Philately is a new interest of mine, for no real reason than that I had not given it much attention before. My ignorance on the subject changed around five years ago when I was admiring a few first day covers that my father had: a keen stamp collector, he has amassed thousands of stamps over the years. I had just completed a GCSE in astronomy via evening classes; with my curiosity piqued, I started to wonder what astronomy- and space-themed stamps were out there.
“If I do nothing else with my life I will make it solo, with no re-supplies, to the North Pole.” These are the last words my father heard as he died in my arms. The words had just welled up unexpectedly from a place deep inside, but my father and I both knew this is was the sort of thing he had been working towards. I needed him to know he had successfully handed me the baton, and that I was not going to stop until it was done, whatever the cost. If ever there was an unbreakable commitment, a vow even, it seemed to me that this was one.
On 5th March 2020, Bob Galland gave an excellent talk on The Evolution of the British Franking System at the Royal Philatelic Society London, 15 Abchurch Lane, with a full display of hundreds of sheets and the usual presentation to the assembled audience of 86 members and guests. The Auditors were hap-pily ensconced in the office on the third floor trying no doubt to find a flaw in our accounts to justify their fee.
In 1974 Robson Lowe published an illustrated monogram on this correspondence to commem-orate his visit to the National Philatelic Exhibi-tion held in Pretoria. The collection was sold privately at the time, and 46 years later it has resurfaced, intact, to be offered in the October Stamps & Covers of Southern Africa auction.