Maidstone’s 94th season started at the beginning of September with a visit from Lewisham PS. As usual with club visits we were entertained with four interesting and different displays. First of all we saw a display of all the different sports in Germany that were encouraged during the Hitler period. This was followed by George VI Gibraltar. The second half started with a display of Hong Kong miniature sheets since they became part of China. It was explained that these are not always easy to come by, which you may find surprising. Finally we finished of the evening with a fascinating display of Victory and Peace issues from the war period that are commemorated on a annual basis.
Our next meeting was a presentation by a well known FRPSL who gave us a display of Persia. He became interested in Persia because of all the letters his Father, who was a antiquarian book dealer, received and rescued them from the wastepaper basket. He was encouraged not to soak the stamps of which led to a very interesting display of covers. The first half focused on the period from 1830 to 1910 with the second half showing the modern period from 1939 to the early 80’s.
October saw a remarkable display of Dutch East Indies. The first half focused on Postal History from 1789 and the this was followed by the first stamps with perforations and forgeries along with Definitives and proofs. Throughout the display there were several unique items, some of which were items where only one or two examples are known.
This was followed by a visit from the then Kent Federation President. His main interest is in Airmails and he showed French Airmails/Aircraft in the first half. For the second half he told us a storey of how he had obtained a collection of only maps from a dealer. (The stamps had been retained by the Dealer) These maps had all been hand drawn, probably in the 1950/60’s and showed all the first airmail routes from countries around the world. He had then added stamps showing the planes used on these routes which certainly made this display fascinating.
The start of November saw our Bi-Annual auction and lots totalling £600 were sold. This was followed by a visit from the Herne Bay PS where three members entertained us. First was a display of modern Australia from 2012 to 2014 showing us all the latest issues. (did you ever see all of the GB issues for that period?) Then followed a show called Bits and Pieces. This covered Telegraph/Railway Perfins, Exhibition Slogans, Social History, Fiscals and Philatelic snippets from the Thanet area then finally a wonderful showing of covers and postcards all illustrated by hand.
For December we were entertained by a fascinating display of material covering the Austro-Hungarian Navy in WW1. It is not always appreciated how large this empire was stretching down to the Adriatic Sea on one side and the Danube on the other. We saw a range of covers and postcards which featured all the different ships in their Naval Service. The second half carried on in the same vane but with covers with submarine cancels, which are scarce, along with the smaller vessels and some interesting cards and letters from Captain Von Trapp……yes ‘The Sound of Music’ Von Trapp who was a successful WW1 Austro-Hungarian submarine commander.
This was followed in late December by our own Presidents Evening – an excellent display of Bohemia to 1945 covering stamps, postal history, postcard and propaganda.
Our morning meetings, which have been well attended, have had the following subjects. In September it was for Members with the theme of Royalty. October – a display on the Newfoundland to Canada Mail Steamers and how they related to the first railway services. The November morning meeting saw an interesting display on early France up to the 1950’s. Then finally in December one of our own members, gave his first ever display, which was a Thematic one, entitled “On Your Bike” with another members display in the second half of 2d blues – not the GB ones but same theme from other countries that had the same colour and value.