cover and a standing display of member’s material at the Banbury Museum. By this time the status of the Northamptonshire society had changed considerably and, since there were now few benefits available to us, the decision was taken to cease our affiliation.

The closure of the Calder Day Centre in 2009 forced a move to the Hanwell Fields Community Centre, our current venue.

The society endeavours to provide the medium through which fellow collectors can meet and enhance their knowledge and enjoyment of stamp collecting and its related fields. The society tries to foster a friendly and informal atmosphere, with the minimum necessary formality, in which both novice and philatelist alike can co-exist and thrive.

The programme of events attempts to cover most branches of philately without too much emphasis on any one sphere. Opportunities are provided to display and talk about your collection (or parts of it) at several different levels and members are encouraged to take an active part in the society through this medium.

Collectors unwilling to interest themselves in anything outside their own particular field are unlikely to benefit from membership of a society. Those that are will almost certainly gain a considerably deeper knowledge of collecting in all its many aspects, and frequently gain useful information relating to their own field from the most unlikely sources.

The increasing trend towards specialisation nowadays does often mean that not too many members collect the same territories. This does tend to restrict the opportunities to buy and sell amongst ourselves, but nonetheless this is encouraged where possible.

The running of the Society is administered by a committee consisting of a Chairman, Vice-Chairman, Hon. Secretary, Hon. Treasurer, Programme Secretary and up to three other members. The range of posts within the society ensures that no one person bears too great a burden of the administration and at the same time helps to ensure the active participation of the membership in its smooth running.

The Banbury society runs an annual competition for the Robson Cup, named after the late David Robson, where each competitor has the opportunity to briefly display and talk about their entry. Entries shall comprise 3 to 6 sheets on any subject (Stamps, Postal History, Thematic). This is an informal event judged by the members present on the night.

Past Chairpersons

1981 R.C. Elliott 1995-99 D. Robson
1981-83 Mrs G. Killpack 1999-2002 P.E. Fernbank
1983-85 J. Potter 2002-03 Mrs G. Killpack
1985-87 P.E. Fernbank 2003-04 D. Webb
1987-88 J. Potter 2004-06 P.E. Fernbank
1988-89 Mrs G. Killpack 2007-08 J. Potter
1989-90 P.E. Fernbank 2009-10 Mrs L. Dunkley
1990-91 A. Mills 2011-2022 M. Moodie
1991-95 D. Davis 2022- I. Grace