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2021 Congress News

Harrogate Crowne Plaza

Plans are now in place for the 103rd Philatelic Congress of Great Britain which this year is being held in the picturesque town of Harrogate in North Yorkshire. 

The event will be based at the Crowne Plaza hotel – one of the leading hotels of the town.  The Congress organising committee has been joined by members of local philatelic societies to help plan and run the event, and to ensure there is a true Yorkshire feel to the event!

The Congress will be a significant milestone as it sees the centenary of the signing of the Roll of Distinguished Philatelists (RDP).  Also, because the 2020 Congress had to be cancelled, there will be two groups signing the roll – the RDPs from 2020 and those elected in 2021!  An invitation to sign the Roll is regarded as the world’s pre-eminent philatelic honour.  365 philatelists from 40 countries have achieved this distinction.  There are at present 76 living signatories from 24 countries.  The RDPs attending Congress also traditionally give displays of their own philatelic material.  True gems have been seen over the years and we look forward to what we will see in 2021!

Denes Czirok of Hungary, Seija-Riitta Laakso of Finland, Jose Moreno of Spain. Henrik Mouritsen of Denmark and Randolf “Randy” Neil of the United States have been invited to sign the Roll of Distinguished Philatelists in 2021.

Denes Czirok of Hungary, Seija-Riitta Laakso of Finland, Jose Moreno of Spain. Henrik Mouritsen of Denmark and Randolf “Randy” Neil of the United States have been invited to sign the Roll of Distinguished Philatelists in 2021.

As well as the RDP ceremony the prestigious Association of British Philatelic Societies (ABPS) Congress medal and Awards of Merit will also be presented to their recipients during the course of the Congress.

Away from awards, the event will include a wide variety of philatelic presentations with material covering a very broad spectrum of interests.  The Kay Goodman lecture, to be given on the Friday morning of Congress, looks each year at a significant issue within the hobby.  This year the lecture will focus of the future of the hobby in the light of the pandemic when local, national and international meetings were not possible.  How will the hobby recover?  In what direction will the hobby move?  How will meetings be held?  Is the use of Zoom something that is with us in to the future?  These are some of the issues that will be addressed.

On the lighter side, the programme of events will also include the traditional “Four sheets to tell a story” competion on the Thursday evening, the Harrogate Philatelic Society will entertain after dinner on the Friday evening and a dealers bourse will take place on the Saturday afternoon!

There will also be time during the Congress to see the town of Harrogate itself. It has many interesting shops and other attractions including the world famous Bettys Tea Rooms!                                                                 

For full details of how to book for Congress, including booking rooms at the Crowne Plaza hotel, contact Steven Harrison, Vice Chairman of ABPS, by emailing him at sharrison500@btinternet.com  calling him on 0121 313 0671 or even writing to him at 56 Woodberry Drive, Sutton Coldfield B76 2RH.  The booking form will also be available on the ABPS website.

Other hotels and accommodation are available in Harrogate to suit all pockets.  Information is available from the Harrogate Tourist Information Centre – 01423 537300.

Congress was cancelled in 2020 because of the pandemic.  This year we are looking forward to meeting up again with old friends – and making new friends too!