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SACS at London 2022 International Stamp Exhibition

The South African Collectors' Society has a table at London 2022 International Stamp Exhibition.

Visitors to the exhibition are cordially invited to meet with a SACS member(s) on Wednesday 23rd February 2022 in the large meeting room off the gallery level at the Business Design Centre, Islington.

Our aim is obviously to encourage new membership - but don't let that stop you from coming to talk to one of us! Information on the Society will be available at the table. Other information will also be available.

There are excellent award-winning displays of South African philately and postal history to see among the exhibits in the main hall.  Have a look at the South African material and if it is of interest to you, come and talk to one of us.

The SACS table will be manned throughout the day by: 

10.00 -11.00 Bas Payne
11.00 - 12.00 Chris Oliver
12.00 - 13.00 Keith Klugman
13.00 - 14.00 Tony Johnson
14.00 - 15.00 Steve Hannath
15.00 - 16.00 Nick Arrow
16.00 - 18.00 Chris Oliver

Chris says "Dependant upon interest, we may abandon ship at 16.30" ..... so hurry, hurry, hurry!

Five Aces and a Joker

Here are almost all the members who represented the South African Collectors Society at London 2022 on Wednesday, 23rd February. The aim was to encourage new membership. We had some measure of success in achieving this. (We more than covered our costs, no mean feat in an aging and declining market!)

Among the many SACS members at London 2022, are, from L to R, Ian Shapiro of Spinks (whom I asked to join us), while those who manned the table at different times during the day are Bas Payne (seated, Transvaal Study Circle), Prof. Keith Klugman RDPSA FRPSL (masked, winner of the Tapling Medal, 2021, wearing his RDPSA 'gong'), Chris Oliver (centre, Hon. Secretary), Tony Johnson (Hon. Editor) and the dishonourable joker in the pack, me, Steve 'Harley D' Hannath QBE. Sadly missing from the moment are Nick Arrow and Dr Chris Board RDPSA. Three South African 'sons of Empire', three true born 'Englesmanne'. A great mix! "Al in 'n hoop!" (Afr. All in a pile!) Thanks for the flag, Madiba!

As you can see, those who weren't there missed out on a whole heap of fun and camaraderie, not to mention lashings of philately and postal history, enough to make your eyes water, assuming you like that sort of thing, of course.


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This is NOT the view of the South African Collectors' Society. This is my personal observation of London 2022. I was not disappointed with it but I was underwhelmed. It was more of the same, Stampex with too many displays.

I attended on the Wednesday to assist on the SACS stand. I also went to meet Dr Jim Findlay RDPSA and to review some of the exhibits for this website. Neither of those things happened for one reason and or another. As a consequence I went back on the Friday to attempt to do them again and also to buy a few things I'd seen on the Wednesday. Again, I was frustrated in achieving my day's aims. Sorry to miss you, Dr Jim.

London 2022 International Stamp Exhibition was organised by Stamp World Exhibition Ltd on behalf of the ABPS (Association of British Philatelic Societies). This is the British Establishment 'playing with its stamps'. (See the Royal Patron, HM Queen Elizabeth II, below). Worryingly, "The exhibition is held under the patronage of the Federation Internationale de Philatelic (FIP) and the recognition of the Federation of European Philatelic Associations (FEPA)".

I remind the ABPS that Britain voted for Brexit. Yes, we did despite what the BBC says! We don't need FIP, FEPA or sweet 'F all' from European philatelique elitists. Invite them by all means  but please, let's do this by ourselves next time! We do not need Europe's patronage and or recognition! Stop kow-towing. (Chinese for 'taking the knee')

London 2022 is an opportunity for members of British and international philatelic societies to exhibit stamp and postal history displays subject to the rules and regulations of the governing bodies to which they subscribe. While this exhibition is open to anyone displaying material on any subject, one has to be a signed up member of a bona fide philatelic society to take part. Subjects range from classic philately (Penny Blacks, Cape triangles) to modern thematics (viticulture, space, frogs). One cannot escape the conclusion that monied elitism lies at the heart of the exhibition despite what the organisers might say. The more valuable the display, the better the chance of winning Gold. Yes, of course, there other factors like presentation, etc., etc., but ... its hard to beat a four frame Cape triangular display that is on cover and includes a block of four 'Woodblocks' with the 1d colour change worth over £1.5m. WOW!

