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The Southport
Stamp & Postcard
Founded in 1930
The Southport Stamp & Postcard Club

Journal for the 2010-2011 Season

A Narrative Account of our Season

7th September 2010


The West Coast Railway Postal Service encompasses large amounts of geography, and considerable amounts of time, dating back to the early days of railways in the 1830s. The first carriage of mail between Liverpool and Manchester took place in November 1830, extending to London in 1838 when a through route over the lines of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway, the London and Birmingham Railway, and the Grand Junction Railway was established. All through the network, feeder lines were established, and eventually amalgamated with the trunk lines, until in 1846 the London and North Western Railway came into being linking most of the important centres of population in our region.

Travelling Post Offices, Sorting Tenders and Sorting Carriages followed, allowing the processing of mail during the rail journey - a service which lasted until the opening years of the 21st Century.

Taking the story in detail, with displays of postal history to match, Arthur Roberts gave us a fascinating overview of the efforts which went into making overnight delivery throughout the United Kingdom a reality.


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5th October 2010


The theme for the evening of Members’ displays was anything having a connection with the letters ‘L’ and ‘N’ a breadth of scope which always results in something new and interesting to examine.

Miss Taylor opened proceedings with a display of letter covers and notes on silk, with interesting views of times past ranging from posting a letter in 1894 via the Eton and Harrow Cricket Match to Brighton Beach in 1934. Mr Marten followed, with an African Miscellany of lynx, leopards, and lizards, before a quick trip across continents to include llamas. The associated stories included the tale of how Mr Marten, during his time in East Africa, found himself separated from his Landrover by a fortunately rather lazy lion.

Mr Hyde offered a totally different field of study - the NVI Machin head stamps of Great Britain, including the hardly-ever-seen Europe and Worldwide stamps. Mr Bretherton offered a copy of the Treaty of Waitangi from 1840, which of course was the founding document of the modern nation of New Zealand, together with a wide ranging collection of stamps from there. Mr Stuttard concluded the evening with a display of Railway postcards - from the LNWR of course - issued between 1904 and 1909, representing a good spread of the more than 900 different cards issued.

2nd November 2010 - 80th Anniversary Meeting


The 80th Anniversary meeting of the Club is special, not only because we can look back on eighty years of an enjoyable and fulfilling hobby, but also because we have taken the opportunity to look forward, to see how we can help the next generation to appreciate the pleasure to be gained from philately in general.

The speaker for our meeting was Mrs Erene Grieve who gave us a  fascinating insight into ‘Stamps in Schools’ - a development programme which she started some years ago, and which is supported by the British Postal Museum and Archive. Mrs Grieve is a retired teacher, and lecturer in Developmental Psychology for the Open University. Her first visits to schools were a great success with pupils and teachers, and convinced her that the programme was worth pursuing. ‘Stamps in Schools’ has received two prestigious Rowland Hill Awards from the British Philatelic Trust, and has featured on radio, and in national and local newspapers.

Sponsorship by the BPMA has meant that Mrs Grieve has been enabled to travel to many parts of the UK, her work often being supported by the local philatelic society. Here in Southport, Mrs Grieve will be bringing her message to two local scholls, where she will present information and materials with the hope that the interests of the children will be captured!


For more information about the programme, click HERE to visit our Stamps4Kidz pages.


7th December 2010


The programme had originally listed two half-evening presentations. The first of these was to have been by our former Secretary, Les Johnson, who intended to show us something of the incredible achievements and bravery of those who had won the Victoria Cross. Unfortunately, Mr Johnson’s health had started to deteriorate, and he was unable to attend the meeting.

Instead, Mr Howard Smith, one of our newer members, entertained us with the story of a chance meeting in the Postal Museum at Ottawa, where he met the grower of some African Violets, subsequently used in a stamp design. He continued the contact on his return to this country and has since received an autographed copy of the miniature sheet!

SSPC Member Mr J Robinson briefed us with the ongoing development of contacts with local schools, following Erene Grieve’s visit last month. Packs of material are being assembled which will be relevant to areas of study in the curriculum, for example, World War II. The children seem to respond well to the idea of collecting small things, and enjoy the use of the magnifying glass.

Our second scheduled presentation of the evening came from our Member Mr I Koller, who treated us to a high-flying and wide-ranging display of stamps featuring Birds of Prey, specifically Owls - certainly favourites of many people! There were no prizes, and no right answers to the question of how many varieties of owl there are, world-wide: 151, 173 or 222 being possibly right!

