News Events Meetings

Regular Meetings at 15 Abchurch Lane

Meetings are held at our London premises usually twice per month from September to June.

Presently, the premises are closed due to the impact of the Covid-19 Coronavirus, but we are having Online Meetings.

The programme for the season is under review and updates will be published on the website as soon as they are available. Click here to see the currently published programme for the session 2020-2021.

Covid-19 Precautions

The Society's premises are presently closed. When the Society's premises re-open, everyone coming to the building will need to be aware of potential risks and what they need to do to alleviate them. Please click here to see the Covid-19 Risk Assessment and Procedures document.

As explained in that document, everyone entering the building will be asked if they have read and understood the Risk Assessment and Procedures document. They will then be asked to fill in a Coronavirus precautions and track and trace form that should then be placed in a box in the reception area. This form is available here and can be completed in advance and brought with you to the building when you arrive.

The Royal Philatelic Society London is an official partner of the Philatelic Traders Society for Stampex International Virtual Exhibition 2021. Click here for more information.

President’s Newsletter


This newsletter includes information about forthcoming events as we move steadily towards re-opening 15 Abchurch Lane and our first physical meeting for fifteen months – a presentation by members of the West Midlands Region – we all look forward to meeting socially once again!

Please note the change of time for the meeting on 6th May 2021.

Online Meeting Thursday 22nd April 2021

144 Fellows and Members and 13 guests from 15 countries viewed and acclaimed Jon Aitchison’s presentation which featured 300 years of interesting postal and colourful social history of Herm Island. Essential qualifications for early tenants included smuggling, inappropriate marriages, and unusual activities leading to eventual bankruptcy. It was an informative and thoroughly entertaining afternoon with members commenting ‘superb,’ ‘excellent,’ ‘great,’ ‘I might try a staycation’ and ‘people who think that philately is boring should have seen today’s presentation!’

Congratulations Jon and many thanks for a most enjoyable presentation!

Next Online Meeting Thursday 6th May 2021 – 16:00 BST

On Thursday 6th May 2021 at 16:00 BST Neil Donen FRPSL will present “End of a Dream: The ill-fated 1935 Trans-Tasman Jubilee Flight.”

Hoping to secure the Australia-New Zealand leg of the All-Empire Airmail Scheme, Sir Charles Kingsford-Smith attempted to fly some 29,000 mail items between the two countries as part of the 1935 Silver Jubilee celebration. Damage to the starboard propeller forced him to return to Australia with most of the mail being jettisoned.

The presentation will focus on mail saved (approximately 1,100 items). It will also cover the 13,000 mail items scheduled to be included on the return flight from New Zealand. Part of the presentation will discuss origins, destinations and rates used for the Trans-Tasman flights. Some interesting philatelic associations, two philatelic firsts, the presentation of some uncommon material and a re-enactment of Gordon Taylor’s dramatic transfer of oil between the airplane engines (he was awarded the Empire Medal for this deed) will be included.

(Members Only)

Online Presentation Tuesday 25th May 2021 – 14:00 BST

The Tapling Collection in the British Library’s Philatelic Collections: A Brief Survey presented by Dr Richard Morel FRPSL.

This online presentation will provide a brief overview of the world famous Tapling Collection of postage and telegraph stamps and postal stationery now housed in the British Library’s Philatelic Collections. It will briefly consider the life and philatelic pursuits of Thomas Keay Tapling (1855-1891); the management of his collection following its bequest to the British Museum’s Department of Printed Books as well as how it has gone on to form the foundation of the national philatelic collection. The presentation will then finish off by providing details on the collection for research.

This rescheduled event was originally due to take place in January 2021.

Please book via Eventbrite.

For more information, please contact

AGM Display - 29th July 2021 at 13:00 BST

This display by the President will feature Sudan Stamps - The De La Rue Years 1898 – 1970 and postal history including Early Mail and Egyptian Territorial Post Offices in Sudan, Campaign Mail 1883-1898, River and Rail Travelling Post Offices, Pioneer Airmails, Censored Mail, Scarce and Unusual Postmarks and Postage Due Mail.

A Presentation at 15 Abchurch Lane - 9th September 2021 at 13:00 BST

The Royal Mail 1516 to 1766 by Malcolm Ray-Smith FRPSL

This presentation, twice deferred, will feature how the Royal Mail developed from a means of carrying letters only on state business to a public service serving all parts of the Kingdoms. It will include the Tudor and Early Stuart Posts, Merchant Posts, The Civil Wars, The Protectorate, The Restoration, The London Penny Post, Cross Posts and The Ralph Allen Era.

A major display of this subject will interest Museums, Livery Companies and other organisations within the City of London and it will be widely publicised. More information will be available in due course.

Finally, arrangements for the re-opening and a return to ‘normality,’ however that may be defined continue and I will provide further information in my next newsletter. Meanwhile, stay well and enjoy the sunshine!

With my very best wishes,

Richard Stock FRPSL
The Royal Philatelic Society London
23rd April 2021

Meeting Videos

5pm meetings that have been videoed may be viewed on YouTube, accessible through links on the All Meetings with Documents page.

The full list of meetings can be viewed here.

Meeting Handouts

Our archives hold about 700 handouts provided by displayers at meetings since 1918. These range from single sheets of paper listing the items on display to extensive publications including complex images that can be regarded as significant contributions to the literature. Explanatory notes were at first provided only occasionally but have become normal practice since the 1980s. Many contain material of value to researchers and their production quality has steadily improved. These have been scanned and converted to searchable PDF documents. Click here for a list of the handouts available to view online.

Library Events

From time to time informal talks take place, showing the diversity of philately and how it can provide unexpected insights into social, cultural and local history. Click here for information about the upcoming events.

Standing Displays and Regional Meetings

Information about the standing displays and regional meetings, in the United Kingdom and around the world, can be viewed by clicking the menu to the left.


Council has recently approved an updated Safeguarding Policy for the Society. This policy outlines how we need to safeguard the welfare of everyone associated with the Society, by protecting them from physical, emotional, sexual and negligent harm.

Everyone has a duty to report concerns or suspicions, and a right to do so in confidence and free from harassment. The revised policy can be viewed here.

Enquiries regarding any aspect of safeguarding can be emailed to