Hosted by Terry Page, the highlight of the Society’s calendar, the 2012 Weekend Meeting was held at the Union Jack Club, Sandell St, Waterloo, London SE1.

Displays included presentations from two former international guests who returned with new presentations. Sadly Dr Misha Alishibaya (Russia) who was also due to present again this year, was unable to attend at the last minute, due to pressures of work.

International guest Dr Thomas Berger (Switzerland) describes the presentation he gave on the Postal History of Independent Ukraine 1918 – 1920.

My presentation summarised the postal history within the so called ‘Independent Ukraine’ in the years of civil war between 1918 and 1920. In these three years between the declaration of independence and the final takeover by the Soviets, one administration followed the other one. This sequence can be best documented not by studying new stamp issues or handstamps but the changing tariffs in force. One can follow the advance and retreat of nationalist and socialist Ukrainian troops, of nationalist and communist Russian units as well as the influence of interventionist forces like the Central Powers. Thereby a dynamic picture of these bloody years in Ukrainian history emerges giving an interesting example that postal history is just a reflection of history.

Dr Hans Grigoleit (Germany) presented on WW1 German Military Mail in Georgia and The Georgian First National Republic Issue – Official and Unofficial Overprints.

It is rather unknown that German troops were in Georgia from June – October 1918. On May 28, 1918 a contract was signed between the Georgian and German governments, which included stationing of troops in Georgia (German military delegation; maximum about 10,000 military personnel). Troops were stationed in Tiflis, Poti, Batumi, Suchumi, Kutaisi and South Georgia. From early Oct to early Nov 1918 a small military delegation was in Baku. On Oct 24, 1918 the German Oberste Heeresleitung (supreme command) ordered all troops to leave the Caucasus due to a significant deterioration of the military situation in Minor Asia and Eastern Europe.

Troops were allocated Deutsche Feldpost (DFP; German field post) numbers 555 and 907.  No. 555 was used only until August 1918. Steamers GENERAL and CORCOVADO served amongst others as troop transporters coming from the Crimean peninsula. Mail from these steamers was canceled with Marineschiffspost (MSP; marine mail) No. 14 (GENERAL) or various cancels with the name CORCOVADO.

Displayed were marine mail, PCs and covers with DFP no.555 and 907, documents relating to the German military delegation and a rare letter from Baku, sent through DFP 907 in Tiflis to Germany.

Dr Ray Ceresa presented Revenue Stamp Shortages in Armenia 1919 to 1930 on Saturday 20th.

President of BSRP Lenard Tiller presented St Petersburg – Some of the postal markings used between 1850 and 1915.

This was a short selection of the postmarks from the two hundred+ sheets of this area that I have been collecting for a number of years. It started with a short write up as to the history of the St. Petersburg postal system and its main postmark types.

Commencing with examples of the numeral postmarks from the late 1880’s otherwise known as ‘’killer’’ postmarks whose objective was to obliterate the stamps, thus preventing re-use. One example was a postcard sent from St Petersburg to Astrakhan in 1899 by river vessel showing the numeral ‘14’ and two fine ‘Parakhod’ strikes of the Nizhni/Perm and Kazan/Astrakhan steamers. Accompanying these were covers of 1862 and 1863 with the ‘numeral dot’ killer and an 1870 postal stationary cover with the ‘double oval’ dot killer type cds’s.

From the pre-philatelic period were examples of the ‘2 line oblong box’ of 1851, the ‘four line single circle’ of 1844 and 1853 and the ‘four line triangular’ cds of 1854 on cover from Bordeaux, to the ‘three line double circle’ receiving stamp of 7th Ekspeditsya of 1862. Two covers bearing ‘three coloured franking’ on three imperial stamps from 1871 and 1874 to Reims and to London, franked with the ‘red’ and the ‘black’ Town Post marks and the ‘grey’ 7th Ekspeditsiya ‘double circle cds. These were followed by 7 examples of the ‘GODA’ or YEAR postmark from the 4th, 6th & 7th Otdyel, some of which showed the inverted year. Three postcards from the Town Post showed the ‘triple circle’ receiving dates stamps of 1903 which were used only till the end of 1904. Moving on to railway postal markings, examples were shown of three covers each bearing at least two or three different ‘post wagon’ date-stamps of 1863, 1881 and 1883. Further examples of railway postmarks followed with examples of the ‘little railways’ of St Petersburg, Nikol station, Sestroryetsk station and Warsaw station. The display ended with three different examples of the datestamp of Tsarskoye Selo station and a fine postcard of the Tsars Summer Palace.

