City Of Preston Philatelic Society Donate The ‘Booth Collection’ To The Harris

Posted on - 19th October, 2013 - 3:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Arts, Preston City Centre, What's On in Preston
Paul Gaywood, Emma Heslewood & Members Of The Philatelic Society

Paul Gaywood (centre), Emma Heslewood (Harris Curator of History) And Other Members Of The City Of Preston Philatelic Society Inspect The Booth Collection At The Post-It Exhibition Currently Held At The Harris Museum.

A presentation was given at the Harris Museum by City of Preston Philatelic Society member Paul Gaywood, to start off the new ‘Post It’ exhibition at the Harris Museum, Preston. Paul talked of Preston’s postal history and how it all began. With his excellent image presentation and detailed description of the inception of the postal service, the audience was able to grasp how the service has evolved from humble beginnings to the large organisation of the present day.


The¬†City of Preston Philatelic Society,¬†founded in 1936, donated a valuable collection to the Harris Museum over 50 years ago which was¬†from the late John Booth, a member of the Booth family who ran the Phoenix Foundry in Preston, which later became part of Dorman-Smith. However, there is¬†no known connection of John Booth to Booth’s the grocers of Preston.¬†The Booth collection is indeed quite fascinating, containing many items connected to Preston and¬†it represents British and World postal history.

John Booth was one of the founder members of the Preston Philatelic Society and many years following his collection donation, two other ex members have also left collections of Preston postal history to the Society and are still held by them and these, plus the Booth collection, have now been used to prepare an excellent display for the ‘Post It’ exhibition held in the Discover Preston Gallery at the Harris Museum. The ‘Post It’ exhibition runs from now until mid February 2014.¬†In addition to the exhibition, two workshops are being arranged at the Harris. The first is for young people on 29 October from 1.30pm to 3.30pm.¬† The second is for adults and this is being held¬† on 16 November from 1.00 to 3.00 pm.

Fishergate Post Office circa 1890

Fishergate Post Office circa 1890. The location being what is now the entrance to St. George’s Shopping Centre

The City of Preston Philatelic Society has members who collect many different aspects from advance to beginners and include collections of stamps of various countries, postal history (i.e. covers and envelopes with postal markings from 1700 to date) and thematic collections (i.e. collections on a subject such as flowers, trains, war) so every type of philatelic interest is likely to be covered.

Paul Gaywood, one of the vice president’s of the society, said that he was very excited about this exhibition and was looking forward to introducing new people, young and old, to the interesting and absorbing facts and stories of Preston’s postal history. Paul also mentioned that he is very willing and happy to give talks on the postal history of Preston to local societies of any type.

1708 cover & 1840 Cover With Penny Black

To The Left, A 1708 Cover (the earliest in the exhibition)
& To The Right, An 1840 Cover With Penny Black (the world’s first stamp)

Society meetings are every other Thursday at Thurlby Bowling Club, 47, Egerton Road, Ashton, Preston, PR2 1AL. Anyone interested in stamps or postal history is very welcome to come to any meeting and to see how this very friendly club operates.

New members are exempt from the annual subscription in their first year so they can be sure they like the club.

For further details of the Preston Philatelic Society then you can contact Secretary Dr. Peter McCann on 01254 851640 or email

If you have visited the ‘Post It’ exhibition at the Harris, let us know what think of it in the comments section below.

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