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JULY 2020

After a short suspension over the last few months due to the current issues, we are pleased to report that both the France and the Colonies Packets are once again up and running. If there are any members who would like to take them again please contact the relevant Packet Secretary. This may be a good time for those who have not taken either of the packets before to join this very popular section of the society where you can take advantage of a wealth of interesting material sent out on a regular basis at competitive prices. Details and contacts of the Secretaries are available here.

French Packet:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Colonies Packet:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Maurice TylerJournal 291 will be the last Journal produced by the current editorial team.

From 1995 to 2015, our editor Maurice Tyler single-handedly produced the Journal. This meant that he took on every role in its production beginning with the vetting of the articles, the formatting of the text, transferring the Word documents into InDesign, shaping the layout ready for the printer and then doing the final proof-reading.

However, his decision to retire in 2015 was thwarted when the newly appointed editor had to withdraw for personal reasons and so was born the position of Journal Manager which I undertook and the creation of a sub-editorial team. Maurice returned as Editor-in-chief with a reduced workload processing the smaller articles and retaining the responsibility of shaping the Journal ready for the printer. Meanwhile, Peter Allan, being likewise proficient in InDesign, took over the processing of the main articles. Other members of the team assisted with formatting, proofreading and offering technical and philatelic advice.

From 1 January 2020, all this is going to change. Maurice is at last going to enjoy his long-awaited retirement. He has admitted that relinquishing his role as editor will be a wrench for him but looking after his health must come first. However, he will continue to make a contribution to the Journal in a different context. Peter Allan has also expressed a desire to retire due in particular to his other philatelic commitments. Peter is editor of the ‘Courrier’, journal of the Tasmanian Philatelic Society, and has recently taken over the presidency of the Australian Philatelic Federation. All this with exhibition judging commitments too!

Finally we bid farewell to Colin Spong who informs us that he has been compiling the ‘List of Recently Published Articles’ column since the 1970s although it was then known as ‘Current French Philatelic Journal Articles’ changing its name to the present title in 1986 when it became a regular feature. However, the column will continue in the capable hands of Maurice. You can’t keep a good philatelist down! We owe Maurice, Peter and Colin a great debt of gratitude. They have selflessly committed a huge amount of time and effort for the benefit of the Society and deserve our heartfelt thanks. Un grand merci à vous tous.

So from next year Jan Gane will be taking over as Editor-in-Chief combining the roles undertaken by Peter and Maurice. I will stay in my post as Journal Manager for the time being but with fewer responsibilities as I need to reduce my workload too. The remaining members of the sub-editing team will be retained for the time being but Jan and I will see how the new management and organisation pans out before deciding any restructuring of it.

Thanks to Jan the continuation and future of the Journal is ensured so please do continue to send me your articles no matter how big or small. Your support is essential. Mick Bister

J291 Dec Page107 PrintedpapersDECEMBER 2019

Congratulations are due to the following members who gained successes at Stockholmia 2019, 29 May - 2 June, in Sweden.
•  Graham Booth: Large Gold in Postal History for ‘The Rise and Fall of the American Merchant Marine as a Transatlantic Carrier 1800-1868’
•  Graham Booth*: Large Gold in Postal History for ‘AngloAustralian Mail 1840-1860: The Transfer from Sail to Steam’
•  Gavin Fryer: Gold in Literature for ‘British Printed Papers by Post 1836 to 1876’ **
•  Leslie Marley: Large Gold in Thematic Philately for ‘A Whale’s Tale
Further congratulations to
•  Graham Booth for his exhibit entitled ‘West Indies & South American Mail Carried by “Great Western”’ which earned him a third Gold Medal at Autumn Stampex 2019.
** ‘British Printed Papers by Post 1836 to 1876’ by Gavin Fryer tells the story of how the GPO services developed when handling mail separated from letters, postcards and parcels. This might include newspapers, books, parliamentary papers, voting papers, patterns and samples, prices current and market reports, election papers, ecclesiastical papers, and others. Members of the armed services also needed special arrangements. This story goes back to the mid 17th century to give readers the context in which very many changes to Britain’s postal arrangements were made during the period 1836 to 1876. The origins of the various postal services are described along with problems encountered by the Post Office and the steps taken to resolve those. The narrative includes extracts from official records and statutes and these are augmented by Tables of the rates of postage within Britain and from Britain to places overseas. 770 pages, hardback with dust jacket. Price £50 includes delivery in the UK; overseas delivery by arrangement. For further details or to make an order contact John Jackson by This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