4th January 2011


Anomalies, Oddities, and Curiosities were the subjects of tonight’s meeting, taking a leaf out of the books of some of our predecessors who spent much time and effort collecting nothing but.

Mr Thompson opened proceedings by reflecting on his early collecting days, and showed stamps from the reign of Queen Victoria, and from New Zealand.

With a seasonal theme, Miss Taylor exhibited stamps featuring the Hebrew alphabet, portraits, and Christmas silk covers.

Mr Hyde took a rather less comfortable route, showing us a series of postcards featuring shipwrecks, off the coasts of Lundy Island and France.

Mr Patterson remained with the nautical theme, this time, the famous tin-can mail, before venturing into the field of early Tonga self-adhesive stamps.

Mr Kipps showed a miscellany of covers with spelling mistakes, poor addressing, and a variety of cachets.

Mr Stuttard rounded off the evening with a display of a forged booklet pane, assorted postcards with printing erros, and a printer’s press sheet.

1st February 2011


The evening took the form of an excursion into the world of airmails and aerial items, with Members’ own displays.

Mr Robinson opened proceedings, with Coronation Airmails, items relating to Charles Lindbergh, and the ultimate in low-flying aircraft: the hovercraft.

Mr Koller took us across the Atlantic Ocean to the US of A, showing a collection of many different air mail stickers and etiquettes, including World War II items both with and without censorship marks.

Mr Stuttard’s first presentation featured the 1911 Aerial Post between London and Windsor, which is recorded as the first UK airmail. We were also treated to an item which would have been balloon post, were it not for the fact that the balloon burst!

Mr Patterson anticipated the arrival of Egypt into the news with a display of early Egyptian Air Mail issues.

Mr Leather presented a completely unstructured display of first flight and interesting flight covers, for example, an item from the flight where air-to-air refuelling was first used.

Mr Hyde showed a range of stamps issued by the United Nations during the 1950s, when new issues came only every few years, when postal rates changed. Mr Marten told us of his experiences in the Seychelles, where he was instrumental in the construction of the airport at Mahe, and the airstrip on Praline.

Mr Stuttard returned, to conclude the evening with a comprehensive display of first- and last-day covers from the Railway Air Service, operated during the 1930s.

In Memoriam


The Members of the Club observed a minute’s silence in memory of two Members, Mr Les Johnson, and Mr George Mitchell, who had passed away since the last meeting.


We particularly remembered with thanks, the nearly fifty years’ service as Secretary, given to the Club by Mr Johnson.

1st March 2011


The evening could have started with the welcome ‘Hello, hello, hello’ but it didn’t. Instead, our Members welcomed Mr G W Pickles from the Preston Philatelic Society who had come to tell us about ‘A Bobby’s Hobby’ which, of course, related to material concerning the Police Forces throughout the country.

Early material commenced with an autograph of Sir Robert Peel, founder of the Metropolitan Police. We then moved on to a letter issued in connection with the detention of a vagrant, and a number of covers addressed to now-defunct police forces. The use of the term ‘On Police Service’ was noted, but this did not appear to warrant (!) any special form of postal treatment. We learned, too, about police matters past and present - the fact that the Yeomen Warders of the Tower of London are card-carrying Special Constables in the Metropolitan Police! Matters philatelical surfaced once again in the shape of the barred cancellation known now as a ‘Madeleine Smith’ as the type was introduced following some fairly pointed comments about the lack of information conveyed by postmarks, made by the judge in a famous murder trial.

On the international stage, we saw a letter sent from the office of Joseph Fouché, Napoleon Bonaparte’s Minister of Police, and some Opium Growers’ Water Tax stamps from Turkey.

Pride of place had to go, though, to an original copy of the Police News, reporting the first of Jack the Ripper’s victims. Truly a ripping presentation!

5th April2011


The Competition Meeting usually brings out material of interest, partly because the disciplines of the the Competition rules mean that it has to be carefully laid out, described, mounted, and so on. This year we were competing for the Leonard Rimmer Trophy, one of the three trophies in our cycle of competitions.

The John Rimmer Trophy is awarded to an exhibit of nine pages, on any philatelic subject except for thematic collections and displays. The entries were judged by the Members of the Club on the basis of points awarded in four categories:

On the basis of these four, the trophy was awarded this year to Mr Ralph Stuttard

3rd May 2011


May is the month when we all gather together to set the scene for the next year. The Club’s officers are nominated, and voted upon, and the subscription set. The theme for this year seems to be stability. All of the existing officers were happy to continue, no-one else was put forward, and we were all voted back in for another year. The subscription remains at £10, which at the rate of £1 per meeting remains quite modest. As an aside, we usually make ourselves a cup of tea, and nibble on a biscuit, part way through each evening; for this we charge ourselves 20p. This is cheaper, adjusting for inflation, than the 4d which our predecessors paid in 1935!

