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 FCPS-LogoIn 1949, on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the first French postage stamp, a group of British philatelists set up a pioneering  specialist  philatelic society devoted to the study of the stamps of France and the then French Empire. From small beginnings, the France and Colonies Philatelic Society now unites over 300 collectors in Britain and overseas in the many and varied delights of the stamps and postal history of la Francophonie.

The Society provides an extensive programme of meetings in several locations, holds an annual Philatelic Weekend, publishes a well regarded and authoritative Journal and series of monographs as well as several more extensive specialist philatelic books, operates a magazine circuit, two thriving exchange packets and three postal Auctions a year. It is a friendly and informal group to which non-members are welcome to attend any of our meetings.



Regional organisers will make their own decisions regarding the holding of the following meetings in the light of circumstance prevailing at the time. Members intending to participate should be quite sure that the meeting is still going ahead and should check with the convenor if unsure. Contact details here.

Points for convenors and attendees to note.
•  Travel by car should be safe but use of trains and buses will carry risks.
•  Social distancing the audience can be done fairly easily but looking at frames tricky even with small numbers below 10. Wessex and Northern meeting rooms are reasonably spacious so social distancing  should be less of a problem; London though is cramped.
•  Anything handled by someone else must be considered potentially contaminated. Browsing and handling magazines or material will not be allowed.
•  Most meetings rely on a pub for lunch. Whether the pubs will be fully operational is not yet known but, even if they are, communal eating may still be too much of a risk.
•  Most who attend are in vulnerable categories so individuals need to make their own decisions bearing that in mind.

In other words, the holding of meetings in October is still questionable; nevertheless, the meeting details are listed on the NEWS section to the right of the screen.



Once again, Sophie Bastide-Bernadin has featured our Society's Journal in the Bulletins de Clubs column, this time in the magazine's June edition.

She highlights in particular John Courtis's article on the Postal Stationery Wrapper from Great Britain to Senegal, Marc Parren and Martin Bohnstedt's article on the Post Independence postmarks of the Central African Republic, Ashley Lawrence's conclusion to the French Mandates of Syria and Lebanon, Edwin Voerman's study of the Olympic Winter Games issues of 1968 and Richard Broadhurst's report on the 20c Cérès Anniversary issues.

Sophie has unwittingly selected items written by authors from Australia, the Netherlands, South Sudan as well as the UK underlining what a truly international society we are.




Due to COVID-19 and the cancellation of meetings for the foreseeable future, it was decided for the enjoyment of all to place a Virtual Display on-line each month. It is hoped it will grow into a permanent display and continue when the world gets back to "normal". Society members are treated to the display for the month preceeding the web up-loaded display where it will remain until the owner wishes it removed. Society members are encouraged to contactThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to showcase their displays. Should members wish to remain anonymous for the on-line displays they may do so.

The display for August/September is Madagascar and Dependencies by Ed Grabowski. The display studies the postal usage of the Colonial Allegorical Type, also referred to as the Navigation and Commerce issue, in Madagascar & Dependencies during the late 19th century and early 20th century.

The study examines the individual territories of Diégo-Suarez, Nossi-Bé, Mayotte, Sainte-Marie de Madagascar, Mayotte and Anjouan, Grand Comoro and Mahéli which later combined to form Madagascar and Dependencies.

We see a wide range of documents and postal rates including many extremely rare and even unique items. Highlights to look forward to include a shipwreck cover from Grand Comoro, Nossi-Bé under Diégo-Suarez administration, an Avis de réception and a formula card from Sainte-Marie, use of postage dues, fiscal usage at Tananarive, an octagonal Anjouan Protectorat Français cancellation, a Franchise Militaire cover from Mohéli,  small village cancellations and an undelivered ‘native letter’ - just to name a few.