J291 Dec Page154YandTTimbres de France’, Tome 1, 2020 is reviewed by Richard Broadhurst in Journal #291. Published in September 2019 the new edition contains 1500 pages, an increase of 176 from the previous year. It lists stamps to June 2019 with an additional 91 gummed stamps, 147 autoadhésifs and 16 blocs (miniature sheets) including France’s first circular example (Y&T F5325) ‘Sport, couleur, passion’.

New sections added this year include La Lettre Suivie (see below), an overlooked area which is the only source of a number of unique imperforate self-adhesive stamps that collectors of Marianne seek out for a complete collection and a first time listing for Pochettes Souvenirs Emissions Communes. Richard's full review is very comprehensive. Published by Editions Yvert & Tellier, 2 rue de l’Etoile, 80094 Amiens, Cedex 3, France Price: 25E90 plus carriage. For a full review by Richard see our Journal #291

 J291 Dec Page155 Lettre Suivie labels2   J291 Dec Page155 Lettre Suivie labels1

Above are the Marianne de Ciappa Kawena and the Marianne l’engagée pre-stamped Lettre Suivie labels were available from post offces in packets of five.


J291 Dec Page156Avis de receptionAvis de réception - France and Colonies’ a website exhibit by non-member Professor David Handelman from Ottawa informs us that he has been preparing, country by country, exhibits on the subject of post-GPU/UPU worldwide AR (avis de réception) also known as advice of delivery, double registered, return receipt, acknowledgment of receipt etc). This stunning collection was posted in August* of this year on an exhibit website hosted by American collector and publisher Richard Frajola who lives in Taos, New Mexico. It is indeed an extraordinary collection and will be of interest to all collectors of France and the French Colonies but especially to those who study postal rates. https://www.rfrajola.com/DH2019/DH17.pdf  It is highly recommended viewing.
In addition, David invites you to download his 122 page book on AR mail http://www.rfrajola.com/DH2019/1ar.pdf, which is a continuing project dealing with worldwide AR and gives an overview of the subject and covers a wide range of countries. David would love to hear from anyone who can offer corrections and additions for updated versions of his exhibits. He can be contacted by email
Shown above: 1904 distinctive Indochina AR form franked with 10c Type Dubois paying AR fee returned under cover via Singapore to Saigon.
*: Following on from successful purchases in the recent Spink sale of Ed Grabowski’s collections David has updated his exhibit which will be posted on the website later this month. For a full review by Mick Bister see our Journal #29


Be warned: clear your desk, feed the dog and put the children to bed well before starting to explore, for if you have the slightest interest in France and/or its colonies Michael Round guarantees you will still be there hours later, Click here for the Website.


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Please take note of the advice on the Welcome page regarding forthcoming meetings.

The meetings planned for October in Salisbury, London and Rotherham have sadly had to be cancelled. Gatherings of more than 6 are now not possible. That effectively means that physical meetings can no longer take place.

When things improve then Convenors will arrange meetings as soon as practical. It may well not be feasible to advise these in the Journal in advance.

It is with great regret that the regular weekend meeting planned for March 12 to 14 2021 has had to be cancelled. Current guidelines do not allow such events to take place. There is too much risk to members to contemplate such a meeting and the position some months ahead is unknown. Meetings will resume as and when circumstances and government rules allow. 

Please consider using the FORUM in the meantime - perhaps share your latest acquisitions or any query or comment you may have. If you have not registered as a member, please contact the Website Manager with your preferred password and a Username will be provided. 

All Society services continue as normal, it is only meetings that are off limits for the time being.