The final guest speaker of the season was Bill Gatto from the Edinburgh Philatelic Society and what a fantastic display it was.
His subject, ‘Concorde’, was expertly presentedin part because he had worked in the air industry and had been a passenger on the supersonic aeroplane.
Such was the appeal of this speaker, several members of the Galashiels-based Borders P.S. were present.
Collecting covers from the many flights of the British Airways/Air France project is a very popular theme among philatelists – many items being quite unique, especially those signed by members of the crew – and those in the display were among the very best available.
Mr Gatto gave his hosts a comprehensive and informative display covering the life of Concorde, from its inaugural flight on March 3, 1969 to the final one on November 26, 2013. His covers, most of which were actually carried by each of the flights worldwide, included many signed by Mike Bannister, the chief pilot, specially for Mr Gatto.
The famous international flights between London, Washington, New York, Bahrain, Barbados and Mexico City were all represented, as well as when the planed touched down in Edinburgh in October 2003 for the final commercial flight. And, of course, there was the trans-Atlantic record-breaking flight on February 7, 1996 of two hours 52 minutes 59 seconds!
One of the planes can be seen at the Museum of Flight at East Fortune in East Lothian.
The display also included stamps issued by a number of countries featuring Concorde, among them Britain, France Tanzania, Korea, Gibraltar, Congo, Djibouti, Pakistan, Chad and Jersey, to name but few.