Chairman's Message - December 2020 - Trevor Cornford FRGS

Once again our Christmas issue is available and I wonder if I am alone looking back wondering where another year has gone? I know months of enforced hibernation because of the Covid epidemic didn’t help and I personally managed to get plenty of outside fresh air and work done – so I can’t compare to the winter months endured by my favourite Antarctic Expeditioners!

Talking of which the autumn sales of certain postcards sent from the early trips of 1900s fetched strong prices following on from some earlier results from the Scott / SS Discovery Expedition. Amazing changes since Harry Evans sale in 2014! I illustrate just one from my own collection which has details about activity making it ever so much more interesting (a ‘below decks’ member, Blissett but desirable for all that).

Another card from the Grosvenor sale I would like to refer to is from the British Graham Land Expedition of 1936 Heyburn AQ-11-aqv written by Brian Roberts Ornithologist while invalided to Port Stanley for an Appendix operation. Its discovery was by me in an unremarkable modern album of aerial views of the Falklands and air letters at a Harmers’ sale – you remember those? As it lay outside my main areas of interest I sold it at Grosvenor for over £4000 and it has graced a couple of big Falkland and Polar collections over the years since – and will do so again at £5,800 before fees! The use of Falkland stamps on many of the mentioned items pushes up competition! It is one of very few mail items from the BGLE. Reference my previous message and Shackleton used card – thanks to John for his translation which helps identify the position within the European tour.

I wish you all the best for the holiday season and trust we can have more activity for our hobby face to face in 2021 - even if at 2 metres!

Take care and stay safe – and send John Youle any good Polar philatelic stories and support our popular online auction with Steve Allen to add to your own interests.