West Africa Study Circle       

This page gives brief details of:

In addition to the recordings described below, accounts of displays can be found in Newsletters (up to the Salisbury Meeting of 2023), then (from Conference 2023) the Newsletter will contain a short account of proceedings, with more detailed summaries published in the following edition of Cameo.

WASC 'in-person' meetings, at the RPSL, at Reading and the biennial week-end Conference have now been joined by quarterly 'on-line' meetings, via Zoom. Advance details of Zoom meetings will be circulated to members by email. Files of past Zoom sessions are given on on the WASC Zoom session files page.

WASC Meetings coming up

The 2024 Salisbury Meeting will take place on 15 June 2024 (themes are: Postal Stationery (in memory of Keith Hannan) and any aspect of Nigeria (in memory of Ray Harris) ). Our autumn London meeting will take place on Saturday 2nd November 2024.

Our next on-line meetings will take place on Saturday 8 June (19.00-20.30 hours BST); Saturday 7 September (19.00-20.30 hours BST)  and Saturday 30 November (19.00-20.30 hours GMT). Details of displays and instructions for joining the Zoom call will be emailed to WASC members in due course.

WASC meetings past

2024

The London meeting on 2nd March 2024 at the RPSL, was held jointly with the Forces Postal History Society. Presentations were: Cameroons WW1 Postal History and the 1960-62 Plebiscite Period (Rob May), West African Military Air Mail 1939-1945 (Peter Richards), Northbound mail from BWA, September 1939 – June 1940 (Barbara Priddy), 81st & 82nd West (African) Divisions & their Field Post Offices in India and Burma 1942-46 (John Powell), Sierra Leone surprises (John Hossack), WW2 Censored Covers from Calabar, Ibadan, Lagos & Port Harcourt (Simon Heap), Peace Keeping Soldiers' Mail from African Forces (Graham Mytton), Gold Coast Military (John Powell), Nigerian Troops on UN Peacekeeping Roles (Tony Plumbe), WW2 Armay Signals West Africa & Ascension Islands (Michael Dobbs), Miscellaneous General Display (Richard Berry), Cameroun Covers, mostly WW2 (Michael Round), Aspects of Military Mail Ascension Islands and Gold Coast (Robert Hurst), Postal Stationery (Peter Burrows), Army Telegraphs & First World War Censorship (John Mills).

Zoom sessions.
The first Zoom session of 2024 was held on 23rd March 2024 with 31 members in attendance, including at least five from North America, two from Europe, one from Nigeria and one from Australia. There were five presentations: Sierra Leone Postmarks by Simon Binstead, Nigerian Correspondence by John Ward, Postal Use of "Wallpaper" stamps for Sierra Leone and Ghana by Philip Quirk, Gold coast via Imperial Airways, 1936 by Peter Richards, Guinea (Conakry) Mail to the UK, 1980s and 1990s by Graham Mytton.

2023

The London meeting on 4th March 2023 at the RPSL, was held jointly with the France & Colonies Philatelic Society. The two main sessions were presented by Michael Round: 'Ivory Coast: the Carbon-Copy Colony?' and by Rob May: French Cameroons. Additional members’ displays included Aeromaritime flights connected with the Gold Coast by John Powell, Jet Age airmails from French colonies by Barbara Priddy, and the Joseph de la Nézière issues of French West Africa by Mick Bister.

At the Salisbury Meeting on 17 June 2023, themes were Queen Elizabeth 2nd, and censorship. The displays were written up in the WASC Autumn 2023 newsletter but were not recorded.

The biennial WASC conference took place at the Hayes centre, Swanwick, Derbyshire, on 29 September to 1st October 2023. Main displays were on: St Helena Postal History 1856-1896, Tristan Volcano Period, West African Airmails - the Jet Age, Internal Mail Routes of Nigeria and Research from Original Sources, Nigerian Forces Mail in the Congo 1960-64, Lagos GPO Cancellations and Handstamps to 1960, Ghana Stamp Errors & Varieties, St Helena Forgeries, Sierra Leone Village Postmarks pre-1961, How Postal Agreements are Negotiated: the Deutsche Lufthansa South American Route via Bathurst 1934-1939, Aspects of Sierra Leone Post Independence, French Cameroun - A Potpourri of Unusual, Misleading and Incorrect Cancels, St Helena Rates and Covers from Joining the UPU in 1896, Nigeria QEII Definitives. We were not able to Livestream any of the displays but we are adding other recordings of display content as they become available.

The London meeting on 4th November 2023 at the RPSL featured displays by Simon Heap on the ‘Postal History of Port Harcourt’, by Majed Halawi focusing on the ‘Sierra Leone 1963 Flowers issue and its overprints and surcharges (the Churchill-Margai issue)’, and Barbara Priddy on ‘Wartime West Africa airmails after Operation Torch’. Again, we were not able to Livestream the displays but we will be adding other recordings of display content as they become available.

