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 250 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.



ANNUAL PHILATELIC WEEKEND 7- 9 March 2024. Full details Have been provided in the flier accompanying the December edition of the Journal. More details on the Weekend Page. Please note the revised new This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.contact. Please phone the hotel to ensure confirmation of booking.

It is hoped that THE NORTHERN GROUP meeting will go ahead on 13 April 2024 – at Ravenfield Parish Hall, Birch Wood Drive, Ravenfield, Rotherham S65 4PT. Times and displays to be advised. When more details come to hand they will be advertised on the website and regular members will be contacted, should you wish more information contact Chris Hitchen by This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Regretably THE WESSEX AND LONDON GROUP MEETINGS are in abeyance for the foreseeable future. Zoom meetings are planned for the new year.


Zoom meetings have now concluded for 2023. All Zoom meetings are available to view here  

The November meeting was a 'Show and Tell' and included short presentations on:
Dahomey Mail via Aéromaritime 
Declared value letters from Indochina 
Special Prints of the ´Type Groupe’ 
WWI Red Cross reply service tracing labels: part 1 
Precursors of Mechanised Letter Sorting Codes.

It was a great success and it is hoped to carry on with that theme if presentations are forthcoming. The next meeting will be on.13 February 2024 at 2,30 GMT -with Mick Bister’s the ‘50c issue of 1929’.
Contact either This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Chris Hitchen if you would like to participate
. Presentations will start at 2:30 PM London time and the room will be open at 2:15 PM. Any further information please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

  JOURNAL 303 

The DECEMBER Journal and WINTER Auction Catalogue have been dispatched from the printers and are due to be delivered shortly. Members who receive the digital edition will receive them either later today or tomorrow. Articles include:

Obituary - Ashley Lawrence (Mick Bister)
Obituary - Godfrey Bowden (Chris Hitchen)
Tombouctou and the Niger Bend (Peter R A Kelly)
The adoption of stamp vending machines in France - Part 2: Identification of coil stamps and postal usage (Jean-Luc Raffel) 
Precursors of the French postal card - Part 2 (Frans Jorissen)
There’s No Business Like Show Business – Connections on French Stamps - Part 5 (David Parmley)
Bank Balance Request Service (Notification d’avoir à une date déterminée) (Edwin Voerman)        
Shorter Items - including Questions and Answers
•  ‘POSTELEC’ 1985 (Paul Watkins)                                                                
•  Epic of Vimy – a Canadian Pilgrimage (Don Hedger)
•  The Post Box and the Postman (Mick Bister)
•  The Gouverneur-Général Ballay Issue of French West Africa 1906/7 - An Illustrated Study of the 5F Forgery (Simon Binsted)
•  Postcards from Metz; fakes, forgeries or fantasies? (Mick Bister)
Reports of Meetings
•  Joint Meeting of WASC & F&CPS (Paul Redhead)
•  Northern Group - 14 October 2023 (Steve Ellis)
List of Recently Published Articles (Maurice Tyler)
•  Courriers de la Marine Française durant la seconde guerre mondiale racontés par les Entiers postaux. By Philippe Pignon and Éric Panozzo (Reviewed by Chris Hitchen)
Index to Volume 73
A selection of images from Journal 303 are illustrated above in the slider. 

THANK YOU to everyone who has contributed to to Journal WE ARE ALWAYS IN NEED OF ARTICLES, large or small, if you have something of interest please consider sending it for inclusion in a later edition. Type your text in Word, add any images, scanned at 300dpi as separate jpeg attachments and email them to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Those members interested in joining please advise Chris Hitchen by email  to let him know whether you would simply wish to view displays or whether you would be able to give a display as well. Those without a webcam can of course still view the displays but will not be seen by others.

Information on Zoom meetings will only be sent to those who express an interest, however the programme will be advertised on the website. Read more

Subject to sufficient offers we will run another Show and Tell meeting with the participation of anyone who cares to join. Here’s our idea for how it will work:
•  1. Scan a stamp, several stamps, cover or several covers or any other item philatelically related to France or its colonies. Save each item as a separate JPG file. (That is important. PDFs don’t work as well.)

•  2. Prepare a short description that will explain why you like the items you scanned – technical details, design quality, postal rates and routes, markings, social history of the writer or recipient, or anything else you would talk about if you were given five minutes to explain this to a group. Be sure it is obvious which part of your description applies to which JPG file.

•  3  Send that description as a Word document or just put it in an email along with the JPGs to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Mick will then put together a PowerPoint presentation with everyone’s scans and at least a portion of your written description. When we hold the Zoom meeting, you will be able to speak to the group about your “stuff” when it appears in the PowerPoint show.

There will be no indication of ownership in the PowerPoint file, so don’t let that limit you when you make your selection. The more of us who participate, the better it will be, of course.

The website will always have the latest information so members will need to consult that regularly to see what is going on. When things improve then Convenors will arrange meetings as soon as practical. It may well not be feasible to advise these in the Journal in advance. Details of convenors is herePlease consider using the FORUM in the meantime - perhaps share your latest acquisitions or any query or comment you may have. If you have not registered as a member, please contact the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with your preferred password and a Username will be provided.

You can join our Forum without being a member of the Society - just contact the Website Manager with your name and preferred password and you will be supplied with a username - you don't have to be a member!.


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.



We regret to inform members that John Allison died recently - funeral arrangements and details on contacting the family are available from Chris Hitchen


The next Zoom meeting is on 13 February 2024 -with Mick Bister’s the ‘50c issue of 1929’.

Notice was given in the December 2023 Journal number 303.that the Annual General Meeting of the France & Colonies Philatelic Society will take place at the Charlecote Pheasant Hotel, Charlecote, CV35 9EW (during the Annual Philatelic Weekend) at 9.20 am on Friday 8 March 2024.  Minutes of the 2023 annual General Meeting were distributed within the August 2023 Journal - number 302. The AGM itself generally takes just over half an hour. The rest of the weekend is all about meeting your fellow members, acquisition of material, gaining knowledge, and especially enjoyment.