Scandinavia Philatelic Society was founded in 1952 as the Scandinavia Collectors Club by a handful of members who sat round a table in the Library of the Swedish Church in Harcourt Street, Marylebone, London and grown into a Society of some 300 members, the majority of which are resident in the U.K. but the membership does extend overseas.
An advertisement appeared in 1952 in the pages of “Stamp Collecting Weekly” inviting applications for membership to those interested in Scandinavian philately and in the first four years 165 members were enrolled. Meetings have been held in the Swedish Church since the first days of the Society, and they were sometimes prefixed by a visit to the Harcourt Arms opposite and sometimes a post-meeting visit also took place. The occasional Christmas party was arranged, hosted by Eiler Hansen at the Danish Embassy and the now non-existent Danish Food Centre.
Among the founder members there were many great names of Scandinavian philately such as Roland King-Farlow (President) G. Startin (Chairman) R.D.Montague (Treasurer) Eric Paulsen (Librarian) Athelstan Caröe, his brother Thor, Stanley Daft, Alfred Birch, Douglas Collard, Colin Maycock, Angus Parker, Frantz Moldenhauer, Geraint Jones and Herbert Pritchett who was the Secretary, responsible for recruiting many members due to his business trips to the USA and Scandinavia.
As the Society grew it was felt that it might be worthwhile holding provincial meetings and these took place around the UK and continue to do so with much success. Later on, in 1978 the first provincial meeting was organised in Cheltenham and these popular events have continued annually in different parts of the country. Since that year the AGM has also been held up and down the country and not just in London
The Contact Magazine
When it was decided to have a Society magazine Herbert was the first Editor of “Scandinavian Contact” in 1953, and it has been thriving ever since. Starting out on quarto sized paper, cut with a stencil and inked and run off on a duplicating machine it now appears in A5 size neatly printed, stapled and bound – the production made on a computer with scans and illustrations in full colour, a far cry from the early days of production.
The Stamp packet was established and organised in the early days of the Society, and this has grown over the years. Booklets are sent out out for approval to members to buy stamps from and the money from the purchases is then sent back to the packet manager to reimburse the booklet vendors. We currently run 6 different runs, covering Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland and one curcuit covering Iceland, Greenland and the Faroes. A test run is currently being done to gage the need for a curcuit for Postal History covers. Booklet Vendors are not necessarily members of the Society and advice and guidance on what might sell can be found by clicking on this link
The Norden Award
The objective of this competition is to encourage the writing and publication of original work in the form of articles in “Scandinavian Contact”. The competition is organised and controlled by the Scandinavia Philatelic Society.
An article shall be a work of philatelic literature consisting of not less than 1000 words and it will be judged, using agreed rules, by three judges who are not members of the Society.
Criteria for judging are that the article be personal or collective original research, articles should be accurate, and with clarity and arrangement of content. The award at present takes the form of a cheque and medal. It is usually awarded annually at the AGM.
The current website gives members access to many articles publish in the Contact magazine and deemed to be of a historical nature. In addition, articles which are unsuitable for publication in a printed form, (say due to the number of illustrations) are being published online for research and pleasure of the membership. In addition it has, with the use of current technology become possible to illustrate many of the old articles in full colour, combine those published over several issues of the magazine and collate related material into single articles for better overview of the membership.
Furthermore the website carries a complete index of all articles published in the magazine since 1953 in printed form and this index is available for the general public as well researching topics to which SPS may be able to help shed light
The present Council of the Society is a hard working group which gives much of its own time to running the Society efficiently which is greatly appreciated by the members.
SCANDINAVIA PHILATELIC SOCIETY is affiliated to Norsk Filatelist Forbund, the Norwegian Federation of Philatelists. There are several benefits resulting from this, for example:
- We are able to enter exhibits in Norwegian and Nordic exhibitions under the same conditions as societies in Norway which have full membership.
- The Federation has donated a number of handbooks to our library which we would not otherwise have and other publications have been bought at a very good discount.
- We receive Norsk Filatelistisk Tidsskrift, the Federation’s magazine, which is issued eight times per year.
- The Federation administrates the NORWEX fund which was established in 1981. We have received funding from this source to assist with the costs of publication of philatelic literature.