Zoom sessions. Two sessions took place in October 2023, one on producing Powerpoint presentations and one on joining Zoom sessions. The members' Zoom session on 9 December 2023 featured presentations on IT in Philately, Postal Stationery of Southern Nigeria, Probabilistic Philately and WW2 free Christmas Airletters. WASC files associated with Zoom sessions are shown on the WASC Zoom session files page.

2022

We had a table at London 2022 on the Wednesday of the exhibition, and had a most enjoyable lunch nearby. Our meeting in Salisbury in June went very well in the Scout Hut at West Harnham. The subjects were (i) Revenues, and (ii) Postal rates.

We held our first meeting of the year in London on 5th March, jointly with the King George VI Collectors' Society. Some of that was livestreamed, which was welcomed by several of our overseas members as well as those in the UK.
We also met in London on 12th November where presentations were by Brian Lythgoe: A Cameroons Miscellany, and by Wilf Vevers: Ascension Island Postal History.

2021

We created our first meeting of the year (in March) on Zoom. Displays from that meeting are available as PDFs at this link. The second, in November, was held in London in person and some of it was livestreamed (see below).

We had a stand at Midpex on 3rd July. Our biennial conference was held very successfully from 24th to 26th September in Redditch. Part of this was also livestreamed, though not perfectly as it was our first attempt.

Recordings of meeting displays

The youtu.be links below will take you to recordings of meeting displays. Generally the Livestream recordings have not been edited, so there is usually some 'dead time' at the start and sometimes during the session. Other display material is available in .pdf or powerpoint form.

Conference 2021 Redditch (some sessions shared with the Postal History Society)

West African Maritime postal history Steve Ellis (PHS): https://youtu.be/0fAVoBk3wc0

Gold Coast postal history Ian Anderson: https://youtu.be/jqaT-KgOgfM

Gambia Jeremy Martin: https://youtu.be/frDUwlcv_9U

Nigeria Sterling aerogrammes Ray Harris: https://youtu.be/28rpWpJLYm8

Sierra Leone stamps and postal stationery Majed Halawi: https://youtu.be/TAZ9Q8Y8FD0 then https://youtu.be/qgUa5eBOCkk

Forgeries of (mostly) Nigeria Paul Redhead: https://youtu.be/WCv0UnK7OGM

Biafra postal history Tony Plumbe: https://youtu.be/XfZiT6zPeZY (poor sound)

Censorship Graham Mark (PHS): https://youtu.be/eYqHHuEmf4I (poor sound)

Gold Coast maritime mail John Powell: https://youtu.be/_MnFGkiUg5w (poor sound until 10:46)

St Helena Boer PoWs Bernard Mabbett: https://youtu.be/Q0B97lV1VaY

November 2021 London Meeting

Internal mail routes of Nigeria Rob May: https://youtu.be/SihKPhcxFE4

Afternoon short displays by members featuring: West African Airmails by Peter Richards, Modern Nigerian Covers by Philip Quirk, Selected Airmail Covers by Rob May, Early Village Postmarks on Gold Coast Stamps by John Powell, Postmarks of Freetown and Its Surrounding Area by John Hossack, Nigerian Insufficiently Prepaid for Airmail Cachets by Tony Plumbe, Biafran Government Press Communiques and Related Magazines by https://youtu.be/0fAVoBk3wc0

March 2022 London Meeting

Origins and Development of KG VI head designs Brian Livingstone of the KG VI Collectors' Society: https://youtu.be/wGinpyXyHLM

West African Airmails 1945-52 Barbara Priddy: https://youtu.be/e4-jV1c-Ado

November 2022 London Meeting

Two vidoes available for most displays, differing somewhat in clarity and whether they include shots of each display frame as well as the presentation.

Ascension Wilf Vevers: https://youtu.be/gFB3zFarJME and https://youtu.be/W5pyh7oMD2c

Cameroons Brian Lythgoe and short displays (other members): https://youtu.be/lYkzQPzMgJo all displays, and https://youtu.be/t4D0KTe71SM (Brian only)

March 2023 London

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x_keBTB9jSo French Cameroons (Rob May). Starts at c 5.35 minutes. Aéromaritime flights connected with the Gold Coast (John Powell). Starts c. 48.15 minutes. Joseph de la Nézière issues of French West Africa (Mick Bister). Starts c. 54.30 minutes.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pKL1GvyVFYc Ivory Coast: the Carbon-Copy Colony? (Michael Round). Starts c. 8.50 minutes in. French West African Air Mail 1939-1945 (Peter Richards). Starts c. 51.05 minutes in.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z_OKsPW6Pfg Modern French Colonies Eye Candy (Philip Quirk). Starts c. 1.30 minutes in. Nigerian Frontier Force operations in North-West Niger Companies Territories (Tony Plumbe). Starts c.4.0 minutes in. Northern Nigeria with a French Connection (Ray Harris). Starts c. 7.05 minutes in. Jet Age airmails from French colonies (Barbara Priddy). Starts c. 15.15 minutes in. Mail from French West Africa to the Gold Coast (John Powell). Starts c. 20.25 minutes in. Gambia / France connections via postcards (John Russell). Starts c. 43.10 minutes in. Postcards with French West African railway connections (John Hossack). Starts c. 44.35 minutes in.

