This was not only one of my favourite issues of 2018, it also proved popular with readers too, making it the best-selling issue of the year. The lead article on the postal history of the Berlin Airlift, the first major international crises of the Cold War, was, I’m sure, a key reason for its success.
Like many collectors, I find India absolutely fascinating. That’s why this issue, containing Pragya Jain’s article on the early postal history of India and its first stamps, the famous Scinde Dawks, is also one of my favourites. Articles on the unissued stamps of Gibraltar, Sudan’s 1951 pictorials and an unusual look at British postal history, add an abundance of cherries to this tasty slice of GSM’s portfolio of back issues.
For me, one of the greatest attractions of philately is the way it offers a tangible link to world history. This issue of GSM contains several articles that perfectly demonstrate this inseparable relationship. Articles inside include the 1917 British occupation of Bagdad overprints, the undeliverable mail of World War II, stamps issued by governments in exile and the provisional republican overprints of Zanzibar. History at your fingertips.
The May 2014 issue was also a real pleasure to work on, and one that I feel demonstrates just how vast stamp collecting can be. The eclectic mix of articles in this issue covered Britain’s first commemorative issue (the 1924 Empire Exhibition stamps), the zemstvo stamps of Russia’s rural posts, Italian states, the Canadian Large Queens and the King George VI postmarks of Gibraltar. This issue really had something for everyone.
The first UK aerial post, from London to Windsor, took place on Saturday 9 September 1911. To mark the centenary, the September 2011 issue of GSM was designated an ‘Aerophilately Special’. With articles on the first British airmail flights, Zeppelin mail and the pioneering airmail service of the United States, this issue was the perfect way to celebrate one of the most important aviation achievements of the early 20th century.
A philatelic tribute to the recently deceased Pope John Paul II takes prime position on the cover of this notable issue from 2005, thanks to a special report from Rome by legendary GSM writer, the late Peter Jennings. However, this is just one of many attractions this classic issue has to offer. Other highlights include a background to Australia’s controversial and politically charged 1913 Kangaroo and Map issue, a guide to the first Elizabethan issues of St Vincent and a personal tribute by Otto Hornung to arguably the greatest stamp engraver of all time, Czeslaw Slania.
We jump back 20 years for this classic issue of Gibbons Stamp Monthly, which contained a tantalizing 12-page preview of the then imminent Stamp Show 2000 exhibition. This special section included two articles that offered a rare glimpse of material from Britain’s most famous philatelic collections – the Royal Philatelic Collection and the Philatelic Collections of the British Library. If you are lamenting over the postponement of London 2020, I’m sure this classic issue will help lift your spirits until the international makes its belated appearance.