Old China Town KL The Malaya Study Group Selangor SG 87

The Malaya Study Group exists for collectors of the stamps, postal stationery and postal history of the states of Peninsular Malaysia which until 1963 formed the Federation of Malaya, including the Straits Settlements of Malacca, Penang and Singapore, the Federated Malay States, Negri Sembilan and Sungei Ujong, Pahang, Perak and Selangor and the Unfederated States, Johor, Kedah, Kelantan, Perlis and Trengganu. Many MSG members also collect & study all of modern Malaysia, Singapore, and the island of Borneo, comprising additionally  Sabah, Sarawak, Borneo, Labuan, and the states of Brunei & the peninsular state of Singapore. Study of the whole area so often adds to understanding and appreciation of the philately of Malaya. The Society has a JOURNAL, "The Malayan Philatelist" and a NEWSLETTER supplied free to members, EXCHANGE PACKETS, AUCTIONS and has produced a number of significant PUBLICATIONS on the stamps and postal history of the area.

The Leicester Meeting, Members Displays, March 7th 2015

Photographs by Joe Robertson & Report by Susan McEwen and other members


Leicester meeting, Saturday 7th March 2015

The Regency Hotel, Leicester

Members gathered at the Regency Hotel Leicester on a chilly but bright day. At many of our meetings Dominic writes comprehensive notes which he later transcribes into a report. For this meeting we tried an experiment. Each displayer was asked to send a paragraph which Susan has collated to make the report. There are stylistic differences in the Paragraphs, it’ll be interesting to see if this approach works!
Joe Robertson provided the opening standing display of a full round of over 96 sheets on the subject of "Rubber and Philatelic items" to which he is still adding. Most items had previously been shown to group meetings in London.

Jon Higgins North Borneo & Brunei Air Mails 1929-41. During this period there were no airfields in Northern Borneo, therefore all air mail to and from the region was routed by sea via Singapore, from whence it was carried by either KLM or Imperial Airways. The only recorded pre-war air mail within North Borneo & Brunei were in the course of reconnaissance of the North Borneo coast by seaplanes of the RAF 205 squadron based at Seletar, Singapore. Compared to Malaya, D.E.I. and even Sarawak, air mail covers, particularly prior to 1936, from North Borneo and Brunei are scarce. The Display consisted of a chronological survey of the rates and routes of the period including:
1929 Air Union, Marseilles to London
1930 RAF Survey Flights
1931 & 1934 First Flights from Australia
1933-1936 KLM (including rate changes) to UK, Europe & USA
1934-1938 Imperial (including route and rate changes) to UK, Europe & USA
1938-1939 Imperial, Empire 'All-Up' service
1939-1941 Wartime air mails by Imperial/BOAC (including route & rate changes)
1941 American Airlines Trans Pacific / Trans Atlantic Services

Mike Ludlow showed two short displays. The first was a run through of the Second World War civilian censor marks of Singapore and Penang including forgeries and some military censors. The second display was some new acquisitions of material relating to the Straits Steamship Company and featured postcards of ships and bills of lading mail sent on board and with the stamps cancelled by the various ships marks. These were used on the Sarawak Steamship Company vessels.The vessels featured included MV Bruas, SS Belaga, Kunak, Petaling, Tapah, Rajah Brooke, Darvel and Tronoh. The Sarawak Steamship Company was taken over by the Straits Steamship Company in 1931.

Michael Waugh presented a medley entitled 1848 to 1948. It started with a brief note in Dutch. “I have got a better position at the factory in Hong Kong and shall not be returning to Batavia.” He then showed a 1/- embossed cut out in 1853 to James Richardson Logan who was a Scots lawyer from Berwickshire who found fame editing the Pinang Free Press and built a reputation on defending the interests of Chinese and Indian clients there. Mail sent abroad on French and German routes was next. World War I censorship of mails was shown with a variety of censor labels and cancels. Post from Siam to Penang following the completion of the railway link after 1921 was displayed. At meetings there is always someone knowledgeable about rates for postage and so it proved to be so with some early airmail covers from Singapore. He finished with a Registered BMA cover from Singapore via Cairo to Bucharest in 1948 which had 3 different receivers over a month at its destination and asked the question what may have happened to the receiver in the grim days of communism in 1948.

