Recent and Forthcoming Meetings

The Programme for the Session 2020-2021

We had planned to re-open our premises for meetings from 15th October 2020, but due to the circumstances, this was not 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 .

On 25th August 1830 riots broke out in Brussels, leading shortly thereafter to the London Conference, where the main European powers, Austria, France, Great Britain, Prussia, and Russia, recognized the independence of the southern part of the Netherlands from the United Kingdom of the Netherlands and the establishment of an independent Kingdom of Belgium.

From then on Belgium had its own postal system. This presentation described the decrees and conventions between Belgium and Spain from 1830 until the entry into the GPU of both countries.

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.

Stampless letters, paid for by the receiver, and private postal systems, were gradually phased out in the United States after the introduction of adhesive postage stamps, first issued by the U.S. government post office on 1st July 1847, in the denominations of 5¢ and 10¢, with the use of stamps made mandatory in 1855.

The first U.S. postage stamps were authorized by an act of Congress and approved on 3rd March 1847. The earliest known use of the Franklin 5¢ is 7th July 1847, and the earliest known use of the Washington 10¢ is 2nd July 1847. Remaining in postal circulation for only a few years, these issues were declared invalid for postage on 1st July 1851.

This presentation focused on how these first two stamps issued by the United States were used, both in the United States and for International mail.

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

In addition, the presentation slide show can be downloaded here.

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 of his aircraft, Southern Cross, forced him to return to Australia with most of the mail being jettisoned.

In this presentation, Dr Neil Donen FRPSL focuses on mail saved, and also covers the mail items scheduled to be included on the return flight from New Zealand. Part of this presentation discusses 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 Patrick Gordon “Bill” Taylor’s dramatic transfer of oil between the airplane engines are all included.

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

In addition, the presentation slide show can be downloaded here.

A handout document with additional information can be downloaded from here.

This presentation given by Jon Aitchison, RNCP, FRPSL was a talk on the subject of Herm Island.

It was the story of 300 years of the colourful tenants of this small Channel Island, told through their postal history and documents, encompassing skulduggery, smugglers, inappropriate marriages, wallabies, a post office in a pub and even an RDP.

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

Coordinated by Martin Davies FRPSL, a Representative of the RPSL in the North West Region, 6 members from the North West of England and Northern Ireland Regions presented a range of philatelic and postal history subjects. The presenters and their chosen topics are as follows:

  • Julian Tweed: Some Liverpool Late Fees
  • David Sweeney: 1850 to 1863 Postal Conventions of the Kingdoms of Sardinia and Italy
  • Ian Cubbin FRPSL: Early Mail to and from Central Africa 1858-1891
  • David Sigee FRPSL: Merchant Marks in the reign of Queen Elizabeth I
  • Philip Longbottom FRPSL: The Netherlands Express Mail
  • Nick Coverdale: The First Stamps of Serbia, 1866

This event was held live via Zoom. Click here to view the video recording of the event.

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 showed 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 also showed 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 presentation was held live via Zoom. The recorded event may be viewed here.

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.