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October 14th. A visit from Milton Keynes

Karen, Bryan and Colin came over from neighbouring M.K. to share a variety of themes, Colin Sharp started with his presentation of Lighthouses of the world, supplemented with a history of Lighthouses and Light Ships, He told of how is interest was triggered by a visit to Hunstanton with his Grandfather where he was captivated by the lights shining over the sea in the dim light.

Karen Goodyear told of her visit to Australia and her encounter with Koala Bears, Karen also showed stamp related material from across the world featuring theses cute mammals.

Brian Clark finished by showing the many variations of the six and a half p Machin Booklets and some items from Papua New guinea.

Dr Patrick Reid FRPSL Tasmania.

Patricks display started with the first issues of stamps from what was then a Penal Colony with 65,000 convicts up until 1853 when transportation ended and the first postage stamps were issued by a newspaper manufacturer, the only two values 1d and 4d produced many variety’s which were to be seen in Patricks display along with specimen overprints. By 1890 the population had grown to 150,000 and 1898 saw the introduction of postal stationary.

Other items included postcards of the time, Newspaper wrappers private letter cards, Railway, Newspaper and parcel stamps with many unique pieces on display

Memel and Memelgebiet

The members of the Aylesbury Society were delighted to welcome Dr Geoffrey Eibl-Kaye FRPSL as the guest speaker at their April meeting. The subject of Geoff’s display was Memel and Memelgebiet and it was illustrated by a wonderful collection of display sheets supported by a power-point presentation. Memel is a city in East Prussia, Germany, now called Klaipėda and part of Lithuania and Memelgebiet is the region around the city. It is situated on the western border of Lithuania and effectively blocked Lithuania’s access to the sea.

After the unification of Germany into the German Empire in 1871, Memel had the distinction of being Germany's most northerly city and was administered by the Prussians until 1919. Under the Treaty of Versailles after World War I, Klaipėda and the surrounding Klaipėda Region (Memel Territory) were detached from Germany and made a protectorate of the Entente States. The French became provisional administrators of the region until a more permanent solution could be worked out. Both Lithuania and Poland campaigned for their rights in the region. However, it seemed that the region would become a free city, similar to the Free City of Danzig. Not waiting for an unfavorable decision, the Lithuanians decided to stage the Klaipėda Revolt, take the region by force, and present the Entente with fait accompli. The revolt was carried out in January 1923 while Western Europe was distracted by the occupation of the Ruhr. The Germans tacitly supported the action, while the French offered only limited resistance. The League of Nations protested the revolt, but accepted the transfer in February 1923. The formal Klaipėda Convention was signed in Paris on 8 May 1924, securing extensive autonomy for the region.

The display covered the stamps and postal history of Memel from 1871 until the commencement of the 2nd World War which comprised three periods; the years before 1919 when it was controlled by Prussia, the next three years under French control followed by the take-over by Lithuania in 1923.

The display sheets were beautifully presented and the power-point display was skilfully designed to supplement all the major points of interest in the display sheets with a skilful speaker to entertain the audience.

March 11th - Joseph Cottriall of Warwick and Warwick

The view from the rostrum.

Joseph gave us a hugely entertaining evening with a talk of his 30 years’ experience working for a well-known Auction House, He told of a vendor who presented him with one stock book of stamps which netted £130,000 when split and sold at auction to the delight of the seller.

Two ladies who brought in some sheets of stamps which were found in a house which they had recently brought, They proved to be forgeries and as a result the forgers were brought to justice, The last remaining sheet of these were on display at the meeting, the remainder having been destroyed. Also on display were some choice items up for sale in the next Warwick and Warwick auction,

Joseph finished off with an insight into his work behind the scenes.

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