Sunday, April 24, 2016

Open class: corgi!

Royal season of celebration for Queen Elizabeth II's birthday: let's propose an open class collection on her favorite dog breed!

Under ultraviolet light highlight by Canada Post (Details, January-February 2016 issue).
Thank you Canada Post for this idea - quite ridiculous - for an article.

In the January-Fébruary issue of Details, its new issues catalogue, the Canadian operator highlighted page 14 "What's hidden in our stamps?" by putting two "permanent" stamp booklets under ultraviolet light.

And around the yearly royal effigies magicly appeared the crowned royal monogram and, right in the middle, a corgi!

Don't forget to buy the UV lamp to Canada Post : antifraud policy and philatelic revenues (Details, January-February 2016).
Canada Post found a new way of revenue after a whole bunch of stamp printings: autoadhesive in booklets, gummed in minisheets, uncut printing sheet, framed engraving inspired by stamps, gold/silver coins,... and so lamps for collectors curious of luminescence, phosphorescence and other "black light"... Yes, I am dumb in this domain: hopefully there are French specialists.

Open class I wrote: now something more or less philatelic, but collectionnable!
Logotype of Corgi, one of the collections of British publisher Transworld.
I recently finished to read the second tome of Alan Johnson's autobiography of former British Ministor of the Interior. A Labour Party officer coming from the Union of Communication Workers (UCW), he was at first and quite young a postman from 1968 to 1987, part of his life covered in Please, Mister Postman.

It's a very interesting testimony of the job of a postman at the end of the imaginary Glorious Thirty - a debatable concept of French history... but quite unable to explain the 1945-1975 economic period in Britain.  Johnson was an orphan too soon, raised by his sister while not very school-minded. Thank to the unexpected career in the Post Office, he succeeded to place himself back on the intellectual and creative tracks he was on, a prospective rockstar or a poet. But, married at 17 with her spouse's first child, and with a son coming...

He enjoyed these years of sorting and delivering mail, and under the dark clouds of Thatcher's neoliberalism, to find how the needs for productivity can allow postmen (and women) to be better paid. He did that because, in those decades, the Post Office never get enough workers and functioned thanks to overtimes the young employees accepted to perform.

There is fun to read how Postman Johnson performed his delivery duty, first in London suburbs, than in Slough, mushroom city outside Western London, and finally as rural postman. Fun because the small number of anecdotes that makes unforgettable the rounds he walked or drived daily without any surprise for years.

The ambition to speak, to act made him participate more and more in the union's activities until he became a full time UCW elect officer at the end of the book.


How does that connect to royal corgis ?
Elizabeth (at 10) with Dookie, one of her first two corgies in 1933 (family archives of King George VI, Royal Collection, reproduced by The Daily Telegraph on October 1st 2007).
Alan Johnson's autobiography is published by Corgi, one of the numerous editions of Transworld, itself part of Random House, itself part since 2013 of Penguin Random House publishing group, a property of Bertelsman and Pearson.

Corgi has been publishing massively printed paperback books since 1953, one year after Elizabeth II accession, twenty years after the Princess discovered the animal.

A Canadian booklet, a book cover taken off the book, a picture reproduction ordered to the Royal Collection, a screen capture of the only film role of the Queen signed by Daniel Craig (check 36 min 12 sec), some fantasy stamps from philatelic agencies printed for countries where there are no corgis, and voilà! An open class collection :)

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