SGSC Logo Chairman's Notes
March/April 1999
by John Ineson
IFSCO Logo  

Our annual exhibition at Baden-Powell House in February went well and included displays by most of our committee.  Although we did not have as many visitors as last year, we were still pleased to see some of our members who do not normally attend the club meetings.  During the morning, thanks to the archivist of the Scout Association Paul Moynihan, both Pauline Lee and I were given tickets to attend the annual Founders Day service at Westminster Abbey.  This was most impressive, especially as the Abbey was completely occupied with members of both the Scout and Guide Movements.

It is always good to read in the press when some of our members receive awards at International exhibitions, and I have recently seen that Frederick Lawrence of the U.S.A. gained a Vermeil at Ilsapex '98 held in South Africa for his display of "Scouting on Stamps Classics".  Unfortunately very few members from the United Kingdom display at National or International shows, although I do know that some give talks to Philatelic Societies, and many of our overseas members are well known exhibitors.  Already I understand that both Frederick Lawrence and Hallvard Slettebø from Norway have applied for frames at London 2000, and it is hoped that others from abroad have considered showing their Scout collections.

During the last few months I have been very busy completing my book on the Paper Currency of the Anglo-Boer War.  This of course includes the Mafeking Siege as well as other besieged towns and Prisoner of War camps in Ceylon (Sri Lanka) and India.  The book runs to over 150 pages and should be published later this year to coincide with the centenary of the Boer War.  I appreciated the computer help I have received from two of our members, Randall Frank from the U.S.A. for converting my large floppy disks from my old Amstrad computer to the modern small disks, and to Hallvard Slettebø from Norway for further computer help with the layout of the book.  Both of these members have been visiting the U.K. for Stampex, and it is surprising how quickly they find the bargains!  Bob Lee our Membership Secretary is also grateful to Randall for his help with the programme on the club's computer.

I visited the Badgers meeting at Gilwell Park recently and was pleased to see many of our members who not only collect stamps, but badges and other memorabilia.  Amongst the overseas members were Roger Yu from Hong Kong and Marc Weber from Luxembourg.  The swopping and trading event before their A.G.M.
was well attended, and I noticed many of their members from the U.S.A. and Europe.
Mafeking Due CoverA cover that I purchased last year in a small local auction has caused much interest in the Anglo-Boer War Philatelic Society's magazine.  It is currently the only recorded cover from the Siege period with a postage due stamp, and is endorsed "via the North and German East African Line of mail Steamers to Suez".  It is prepaid 6d which was the rate for the southern route out of Mafeking.
The correct rate via the northern route was 1/-.  Sent from Mafeking on March 27th 1900, the letter reached Cairo on 13th May, having travelled out of Mafeking via the northern route, and then presumably from Beira on the German East African Line.  Where was the hexagonal tax mark applied?  If, as most likely, Mafeking, why was the underpaid letter allowed out via runner?  It is interesting to note that the Egyptian postal authorities benefited from the underpayment.  The high rates in Mafeking during the Siege went towards the amount paid to the native runners, per run through the Boer lines, for the risks they undertook to get the mails through.  The loss of 6d locally, even on a service subsidised by the Military authorities is significant.

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