Story of a Stamp Dealer (Chapter 3)
When I filled in my application for a teaching post I put in stamp collecting as a hobby. I arrived at my new school, Brickhill in Bedford, and was immediately told I was running the stamp club (also the Country Dancing Club but that’s another story.) When I asked who ran it before I was told, “No one, you’re starting it.”
Trouble with running the stamp club was that there was nowhere for members to buy stamps so I had to organise it all. Many wanted first day covers so I bought blanks from Barrington Smith and organised it from there. At first in 1966 it was just Bedford FDI (First Day of Issue) but gradually we gather special postmarks. The seeds sown at school were certainly sprouting!
Cath and I were buying lots of paint and extra things for our new house from an ironmongers on the Bedford High Street called Goldings (its still there today!) The owner at the time, Mr Laine had a small window that was not being used and suggested I sold stamps in the shop.
In August 1967 we went on holiday and left him virtually my whole stock, no sooner had we returned that he was chasing me for more after selling almost all of what I had left him! For 4 years I organised selling through him, going in after school and then gradually adding other shops in the area to my portfolio.
I was now buying from auctions, STAMPEX and BPE and at various stamp shows across the country. Meanwhile more and more people wanted my First Day Cover service and I was extending it by selling them to other collectors and dealers.
By 1969 I was supplying a good number of dealers and had a small retail business advertising in Stamp Weekly, things were beginning to take shape…
*End of Chapter 3*
By Tony Buckingham