17 meetings were held during the year (3 of them during the summer nominally part of the 1999/2000 programme but held subsequent to the Annual General Meeting).
The most encouraging feature of the year has been the number of new members who have attended meetings during the year - and the fact that attendance figures have gradually increased from an initial 7 or 8 to around an average of a dozen.
Summer informal meetings were held on 20th June, 18th July and 15th August when 7, 8 and 8 members, respectively met for general discussion and exchange of informtion (incuding display of the usual collection of auction catalogues received) and stamp sales, etc. Since the number attending were comparable to the average attendance at normal meetings during the year, the summer meetings seem once again to have been very worthwhile - meaning probably that some or all of them could in future be used for arranged displays, i.e. they culd become part of the normal programme.
The first meeting of the official season on September 19th was, in practice a further informal meeting, the programmed mini-auction being abortive, but in the second meeting on October 3rd our first invited speaker of the year, Graham Nurse from the Cambridge Philatelic Society treated us to a fascinating display of material related to the Norfolk family of the Buxtons and of the Royal Estate at Sandringham. (Regrettably an attendance of only 7 members).
On October 17th, the letter L produced five member's displays, entitled Lebanon, Legendary Aircraft, Liechtenstein, Lethou (the island linked by causeway to Guernsey) and the Lighthouse "Logo" of the New Zealand Life Insurance Department - (again with an attendance of 7).
On November 7th nine members were entertained to a display on Chess Philately by Peter Burnett of the Norfolk & Norwich PS; on November 21st, eight members saw Paul Lindsay display an unusual collection of Royal Mail related items under the acronym title "DEMO", [D = Dockwra - the earlies legal post in England and then a round dozen came on December 5th to the; E = Elizabethan - a very ancient manuscript letter; M = Maltese Cross - examples of variation in the use of this "obliteration", and O = Officials - mail from Government Departments] - and then a round dozen came on December 5th to the display by John Bruhn of the Norfolk & Norwich PS of unusual material under the title of The Ameteur Philatective, and eleven attnded the informal club auctionat the last meeting of the year on December 19th.
The new year session began on 20th February with the Paddy Apling's annual showing of Royal Mail films [including Night Mail once again] (audience of 8), followed on March 6th with a postal quiz succecsfully organized by Dave Browning (10 participants).
Then on March 20th, Malcolm Stockhill came all the way from Hull to give a fascinating display of "Poland Ever-Decreasing Circles", material from the areas garnered from areas of the Austro-Hungarian, German and Russian Empires to form the new Poland after the end of the First World War (attendance of 9); and on April 3rd, it was members' turn again to produce something related to the letter "M". This only produced 4 displays - Millenium issues of New Zealand; Malawi and some mysteries for identification; Maritime Heritage; and Malta - to an attendance of only 6.
Then on April 17th an audience of 13 came to the display of Cinderellas of the World by Stuart Henderson of Philips Auctioneers of London. This fascinating and unusual display was almost aborted as, much to our embarassment, with a visitor coming all the way from London, we found ourselves locked out from our usual meeting place. Fortunately the Phoenix Hotel provided accommodation at short notice - and our speaker was seemingly more amused than distressed at the untoward delay.
And finally May 1st, we had our annual display from Philip Ilsley, who showed some of his collection of Censored Mail and the Military Postal Service to an audience of a dozen, which included sufficient new members to provoke Philip to say "ah! now I can begin my display programme from the beginning again !!".
To sum up, this was clearly a very successful season for the club; it is heartening to be able to welcome so many new members to the club, so we end the season with every hope of even more success during the coming year.