Speaker Meeting 15th August 2016

Steve Street - Philately not Flattery

The renowned Penny Black
The first postage stamp

On Monday 15th August at the weekly meeting of the Rotary Club of Church Wilne, Steve Street gave his fellow Rotarians an informative talk on Philately which as many will know is all about stamps. Steve is also the President of Derby Philatelic Society.

Steve's interest in stamps started at a very young age when he received a Christmas stamp album and packs of postage stamps. It gave him a wonderful knowledge of geography, history, wild life and it was inexpensive. But after 10 years he sold his initial collection.

Before postage stamps a letter in 1801 would have been written in old English and the cost of one sheet sent from Dublin to London would have been 3d.

In 1840 the Penny Black was the first stamp to be issued with 68million printed and for just a penny, a letter weighing less than half an ounce, would be delivered anywhere in the UK the very next day. A penny then now equates to 33p today with our current first class stamp now costing 64p. The Penny Black was taken out of circulation within a year as too many were being used several times.

Steve purchased, at a London stamp fair a few years back, a Penny Black for £150 but he noticed the stamped envelope, franked 21st August 1840, was addressed to a Mr Nightingale the father of Florence Nightingale.

From 1841 until 1879 there was 21 billion Penny Red's produced. Some are only worth 50p today but one with plate number 77 printed recently sold for £495,000

A decorative picture envelope popular in Victorian times

The most expensive stamp every sold is the Treskilling Yellow which was sold in auction for £1.6 million and is the most valuable, weight for weight, item in the world.

Prior to the talk Steve had asked many members for various contributions and experiences and he covered these in fine detail which was indeed most enlightening.

The Club's vote of thanks was given Mick White who said stamps were all things to all people and concluded by saying it had been a really good and informative talk.

For more information on Rotary, our speaker evenings, events and the main activities organised by our club please contact our Secretary, Mick White at: rccw1220@gmail.com

Ray Terry
For the Rotary Club of Church Wilne

1st August 2016


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