† Margery Glover Wharton née Davies
3rd September 1939 to 17th September 2008
Margery was born in St Helens, Lancashire where she was educated before reading for an Honours Degree in Mathematics at Leeds University, followed by a one year Post Graduate Certificate in Education at Oxford University.
With breaks for marriage and two children, she continued teaching until 1991 when she took early retirement. She did not let go of Mathematics completely and continued until quite recently to mark examination papers to supplement her pension and help fund her Falklands and Antarctica postcard collection and trips to the Southern Ocean.
Margery will be remembered by philatelists for her considerable contribution to the Falkland Islands Philatelic Study Group (FIPSG), the Polar Postal History Society of Great Britain (PPHSGB), and to Polar Postal History in general by virtue of her excellent book "Postcards of Antarctic Expeditions – A Catalogue 1898-1958".
Margery joined the PPHSGB in 1971 and the FIPSG prior to 1973. She became editor of Upland Goose in September 1987, a post which she held until September 2004. Margery even edited Polar Post as well for a time producing 16 issues from 1993 to 1996. She brought a high degree of professionalism to both Journals and they won several medals at Stampex and other Exhibitions under her leadership. It was very rare, almost unheard of, that either Journal appeared containing typing, spelling, grammatical, presentational or factual errors.
Margery also won a number of awards and medals in her own right including a Bronze-Silver (thematic) at Stampex in 1973, and Large Silver (thematic) at Stamp World 1990 and Genoa 1992 (for "Of Ice and Men"). She also won the Link House Challenge Cup at the BPE 1974 (for "Antarctic Exploration") and Stampex 1984, and the Omniphil Trophy at the BPE 1984. Margery was able to put all this experience to good use when she was appointed a Nationally Accredited Judge for both Thematic and Melville Junior Competitions.
Margery was not content to sit back and simply write about the areas of the Southern Ocean. From 21st January to 8th February 1992 she participated in a cruise on board the Ocean Princess to the Falkland Islands and the Antarctic Peninsula and took time to service covers for the PPHSGB at Stanley and the Chilean Base Marsh. During January 1993 Margery was back in the Falkland Islands and in December 1993 participated in a "Cape to Cape" cruise on the MS Marco Polo visiting Tristan Da Cunha and South Georgia. The typically bad weather at Tristan prevented most passengers from getting ashore but Margery, resourceful as ever, managed to give some postcards on behalf of the PPHSGB to the Post Office Staff who went on board and these together with postal items from King Edward Point were offered to members in Polar Post, Autumn 1995.
Having ticked off the Antarctic Peninsula area, Margery's next trip was an Expedition Cruise in January 1998 from New Zealand to McMurdo Station, Scott Base and Macquarie Island on the icebreaker Kapitan Khlebnikov. The visit to McMurdo Sound naturally took in trips to the Historic Huts located in the area. A report of the cruise was published in Polar Post N° 177, Volume 30, N° 2, Summer 1998, pages 55 to 59. Margery's final journey south was for a Circumnavigation Cruise of South Georgia on board the MS Explorer in November 2000.
Margery gave numerous lectures on her Falkland and Antarctic experiences and also visited Philatelic Societies and WI Meetings with her display "Of Ice and Men: Antarctic Exploration", the title borrowed in part from the title of Sir Vivian Fuchs' book first published in 1982. This display, together with her displays "Red is For Dan-ger – The Lauritzen Line Antarctic Supply Ships" and "Postcards of Antarctic Expeditions 1898 – 1958", was presented at the Royal Philatelic Society of London on 6th February 2003 as part of the PPHSGB 50th Anniversary Display.
Margery's greatest achievement and the one for which she will be remembered by polar philatelists is her book on "Postcards of Antarctic Expeditions A Catalogue 1898 – 1958". This was an amazing effort which required years of research. The book was finally published privately in 1998 with all 500 copies being taken up within a year. Margery bemoaned the fact that the book made dealers more aware of Antarctic Expedition Postcards and thus resulted in an increase in prices. As a result of the publication, Margery received further information from collectors throughout the world including scans and copies of postcards not mentioned in the book. Thus almost ten years on Margery privately published a much extended revised edition in a larger format but with a reduced print run. Publication was fraught with difficulties and the printed copies were not finally delivered until December 2007. It is a magnificent work, showing true dedication to her chosen hobby.
Margery was awarded Honorary Life Membership of the PPHSGB during their AGM at Philatex in February 2008 and of the FIPSG at their AGM in Faringdon, Oxfordshire, in March 2008. These were sadly the last opportunities that most members had to meet her. Margery remained a Committee Member of the PPHSGB until February 2008 and continued to produce the "New Issues" section of Upland Goose until shortly before her death. Amazingly during 2008 Margery also produced an excellent supplement to Heyburn's "Postcards of the Falkland Islands" extending the end of the period of coverage from 1950 to 1982. The Monograph N° 9, in full colour thanks to a generous bequest by Frances Heyburn in memory of her late husband, was distributed to members of the FIPSG in September 2008. When she died Margery was working on an article for Polar Post on Trade Cards. Sadly she was unable to complete the article.
Margery was a person who kept her private life to herself. She hated having her photograph taken and her successor as editor of Polar Post received several heated emails concerning the publication of this or that "terrible" photograph of her! Thus the photograph shown here is that which Margery chose to illustrate on the rear cover of the revised edition of her postcard book. Although she lived in retirement in Bexhill-on-Sea near Hastings on the South Coast of England, Margery remained a Northerner in body and soul and fervently supported St Helens Rugby League Football Club, happily managing to see, albeit on television, the cup final win against Hull RLFC on Saturday 30th August 2008.
Margery is survived by her ex-husband Colin, son David, daughter Carolyn and a number of grandchildren, to all of whom we offer our heartfelt condolences.