What a superb afternoon we enjoyed from husband and wife team, Chris and Birthe King (pictured) in March. Chris, the immediate past president of the Royal was first up with his PowerPoint presentation of Denmark and the Napoleonic Wars. During the wars the conglomerate kingdom of Denmark and Norway were whirled into the global conflict of France and England. A history lesson combined with some wonderful material. Chris displayed letters written by eye witness accounts of the various events covering the period from 1801 to 1818. They included the battle of Copenhagen in 1807, letters from the Spanish army in 1808, the British Navy from HMS St George and HMS Defence, censored letters with various handstamps, Napoleonic mail from 1806-1812 and English POW letters and many other treats.
The second half was just as intriguing with the much forgotten “Refugee camps in Denmark 1945-1949.” From the beginning of 1945 until the end of World War II in Europe refugees of many nationalities fled to Denmark, mainly Germans, Poles and Russians including nationals from the Baltic States of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. At the end of the war the Allied powers in Germany (Great Britain, France, the U.S. and the U.S.S.R) did not want immediately to accept the return of approximately 250,000 refugees from Denmark. We saw many letters, postcards, vaccination cards and returned letters written by refugees with different censored handstamps from the various camps throughout Denmark.
We had two speakers in February, Stuart Henderson and Tony Hoad who both happen to be members. They were down to entertain and they certainly did that. First up was Stuart with Propaganda Labels of WWII from around the world. He showed us various labels that had various messages depending on whether they were economic, diplomatic, morale boosting or military. We were treated to some wonderful colourful labels which could be stuck on various items from envelopes, packages, invoices, parcels and indeed a lot were made into posters to be hung in officers and factories. Most of the labels would now be non-pc with Canada being one of the most patriotic. The USA churned out millions of anti-war labels until the bombing of Pearl Harbour. Then came Defence Bonds, Saving Certificates, Buy Victory Bonds etc. and you could collect them all in a War Poster Album.
There were millions of labels issued around the world in WWII but surprisingly there are very few around today.
Tony Hoad first of all displayed the Falkland Islands and its dependencies in the second half. He showed us various stamps and printings, the first being issued in 1933. George Roberts was the designer of many of the stamps from the ½p to £1 which depicted scenes from the islands. He also showed us Madame Joseph forgeries and the 1946 map issue with its many varieties. Tony also displayed Newfoundland as he was a great admirer of the Caribou stamps issued in 1919. This was further enhanced when he was a personal guide for the WWI battlefield tours of the Newfoundland Regiment battles. The Newfoundland Regiment has a monument erected at Beaumont-Hamel with a Caribou statue as its symbol. He also displayed various airmail material when Arthur Sullivan set-up Newfoundland Airways in the early 1930s.
In January we had the last of our Members’ day for the current season with the members’ displaying a variety of material; the Australian 1d, butterflies and moths, British Military Administration (BMA) overprints, the introduction of the Mulready, the history of the European Union, Africa and around the islands of Africa and lastly various uses of old labels from saving cards, railways and stores to utilities. A wonderful diverse and entertaining afternoon.
Bookham Stamp Club founded in 1993 meets every 4th Tuesday of the month (except for December) at the Old Barn Hall, Church Road, Great Bookham and our very popular Trading Tables start opening at 1.30pm with displays commencing at 2.15pm. Our programme includes visits from an impressive list of visiting speakers, members’ displays and also Auctions that are held three times a year. We also have a packet exchange through which members can buy and sell stamps. We are interested in purchasing unwanted collections so if you are thinking of selling or indeed need advice concerning your collection contact our Trading Secretary, David Bravery on 01372 452537. We feel that we have built up an extremely good reputation locally and we are prepared to offer very competitive prices.
If you are new to stamp collecting or want to renew your hobby come along to one of our meetings you will be warmly welcomed by the 60 plus members that attend each meeting but if you wish to find out more details before attending contact our Membership Secretary Fred Mitchell on 01372 374614 or look at our website http://www.bookhamstampclub.com
Our next few meetings:
Tuesday 24th May – AGM & Auction (Club Material)
Tuesday 28th June – Club Meeting – Members’ Displays
Tuesday 26th July – Gavin Fryer FRPSL – GVI High Values 1941-43
Tuesday23rd August – Club Auction (Members’ and Club Material)
We welcome all newcomers and look forward to seeing you.
Barry Feltham Hon. Secretary