Also on the Saturday, Edward Klempka with his Far East Republic display;

A new country created to form a buffer state between Communist Russia and the Western Allies. It was philatelicly active between 1919 and 1923. The first stamps used were Russian Imperial stamps followed by special stamps issued for use in  the Republic. The main city was Vladivostock which was heavily under the influence of British, American and Japanese forces. The display comprised the civilian and military postal history of the period.

Presenting on the Sunday, Trevor Pateman on Imperial Arms Imperforate Stamps – Early use 1917-1919;

The 1917 Imperforate Arms stamps were introduced unsystematically. The exhibit shows early uses of different values in the period 1917 – 20 (before the x 100 revaluation). This begins to establish a chronology of their introduction (different values at different periods) and also shows how distribution was not systematic. Some values appear first in independent Ukraine in the pre-Trident period of 1918.

and Scouring the Countryside – New Material.

A large display of Parcel Cards from the 1918 – 21 period showing how Red Army soldiers sent home Loot using the postal system and preferential Red Army parcel rates. Parcels sent are large and are mailed from Ukraine, South Russia and Central Asia into the Russian heartland – Petrograd, Moscow and so on.

Also on the Sunday, Terry Page displayed More of my Zemstvos.

Top quality zemstvo auctions are like London buses…you wait for ages and then three come along at once!  2012 was just such a year and so I was able to show some interesting new material. The highlights included covers from three very rare districts formerly unrepresented in my collection: KRASNIY (1891), NOVOMOSKOVSK (1898) and NOVOUZENSK (1896).  I was also particularly pleased to show the most interesting of the four known BELEBEY registered covers – a so far unrecorded item mailed in 1899 with an imperial provisional registration label.  Of particular interest among the more common districts were letters from USTSYSOLSK and GADIACH with interesting and unusual volost cancellations. Covers with zemstvo postmarks from non stamp issuing districts were represented by examples from KIRSANOV (1874), NOVOCHERKASSK (1917) and YAGOTINSK (1898).  I was very happy to note that this display provoked considerable interaction and discussion from the floor.

Edward Klempka also gave his second presentation entitled RSFSR Inflation Period and Local Revaluations.

Revalued Kopek stamps – In 1920 the Kopek values up to 20k in value were revalued 100 times so that a stamp with a face value of 1k was revalued to 1r (the other values similarly revalued). Many postmasters differentiated stamps which had been revalued by manuscript alteration to the value or by overprinting the stamps with rouble values. These stamps were locally inspired, but appeared in many cities across the country and are commonly refered to as Postmasters Provisionals. The display contained numerous provisional stamps and a number of covers.

Members were encouraged to bring their own material for display and/or discussion. This ranged from a single interesting item, some leaves from a collection and even full twelve frame displays.

The Bourse operated throughout the weekend and members were invited to bring their own surplus material for sale. Britain’s number one Russia area dealer, Trevor Pateman attended on the Sunday. His comprehensive “A to Z” stock embraces virtually all aspects of Russian Philately.

As always the annual weekend meeting was a great opportunity to meet and socialise with philatelic colleagues. This continued into Saturday evening when some members retired for dinner at Le Côte, a lively restaurant just over the river in Covent Garden.

Weekend meeting 2013

The 2013 weekend meeting is to be held on October 19 and 20 at the Union Jack Club. If you would like more information please contact the Secretary/Treasurer Caroline Ferreira by emailing .