Story of a Stamp Dealer (Chapter 4)
I was starting to attend stamp shows on a more regular basis now, my first was in Aldridge, we had loads of cheap covers and had trays of 6d, 1/- and 2/6d each.
We started the day 12 feet from the wall and ended up pinned to it, I think we took nearly £200 and for poor teachers it seemed an absolute fortune! After the success at Aldridge we moved onto to Oxford and then Cambridge.
The dealer on the next stand was Henry Murray who was very upset at the time as another dealer, ‘Met Stamps,’ had somehow got a stand at a big rail exhibition in Belgium and Henry, a rail specialist, hadn’t.
What made things worse for him that day was trying to compete with our trays of 6d, 1/-, 2/6d and 5/-, it’s safe to say he had a bad day all round. He even came over to us mid-way through the day and found loads of cheap covers, he hadn’t taken any money, so swapped about 100 of his 5/- rail covers in exchange. Knowing I had sold Scotsman covers to the trade previously I took his rail covers, assured I could sell them again.
Henry’s day went from bad to worse though when his nemesis, ‘Met Stamps’ turned up, found lots of rail covers in my trays and bought the 100 covers Henry had just swapped with me. Poor old Henry, not a good day for him, he even ended up in hospital shortly afterwards.
In 1971 I learned a valuable lesson, DO NOT throw away order forms, and make sure to KEEP your records. ‘Stamp Collecting’ (Editor Richard West) went bankrupt due to the postal strike, and with his bankruptcy went my small retail business. Luckily, because I was supplying most of the other dealers I swapped to wholesale only. Phew!
In 1972, a new chapter in my dealing started, I got a Deputy Head teaching post and moved to Hythe, Kent. What followed from that? Stay tuned for chapter 5 tomorrow.
By Tony Buckingham