The Textiliste is a craftperson of no little skill. Bi-annually she and her colleagues in the local quilting group put on a show and it falls to her to curate it. The venue is a spectacular house in Dulwich where we live, the oldest or one of them and very grand. It was once a boarding house for the local private school and still has the shoe rack in the hall. The last show was during the pandemic and they used it to represent the rainbow colours of the support symbol being used for key workers. The Cabinet of Curiosities, it was called.
They need a new theme and given this year is the Queen’s 70th anniversary of her accession to the throne, that seems to be a good start. How though?
One idea was to consider the images of the Queen and that led to stamps.
Now it happens that my dad was something of a philatelist. One of his treasured possessions was his varied collection, in fact; which he felt sure would be a nice little inheritance for mum. When he died I took the books to be valued. I’m glad he wasn’t around to hear the result.
So I kept them. Some I shared with my nephew but the books of First Day Covers are with me. We thought we’d have a look, the Textiliste and me, to see how the Queen was represented over the years. I’ve not had them out for a decade I’d guess but they contain some delights as well as memory joggers.
These two he loved.
The first, celebrating the first airmail between England and South Africa in 1931 was very prized – I don’t know who the recipient is – but the second, to Australia was addressed to my Grandfather.
And then, on the theme of accessions and coronations there was this, relating to the Queen’s father, posted in Ceylon, present day Sri Lanka.
When did he start with the Frist Day covers, I wonder? I’ll have to look through them but here are two early versions.
was addressed to the Archaeologist in August 1957celebrtign the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Boy Scouts. The Archaeologist was just two.
to me, celebrating the British Empire and Commonwealth Games in Cardiff in July 1958. I was about 15 months…
The stamps become more colourful. In 1966 England hosted the World Cup. The irony that dad had it addressed to the least sports mad person, my brother isn’t lost on me.
But then, later, one of his best friends gave him this one
A rare example of over printing, and iconic since that was our one and only success… so far.
I think I’ll keep digging and let you see some more examples, as well as how some bring back a few memories…