In the concluding part of his series of articles looking at the philatelic exhibitions of London, Derek Connell highlights some of the souvenirs and collectables available from the satellite events and venues, and from one or two unusual sources at the exhibition itself.
It was very apt that the Guildhall Library was chosen to host a comprehensive Postal History Exhibition, concurrent with the London 2015 show at Islington. It was put together by Anthony N Eskenzi, CBE, a senior member of the Culture, Heritage and Libraries Committee of the Corporation of the City of London. Although the earliest items dated from 1819, here was the complete story of postal reform, including many unique objects such as original correspondence to and from Rowland Hill, Post Office documents and maps, but also commercial souvenirs, such as the splendid collection of crested china in the shape of post boxes! Our Illustrious editor, Mr Dean Shepherd, received an invitation to the private viewing with the additional bonus of drinks and finger buffet. I received the proletariat’s invitation, to which I added the new Penny Black and Two Penny Blue for cancelling in the time honoured way
Back at Islington, the British Postal Museum and Archive took a stand to inform us of their forthcoming new premises. The number one exhibit was the cast of the Queen’s head, produced by Arnold Machin in 1966, for the definitive series of stamps that we still admire today. The image appears on the BPMA’s unique Post & Go labels (available from a machine in their foyer) used to produce a souvenir of Europhilex, cancelled with the museum’s own handstamp.
Other organisations produced souvenirs, including a joint effort between the Falkland Islands Philatelic Study Group and the Polar Postal History Society of Great Britain. They issued a postcard of a Falklands stamp, overprinted ‘Graham Land/Dependency of’, for use at British Antarctic Bases. Shown here are the card which includes the Europhilex logo on the reverse and the special show cachet produced by the two groups. I purposely chose the Post & Go falcon to keep the penguin company!
Birds on stamps would be just one of the many themes of ‘Stamp Active’; the voluntary organisation that promotes collecting among young people. Their ‘Kids Corner’ was to be found at the back of the mezzanine level, with plenty of children’s activities, games, quizzes, stamp design competitions, a treasure hunt and free stamp prizes. The organisation was launched at Stamp World 1990 in London and now celebrated its 25th anniversary with a colourful sheet of Cinderella stamps.
Every ten years, the United States of America hold an international stamp exhibition and next year it will be New York’s turn. ‘World Stamp Show—NY-2016’ will be at the Javits Center from 28 May to 4 June. Their catalogue advertisement invited us to ‘visit our booth’ where they did a nice line in publicity stickers.
Traders ‘fdcovers’ were giving away delicious bars of chocolate with wrappers illustrating their new Penny Black cover. I’m afraid I ate the chocolate and stuck the wrapper on an envelope, suitably franked, for an unusual last day of the show cover.
Discover more in the January issue of Gibbons Stamp Monthly