During my yearly trip to the city of the Beatles and former port of the Empire, I saw that a new post office, privately own it seems, is to open on the groundfloor of the former Lewis store building, near Lime Street and Central Stations.
|The windows of the future Central Village post office (and coffee shop) on Renshaw Street late January 2017 (picture under Creative Commons licence by-nc-nd 3.0 fr).|
Monday 6 February: Criminal letters sent to bullfighting lovers.
In local news around Montpellier, forty or so bullfighters or bullfighting associations officers received postal stationery trapped with razor blade hidden in the adhesive flap. At least one man was deeply wounded to a finger.
|An example of a letter received by an association in Béziers and cancelled on Wednesday 1st: a green letter stationery whose Datamatric code was hidden with a green letter Marianne (Midi libre).|
Back in 2006 another stream of such letters were sent to bullfighting associations from Nîmes, Gard. The coded cancellations on the 2017 envelopes are from the same département.
Tuesday 7 February: Tea With Puppets, coffee with Canadian stamps.
Since last October a new postcast was launched on many on-demand platforms, and included a blog: Tea With Puppets with an interest on new issues of Canada and, for now, one on former issues.
Friday 10 February: From human tragedies to natural history: stamps and the academics.
Last Autumn two French historians, Alain Croix and Didier Guywarc'h, published at the the University of Rennes Press a book on how stamp issues reflects the memory of the two World Wars.
|The cover (Gibert Joseph bookshop).|
Timbres en guerre is a very interesting read from the semi-postal and war tax stamps of 1914 to the flow of commemorative issues, well after the events. The authors wonders how the governments' motivation evolved along the way, what the public may have understood of the stamps... and, when the knowledge was available, if the face value and printing numbers show if the stamps were to be seen by the nationals.
Of course symbolism or realism are part of the problem, including what the public wished to see (comparison between the fiftieth anniversary of World War 2 issues of the U.S. and of the Marshall Islands).The topic appears many times concerning the crimes of war and the Holocaust: interesting to discover how Eastern European countries managed their philately.
A must-read for philatelist and muggles alike.
|David Lank explaining how the background of a stamp is important: is it a temporary weather or the climate the species knew? (youTube).|
But, you may already have lost faith in mankind with these past and the recent events. Turn to nature!
Professor David Lank donated his topical stamp collection of natural history to the McGill University Library, Montréal, Québec. In English he proposed a speech at the inauguration of an exhibition of part of this collection, on Thursday 12 January (to see until May 14th).
It is amazing to listen how he introduced the slow growth of the postal system to his public, while displaying both beautiful and colorful stamps and depiction of animals in postal history.
A must-see on youTube.
Saturday 11 February: Prolific postal historian Ted Proud passed away.
Monday 6 February Ted Proud (1930-2017) disappeared. He was an important postal history dealer from 1961 to 1987 with his Proud Bailey Company.
|The Proud Bailey logo on the "museum-website".|
But he will be remember for the many books he published on the postal history of British colonies and military forces: a treasure of documents, lists of rates and post offices, some maps that help the postal collector to discover the territory he wishes to enter before going into more specialised works.
Let's hope that the International Postal Museum website, where one can access all his books for a small donation, would be continued.
He was rightfully invited to sign the Roll of Distinguished Philatelists in 2008.