Next year, 2009, is our 50th Anniversary; also the 25th Anniversary of our first Stamp Fair, and the 90th Anniversary of our close friends and neighbours Blackpool and Fylde PS.
I have produced a brief history of the society which will be circulated to the philatelic press and local press to hopefully give us some publicity. A "sneak preview" for Stampboards members:
A History of the Lytham St Annes Philatelic Society
The Lytham St Annes Society celebrates its Golden Jubilee in 2009.
Before the current society was founded in 1959, a previous society, called the "St Annes and District PS" had been active in the area as early as 1919; the annual subscription was 5/- (25p). In 1926, meetings started to alternate between St Annes, Lytham and Blackpool and a year later the name was changed to the "Fylde PS". By 1928, subscriptions were reduced to 2/6 (12Â½p), and were reputed to be the lowest in Britain. Later, meetings were restricted to Blackpool only, and in 1948 the group became the "Blackpool and Fylde PS"; the society remains active in Blackpool and celebrates its 90th anniversary in 2009.
Feeling had been growing for some time that Lytham St Annes again needed its own society, so on 13 May 1959 a group of 16 philatelists met at the Rest Room of the War Memorial Homes, St Annes, and formed the "Lytham St Annes Philatelic Society" under the chairmanship of Mr AL Roston. Mr R Hall was elected Secretary and Mr N Charlesworth became Treasurer. The society joined the North West Federation of Philatelic Societies later that year, and interest grew steadily.
In 1969, the office of Chairman was replaced by that of President, and a formal constitution was adopted. Mr H Hibbert and Mr DG Cole were appointed the first Life Members in 1975 in recognition of their services to the club, and two years later a club library was donated by Mr Cole's widow following his death. Mr Cyril Defriez took over as President from 1970 to 1972, then became Secretary in 1977, a post he held until the present Secretary, Mr Brian Bretherick took over. Both are still enthusiastic members of the society.
A formal dinner was held in May 1980 to celebrate the "coming of age" of the society when Mr Hibbert, a founding member gave the address, recalling the founding of the club 21 years earlier. The outgoing President, Charles Bunting (who remains an active member of the Society) presented each member with a memento commemorating the event in the form of a special cover (envelope) which had been posted at the London 1980 Stamp Exhibition on the date of the anniversary.
In June 1984, the Society held its first Stamp Fair, which has since expanded to become a popular annual event. The Fair is always held on the second Saturday of June at Clifton Drive Methodist Church Hall, St Annes, and celebrates its silver Jubilee in 2009.
In 1990, the society commissioned a limited edition die-cast model bus to raise funds and to commemorate the issue of the world's first postage stamp, the famous Penny Black. The buses are today popular collectable items themselves.
The society awards five trophies each season to the winners of competitions in categories from single sheet and thematic displays to postal history, aerophilately and traditional displays. In addition, an annual quiz is held, and there are regular visits to neighbouring clubs.
The society remains active within the community, meeting on alternate Wednesdays at Clifton Drive Methodist Church Hall. The current President is Mr Jim Mercer, who will preside over the anniversary celebrations including a formal dinner at St Annes Old Links Golf Club.
A half page article, based closely on the above, appears in this month's Gibbons Stamp Monthly