Coltman scoops philatelists’ blue riband event

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The final meeting of the season was the competition for the 174 Trophy (the main event of the year) and the annual general meeting.

Five of the members present entered, the criteria being eight to 12 display sheets, plus a title page if required. Showing the high standard of the entries, only 10 points separated first and fifth.

The trophy went to Jake Coltman with his ‘Tender Essays: 1879-1880’ which the judges awarded 92 points. For a new printing contract, the British government invited seven firms to submit samples of their work, the display featuring examples from five of them; of the other two, items from one seldom became available to philatelists and one firm declined.

Second equal on 90 points were James Burney’s ‘The Early Postal History of San Remo and Porto Maurizio’ and ‘The Leeward Islands’ from Archie Hunter. The former exhibit included covers dated from 1788 to 1813 from the Italian towns serviced by the Monaco post office prior to the opening of their own under French Napoleonic occupation. Archie Hunter had made a study of the island’s using the Queen Victoria issues from 1890 through to those of King George V in 1912-1932 and included several printing plate varieties and three early covers.

Fourth place on 84 points was ‘Russian War 1918-1920’ from Betty Burney – a study of various issues from different regional governments, provinces and armies, showing the many complex printings during those turbulent years.

Awarded 82 points was ’Commemoration’ from Isobel Scott. As the title suggests, incorporating British stamps and covers, various events in the Queen’s reign were exhibited including the Coronation, Silver, Golden and Diamond Jubilee, 40th Anniversary of the Accession and an issue showing the Crown Jewels.

The judges were members Norman Fairbairn and Victor Donovan, both accredited judges at national level.

Office bearers elected for the 2013-2014 season starting on September 11 were: President – Norman Fairbairn; vice-president – Victor Donovan; secretary – George Burney; treasurer – Betty Burney; minute secretary – Archie Hunter; exchange packet secretary – Norman Fairbairn; press secretary – Jake Coltman; librarian – Cyril Taylor; congress delegate – Archie Hunter; school liaison officer – Isobel Scott.

Two members have been successful in this year’s national competition in Perth, adding to the many awards which have been won by the society in the annual Scottish Philatelic Congress.

Archie Hunter, a member from Morebattle, won the Carson Trophy and a small silver gilt medal, with his exhibit ‘1984-85 Royal Mail Postage Labels’ awarded 79%. These experimental labels were issued for a one-year trial period then withdrawn when not considered a success.

Victor Donovan, a member from Darnick, was awarded a silver medal with 70% for his entry in the Social Philately Class entitled ‘Napoleon – The Man and His Life’. The exhibit featured the French emperor’s life, including battles, marriages, schooling, coronation, defeat, exiles and death, linking relative images actually used on stamps.