In June 2018, WIT Travel Services welcomed a 16 member delegation from the China Philatelic Museum, the theme for their 12-day tour was ‘Penny Black and Rowland Hill, the father of the stamp’.
The tour included seven stops relating to Stamps and Rowland Hill, including the Postal Museum, Spink Auction House, the Royal Philatelic Society London, the British Library, the famous postal merchant Stanley Gibbons, the tomb of Rowland Hill and Rowland Hill’s home town of Kidderminster.
During the tour Mr Muir RDP, Director of the Postal Museum’s Philatelic department, presented the museum’s collection of Penny Black Stamps and at the British Library, Mr Paul Skinner FRPSL showed them the Flecture Collection amongst other things. The delegation were also able to visit the Royal Philatelic Society London where they were able to inspect both the new and current premises. At the brand new building on Abchurch Lane, two past presidents: Mr Chris King RDP and Mr Brian Trotter RDP showed the delegation around and gave them a detailed explanation on the buildings history and development. At the Royal Philatelic Society’s current premises on Devonshire Street the delegation were warmly welcomed by the Society’s president, Patrick Maselis RDP who hosted lunch and presented each of the delegates with a visiting certificate and Belgium Chocolates. After Lunch the delegates went back to the Royal Philatelic Society to view some its rare collection’s and also visit the Library, museum, reading and meeting rooms.
Although the tour focus was on stamps and Rowland Hill the delegates were also taken to visit some of the UK’s top tourist destinations and attractions, including London, the British Museum, Greenwich, Cambridge, York, Edinburgh, Lake District, Stratford-Upon-Avon, Bath, Stonehenge and Windsor Castle.
One of the delegates, Ma Ronghui, praised the trip as “a groundbreaking philatelic tour” and Mr Zhang Huadong felt the trip enabled the delegates to broaden their postal knowledge and helped promote mutual understanding and cooperation between philatelists in China and the UK.