Recent and Forthcoming Meetings

The Programme for the Session 2020-2021

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.

Meeting Exhibits and Videos

In order to view available meetings exhibits and the YouTube videos, Members should .

During World War II Great Britain was concerned about protecting the British presence in Antarctica, not just from enemy incursion, but to maintain sovereignty against competing claims from Argentina and Chile. This pressure on sovereignty continued into the 1950s with the United States also looking to expand their reach in the region. The British looked to maintain their sovereignty through several means, including by the establishment of bases on the Antarctic Peninsular and the surrounding islands, better mapping of the area to demonstrate ownership, and expeditions linked to that mapping and promoting scientific research.

A key part of proving this sovereignty was the establishment of post offices and a postal service. This included stamp issues for the Falkland Islands Dependencies beginning in 1944, and continued with an ever increasing number of base Post Offices in the 1950s, reaching some 15 through the decade.

This presentation by Kim Stuckey FRPSL will show the evolution of the postal service in the Falkland Islands Dependencies, from South Georgia in the north of the region down into the Antarctic. It will also show how the expeditions in the 1950s used that postal service to link with family, friends and expedition organisers back at home thousands of miles away.

This event will be held live via Zoom, and a recording will be available shortly afterwards, in that part of this website page (Meeting Videos, above), for RPSL Members Only.

The Danish private local postal services were at their most extensive in the 1880s, and many had closed by the early 1890s. The Copenhagen Telephone Kiosks began in 1896, later than most, and finally went out of business in 1980. The kiosks became a Copenhagen institution, offering telephony, local delivery, post restante, mail forwarding, local parcels and a range of other services from theatre tickets to small advertisements, and some of the most attractive greetings telegrams of their time. This is their story.

This presentation by Chris King RDP, Hon. FRPSL was held live via Zoom. The recorded event may be viewed here.

In addition, the presentation slide show can be downloaded from these links:


When King Louis XVI attempted to resolve France’s financial woes in 1789 by recalling the Estates General, he opened the door to the French Revolution, which led to the rise of Napoleon and 26 years of world-wide conflict.

This presentation by Peter Rooke featured postal history from this period, illustrating the changes in the postal services in France, Britain, Italy, and the Iberian Peninsula. It began with the Revolutionary Government’s franchise markings, continued with the Packet Boat re-routings, the French domination of Italy, and the Peninsular War.

This event was held live via Zoom. The video recording of the event is available from this website page (Meeting Videos above) for RPSL Members Only.

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.

This event was held live via Zoom. The video recording of the event is available from this website page (Meeting Videos above) for RPSL Members Only.

In October 1941, Japan was threatening war, and Hong Kong was facing a major threat. To strengthen the defences of Hong Kong, Canada sent a contingent designated Force ‘C’, including 2 battalions, the Winnipeg Grenadiers and the Royal Rifles of Canada.

1,975 troops of all ranks sailed aboard TSS Awatea and HMCS Prince Robert from Vancouver on 27th October 1941 and made brief stops in Honolulu, Hawaii and Manila, Philippines, reaching Hong Kong on 16th November.

When the Japanese forces invaded Hong Kong on 8th December 1941, the Allied forces bravely fought to defend the colony but were forced to surrender on 25th December.

Following a brief introduction, this presentation showed the postal history of ‘C’ Force in Hong Kong, which included:

  • as “Y” Force in Jamaica (forerunner)
  • on the way to Hong Kong
  • arrival in Hong Kong
  • detained mail
  • returned mail
  • Prisoner of War mail in Hong Kong and Japan.

Dr Sam G Ling Chiu FRPSC, FRPSL organised and illustrated the topic from a Social Philately approach, with the inclusion of relevant ephemera and information about the sender/receiver of the postal history items.

This event was held live via Zoom. Click here to view the video recording of the event. A PDF version of the presentation slides can be viewed here.

