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Stamp duty: Collectors queue around the block for Stampex convention in Angel

The convention will finish on Saturday February 16

15 February, 2019 — By Calum Fraser

Collectors queuing around the block to get into Stampex on the opening day

THOUSANDS of stamp enthusiasts descended on Islington for the largest gathering of collectors in the country.

The Business Design Centre, in Angel, was packed with keen-eyed collectors looking to add to their stock with thousands of pounds set to change hands at the Stampex International convention.

Bipin Patel, 66, was happy to stand in a queue for up to an hour to get his hands on special-edition Leonardo da Vinci stamps, inspired by the Queen’s collection of the famous painter’s work, released by the Royal Mail for the event.

Bipin Patel pointing to a stamp he bought for more than £2000

Mr Patel, who claims to have spent around £10,000 on stamps in the past year, said: “I have suitcases-full and 80 briefcases full of stamps. But I am not collecting to show off, it is just for my enjoyment.

“It is undoubtedly a lot of money. I have worked very hard to earn enough money to keep me going. “Any collector will know that once you start, you cannot stop.”

The show, organised twice a year by the Philatelic Traders’ Society (PTS), opened on Wednesday and will finish tomorrow (Saturday).

Suzanne Rae, the Philatelic Traders’ Society’s chairwoman

A philatelist is someone who studies or collects stamps.

Suzanne Rae, the society’s chairwoman, said: “Every postage stamp tells a story. Put lots of stamps together and they’ll take you on an epic journey – around the world, into the wild, across battlefields, back to the Jurassic era, even into space.”

This year the Royal Philatelic Society is celebrating its 150th anniversary.

A collection showcasing the oldest known Valentine’s Day cards, dating back to the 1700s, is on show as well as collection of love letters sent during the Denmark-Prussian war in 1864.

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