The Great Britain Philatelic Society


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08 January 2021
The GBPS was founded in 1955 by a small but enthusiastic group of collectors in order to promote, encourage, and contribute to the advancement of the philately of Great Britain. Since then it has grown steadily, and now has more than 800 members in the UK and abroad.

The Society deals with all aspects of GB philately, and has contributed much to the field; this is certain to continue as new members with fresh ideas join. You can join the Society by visiting the website at:

Membership costs UK £25, Europe £30, World £36 Airmail/£30 Surface.

The GB Journal

In December 1956 the Society began its publishing programme with the issue to all members of The GB Journal.

This concentrates on reports of research and studies in depth, and is issued six times a year together with an accompanying GBPS Newsletter. This publication was launched in 1968 and carries society news, wants, queries and the opinions of members on a variety of subjects, and has grown into a substantial publication in its own right, averaging 32-36 pages.

More recently, the GBPS website has been developed to provide the latest news and a wide range of information on aspects of GB philately.

Members have the benefit of being able to contact consultants who specialise in many facets of GB philately, and are willing to help with their particular area of interest.

In accordance with our initial aims, a number of philatelic publications have been sponsored by the Society. In 1958 a beginning was made with a booklet on King Edward VIII and since then many other works have been published, many which have added significantly to philatelic knowledge.

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GBPS Competitions

There are four Competitions for which the awards are:

  • R. A. G. Lee Cup, donated by Ronald A. G. Lee, the founder of the Society, for an entry devoted to stamps.
  • Martin Willcocks Award, donated by Martin Willcocks who was President 1980-1982, for an entry of postal history.
  • MacPherson Cup, donated by Revd R. MacPherson who died in 1977, for an entry on any philatelic subject by a member who has not received any previous award in competitive philately.
  • Theo Jones Open Class Salver, presented in memory of Theo Jones who died in 1996, for an entry on any philatelic subject, which can contain material not eligible for inclusion in the other Competitions.

The non-competitive Secretaries' Cup, donated by two past Secretaries, Philip D'Arcy and Richard Payne, can be awarded at the Judges' discretion to an entry in any of the Competitions.

In addition there are two Special Awards for Overseas Members: a) for stamps, and b) for postal history. Colour photocopies (full size) will be judged. Note: the Competition for Overseas Members takes place every three years, i.e. 2015, 2018, 2021 etc.

A brief history of the GBPS

During November 1955 notices appeared in philatelic magazines announcing that it was proposed to form a "Great Britain Specialist Society".

The inaugural meeting held at the Royal Philatelic Society, London in December 1955 was well attended and 28 philatelists enrolled at that meeting. It was decided to adopt the name Great Britain Philatelic Society and the Society's council and officers were elected.

In January 1956 the first formal meeting took place and on 14 January 1956, at the first Annual General Meeting held, the Society's Constitution was agreed, with Major K.M. Beaumont, FRPSL, elected President.

From the start the Society has benefitted from the vision, endeavour and enthusiasm of many members.

Become a member

To join the Great Britain Philatelic Society please complete the form on the GBPS website

TEN GOOD REASONS why collectors of Great Britain stamps and covers should join the GBPS

  1. You will be a member of the foremost Society for the collection of GB stamps and postal history
  2. Ten meetings a year held in London (seven all-day), many with dealers present
  3. Regular provincial meetings as well as those held in London
  4. Free high quality in colour GB Journal six times a year, which presents new research findings
  5. Free Newsletter six times a year (typically 36 pages) with a wide range of articles, reports, queries, and comments
  6. Excellent GBPS books at special rates to members
  7. An extensive library of GB-related material
  8. Members' Trading Forums for GB stamps and covers
  9. Access to a free info service provided by specialist consultants
  10. Full access to the  members-only parts of the website including the Displays Archive, the Discussion Boards, and downloadable archives of the GB Journal and the GBPS Newsletter
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