Philatelists put their stamp on popular fixture

STAMP CLUB: The night of ‘Five sheets or 50p’ has members showing at least five sheets from their collection, those failing to do so being ‘fined’ 50p, the amount going into society funds! This annual fixture in the syllabus is very popular with the local philatelists and every time new material and new collecting interests come to light.

The former Gilbert and Ellice Islands, now known as Tuvalu and Kiribati, was represented by Christmas stamps of 1969, 1970, 1971 and 1972, the beautifuly designed and printed issue of 1969 being voted the best stamp of all those issued worldwide that year. Others on show were of life on the tropical islands.

Issues from another exotic location were those of the Turks and Caicos Islands from 1900 through to 1948 and included such omnibus sets as the 1937 Coronation and 1948 Silver Wedding of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, those for the Second World War victory commemoration of 1946 and islands’ life.

Continuing with the Commonwealth was a 1971 issue of Gibraltar featuring pairs of stamps showing views of ‘The Rock’, and old scene and how it had changed.

The stamps of the Duchy of Luxembourg covered the years 1934 to 1952, including sport, monarchs and a number of those issued in aid of charity.

British stamps shown were current issues in a highly-specialised study of the different printings by the various printers contracted by Royal Mail.

Another highly-specialised showing were revenue stamps of America, issed by the Union, starting in 1863 to fund the Civil War. The Congress of the North passed a law whereby virtually everything was to be taxed! This included merchandise and all documents such a certificates, telegraphs, insurances, mortgage, cosmetics and all photographs. The tax varied between two and 25 cents, with a $100 fine if it was not paid! The tax continued until 1883 – 18 years after the war finished!