On Wednesday just after noon I went to view the exhibits only to discover that some had been taken down already and that others were not yet up. My timing was horribly unfortunate. I mentioned this to Prof. Keith Klugman RDPSA, winner of the Tapling Medal 2021. He said he would show me his Victorian Natal display himself. This great honour  was not to be. Keith and I were not allowed into the hall because the displays were not yet up. On the Friday, the same happened again. Ian Shapiro of Spinks asked me "Have you seen that wonderful Cape display?" I said I had not. He said "Come with me!" Again a great honour that was not to be. The hall had closed a few minutes earlier. I suspect that this 'problem' occurred less due to poor management but  more because there was too much material to display and not enough space or time to do it in. I must conclude that that being so, philately is in rude, good health.

There were many collectors who had come from all around the world to join this philatelic orgy. I met several, all of whom had their opinions, as they are entitled to. The Australians were vaccinated to a man and shocked by Britains removal of Covid pandemic controls. The South Africans were more eager to talk about the rules of 'exhibiting'. "Brevity is all", opined one display judge. As a consequence of the jolly back-slapping, the hall was mostly full of chuffed, rich old white men smugly satisfied with their success and the social pleasures of philately. I recall seeing no more than a handful of black people in attendance over the two days I visited London 2022. The demographic in the hall was not at all representative of the young and bustling London street scene outside Islington's Business Design Centre. Like it or not, Britain today is a multi-cultural country, one in which philatelic societies remain the last den of old white men. Okay, yes, your wives and sometimes your daughters lend a hand and or tag along if they must.

The sheer quantity of material on display was so overwhelming and uninteresting as to make me feel claustrophobic. It is not easy to take it all in, indeed any of it. When I was younger and visited art galleries, I found that the more paintings I viewed en route to the masterpiece I had come to see, the more my pleasure of it was diminished by the sheer physical and mental exhaustion incurred by looking at too much mediocity along the way. Eventually I learned to walk head-down and semi-blinkered to the amazing work of art that I had come to see where .... WOW.... Wonder of Wonders! And so with much of the dull and boring, best of British and international philatelic society competition winners on display at London 2022. I'm sorry but I have to write it as I feel it and see it. I would prefer the best displays grouped together, not all mixed-up with lesser thematic or modern displays. Collectors should be allowed to see these but not be forced to make a long-and-winding pilgrimage through them en route to the truly amazing.

For me, the reason for going to a venue like London 2022 is as much to buy mew material for my collecting areas. I bought some bits and pieces, all SWA. I attach few below. All of my purchases are to be included in my displays. As a word of advice, always buy the items you are immediately attracted to if you can afford them. Never pass up on them. If you do you will give another collector the chance to buy them before you finally make your mind up. It is seldom there when you return. My dilly-dallying saw me lose out on two good items, both of which I desired enough to go back for again on Friday. But they were gone! The others I got at a discounted price! Some of these purchases have now been included in my soon-to-be-released South West Africa display, Part 2: WW1 to 1923.

Overall, London 2022 was vital for the life of organised philately. Socially, it was geat fun. At last, philately is getting back to 'normal', whatever that is. Now all we have to do is carry on under the threat of a new Nuclear Apocalypse. Look on the bright side. That flash in the sky will clear your accumulation that your wife has been nagging you about quicker than you can say "Two slices of toast, please".


1]. Portrait of HM Quen Elizabeth II courtesy of London 2022 Exhibition Catalogue.
2]. Dienstbrief der Schutztruppe, Windoek to Swakopmund 1917.
3]. Propaganda labels on SWA Bantam cover to USA with letter 1945.
4]. ABENAB-S.W.A. postmark used in place of Registration cachet 1951.

5].  Best for last. German plane over SA camp at Tschaukaib (outside Luderitz). SA had no planes in Feb 1915.

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  • SWA-Dienstbrief-1917.jpg
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  • SWA-ABENAB-SWA-1951.jpg
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Steve.  Just a word of advice... I wouldn't show the Russian one until the war is over!

Jokes apart - Nice items, can't wait to see them on the Home Page!  God save the Queen.


Many thanks for the advice. I never thought about political fall-out! I guess I am just insensitive!

Kenny Napier in SA emailed me saying "good luck, just remember when you see the big flash in the sky it aint the Northern Lights!"

And so we carry on. I am trying to get SWA Part 2 done and up ASAP, also a few other bits and bobs.