The Czechoslovak Philatelic Society of Great Britain

Founded: 1942 Present number of Members: 174 (121 in the UK, 29 in Europe and 24 the rest of the world)

Reason for Nomination: The Society considers its activities promote philately both in the UK and Europe.

History: The turbulent times in Czechoslovakia in 1938 and 1939 with the Nazi occupation of their homeland many nationals travelled to Great Britain. In addition, members of the former Czechoslovak Army and Air force also reached Great Britain. Several of these nationals were interested in stamp collecting and a Society was formed in 1942. The departure of the Czechoslovak Independent Armoured Brigade to France at the end of August 1944 left only Czechoslovak airmen in the UK, resulting in a much-depleted Society. An Exhibition of Czechoslovak Postage Stamps was held in London in 1943 to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the founding of Czechoslovak Republic.

Little was heard of the Society until 1952 when the Czechoslovak Philatelic Society of Great Britain was formed as an exchange club and a Study Circle Dossier was circulated round all the members. In 1953 it was decided that regular meetings would take place quarterly for displays and discussions. A committee was formed and the first formal meeting was held on 17 October 1953. It was the model on which today’sSociety is based.

Magazine/bulletin and other publications: The Society’s journal Czechout commenced in 1975 and is stillproduced four times a year in colour. It is put on the website as soon as it is published for non-members to read.

An interactive index of Czechout, on a DVD, is produced every few years. The most recent is for the years 1975 – 2015. The next one will be produced next year. Its comprehensive index is searchable by subject, author or catalogue number (Stanley Gibbons or Pofis, the standard Czech catalogue). A single click takes you straight to the article which can be printed. Alternatively, a whole issue of Czechout can be viewed.

30 Monographs on a variety of Czech subjects have been published and another is preparation, a 300-pageMonograph The Hradčany: A Technical History. A list of the Monographs currently in print is attached.

The Monograph, Postal Arrangements Following the Liberation of Prague in May 1945 is bilingual in English and Czech. The Monograph, The Carpatho Ukraine: Postal History and Stamps 1786 -2000 is a joint publication with Vereniging Voor Tsjechoslowakije Filatelie

The Society has also published 43 Print-on-Demand books. These are mainly detailed studies which have been translated into English from Czech. They include complete plating studies of the 26 values of theHradčany issue and these contain original research. A list of the Print-on-Demand titles currently in print is attached.

The full text of the Print-on-Demand titles can be viewed on the website

Major Exhibitions Organised: In 1986 the Society held an exhibition at Stampex, the National Philatelic Exhibition held in London. At the time the 900-page display was described as the most comprehensive display of Czech material shown in this county and it attracted a large number of visitors.

In 2003 the Society had a 94-frame display at Stampex. Martin Činovský, the Slovak distinguished designerand engraver of postage stamps, contributed 10 frames of his original work to the exhibition.

The Society has given 2 displays to the Royal Philatelic Society London to mark its 50th and 60th anniversaries of the refounding of the Society in 1953. A standing display was on view at the RPSL for 1 month following the 2 second display. This enabled the Society to show 64 frames of material, 11 of which were contributed by 4 members from Europe and 1 each from USA and South Africa. All the pages on view were scanned and DVDs made and the scans were given to the RPSL for their website. The scans are available on the website

In 1993 a formal diner, to mark the 40th anniversary of the refunding of the Society was held at the Czech and Slovak National Club attended by the Slovak Ambassador. This was followed by an exhibition organised by the Society at the Slovak Embassy, London.

Exhibitions have been held at the Czech Embassy, London in 2003, 2004 and 2008. The first exhibition consisted of 140 frames of material, the second exhibition incorporated a seminar with 35 frames and the latter had 90 frames. All the sheets from the 90 frames were scanned and made available on a DVD. A further exhibition at the Embassy is being planned for May this year in conjunction with the celebrations for the 100th anniversary of Czechoslovakia becoming an independent republic.

The Society has contributed non-competitive displays to the following European exhibitions: Brno 2000, Apeldoorn 2007 and 2012 and Sindelfingen in 2007. The Society will also participate in Sindelfingen this year to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Czechoslovakian Independence.

Other Achievements: The Society is fortunate in being able to see displays by overseas members. Notable displays have been given by members from Czechoslovakia, the Czech Republic, Hungary and the Netherlands.

The Society has two websites, is for Society business including our latest auction catalogue with scans of most lots. The other website has our publications. One member has contributed a visual album of all the stamps issued by Czechoslovakia and the successor countries to date. Both websites are available for the general public to view.

The Society regularly holds 3 competitions and a literature award. Overseas members are encouraged to participate and our trophies have been won by overseas members.

The Society has an extensive library including all the notable works in the Czech language as well as other European languages. Our interactive index of our journal Czechout is on the Global Philatelic Library.

Distinctions or awards obtained by the Society: Please see the list attached. In addition, several members have had considerable success at national and international level. Impact on the Local Community: Two local exhibitions have been organised; one in 1970 in Bishop Stortford and one in Worthing in 1974. The Society entered a display at the RAF Hendon Museum in 1982.

The Society organises visits to all International Exhibitions in the Czech and Slovak Republics. During the visit the Society organises a dinner for members of the Czechoslovak Specialised Societies in all European countries and the USA. Similar dinners are held in London during International Exhibitions. Invitations to the exhibitions held at the Czech Embassy are sent to nationals living in Great Britain.

Any other Aspects Supporting the Primary Grounds for Nomination: The objective of the Society is to promote and study all aspects of stamps and postal history of the Czech and Slovak lands from the earliest times to the present day and to provide facilities for this purpose. The Society takes this objective very seriously and sees itself as a distributor of information on Czech philately and postal history, not a society promoting an exchange of information solely between its members.

As well as the 4 London meetings held each year, a summer meeting is held elsewhere in the country and a Society Weekend takes place on a regular basis. Last year it was held in the Netherlands and was organised by Vereniging Voor Tsjechoslowakije Filatelie. It gave the opportunity for members to attend from other European societies. A full day meeting is held annually in the north of England. It is open to members of the Austrian, Hungarian, Polish and Yugoslavian specialist societies.

The Czechoslovakian European specialist societies exchange their auction catalogues so that any member of a Czech Society can bid in the auctions. In order to make it easier for Europeans to participate in the services of the Society it has access to a euro account, PayPal and credit card facilities. There is a cooperation agreement with the American Specialist Society whereby their members pay in US dollars to their treasurer and UK members of that society pay the British treasurer with the two treasurers making the appropriate transfer of funds.

The Society has representatives in Europe and North America and both hold offices in the Society.