Spring Stampex 2013 - Aftermath
Well, Stampex is over for another six months. I've had a bit of time to sort out my purchases - two "collections" of Poland covering up to about 1970 and my usual material from the Hytech machines.
There were the usual amount of dealers there with the expected stock. However, there seemed to be so little for the junior collector - at least on the two days that I visited. I suppose that this is to be expected since most of the people visiting were over 40.
How do we encourage the younger collector to come to these events? Stampex does have a "junior" stall at the weekends but is that enough. There were many stands which had significant material for the more "mature" collector. Penny blacks galore were available from £95. Covers of all descriptions from around the world were there by the box load. But what about packets and equipment for the junior collector?
I have been to philatelic societies around the country and found that I was frequently the youngest person present.So what can we do? We cannot send collectors into schools because they would require a CRB check which costs at least £36 a time but can remain valid for up to 3 years. But who would organise the CRB? Schools won't because you are not permanent staff and supply agencies wouldn't be interested. I think that the Philatelic Trust organises visits and school clubs.
What sort of school should be targeted - primary or secondary? Primary would give the best feedback and give a positive boost to collecting but as soon as the pupils hit secondary school the stamp collection would find its way to the back of the cupboard at best.
Using stamps and postal history material in association with class work would be beneficial. The BPMA has some material which is downloadable for key stage 2 on the Victorians, WW1 and even on aspects of design covering the Festival of Britain.
Year 5 and 6 do work on ancient Egypt, why can't something be put together using the wide variety of stamps illustrating pharaohs, gods and artifacts.
All those Shakespeare stamps could be used to illustrate stage and costume design associated with the plays that secondary pupils have to study. Art is so richly covered but why do so few teachers illustrate the works of the great masters through stamps. Look at the quality of artwork associated in producing some of the stamps - there have been some great engravers.
It would just take a bit of time and research to associate the appropriate stamps and material with the course of study.
Back to Stampex... I did spot a talk on Jane Austen and the new stamps on the Friday close to the Royal Mail Stand but surely it could be an advantage to all to have such talks throughout each day with the Saturday talks targeted at junior and new collectors.
And the "Aftermath" for me... Well I filled in some large gaps in my Polish collection (around 700 covering 1919 to 1965). I also found a single 1919 bogus stamp and a charity "stamp" for a Warsaw based charity for the blind. All this gives me some areas to research and learn about.
I was tempted to buy a bundle of 100 covers for £15 because of the top cover showing the 1970 Declaration of Arbroath stamp. There were a number of other covers of interest for cancels.
I have also scanned the Hytech material and have produced the third issue of the ATM Informer. so just look at the earlier entries for the links.