The Channel Islands Specialists’ Society

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Channel Islands Specialists’ Society is celebrating its seventieth year. Find out more about the group and how membership can help you improve your collection and knowledge.
Channel Islands Specialists’ Society reaches 70 years of age

The Channel Islands Specialists’ Society was founded in 1950 by Bill Newport and John Simpson, along with thirteen other members, to study the stamps and postal history of the Channel Islands.

Although the group initially called itself the Channel Islands Study Circle, the name was changed to its current Channel Islands Specialists’ Society (CISS) title in December 1951. The first edition of the Society’s publication, Bulletin, was produced in November 1950, listing all 15 founding members, whose names included Alan W. Robertson.

Other early distinguished members of the Society included R. M. Willcocks, who joined in March 1951, and Dr Barrie. S. Jay, who joined in April 1953. Both being famed for their publications of The British County Catalogue of Postal History.

During March 1951, the membership held its first meeting, including an Annual General Meeting in London with seven members attending. At this meeting it was agreed that membership subscriptions be fixed at 5/- per annum, plus a further 2/- if you wished to receive the ‘packet’.

By December 1952, membership of the Society had reach 39. Within 25 years the membership stood at over 500 active members, probably due to the Channel Islands becoming an independent postal administration on the 1 October 1969 and the number of collectors wanting to collect the ‘new issues’ of the Channel Islands. Today, the membership of the CISS stands at 230, with five members now achieving 50 years of membership, with the longest serving member even achieving 60 years of membership, joining in April 1960.

Society journal

The Society’s ‘journal’ Bulletin was to run for a further 40 years providing members with news and articles, achieving some 197 editions. This was replaced by the Society’s Les Iles Normandes journal, with the first quarterly edition being printed in December 1975 and provides quality articles and news related to stamps, postal history, postcards and ephemera of the pre-occupation period back to the 17th century, German occupation of the islands during World War 2 and post-occupation periods, including postal independence of the Channel Islands in 1969.

The Society still shares its commitment to study stamps, postal history, postcards and ephemera of the Channel Islands, with experts willing to share their knowledge on a range of topics with Society writing several textbooks and monographs on these subjects.

The Society also holds four meetings a year, held in London, and a Members Weekend, usually held in April, at such locations as Guernsey, Jersey, and the United Kingdom. The Society also holds two postal actions a year, one held in the Spring and the other in the Autumn.

How to join the Society

For further information about membership, society news, auctions, meeting programme and publications produced by the Society please visit the Society’s website at www.ciss1950.org.uk


Image captions:

  1. Feldpost item from Feldpost No. 26194C to Leipzig (Staff, 11th Battalion, 582 Infantry Regiment, 391 Infantry Division, that was based on Jersey 17.4.41 – 25.8.44).
  2. Guernsey ½d green with ‘GUERNSEY PRESS Co.' imprint
  3. Postcard showing a view of Les Grand Roques
  4. GUERNSEY Scroll (Type 2) on entire sent via Guernsey to Bristol
  5. Civilian Identity card for Alfred Foss, Guernsey
  6. First Day Cover, 1958
  7. Herm Island Pigeon Post Service complete sheet of ‘stamps’
  8. Isle of Jethou stamps
  9. JERSEY Scroll (Type 2)
  10. Rare 1870 Ballon Monte entire from Paris to Jersey sent during Siege of Paris
  11. 1867 cover bearing four Penny Reds
  12. Wrapper sent “per Caroline” to London via Guernsey with boxed GUERNSEY/SHIP LETTER
  13. Parcel Post label for Havre-des-Pas sub-post office of Jersey
  14. 1941 German Occupation envelope at 2½d rate with bisected 1d. ‘Arms’ stamp
  15. Civilian mail sent via German Feldpost to Paris at 15pf post card rate