Lanarkshire Philatelic Society


Leicester Philatelic Society

100 Not Out!!


Two members of this august society, which celebrated its 100th birthday on 1st November; John Jackson and Mike Fulford; visited, & entertained, us with their displays.

John started the evening with his display on the Dutch East Indies, and, in particular, the development of air, and airmail, traffic. With a comprehensive display of covers he charted the story of KLM (the Royal Dutch Airline, founded in 1919) with initial fights to England (1920), accelerated airmails via Marseille and some unofficial covers carried on (probably) the world's first private charter flight (W. Van Lear Black, an American who, in 1927, charted a KLM plane and flew around Europe and then on to the Dutch East Indies). John continued into the 1930s with airmails featuring triangular stamps (to signify airmail), and 1934 damaged crash mail (KLM's DC2 aircraft crashed in Syria) to local Dutch East Indies airmails (Java to Sumatra and to Timor) completing his display with early World War 2 censored (usually by UK) mails to USA, Sweden and Czechoslovakia with a cover marked "Return to Sender"  to Holland from the Dutch East Indies as the Dutch postal system was suspended following the German invasion. 

Mike Fulford, for the second round, showed covers from the 9 Post Offices situated in the port of Smyrna (Izmir) in Turkey. Smyrna developed as a port from its position as the breadbasket of Constantinople. Starting with pre-stamp covers, dating from 1637, Mike displayed material from each Post Office through the years. Countries to establish their offices were France (1812), Britain (1832), Greece (1834) with a Military Office again between 1919 and 1922, Turkey (1840), Austria & the Austrian Steamship Company (1841), the Russian Steamship Company (1856, a private Post Office) and later Russia itself (1868), Egypt (1865), Germany (1900) and finally Italy (1908). Many of these countries also had military Post Offices at the same time.

A most interesting, and enjoyable, display was accorded a warm vote of thanks by Ken Norris.