Sunday, May 30, 2010


THE FESTIVAL OF STAMPS 2010 is a yearlong event. This festival will celebrate the British and world postal system on the 100th anniversary of the PHILATILIST King George V’s coronation in 1910. King George V started the finest stamp collection in the world when he was a young boy at Buckingham Palace gathering the stamps, which came in the royal mail. He was assisted in gathering these stamps by the palace staff. He was eager very young.

THE FESTIVAL OF STAMPS started with a major exhibition at the BUSINESS DESIGN CENTER, ISLINGTON from 8 May until 15 May. The 8-day London 2010 International Stamp Exhibition featured the finest competitive exhibits from collectors around the world, plus stamp dealers, auctioneers and postal administrations, including a major presence from Royal Mail. This show takes place in London just once every ten years, and the 2010 show was a great success.

The Royal Mail stand at the International Stamp Exhibition featured a small exhibition by The British Postal Museum & Archive, custodians of Royal Mail’s archive. The exhibition looked at the development and production of the George V definitive stamps, the Downey head and the Mackennal head. It was a rare opportunity to see some of the original dies, rollers and printing plates, some of which were created for stamps that were never issued. The story continues to the present day, with the display detailing the development of Royal Mail’s new King George V stamps, to be issued during May 2010.

Stan my friend, who has made it a habit to be at the right place at the right time (where ever in the world, that right place might be) sent me this lovely postcard of a photograph taken in 1919. It shows the Royal Air Force airmail service from Hawkinge, Folkstone, to the British Army of the Rhine at Cologne. Before the mailbags are loaded into the De Haviland aeroplane, the weight of each bag is being checked and recorded. The special Festival cancellation can also be seen on the special Festival stamps.

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