The nitty gritty having been dealt with, Mr Hyde donned his auctioneer’s hat, and proceeded to bolster the Club’s funds; his success in doing this helps materially in keeping the subscription to its current modest level!


Calendar for the 2010-2011 Season


To make things clearer, we've colour coded the type of meeting:


[    ] Blue is for regular Members' Evenings,

[    ] Green is for Evenings where a visiting speaker will make a

       presentation, and

[    ] Red is for the AGM.


7th September 2010  The Season opens with our first Guest Speaker of the year. Mr Arthur Roberts, who was the Secretary of our Club from 1957 to 1960, will be keeping us on track and giving us his presentation on ‘The West Coast Railway Postal Service.’


5th October 2010  This evening is the first of our Members' Evenings for the year. The theme is entirely open, but there must be some connection with the letters 'L' and 'N' It is worth noting that in previous years there has been considerable ingenuity shown in developing these connections!


2nd November 2010  80th ANNIVERSARY MEETING

We are frequently asked questions about stamps, but there is one question which we often ask ourselves: what is the future for philately? Are young people today interested in stamp collecting? For our Club’s 80th Anniversary Meeting we have invited Erene Grieve, from the Association of British Philatelic Societies, to tell us about the ‘Stamps for Schools’ programme of presenting stamp collecting to youngsters as a fascinating and rewarding alternative to computer games


7th December 2010  We will be doubly impressed this evening as two of our members will be making presentations. Mr Ian Koller will swoop down with ‘Owls’ and our immediate past Secretary Mr Les Johnson will be mentioned in dispatches with a review of the Victoria Cross


4th January 2011  The January meeting is one of those when we can really express ourselves, with Members’ Displays featuring Anomalies, Oddities and Curiosities!


1st February 2011  This evening we will be flying high, as the theme for our Members’ Displays is anything and everything to do with Airmails. Members and Guests are, however, requested to park their Flying Machines outside.


1st March 2011  This evening we will welcome the third of the Season’s Guest Speakers. There will be no police dramas but, instead, considerable interest, as Mr G W Pickles from the City of Preston PS will reach for his notebook to explain ‘A Bobby’s Hobby.’



The Competition this year is for the Leonard Rimmer Trophy. Entries for this competition should consist of nine sheets of anything to do with our hobby, except for Thematic Collections and Displays.



Not just the AGM, but also the Club Auction, where the success of the sales can have a marked effect on the subscription for the coming year!


7th June 2011  The final meeting of the Season is our Postcard Evening. The theme this year is quite simple. We will follow the example set by the Leonard Rimmer Trophy Competition: anything you like to do with postcards!


7th June 2011

This evening saw our annual excursion into the world of postcards, and the theme matched the spec for the Leonard Rimmer Trophy, earlier in the year: anything goes! The result was quite fascinating.

Mr Koller opened proceedings with a number of cards of birds, from St Kitts and Nauru, featuring stamps with the same artwork. Miss Taylor continued the natural theme with seascapes and seaside scenes in a variety of artistic styles from the 1920s to modern. Mr Barker took us in a darker direction, with cards from Germany from the inflation period to the third Reich.

Mr Robinson lightened the tone of the displays, with a range of cards showing water features to be included in a waterproof frame as part of a water feature. Mr Stuttard’s first display was of original and reproduction cards of Southport, including a range of early novelty cards. Mr Leather also showed some novelties, including several from the first world war period.

Mr Kipps took us on a motorised journey through Australia by Holden car, before transferring to the cult car from Sweden, the Volvo Amazon. He concluded with a Southport pub crawl, but unfortunately left the rest of us behind.

The evening closed with a second display from Mr Stuttard, commencing with large cards featuring railway material, before moving to cards which had been included in PO Presentation packs. His final theme was the cartoon cards from Bamforth’s, on various scatalogical themes, over which we will draw a discreet veil.

All-in-all, a worthy close to our season.

Archive for the 2010-2011 Season

The Calendar and Journal of our Meetings


Even though our previous years’ programmes are now history, it can be interesting to look back at the wide range of speakers and presentations which have both educated and entertained us.


Here is the Archive for 2010-2011


The Journal


To read the narrative Journal for any meeting, just click, and we will take you directly there

Click to see the Calendars and

Journals of our various Meetings


The Current Year




The Archives