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Tom Rielly Displays

92nd Annual Congress Tom Rielly Display

Display by Captain James Podger FRPSL

The display and presentation is on British West Indies postal history, predominantly pre-stamp but including some items showing adhesive use. It is an ‘A ‘ to ‘ V ‘ display as I have included items from Antigua through to the Virgin Islands. A few items have Scottish Ship Letter markings, and some have the Scottish Additional ½ marking for the ½d Wheel Tax.
Also included are several items of correspondence from the Scottish firm of brewers ‘John Jeffrey & Co.,’ advertising ships available to take their beers to the West Indies.

Montserrat Straight-Line Type N1 on Entire Dated 26 February 1791

This entire from Montserrat has an example of the N1 straight-line mark and is one of eight examples recorded between 10 January 1791 and 17 September 1796. It was originally rated at 1/- for one sheet and on arrival in England was inspected to check whether it breached the regulations. It was found to be two sheets and therefore liable to the 2/- rate. The 1/- was crossed through and the Inspectors Crown handstamp was struck over to indicate that the entire had been checked It was then endorsed 2/- for the recipient to pay.

Mostly one looks at the front or certainly the outside of an entire or wrapper, as this will first be what piques ones interest. Occasionally, what is inside is more interesting and makes an item of postal history stand out.

Entire with Kingsbridge Ship Letter Handstamp

The Inside of the Kingsbridge Ship Letter

The inside of the entire, dated 12 February 1829 and was written on Grand Cayman. The writer, R.S. Bateman, is informing the addressee about the loss of the vessel ‘Chris Scott’ that had run aground on the morning of Sunday 8th. This is the earliest pre-stamp letter written on the Cayman Islands in private hands.

James Podger is a Master Mariner and has spent his working life on oil and chemical tankers, for the past twenty-eight years on worldwide trade transporting products ranging from crude oils, palm oils, molasses and soya bean oil to petrol, diesel and specialist chemicals. Since the last millennium he has been in command and has been lucky enough to have been paid to visit places like St. Helena, Ascension Island, the Falkland Islands, La Reunion and Mauritius, to mention a few.

James Podger started collecting Cayman Islands stamps and postal history in the early 1970s, exhibiting in the traditional class both nationally and internationally. Having sold his Cayman Islands in 2019 he decided to collect a broad range of early material from the British West Indies, including adhesives. His collecting interests include pre-stamp Welsh postal history; the Returned Letter Officer of Cyprus (exhibited nationally and internationally); Ascension Island, St. Helena, Seychelles and more! James is a bibliophile and has an extensive philatelic library. He is a Fellow of the Royal Philatelic Society London and is currently Vice Chair of the Philatelic Collections Committee and has previously been a member of Council. He is also a member of the Society of Postal Historians and of a number of specialist philatelic societies, including the British West Indies Study Circle. James is currently a national juror in the traditional and postal history classes and, is exceedingly fortunate that both his father and brother are keen philatelists.

Below is a picture of James Podger receiving his Tom Rielly medal from his brother President Francis Podger

This page was last modified on 16th April 2023


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