Polar Blog

It’s currently ‘Polar’ climate experience as I write but I hope you are all gearing up
for a ‘‘hot’ run of Polar related events in the first half of this year. Apart from joint
meeting with the FIPSG at London 2020 they have the usual weekend but with added
excitement of a day visit to Bristol to see the SS Great Britain and a meal on board as
part of their 50th Anniversary celebrations.

The Spink event I mentioned in December was a magnificent success both in content
and meeting a number of friends from the Polar world home and abroad – and the free
Saturday talks the day before closing were informative and entertaining, especially
about Captain Oates. We were also allowed to leave our printed PPHSGB membership
leaflet which has encouraged at least one new member. If still available, the copiously
illustrated catalogue reads more like a book on 200 years of Polar history and exploration
and well worth the money - 260+ pages!

Just prior to the Spink Event I attended a talk about Shackleton’s voyages, a fund
raiser on behalf of the RNLI including a good dinner with Robert Hurst and other
excellent table company. Just after to round off the year I collected some restored
Antarctic related paper items which hopefully means they will last another 100 years.
The Shackleton leaflet not seen before shown here bottom left references his Life Story
by Commander Worsley, his Captain on Endurance, and navigator of the James Caird
to South Georgia in 1916 - the most amazing survival story also.

On other matters, the fruits of some very hard work by Steve Allen using the Website
is facilitating member Auction sales - Do try and find a couple of items value £10 or
more and email scans to him. Also it encourages new members. Going forward, do
keep a regular eye on the site and visit to keep up with events outside and in between
the excellent Polar Post – used together provide great contact and info.
In so far as this is issued before the AGM I once again pay tribute to all our officers –
Committee or otherwise who keep the Society running so well in a busy life. Sadly as
we go to press we received news of the passing of Herbert Lealman MBE our stalwart
Polar Post distributor for 44 years – Herbie was a great help over many years, our
condolences are given to his family on behalf of us all – RIP .

P.S. Please remember to send John Youle your articles for Polar Post, no matter
how short. Please concentrate on Polar material within a philatelic context.

Going back to my last notes where I left off was just before a few good Polar items were coming up for auction - and unused Wrench cards fetched 3 figures each! I have 2 myself, 2 and 4, and I guess they are scarce as there must have been more money in selling them posted. But let’s face it Wrench hardly overcharged at 2/- for the set of 4 from many - then - hardly seen places by the majority of people! Let us know if you have some mint. Followed quickly by some fine Scott related contemporary Ephemera which I thought under priced - win some lose some. Later I had an exciting live auction visit to buy Ephemera and some hidden postal items - sometimes it pays to delve deeper into mixed lots!

I hope you’re following our new “live “ auction too - contact Steve if you have items for sale.

In between I reawoke my clay pigeon potting skills at a family 40th came 3rd of 10- well one doesn’t want to upstage the main event. My aim was unerring however at Stampex and 2 subsequent Fairs picking up nice cards. Which brings me to the lovely selection shown from my good friend Christian Murguet - brought a reminder seeing the Ponting card if I may be allowed to show off one of my signed favourites of his facsimile card. This came from the carpenter with Scott, Francis Davies who I assume went to see his films when he got back as the Glad Eye Penguin card was also signed from the same source.

It’s always good to try and document items in your collections when attributable to Expedition members for future reference - and it adds to the attraction and value! Already 2 fine Polar related events before Christmas to look forward to especially the Spink 200 years of Polar history but if I don’t see you there I’ll wish you Seasons Greetings and an enjoyable 2020 with several major shows we may meet at. P.S. Please remember to send John Youle your articles for Polar Post, no matter how short. Please concentrate on Polar material within a philatelic context.

Seasonal Greetings to all our Members!

As I write this time I am just recovering from a surfeit of English sports success at the cricket- not also Wimbledon tennis alas!- but not without some controversy which is perhaps to be expected at the elite and highest level with narrow margins. Just ask Federer about his battles.

