At the opposite pole to Clermont-Ferrand Salon Philatélique de Printemps (article), held a few weeks before, the Timbres Passion of Poitiers will be remembered as one of the best philatelic events of recent years, in France. The success was orchestrated by Jean-François Duranceau, president of the organizing philatelic group, the Amicale philatélique poitevine, assisted by a large team of enthusiastic volunteers.

Despite the fact that the initial optimistic expectations were cut back as the opening date approached, the organizers were able to find the perfect formula for an unforgettable philatelic event. They combined various international philatelic events and exhibitions, plus a large number of non-philatelic shows and exhibitions. About 10,000 visitors attended the show during the 4 days. This is a really significant figure, unimaginable, today, for a philatelic event held outside Paris.

Timbres Passion is the large philatelic event, held every two years in France, dedicated to the promotion of youth philately - one of the great challenges of philatelic groups and associations around the world. Following on from the Timbres Passion 2012, in Belfort (see article, also in VARIABLE 27), the event was held from May 1st to 4th, under the imposing dome of the Parc des Expositions, in Poitiers. This was also the place chosen for the successful celebration of the 80th Congress of the French Federation of Philatelic Associations and the national philatelic exhibition, held in June 2007 (see article and VARIABLE 5).
(More information on the previous shows - Timbres Passion 2007 in Dole, also published in VARIABLE 7, Timbres Passion 2010 in Villeneuve-sur-Lot -VARIABLE 19-, and Timbres Passion 2012 in Belfort -VARIABLE 27-).

Timbres Passion 2014 brought together the national youth championship or 'challenge Pasteur', the 'Léonard de Vinci' award for open-class collections, the 'Reflets de nature' for thematic collections, and the 'Jeux du Timbre', a lively philatelic quiz, played by 20 groups of two young collectors each representing their regions.
Various international philatelic meetings, exhibitions and competitions, for adults, were also held during the Timbres Passion 2014. In addition there were the Maxifrance, the European Maximaphily Championship, the Ferphilex, an exhibition dedicated to collections about railways, and the seventh event of Birdpex, the international philatelic exhibition, held every four years, devoted to birds. Also there was the Eurandorre, an exhibition on Andorran philately, a France-Romania exhibition, and a national open class exhibition.
The large philatelic offering was completed with a dozen philatelic dealers, stands for the main national philatelic associations and institutions, and the usual La Poste stand and temporary post office.

For the first time in France, because of the importance of the philatelic event and thanks to the facilities offered by the organization, our philatelic group ATEEME, in collaboration with GALERIA ATM, decided to rent a stand to show our work and, in general, introduce the world of ATMs to all visitors. A great experience !
The Timbres Passion 2014 'menu' was completed with more than sixty offerings for all ages, some of them not directly related to the world of philately. Among them were exhibitions, shows, and varied activities related to space, trains, history, art, nature, ... as well as craft workshops, and local and regional produce. A very attractive event for both collectors, and the general public.

And not surprisingly, in the centre of this great temple of philately, La Poste built its commercial stand, a must see for all visitors (images below).

As a Timbres Passion hosting city, Poitiers benefited from the issue of a special stamp with a commemorative label or vignette. The design and engraving is by Elsa Catelin, a well known artist working in the Phil@poste office, in Boulazac. The design shows the old Palace of the Counts of Poitou and Dukes of Aquitaine, and an image of Eleonor of Aquitaine in the attached vignette.

Next to the stand, visitors could get the different postmarks prepared for the occasion. Among them, the first day of issue of the Poitiers - Vienne stamp, the postmarks Timbres Passion 2014 & Maxifrance 2014 (depicted below), and the first day postmark for the 'Tintipella - Cyanistes caeruleus' stamp, for the Principality of Andorra, also released during the show.
The postmark Ferphilex 2014 (right) was available at the stand of the philatelic association only, along with a personalized stamp.

Besides the Poitiers stamp, Phil@poste issued a special vignette LISA for the event. It is a composition of Didier Chabot, a member of the organization, in the areas of design and communication. The design shows a panoramic view of the city from the northwest, with the main public buildings constructed in recent years, in front of the historical centre, which can be recognized in the background. From left to right, the Viaduc Léon Blum, the new fast track access to the city centre, over the railway line, the TAP - Théâtre Auditorium de Poitiers, the large parking station building or parking Toumaï, and the transport interchange centre with the railway station at the far right. On the left, the design is completed with an allegorical theme of the youth philatelic event.

Philatelic souvenir produced by ATEEME

Didier Chabot, the creator of the LISA design, was so kind to show us some of the earlier pencil illustration designs or sketches.

The rolls of thermal self-adhesive labels were printed, in 4-colour offset, by Phil@poste, and have two phosphorescent vertical strips at the left and right edges of the design. The size of the labels is 80 x 30 mm. The total production run for this design was 25,000 labels.

Didier Chabot, in an improvised signing session in the ATEEME stand
(Photo: J.M. Guillot)

The vignettes LISA or ATMs could be obtained, during the show, from the three IER LISA 2 XP postal kiosks installed at the back of the La Poste stand. These machines were moved, temporarily, from different post offices in the city; Poitiers Couronneries, closest to the Parc des Expositions, and Poitiers Grand Large.
The thermal-printed ATMs were identical for all 3 machines and, as before, the minimum face value programmed was 0.28 EUR.

Since late 2012, L'ADRESSE Musée de La Poste has produced various series of philatelic display boards, associating different themes for the related stamp issues. For Timbres Passion 2014, L'ADRESSE prepared the 'Timbres et Territoire' (Stamps and territory) series, showing the heritage of the Poitou-Charentes region.

According to the rates programmed into the postal kiosks on the date of issue, it was possible to obtain ATMs of this design with up to 40 different indicators - the 20 shipment types plus the 20 corresponding franking complements, as well as ATMs with no text, just the face value. Because of a temporary programming error in one of the machines, it was possible to obtain ATMs starting from yet-more-strange value of 0.17 EUR.

  Inland economic mail - EC    ECOPLI
Inland priority mail (J+2) - LV    LETTRE VERTE Inland priority mail (J+1) - LP    LETTRE PRIORITAIRE
International priority mail
Inland priority mail - Small parcel

At the request of some collectors, this special design could also be obtained with another printing variety, at the Wincor Nixdorf Nabucco postal kiosk installed in the Poitiers Grand Large post office, located in the E. Leclerc shopping centre, south of the city.

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This page was created in June 2014
and last updated:  03.07.14 . English edition rewritten by S. Goodman (02.07.2014)