23rd April 2012
This week we will be holding two auctions in the Grosvenor saleroom whilst behind the scenes we will be 'putting to bed' our June 12th auction, an attractive sale that features a strong section of Falklands Islands & Antarctica.
Our June 'Jubilauction', to be held between the Queen's official Jubilee celebrations and the London 'Jubilympics', will complete 15 years of Grosvenor public auctions - our own Crystal Jubilee.
We will therefore somehow find the time on Thursday evening to raise a glass, crystal or otherwise, to the company, its sustainability and legacy. Feel free to join us in spirit.
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We have been receiving many bids in the last few weeks by email. The proportion received this way rises all the time but we are afraid that in the future we may not be able to guarantee that these will pass unexamined by HM Government, should they suspect you (or us) of any terrorist tendencies.
Good news then for members of the Letter Writers Liberation Front (LWLF) who have long insisted that the post is the safest way to pass on one's more controversial thoughts. It is unlikely that the authorities will be able to intercept all of our postal communications, however many intelligence officers are sent off to sorting offices with very large kettles.
The LWLF deserves encouragement, as the art of letter writing is nowadays much neglected and their members’ carefully composed letters of complaint to newspapers have drawn little response. The Front's shock graffiti campaign was also only a partial success, with activists being chased away from railway bridges before they had got much further than "Dear General Public . . . ".
Of course, as a Mr Tom Bloomfield of Carmarthenshire claimed in his letter to the Daily Telegraph last week, these government proposals to invade our privacy could be simply "part of a plan to persuade us to spend 60p on a stamp".
However, if the government is going to further infringe our personal freedoms by reading our emails we should perhaps provide them beforehand with a little background information on some of the many organisations mentioned frequently in our company communications, but usually only referred to by their initials:
RPS - (Royal Philatelic Society) – A semi-secret organisation with headquarters in central London. Attracts committed individuals who wish to pass on their knowledge to like-minded sympathisers. Has opened itself in recent years to a wider membership, possibly to create a 'Youth Wing'.
GBPS - (Great Britain Philatelic Society) – Specialist group including a number of wealthy benefactors. References to 'cheque-book' activity believed more likely to relate to purchasing of high level awards rather than arms and explosives.
PTS – (Philatelic Traders Society) - Once powerful 'umbrella' organisation, now seemingly in hiding.
FIPSG – (Falkland Islands Philatelic Study Group) - Group with overseas interests. May include sympathisers ready for rapid response to any future Argentine invasion by a possible 'Bay of Penguins' scenario. A number of members known to be already armed with sticks.
BPA – (British Philatelic Association) - Highly secretive network operating clandestinely. Known for its 'special skills'. However, certain operatives may have become slack and decadent in recent years.
BWISC – (British West Indies Study Circle) – Movement linked to the Caribbean islands. Some members smoke. Say no more.
We apologize to the authorities if any of the information above should be considered misleading or may have been 'misremembered'.
As I recall, Chris Lawrence wrote these notes for me whilst he was having a pasty at Leeds Station.
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There is surprisingly little aggressive behaviour or anti-social activity in our philatelic world. Quite the opposite, in fact, with many of our clients and colleagues having been strongly influenced by the peace and love movement of the Sixties – including a number of former hippies.
One noticeable gentleman (above) appears at each auction displaying the characteristic pallor of the committed vegetarian. He would no doubt be greatly fortified by the consumption of a traditional meat pasty.
Instead he sits, muttering quietly to himself about free love and expensive coffee . . . . or it could be expensive lots and free coffee, we must listen to him more closely this week.