Dominic Morris displayed a Round showing some of the additions to his GeoSix- period collection since Leicester 2014. Highlights included the 1922-40 Johore and 1921-41Trengganu Specimen sets; PPC of the Coronation of Sultana Helen of Johore, with HRH Sultan Sir Ibrahim in full flow for his speech and a series of PPCs of Perak Elephants and Royals in procession from the 1930s; the Kelantan 2c postal stationery ‘Chef’s Hat’ postcard up-rated by 6c to California, commercially used (ex Proud via Simon Andrews ‘in memoriam’); a Frith war-time correspondence 8c; the Poste Mauretanie specimens of Perak; an ex-Kearney ‘in memoriam’ page of JapOcc; a scarce Pantal Remis skeleton cancel on post-War postcard; the (ex-Norris) Trengganu Tan P11 with major shift in the red imprint 2c; another two ex-Norris/ ex-Wood colour proofs for the Sultan Suleiman series; the post-War 10c Postal Stationery envelope from Trengganu, commercially used; the die proof of the vignette of Sultan Suleiman; and Revenues including the Perak $25 plate and duty die proof with 1950 colour change, used; and the Syburi Thai Occ Revenue stamp, used on document (ex-Peter Cockburn), one of only four known. Dominic finished his display with his most recent acquisition (picked up that morning) of a Pahang gutter pair Survey Department Essay Types U and W from the Mavor hoard which was discovered post the 1985 seminal Norris work on the Essays and was written up subsequently for TMP by Andrew Norris [This last, acquired off e-bay is a real ‘smuggie’! ]

Joe Robertson showed 30 sheets of letters or postcards between or via Malaya and the Netherlands East Indies pre war. Three covers were actually pre UPU. Of course ALL the items shown involved postage due as we expect from Joe. This included one underpaid cover from the Netherlands to Singapore with an Straits PD which was then redirected to the NEI (twice!) with additionally two lots of NEI PDs. There was also an underpaid envelope of and from Hotel de l’Europe in Singapore where Joe had recently (at a postcard fair) added a period PPC of the Hotel.

Andrew Norris thought it was time he showed again some of his Sungei Ujong material, which he did in 2 section s in Chronological order. He began with the 1885 to 1890 overprints on Straits Settlements 2c rose in a variety of founts. The 2nd group comprised the De la Rue Tiger keyplates and surcharges on special printings.
A small separate display of WW2 mail included a Labuan 83 censor cover which was further censored in Singapore. Undeliverable Service Suspended mail posted but returned due to the Japanese Invasion, with less usual items to North Borneo and Sarawak. A civilian internee’s letter and its Red Cross envelope written on board S.S. Ranchi and posted en route at Port Said.

Susan McEwen Selangor Mosque and Sultan Issue. Starting with some Survey Department Essays, including the Composite essays, this display covered the printings and uses of each value. For instance the 1c could only be used to make up rates and was shown with the 5c to make the 6c UPU postcard rate, but the 2c had many uses being printed matter and local postcard rate. The wartime rate changes complicated the issue. The Printed matter rate became 3c and required the green stamp. This in turn meant the 2c had to be changed to Orange. Paper varieties and perforation changes add to the fun. Richard Hale had shown a 2c orange on Striated paper in his Varieties display to the Group. Susan had searched her miscellaneous items stockbook, and was pleased to find a 2c orange Striated. [this stamp is now listed in SG] The display also showed the 2 shades of Green paper used for the 50c. They are a yellow-green and a blue-green, they are very different on the back but the stamps look almost the same on the face. Richard had also found some constant flaws on later printings of plate 2 of this issue, and this display included some examples of them, including the ‘Cut Tree’ on the 15c blue, which Susan hadn’t spotted, but Mick Dicker identified for her. Which just goes to show that you can learn about your stamps by showing them to others at our meetings.

John Jackson showed Netherlands Shipping lines


Jon Higgins


Jon Higgins


Mike Ludlow

some censored covers - by Mike Ludlow



Andrew Norris's material, and Michael Waugh



Michael Waugh



Andrew Norris





Dominic Morris



Dominic Morris



Joe Robertson



Andrew Norris



Susan Mc Ewen and Andrew



Susan McEwen


an item from Susan



Part of standing display

Part of Audience



Most of the 11 Members attending + Joe Robertson, photographer

That's All Folks







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