Five members of the Council of the Royal Philatelic Society London gave light-hearted presentations of amusing, unusual, festive, and entertaining philatelic material. They were as follows:

  • Richard Berry FRPSL: Home for Christmas - by Sledge - 1914 (and other brief tales)
  • Jon Aitchison FRPSL: The Ship that Sank Twice
  • John Davies FRPSL: The 1890 Post Office Christmas Card
  • Jack Zhang FRPSL: A Boxing day letter from our Past President King George V
  • Richard Stock FRPSL: Humorous illustrated covers and postcards.

This event was held live via Zoom. The video recording of the event is available from this website page (Meeting Videos) for RPSL Members Only.

Five members of the Council of the Royal Philatelic Society London gave light-hearted presentations of amusing, unusual, and entertaining philatelic material. They were as follows:

  • Mike Roberts FRPSL: Imperial Airways - Survey Flight of Africa 1925-1926
  • Simon Richards FRPSL: Fun with Forgeries
  • Mark Bailey FRPSL: Mail to and from the Society
  • Kim Stuckey FRPSL: A Christmas Cracker
  • Chris King RDP, Hon. FRPSL: Philatelic Dinners ... A Taster

This event was held live via Zoom. The video recording of the event is available from this website page (Meeting Videos) for RPSL Members Only.

Before 1841 Sarawak was under the Sovereignty of the Sultan of Brunei. James Brooke, an Englishman, helped the Sultan’s Uncle Hassim quell a rebellion of Dyaks. In doing so he was granted the province of Sarawak, its revenues and its trade. Nominally, he remained the feudal lord of the Sultan until five years later, in 1846, he became Sarawak’s absolute ruler. Sarawak continued to be privately ruled by the Brooke family for nigh on 100 years until the Japanese invaded in 1941.

It was remarkable that James Brooke actually set up a Government with such a small number of men. In 1843 there were only 16, some of which were crew of the Royalist. By 1860 there were only 14 Officers in Government Service and by 1891 there were 57 Europeans in total, 32 of whom were in the Rajah’s Government Service.

The presentation shows how the early Postal Service evolved which was amazing considering the small number of administrators. With so few Europeans it is not surprising why early outgoing material from Sarawak is scarce and with a rain forest climate, incoming even more so. After gaining access to the Brooke archives, much of it held in the Bodleian Library, Simon’s research has added more to this romantic and fascinating story.

This event was held live via Zoom, and the recording of the event may be viewed here.

This presentation given by Gerald Marriner FRPSL, currently the President of the Channel Islands Specialists' Society, shows examples of the basic problems for the Channel Islands' postal service between July 1940 and May 1945.

British stamps were still valid for postage throughout this period. However, when stocks ran out, locally printed stamps were issued. The presentation is in 4 sections, as follows:

  1. The lack of a direct mail service between England and the Channel Islands
  2. Occasional difficulties of sending mail between Guernsey, Jersey, Sark, and Alderney
  3. Indirect postal routes between the Channel Islands and occupied or neutral countries
  4. A small selection of social stories, to complete the presentation.

This event was held live via Zoom. The recorded event may be viewed here.

RPSL Past President Frank Walton RDP FRPSL presented the story of the Registered Envelopes of the Tudor Rose Design.

The Tudor Rose embossed design by Cecil Thomas featuring the head of Queen Elizabeth II for the postal stationery of Great Britain was used for Registered Envelopes, Post Office Envelopes and Stamped to Order Envelopes, Paper and Postcards. Thomas' other work included designs for British Elizabethan coins and the Crawford Medal for the Royal Philatelic Society London.

The first envelopes were issued in November 1954, being superseded from 1970 with the introduction of the Machin design. Included is material from Cecil Thomas' personal archive, which has been preserved in its entirety after being acquired from the Thomas family. All of this material is unique as similar items are not held in the Postal Museum, or in the Royal Philatelic Collection. Specimen envelopes have come onto the market from the printers' archive; such material is unique in private hands.

In connection with this presentation, Frank produced an electronic exhibit on this subject, which can be viewed here. In addition, a handout document can be viewed from this link.

This event was held live via Zoom. The recorded event may be viewed here.