SGSC Logo Chairman's Notes
January/February 2002
by John Ineson
IFSCO Logo  

Our annual stamp exhibition, as mentioned in earlier Bulletins will be held at the International Centre, Gilwell Park, Chingford on Saturday March 2nd from 1000 - 1600 hours.  If any member does not have transport from the railway station at Chingford between 0930 and 1030, and wishes to attend, please telephone Melvyn Gallagher on his mobile phone (07xxx-xxxxxx) the day before, so that transport can be provided.  Also taking place on this date will be the Badgers Club trading and swapping meet in the morning and their AGM in the afternoon.

You will see on another page of this bulletin a draft of the constitution, which has been updated to include the Scout Association's Child Protection Policy, which the SGSC has accepted, and will be implementing from January 2002.  The committee have also proposed that the age for junior members should be changed from 16 to 18 and both items will be discussed and voted on at the Annual General Meeting on 27th April 2002.  Also included with this bulletin is the Child Protection Policy form, which we ask all U.K. based members to complete and kindly return to Bob Lee by March 31st 2002.

The dates for the 4th Euro-Scout meeting have been confirmed as 25th - 27th October 2002 and this will be held at the International Congress Centre at Gent in Belgium.  Although not much information has been received, it appears that there will also be a European Collectors Meeting at the same venue on 26th October.
The Euro-Scout weekends have been a great success in the past and have been well attended by our European Scout Philatelic Clubs, and it is hoped that we will be well represented at this show.

A few of our members received last November an auction catalogue from Greece which included a "1957 Great Britain imperforate overprinted specimen" for sale.  This was most interesting, so I contacted the auction house with various questions, as only the 2½d value had been illustrated.

    1) Was it the full set or one stamp?  No, only the 2½d value ............... 2) Does it have gum?  Yes
    3) Was it mounted?  No unmounted.. 4) What colour was it?  Black.. 5) Does it have a watermark?  No

I then spoke to a few of our members who had never heard of this before, so I contacted Douglas Muir head of the National Postal Museum in London, who as far as he could recall there was never such as thing as a specimen overprint on the 1957 Scout set.  I then thought of the U.K. National Stamp Exhibition sheet produced for Stampex in 1962, which had a 2½d imperforate black stamp, gummed and without watermark amongst the five stamps shown )n the sheet.  Could this have been cut out from this sheet?  I photocopied the sheet to cut out the stamp, but to find it was difficult to have an exact imperforate stamp as shown in the auction catalogue as the name of the artist had been added underneath.

I then thought this sheet could have been overprinted "Specimen" by Harrison & Sons the printers, before sending to the Stampex organisers in London, but without the artists name being added at the time.  Harrison's the printer has now ceased business and were taken over by De la Rue some years ago.  I contacted John Harley, their retired archivist (a former Commissioner for Cub Scouts) who was involved with most aspects of print connected with stamps during his forty years plus years with Harrison's and was on the administrative side of the production of this sheet.  He was fairly sure no sheets would have been overprinted "Specimen" as the stamps were printed in black and not their issued colour.  He writes that it would be interesting to know by which process the word "SPECIMEN" was printed.  The stamps on the sheet would have been printed by

                                                    The 2½d stamp from the auction catalogue>>>
Stampex SS   Black Specimen

photogravure and most probably the word "Specimen" by letter- press.  If so could it be an unofficial overprint produced by another printer?  In conclusion, if the stamp did not come from the Stampex souvenir sheet, where did it come from?

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