Report of Meeting, July 12, 2008
PRESENT: 13 members and one guest were present, 5 members sent apologies.

The Deputy Chairman welcomed those present especially our charming guest.

The Chairman, Peter Andrews, being away in Australia with his family, the chair was taken by the Deputy Chairman, Stanley Horesh, who welcomed thirteen members and guest on a warm and sultry afternoon. Edmund Hall was Acting Secretary for the afternoon.

Two new membership applications had been received from the UK. They were proposed by Mike Murphy, seconded by Edmund Hall and elected unanimously. A warm welcome is extended to you both!

The venues for meetings in 2009 were discussed at some length and it was agreed to move the July meeting from the Victory Services Club in London (currently £178 for the afternoon), to July 18 near York Racecourse, where a two-day Stamp Fair, with many northern and overseas dealers, will take place on Friday 17 and Saturday 18 July. It was suggested that members could consider attending both Friday and Saturday sessions, and accommodation information will be made available soon. The Circle meeting will take place in a nearby church hall (£12 per hour), and we are grateful to Keith Pogson of York (ESC 130) for making the arrangements A meeting room at the Racecourse Fair itself would cost £235. See or telephone 01904 550099 to obtain information from the York Tourist Board. Several members indicated their intention to stay overnight, perhaps at the Railway Station Hotel or De Grey Rooms in Exhibition Square, so the meeting could well turn into a social event too!

A list of dates and locations for 2009 is as follows:

Jan 10 - Services Club
Feb 28 - at Stampex - Ten sheets (Stampex Feb 25-28; Philatex Feb 26-28)
May 2 - Services Club - AGM & Bourse
July 18 - York
Sept 19 - at Stampex - Acquisitions/Queries (Stampex Sept 16-19)
Nov 7 - Services Club (Philatex Nov 5-7)

The Sharm el-Sheikh event is scheduled for November 16-18 and will definitely take place in conjunction with the UPU-related PosTech international conference on postal technology at the Jolie Ville Maritim Congress Centre and Hotel in Naama Bay, Sharm. The Conference itself is to be organised by the British exhibition experts Triangle of Bourne End, Bucks, and the Philatelic Society of Egypt is hoping to mount an extensive series of frames for competition to be judged with (unofficial) awards, similar to Cairo 1991. Exhibits of five frames of 16 sheets (80 sheets in all) will be welcomed, as well as the attendance of as many ESC members as possible. Security of material in the frames and insurance will be guaranteed by the PSE, which is hoping for ad least half a dozen entries from the UK.

A problem envisaged with the location - Sharm is some five-plus hours by road from Cairo (even with Sami Sadek's brother driving!) and there outside philately the choice of activity is somewhat limited - to sun-bathing, snorkelling, etc, so the meeting considered a two-days, two-location holiday package to include Cairo, and hoped for a volunteer to investigate the possibilities and report back to Mike Murphy on his return from Canada on August 8. Sami Sadek recommended Suliman Travel. A return fare London-Sharm was mentioned at the meeting at £239, but this entails a week in Egypt, hence the two-location suggestion. Hands were raised by five possible attendees, and response to an email message has garnered three more British "possibles" as well as potential exhibitors from Germany and the United States.

The possible New Zealand conference in February 2009 was discussed but, sadly, there seemed little interest - perhaps it is just too far away? Anyone interested should contact Tony Chisholm as soon as possible.

The international exhibition London 2010 was discussed - this is the big one that happens every ten years. A table at the show, to be held at The Design Centre, Islington, North London, from May 8-15, will cost £250 but the Sudan Study Group has offered to share such a table (so fewer of us would be required to man the table) and to split the costs. It was agreed to accept this offer.

It was also agreed that a meeting place should be sought (a room at the exhibition would cost £200), possibly directly through the management of the Design Centre or in a nearby pub. The question of frames arose and was postponed for discussion at the next meeting or in committee, depending upon finding a room. Two members actually offered to make frames!

The ABPS was holding its annual meeting at the same time as our meeting, and the time is fast approaching when we should decided whether or not to consider our continuing affiliation. What do we get for the fee? The Secretary has a mass of material from them should anyone wish to see it.

John Sears reported that the spring auction, No 46, had a turnover of more than £7,000 and a cheque for £750 would be passed to the general account. He expects some auction in the future to be a complete flop, but it has not happened yet. While on his feet he also mentioned a new and updated version of his book The Airmails of Egypt, which is now available at £25 (£18 to ESC members).

Mohamed Norfal also had brought alone his new book, Postcard Collectors Guide Part II: Raphael Tuck & Sons and Other Publishers of Humour, Egypt 1902-1952 written and published by him. This volume is available for £25, €40 or $50 with a 20 per cent discount for ESC members. The next in the series will be on Louis Levy postcards.

Brian Sedgley mentioned that we had lost some ten members over the past 12 months, in part because of the increase in subscriptions, but that had been partly balanced by the acquisition of six new members. The books in the Library and the stamp collections are insured for a total of £5,000, an amount which will be increased since the acquisition of the Postal Bulletins, on the subject of which Sami Sadek announced that he had bought those published in Arabic only, and offered help to members should they wish to consult him.

As well as books recently acquired from the Grosvenor sale for the Library, including Peter Smith's book, John Davis mentioned that he had received two new items: 1. Whatever Happened to the Egyptians? Changes in Egyptian Society from 1950 to the Present, by Galal Amin (American University in Cairo Press, Cairo 2000): This book was kindly donated by member 266. 2. Postcard Collectors Guide Part II: Raphael Tuck & Sons and Other Publishers of Humour, Egypt 1902-1952 written and published by our member Mohamed Aly Nofal (2008).

The Grosvenor auction in November (date not yet known) will contain material from the collections of two prominent Circle members: John Sears' First Fuad collection (medal winner at Stampex) and an unspecified portion of the collection of Dennis Clarke. Members may contact Grosvenor for a free catalogue (postage to be paid).

That concluded the business section of the meeting and there followed an erudite and learned exposé of Airgraphs by Dennis Clarke.

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