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Leighton Buzzard Philatelic Society
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The History Page


In October 1973, Brian Stratford, who was at that time the landlord of the Golden Bell public house in Church Square Leighton Buzzard, placed an article in the Leighton Buzzard Observer (L.B.O.) newspaper, about his collection of Penny Blacks, He ended the item with a plea that he would like to meet fellow philatelists with a view to forming a local society.

In November 1973 the L.B.O. carried a small item stating that "Leighton Buzzard is to have it's own Philatelic Society". as a result of the publicity given in the article of the previous month, there was to be a meeting at the Golden Bell on December 5 th 1973 at 8:00 pm

As a result of that notice fourteen people turned up at the Golden Bell for the meeting , Of those listed in the signing in book four are still members namely, in order of signing the book:
Alan Crozier, John F Reid and Roy Palmer.

As a result of the meeting it was agreed that a Philatelic Society should be formed in the town and the Committee were as follows:
Chairman; Brian Stratford
Secretary; Brian Riach
Treasurer; Brian Stratford
Committee; L Lack, D Wetherall, B Bonnington

It was decided that meetings would be held on the first Wednesday of each month with the exception of July and August (as they have been ever since) Subscriptions were 1.00 per adult member and 25 p for juniors.

The first official meeting of the Society took place in January 1974 at the Conservative club in the High Street and Roy Palmer gave a seasonal display of Christmas Issues, For the remainder of the season meetings were held at the Swan Hotel in the High Street and were as follows; February 74 Great Britain by Mr Stratford, March, Six of the Best, April Auction, May Visit by the Luton P.S. when a talk and display on "Scouting" was given by Mr Tom Holton, who was later to become an active member of our Society. At the AGM in June the Committee were re-elected except that Mr Bonnington departed and was replaced by John Reid and Mr Jakeman, and although not mentioned in the minutes it appears that Mr Terence Palmer took over as acting Secretary and Mr Roy Palmer as acting Treasurer at some time before the 1975 AGM.

In September 1974 the Society had moved to a new venue in the coffee lounge in the High Street and met there until June 1980.

At the 1975 AGM Mr B. Stratford was re-elected Chairman, Mr T Palmer Secretary, and Roy Palmer as Treasurer. The Committee comprised; Mr D Wetherall, Rev Leonard Lack and Mr John Reid.

At the 1976 AGM it was reported that 25% of the members were Juniors.

Since 1980 the Society has met regularly at the Vandyke Community College.

The Society took part in the 700th Anniversary of All Saints Church staging a stamp exhibition and sponsoring a commemorative cover. 293 was donated towards the renovation of the tower clock face.

The Society celebrated it's 25th anniversary at the New Year social in 1998, Members of four other local Society's were invited and David Boyd of Phillips Auctions was invited to give a talk on his experiences in the profession.

During the evening Leonard Lack was presented with a certificate granting him life membership to the Society.

The Society celebrated it's 25th anniversary at the New Year social in 1998

Pictured with David Boyd, cutting a 25 th anniversary cake, are founder members John Reid, Alan Crozier, Roy Palmer and Leonard Lack.

Geoffrey Williams, June Williams and Society president John Reid display trophy's won at the East Midland and East Anglian Philatelic Convention, 2000

Geoffrey Williams, June Williams and Society president John Reid display trophy's won at the East Midland and East Anglian Philatelic Convention, 2000.

Of the founding members John Reid is President, Except for a period when he moved to Wiltshire, Leonard Lack has been either Chairman; or Member of the Committee since it's inception, but at his own request he reluctantly relinquished all duties at the 1998 AGM. Sadly Leonard passed away on 4 th November 2001.


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