Lanarkshire Philatelic Society

 

"Edward VIII"

 

Mr Stephen Parkin

 

The display given at the meeting of the Lanarkshire Philatelic Society on Friday, 28th November, proved to be, as Terry Woods was later to say when proposing the Vote of Thanks, an "absolute eye-opener"!  

Stephen Parkin, who had travelled up from Stockport, displayed the subject "King Edward VIII".  Many members arrived at the meeting with a degree of scepticism – after all, Edward reigned for less than a year and was never crowned – and only a few stamps were issued – surely there could not be much to display?  How wrong they were!

Edward, Prince of Wales, became King on 20th January, 1936 and a few stamps were issued depicting his left facing head.  These were shown along with printing variations and various flaws; - colour shades, perforations, dots in the ear, in the hair etc.  A stamp was shown, in a faded colour, one of a number which had been printed illegally by a few employees wanting to make some ‘quick cash’!  When discovered, they were sacked and the incident was ‘hushed up’ as the firm did not want it known that such stamps had been issued in their name!

Stamp booklets – the covers full of interesting old adverts were displayed along with from coil vending machines.  Such stamps  were issued by the first Mobile PO at a Golf Tournament in Little Aston were shown along with the postmark for this "first"!  Various postmarks were displayed when King Edward stamps were used on Sea Mail and Air Mail.  On 30th June, 1939, the first flight by Pan American Airways from England to Canada;  and similarly, on 5th August, 1939 was the first flight by Imperial Airways; in both cases the envelope displayed had stamps of both King Edward  and of King George VI used to make up the correct amount for postage. Postage Due stamps bearing the E8R watermark rounded off this first half of the display.

After the break Stephen gave a "Social History" display of Postcards and stamps connected with Edward’s life.  He began with two postcards from Newfoundland  - 1896 showing the 2 year old Prince Edward, and 1911 showing him as a Naval Cadet.  British postcards for the same year showed his Investiture as Prince of Wales at Caernarvon Castle. 

Post war, the Prince made visits around the world with postcards being issued each time – Canada, India, Burma, Japan, Southern Africa and St Helena.  In 1927, he unveiled the National War Memorial at Edinburgh Castle and also in 1932, he officially opened Stormont in Northern Ireland.

On 20th January, 1936, he succeeded to the throne.  That same year he was present at the Inauguration in Canada of the War Memorial at to those who died at Vimy Ridge. Then, while there was silence from Britain, other countries reported and showed his growing relationship with Mrs Wallis Simpson.  This led to his Abdication on 10th December, 1936 and the following day Canada issued a special commemorative cover.  Commemorative covers were issued by France for their marriage on 3rd June, 1937.

Stephen also displayed various commemorative artefacts which had been prepared for the Coronation of Edward VIII in May, 1937 – an event that never happened.

A Cover and special coin was produced by GB commemorating the death of the Duke of Windsor on 28th May, 1972 – and also cover for the death of the Duchess on 24th April 1986.

In proposing the Vote of Thanks, Terry Woods remarked that Stephen Parkin had shown that he was dedicated to his subject and that many had learnt from this display how to put together a specialised subject.  The whole display had been an "absolute eye-opener"!

Our next meeting in St Andrews Parish Church Hall, Avon Street, Hamilton, is on Friday, 19th November 2008, at 7:30pm - when members will present their displays on the theme of "Christmas Past".   

Anyone with an interest in stamps, postal history, postcards etc will be very welcome to attend.