September 2023 Conference Swanwick

Problems with Livestreaming and recording meant that the videos of Conference displays that we have been able to upload are often of poorer quality than we would like

St Helena Postal History 1856-1896 Bernard Mabbett https://youtu.be/ChGhQSO8tsc Presentation starts at 00:00:52 mins. No sound, no close ups of display material

Tristan Volcano Period Richard Moss  https://youtu.be/T3nChWf2E7Q Video of a presentation made using a powerpoint file. No sound, reasonable images

West African Airmails - the Jet Age Barbara Priddy. Alas, no recording available

Internal Mail Routes of Nigeria and Research from Original Sources Rob May Available as a .pdf file and via https://youtu.be/qkrU7FQxva8 Video includes some extra material showing frames from the talk. Sound present from 00:41:29 mins onwards only.

Nigerian Forces Mail in the Congo 1960-64 Gerald Marriner. https://youtu.be/Kyen9Wpf_q8. Video of a presentation made using the Powerpoint file, sound sometimes faint.

Lagos GPO Cancellations and Handstamps to 1960 Paul Redhead Recorded as three .pdf files (high res so quite large) Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 and  https://youtu.be/By_qcKYFmeM View of frames only, no sound.

Ghana Stamp Errors & Varieties Ian Anderson Presentation and questions, no sound, no close-ups of frames 00:00:09 to 00:33:00 mins.  https://youtu.be/ldAMF-XR2TE View of Frames: https://youtu.be/phNqbe4zRxI , no sound.

St Helena Forgeries Roger West  https://youtu.be/sNsstUGez2U Presentation, no sound, no close-ups of frames.

Sierra Leone Village Postmarks pre-1961 John Hossack  https://youtu.be/j9AtxCr2GGA   Presentation, no sound. View of frames Part 1 https://youtu.be/E_bEl2VM9no. View of Frames Part 2  https://youtu.be/9mnTqMVb_iE No sound.

How Postal Agreements are Negotiated: the Deutsche Lufthansa South American Route via Bathurst 1934-1939 Gary Loew Available as a.pdf file

Aspects of Sierra Leone Post Independence Philip Quirk  https://youtu.be/eBBZ0zLU_EI Presentation, discussion/questions, and view of frames. No sound,

French Cameroun - A Potpourri of Unusual, Misleading and Incorrect Cancels Marty Bratzel https://youtu.be/JrwIJntKeE0 Presentation and view of frames. No sound

St Helena Rates and Covers from Joining the UPU in 1896 Barry Burns   https://youtu.be/O4HmNYiSUgE Presentation and view of frames. No sound.

Nigeria QEII Definitives Ray Harris Available as .pdf file

November 2023 London

Problems with Livestreaming and recording meant that the videos of are often of poorer quality than we would like

Postal History of Port Harcourt Simon Heap https://youtu.be/m7TPiiUtIC4 Presentation, discussion, and view of frames (Part 1), no sound . https://youtu.be/zlgxLjDXuB8 View of frames (Part 2), no sound.

Sierra Leone 1963 Flowers issue and its overprints and surcharges (the Churchill-Margai issue) Majed Halawi https://youtu.be/wtzeWi5YKz8 Presentation, no sound.  https://youtu.be/gtHcicdf1tY  View of frames, sound from about 00:00:30 mins onwards.

Wartime West Africa airmails after Operation Torch Barbara Priddy https://youtu.be/xqAJ9C0cFus Presentation, no sound, no view of frames

Sierra Leone Wilberforce Issue John Hossack: https://youtu.be/eFZs_1gxaIo Presentation, faint sound, View of frames, no sound, 00:02:15 to 00:02:40 mins. See also 00:13:48 to 00:14:14 mins on this video.

Ghana Errors and Varieties Philip Quirk: https://youtu.be/eFZs_1gxaIo Presentation, no sound, 00:02:45 to 00:09:48 mins.; View of frames, no sound, 00:11:05 to 00:13:40 mins. 

Nigerian Type 4 Censor Covers Tony Plumbe: https://youtu.be/qqmjjkCG1tM Presentation, no sound. https://youtu.be/jMEHR5WS1QE View of frames, no sound

March 2024 London

Recordings wil be posted here when they becme available.