Happy New Year to you all.


I thought it would be a good idea to introduce myself to you as the new Honorary Secretary of the Postal History Society, following the very sad and sudden passing of my predecessor Steve Ellis FRPSL in November 2023. Steve was a very hard working secretary for the Society and I’m sure he will be particularly missed, by all who knew him.

I have been a member of the PHS for the last three years with an interest in British pre stamp entires up to 1840, Ship letters to and from the UK and Free Franks. But had been collecting Postal History for some time prior to joining.

I am now retired so have time to devote to being the Hon. Secretary of the PHS. For the last 20 years I was an Independent elected member on the local County Council representing the town where I live, as well as a dealer in 19th century watercolours and drawings, for the previous 20 years on the Portobello Road in London. So, I have skills which are very useful when it comes to collecting postal history, (particularly identifying paper and being able to read 18th and 19th century handwriting). I also have a lot of experience in assisting community organisations from my time as a community leader in my hometown. Again very useful in helping me in my role as secretary of the PHS.

Some of you may know me from my involvement with the Midlands (GB) Postal History Society. I have run their ZOOM meetings since lockdown. This gives me the skills needed to enable me to assist Mark Bailey if needed in the ZOOM meetings for the PHS.

I am proposing changing the PHS zoom meetings to the first Tuesday of the month at 7.30pm (from the current first Monday afternoon of the month). This will hopefully encourage more members to become involved. Please contact me if you would like to show some choice pieces from your collection. I also want to open it up to allow more displays in the monthly meetings. Some meetings with a theme, some open ended. With a maximum of 6 participants each showing up to 6 sheets, giving the option for one or two specialist displays, in the following months. Details will be published in advance in the Journal. At the MPHS the emphasis has always been on trying to give every member the opportunity to show something, an initiative I wish to emulate at the PHS.

Finally, I want to make much more use of the PHS website, giving members the chance to learn more about their particular collecting interest and to share their knowledge with other members. I also like the idea of creating some way that members can swap items which do not sit well in their collection and are best suited in another members collection. Hopefully we can find a way of achieving this.

I will be at the next meeting at Cavendish in Derby on March 16th & I look forward to meeting you there.

Wishing you all a Happy New Year.

Marc Oxleysecretary@postalhistory.org.uk
Happy New Year!