Northwich Philatelic Society | Northwich, Cheshire

Northwich Philatelic Society are based in Northwich, Cheshire and serve the stamp collecting and philatelic needs of the people of mid Cheshire.


An amazing display of the G.B. Arms issue 1937-1947

It is always a pleasure to see material belonging to our members and this evening was no exception. Having recently acquired a major collection of G.B. covers, Graham Macpherson was able to show us some of the items that he has been able to add to his own Arms collection and that once written up, will hopefully help form part of the base for the book he is currently writing.

His research into the G.B. Arms issue started over 20 years ago and since then, Graham has been trying to establish when each of the panes of each of the stamps in this series were put into use. The records were mostly destroyed in the war, meaning there is very little to be gained from examining contemporaneous sources. Graham’s solution, however, was to assemble as many fine used CDS copies of each of the six stamps in the series and from there, to plate them. Once plated the earliest dates on each plate would indicate as to when the panes were issued and first put into service.

The biggest anchor on the research over the years has been the lack of availability of material and in some cases, he is still looking for complete panes of certain values. His latest acquisition, however, delivered some amazing items including one of the missing panes, long thought not to exist in complete pane format, neatly affixed to the back of some Army correspondence from Egypt. This one item alone has enabled the research to leap forward.

The presentation gave us covers flown east or west from the U.K., starting with the 2/6 brown before moving onto the 2/6 green. This included a rare cover which was on the very last clipper flight out of Honolulu to Australia before the attack on Pearl Harbour. After this, we saw examples of the 5/- red used on cover, including to further destinations such as India and Australia. We then saw the 10/- in both dark blue and ultramarine, the latter being extremely scarce on cover, as well as some £1 brown covers.

As a finale, we were treated to some full panes of the Festival High values and also some postal uses of these stamps.

The vote of thanks was given by Steve Speak and the society would like to thank Graham for generously showing us his collection.