On September 15 Redditch Philatelic Society was entertained by a display of stamps and covers on the subject of “Tramways”. Our speaker was Keith Downing of Matlock, who previously had visited Redditch to show us “Railways” on stamps. Keith explained that the first tramway (horse drawn) was started in Swansea in 1807 and the idea quickly spread around the world. Horses and mule drawn carriages were replaced by steam trams and later by electric-powered vehicles. Keith warned us that, confusingly, some tramways were called railways and some railways were called tramways and that in other countries trams were often called road cars or trollies, but the usual distinguishing feature was that tramways did not use signalling equipment. The old tramway systems had largely disappeared by the 1970s, but in the last twenty years there has been a resurgence in the use of trams with new lines appearing in many cities in the UK, especially London, Edinburgh, Nottingham and Birmingham (the Midland Metro). Keith displayed an amazing collection of stamps and covers showing the history of trams and the variety of trams around the world, which was much enjoyed by everyone present.

The Society’s next meeting is on Thursday 6th October, when Steven Harrison will display “GB Registered Mail”.

Redditch Philatelic Society’s regular meetings take place on the first and third Thursday each month from September to June in St Luke’s Memorial Hall, Evesham Road, Headless Cross, Redditch at 8pm. Visitors are always made welcome. More information about the society can be found on our website redditch-philatelic.org.uk