Following the re-introduction of the Stanley Gibbons Congress Cup in 2010 for the best paper presented at the Philatelic Congress of Great Britain, Stanley Gibbons is pleased to announce the second name to be engraved; Mr Ashley Lawrence.Mr Lawrence’s insightful talk, entitled, ‘Les Ballon Montes’, charted the development of messages sent by manned balloon flights during the Siege of Paris in 1870-71. Ashley also touched on the Pigeon Post where messages were sent out on small microfilms. This service opened to the public in November 1870.Presentations given at this year’s Congress included: ‘Portsmouth Postal History’ by Lt Cdr Michael J Hill; ‘Antarctic – Admiral Byrd’ by Graham Booth; ‘Australia and New Zealand Mails’ by Colin Tabeart FSPH; ‘Mails under London’ by Len Stanway FRPSL; ‘Antique Writing Instruments’ by Congress Committee Chair, Gerald Marriner FRPSL; ‘FDC of Tasmanian ‘Courier’ 4d’ by 2011 RDP signatory, Koichi Sato and ‘Edinburgh Mail by Rail’ by Stephen Parkin, who, in addition to David Page, received the ABPS Award of Merit during Congressfor his ‘outstanding voluntary service to British Philately.
‘The standard of talks this year was incredibly high’ said Colin Avery of Stanley Gibbons, who partook in the judging, ‘it is never easy to pick just one winner but Ashley’s talk focused on an unusual aspect of philately and he had some very interesting supporting materials, which we felt justified his win.’
Mr Lawrence becomes the second name to be engraved on the Stanley Gibbons Congress Cup; under that of Dr Andrew Dove who won the cup in 2010 for his talk on King George Definitive Stamps of New Zealand.