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.

We had planned to re-open our premises for meetings from 15th October, but due to the current circumstances, this has not been possible. 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

As the Society's premises are being re-opened, 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 2020. Click here for more information.


President’s Newsletter

Introduction

I hope that everyone enjoyed the festive season despite the ever changing and continuous Covid-19 restrictions! My best wishes to you all for the New Year. This newsletter includes information about online meetings, an Expert Committee update, programme changes and staffing facilities during lockdown.

Online Meeting Thursday 7th January 2021

In the first online meeting of the New Year, 142 Fellows, Members and guests in 19 countries attended Sam Chiu’s presentation “Canada's C-Force in Hong Kong and its Forerunners: From a Social Philately Approach.” It was a superb example of how best to use philatelic material and ephemera to illustrate the social aspects of postal history. The subject was new to me and many other viewers. The content was a complete story of the campaign and its aftermath including forerunner, soldiers’ and POW mail with rare and classic items, notable censor marks, a casualty list and a unique POW notebook. An outstanding presentation. Many congratulations Sam!

Next Online Meeting Thursday 21st January 2021

On Thursday 21st January 2021 at 14.00 GMT Murray Alexander Abramson, M.D. will present Commercial U.S. Airmail (1922-1941): the British-American Airmail Postal Agreement.

From the initiation of regular U.S. transcontinental airmail service until the onset of the U.S. entry into World War II (7 December 1941), the world witnessed a dramatic evolution of commercial air travel. During this time, airmail rates underwent substantial revisions which continued through the onset of World War II. Ultimately, war forced airlines to modify or close many routes.

Perhaps reminiscent of the complex pre-Universal Postal Union (U.P.U.) period of transoceanic ship mail (1838-1875) to the eventual establishment of the U.P.U. standard rate system, the once complex airmail rate structure (e.g., sanctioned use of mixed franking, highly diverse selection of routes and rates, and the cobbling of agreements between countries to establish new postal routes) gave rise to a simpler standard airmail rate structure which we use today.

The era had a significant and lasting effect on worldwide airmail service that can still be observed today. Few time periods are as influential to all of U.S. and worldwide postal history as pre-World War II airmail postal history.

Please note that you may join the meeting at 13:30 GMT. A recording of the event will be made available on the RPSL website later.

(Members Only)

2021 Programme Changes

The current lockdown has necessitated further changes to the programme of meetings and details of meetings between 21st January and 24th June 2021 are set out in the following table. It replaces meeting tables previously published in the LP or President’s Newsletters. The letters ‘ZVP’ in the time column indicate a Zoom Virtual Presentation and meetings in bold type are those with new dates. I also have a list of meetings for which a new date is not yet available.

Further changes are very likely and there will also be more virtual presentations. Everyone will be notified via Newsletters as soon as possible after changes are made.

DateTime Display
11 February 2021 ZVP Peter Rooke: Revolution, Conflict & Occupation – The Posts 1789-1815
25 February 2021 ZVP Chris King: Copenhagen Telephone Kiosks (postal facilities provided!)
11 March 2021 1 pm Her Majesty The Queen: Malta, Gibraltar and Cyprus (Restricted to Fellows and Members only) provisional date
25-27 March 2021 ZVP Virtual Stampex – RPSL will participate – details to follow
8 April 2021 ZVP North West and Northern Ireland Regions: Regional display
15 April 2021 5 pm Michael Elliott: “Finland at War – Defending its Borders.”
22 April 2021 1 pm David Cordon: Bermuda – stamps & postal history
29 April 2021 1 pm Malcolm Ray-Smith - The Royal Mail 1516 - 1766
6 May 2021 5 pm Grace Davies: ‘Peace’
13 May 2021 1 pm Bill Hedley, Denes Czirok & Adriano Bergamini: Hungarian Rhapsody
20 May 2021 1 pm North Midlands Region: Regional Display
3 June 2021 1 pm James Grimwood-Taylor: Postal History of the World c.3000 BC - 1940 AD
10 June 2021 5 pm Carol Bommarito: Adhesive Stamp usage on Transatlantic Mail to and from the US 1840-1875
17 June 2021 1 pm Graham Booth: West Indies Maritime Mail
24 June 2021 4.30 pm Annual General Meeting

RPSL Expert Committee update - 5th January 2021

The Royal Philatelic Society London building is currently closed to members and visitors in accordance with UK government restrictions.

Submissions to the Expert Committee are still being accepted and will be expertised as soon as it is possible for the Experts to meet again at Abchurch Lane. Inevitably, there will be severe delays with regards the return of these items and any outstanding items that were submitted in 2020.

Submissions sent to us by post will be received and stored securely, but until normal activity resumes, please avoid sending items to us by courier.

Please email experts@rpsl.limited for any further queries.

Thank you.

Lucy Caulfield - Secretary, Expert Committee

Staffing and Services to Members During Lockdown

Two members of staff have been furloughed and other staff are working from home. One member of staff regularly attends 15 Abchurch Lane for a short period to deal with tasks which cannot be done at home and to inspect the building. Many essential services are being provided remotely using email or telephone including processing orders for publications and membership and other enquiries.

The situation is very similar to the first lockdown last year and although every effort is made to maintain timescales, delays may occur due to external factors over which staff have no control. In such circumstances we do ask that those factors are taken into account and the co-operation and forbearance of members is much appreciated and very helpful.

It is very disappointing and unfortunate that we have again had to postpone events and introduce restrictions but the health, welfare and safety of members and staff is our first and paramount consideration.

I sincerely hope that the vaccine roll-out will ensure a significant improvement in the coming months and bring with it the normality to which we all look forward. However, on this occasion I’m not awarding myself any points for optimism!

Stay safe and well!

Richard Stock FRPSL
President
The Royal Philatelic Society London
8th January 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.

RPSL Expert Committee

Update - 5th January 2021

The Royal Philatelic Society London's building is currently closed to members and visitors in accordance with UK government restrictions.

Submissions to the Expert Committee are still being accepted and will be expertised as soon as it is possible for the Experts to meet again at Abchurch Lane.

Inevitably, there will be severe delays with regards to the return of these items and any outstanding items submitted in 2020.

Submissions sent to the RPSL Expert Committee by post will be received and stored securely, but until normal activity resumes, please avoid sending items to us by courier.

Please email experts@rpsl.limited for any further queries.

Thank you.

Lucy Caulfield - Secretary,
Expert Committee

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 safeguarding@rpsl.org.uk

The Patron of the Royal Philatelic Society London, Her Majesty The Queen, was on sparkling form as she opened our new headquarters at 15 Abchurch Lane, London on 26th November 2019.


Click here for a gallery of images from the opening of the new premises