We have two new US members, John Schmidt , airline issue collector from Louisville KY and DC-3, pre-1945 Airport collector Richard Citron, Longwood, FL. Regrettably we must also announce the death of member and postcard dealer Steve Benz.

To fire off the debate on where the hobby is going I will pick up on the views expressed in Issue 50. It was clear that nostalgia plays a very big part in collectors motivations, so the big question has to be “What happens when objects and events pass beyond living memory ?”. Although I am sure that most collectors were not driven by financial motives in building their collections, most would not wish their items to be considered worthless. If they were to be, then the act of collecting items together in a few places would actually increase the risk of their future destruction, whereas they may have survived scattered in ones and twos, especially as in these post Internet times many collections have been assembled from worldwide. We will probably get some indication from what happens with railway items but the nostalgiua effect still has some time to run in that market, which like ours remains buoyant. So here are my predictions, to start the ball rolling :-

1) The “collector” card of current aircraft will disappear. Already it can only be economically produced in some countries. Anybody can look up and download a wide range of aircraft pictures from the Internet, even to the extent of searching for an individual set of registration marks. Older cards will be digitised and collected in this way.

2) Airport cards are now virtually extinct. This may raise interest in those from the past as was the case with railway stations. This MAY be helped by some form of “golden age” effect – see below.

3) Airline cards from the 30s / 40s will become part of a “golden age” effect relating the pre mass travel and particularly pre 9/11 experience but the size of this effect may not offset the fading of nostalgia

4) Pre 1914 and distance pioneer cards will continue to be collected as part of the social history of those times – as also will cards with people content from all periods. Philatelic links will remain important but diminished as that hobby also changes

5) There will continue to be “cult” subjects which will break all the rules. I nominate Airships, Lindbergh, Imperial Airways, Flying Boats and, the most recent addition, Concorde.

6) As WW2 passes from memory to history there will be a revival of interest in original material.

7) Wild card. If mainland Chinese become as fanatical collectors as their colleagues in Hong Kong and Singapore then anything of 20th Century Chinese aviation will be big time. (See Cards are Out There)

Over to you

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