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CHAPELLE de NOTRE DAMEThe display for June/July was: The Chapelle de Ronchamp issues of 1964 and 1965:
In the summer of 2018, while driving down from Alsace to Burgundy, Mick Bister made a short detour to visit the Chapelle de Notre-Dame du Haut above the little town of Ronchamp. The history of the site over the centuries and ultimately the involvement of one of the most talented architects of our time, Le Corbusier, inspired Mick to return to his collection of 1960s stamps and see how the two stamps depicting the chapel, issued in 1964 and 1965, could be developed into an in-depth study. After the purchase of a few postcards, the acquisition of further philatelic material and a few hours of research, the history of the chapel and its associated stamps can now be related and illustrated in full. View the display here.

Please note: The information displayed in these pages is copyright. The images used are used with permission from the owners’ of the material. Permission for the use of any material within these pages must be sought from the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.and must be quoted in references.



front cover J293 WEBJournal 293 was sent to the printers on 29th July and should be despatched to members by the 5th August. Digital versions will be sent in the next couple of days too. Please let me know if you haven't received your digital copy by Friday 7th August. Hopefully your Journal won't take as long as mine did last edition - 27 days.

This edition is a bumper 60 pages. The articles are, as usual, informative and interesting and I thank all the contributors for sharing their time and knowledge. We are in need of more articles for December and particularly the April 2021 edition. If you have any articles no matter the size please share them to Mick Bister.  Type your text in Word, add any images, scanned at 300dpi, as separate jpeg attachments and email them to

Journal 293's articles are:
•  Post-independence postmarks of the Central African Republic - Part 2
•  Camp des Milles
•  St. Pierre & Miquelon: The 1885 Gothic Surcharges
•  The CFA franc, and other currencies
plus twelve shorter Items, Society Notes, a full report on the 44th Philatelic Weekend, the Minutes of the Annual General Meeting and a Book Review of John Parmenter's Censorship of Civilian Mail in Madagascar during World War Two: Handstamps and Labels.
All articles are richly illustrated with examples of covers or stamps a selection of which is shown in the rotating gallery above. Jan Gane

The Journal, produced three times a year is available to members only - an application for membership can be downloaded here. Back issues of the Journal from 2003 - 2015 may be viewed here.


 Censorship Madagasca 1

by John Parmenter with Alain Hurpet, Colin Spong, Joh Groenewald and Etienne Coré

is reviewed by Roy Reader in full on page 110 of Journal 293.

Published jointly by F&CPS with Col.fra, it is available from the Society publications'
stockist John Parmenter, price - postage and packing included £17:50. Purchasing details are here.

.....the book usefully includes a list of locations of censor offices on the island and the code number or letter used by each, thus enabling collectors to identify quickly where any particular cover in their possession had undergone examination....




You can join our Forum without being a member of the Society - just contact the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.with your name and preferred password and you will be supplied with a username - you don't have to be a member!.


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Lot 244 Ceres

The Autumn Auction catalogue and selected images are available on the Auction's Page.

It is with sadness that we report that long term member George Nash passed away on the 28th July. Members who would like to extend their condolences to the family, or to attend the funeral, are advised to contact the President of the Society for details.

Please take note of the advice on the Welcome page regarding forthcoming meetings.

NORTHERN GROUP plans to meet on Saturday 3 October at Broom Methodist Church, 195 Broom Lane,Rotherham, S60 3NW from 10.30am to 4.30pm. The whole day will be devoted to members' displays on any topic and lunch will be taken at the local pub.

THE WESSEX GROUP plans to meet on Saturday 3 October at the Scout Hall, Lower Street, Harnham starting at 10.30 am when the display will be  'French Airmails'. After lunch, the afternoon will be devoted to members' displays. It would help if those planning to attend could let the Colin know by emailing him.

THE LONDON GROUP plans to meet on Saturday 24 October from 11.00am to 4.00pm at the Calthorpe Arms, 252 Grays Inn Road, London WC1X 8JR when the display will  'Cross-Channel Mail'. After lunch, the afternoon will be devoted as usual to members' displays.

It would help if those planning to attend could let the appropriate convenor know - datails for whom and details of other meetings are here.

VISITORS are most welcome at all meetings - please check with the appropriate convenor before hand to a) confirm time and address and, b) to introduce yourself.