Story of a Stamp Dealer (Chapter 15)
The obvious next step was the International Exhibitions; we visited Hafnia in Copenhagen in 1976. I remember tipping the taxi driver and then realising from his grin as he drove off that I had got the currency wrong.
I had given him the equivalent of a £250 tip, which with currency restrictions left us extremely poor! We had a hamburger from a stall and Cath got food poisoning, we have never been back, I hate Danish taxi drivers.
Anyway, back to The Netherlands; we booked ourselves into the 1977 Amphilex show in Amsterdam. We were worried about the journey so we did a dummy run from Sheerness first. I was almost arrested for carrying too much cash. Much to the policeman’s disappointment Cath had no cash so I split it making us legal again.
A few months later, after Stampex, we drove our stock to Amphilex and found we had a dreadful stand, it took two days before anyone found us. We also discovered our beautifully organised trays were useless, so we changed everything to 2 guilders, 5 guilders etc, this worked and gradually we did better.
In contrast, the social events were fantastic, the World’s Post Offices showing off. I think it was the beginning of the end for ostentation, but for two ex-teachers it was amazing.
We stayed in an old world, supposedly luxury hotel, we shared it with the mice that seemed to be everywhere.
It was an exciting show and despite the lousy stand, we booked for Capex in Toronto for 1978, little did we know Cath would be busy having Ellie at the same time.
By Tony Buckingham
**End of Chapter 15**