The Early Years
The Basildon Recorder newspaper for 5 July 1968 reported that a stamp collectors club had been formed at an inaugural meeting held at Woodlands Boys School. This was at the instigation of a group of employees of Basildon Urban District Council. Early meetings were held at that site, but, after access difficulties, some subsequent meetings were held in the Council Offices.
In 1969, we became affiliated to the Association of Essex Philatelic Societies, the body which forms a focal point for liaison between all the societies in Essex.
Our meetings moved to the Painting Studio of the then Arts Centre (later the Towngate Centre) in 1970. This provided a good home for the Society near the town centre until its demolition without replacement in 1988.
The fledgling Society held its first exhibition in 1971 as part of the Basildon 21st Anniversary celebrations, marked by a commemorative cover issued by the Society. An annual Stamp Day exhibition and fair has been a feature of Spring in Basildon ever since. Originally held at St. Martin's Church Hall, near Towngate, it is now held at the Laindon Community Centre and usually attracts between 200 and 400 visitors from all over Essex and neighbouring counties.
1978 saw the 25th anniversary of Basildon becoming a Head Post Office, and the Society co-operated with the Post Office in the production of a further commemorative cover for the event, marking the start of a continuing close working relationship with the Post Office in Basildon. That year also saw us join the British Philatelic Federation, the national co-ordinating body for philately.
A second annual event, an Autumn Stamp Fair, was also held at St. Martin's Church Hall, but without displays, in 1979. This fair was also held in 1980 and 1981.