It reminds me that some of the rare Polar books, Ephemera, Postcards and stamps are inviting unwanted attention - in my view. The controversy is: Should rare material be copied to make it more available? Is it thus or a money making exercise and will years into the future this material be offered as original if it acquires an age of patina - much I see does not make it clear it’s a copy by dating it. The early examples are outright fakes of the Victoria Land overprints; now copies of rare postcards, leaflets, reprinted books and even medals are appearing. I caution you all to take care.

On a brighter note I had 2 amazing Fair visits in May and June with new Shackleton card and existing with good contemporary messages for both him and Scott. Which leads me to my success at the local Club with 16 sheets on Memorials to the Tragic end of Captain Scott and companions in Advanced Section at 87 points. Just prior I had a great trip to a Polar Symposium in Dublin - very Shackleton centric including the family homes, his birthplace and The Shackleton Museum Athy (http://shackletonmuseum.com/) full of important items.

A top day at Midpex 6 July rounded off recent events (see Page 80) - Good to catch up with members there who maybe find it more local to them. Overall collecting life keeps busy - Don’t forget to send your experiences, illustrations of new purchases etc. to our editor John also.

Congratulations to Peter Cranwell on winning our colourful philatelic contest and commiserations to the 14 unlucky losers!

Since the exciting start in January for Polar Ephemera I still managed to personally acquire
an attractive postal item for my Captain Scott proposed Exhibition rewrite - just when you
think you have enough! All it needs now is the time.


Still they say knowledge is strength and knowing who people are and their relative importance
in such Expeditions helps to add to your collection when their name or handwriting appears
on a cover.Now internet or telephone bidding has vastly increased buying options rather than leaving a maximum bid and just waiting and wondering!


That reminds me we are making great strides with our website with more developments
and without the email and internet our Committee would find it much harder to keep in
touch and run the Society - watch that space as well as Polar Post. I take time to thank all my colleagues who make the Society tick over so well.Back to recent and future activity before the next issue; the AGM Reports on Pages 34-37 show how we are staying in the game in a world of many competing demands on our time and money .


I’ve flown the flag in a modest way by putting Polar related shows in local Stamp events
as I see have others - it all helps promote our fascinating hobby. Finally I enjoyed a great weekend again at FIPSG which although mainly Falkland Islands focused always has some Polar links especially from Expeditions which touched there - see a teaser of Daniel Bringer’s Display!
Don’t forget to send John Youle your articles for Polar Post, no matter how short. Please concentrate on Polar material within a philatelic context and supply colour images wherever possible. And come along to the shows listed on Page 31 where we have a presence and say Hello.

I hope you all enjoyed your Seasonal get-togethers and are now looking at the possible
Polar related events for 2019.

There was a small flurry of collecting activity after my last message - in November a
Grosvenor auction and after including a visit to Scott Polar - SPRI as we say - for an
educational Seminar. Followed by news one of my Ponting photos is nearing professional
restoration showing Scott’s Polar depot group prior to setting out in 1911, a Classic.
Interestingly, the first few days of January threw up several opportunities for bidding on
Scott and Shackleton related covers and Ephemera, some signed, a hot start to the year -
two from original family sources not seen before. Look out for a future article!

Following on, I had a brilliant day at the Wilson Museum in Cheltenham looking in their
drawers and cabinets at Ted Wilson’s family history not just his Antarctic time.
Don’t forget that later in the year we have two philatelic Exhibitions at Swindon and Midpex to enjoy after Stampex/our AGM which will be over by the time you see this. Hope I’ll have seen you there; if not look where else we’ll be and come along and say Hi!

Now we’re going full colour where possible in Polar Post dig out your most vibrant Postal history and send it to John- I think we should try for a double page spread to celebrate.

P.S. Please remember to send John Youle your articles for Polar Post, no matter how short. Please concentrate on Polar material within a philatelic context. Please supply colour images wherever possible.