Putting A Stamp On It

The Textiliste is a craftperson of no little skill. Bi-annually she and her colleagues in the local quilting group put on a show and it falls to her to curate it. The venue is a spectacular house in Dulwich where we live, the oldest or one of them and very grand. It was once a boarding house for the local private school and still has the shoe rack in the hall. The last show was during the pandemic and they used it to represent the rainbow colours of the support symbol being used for key workers. The Cabinet of Curiosities, it was called.

They need a new theme and given this year is the Queen’s 70th anniversary of her accession to the throne, that seems to be a good start. How though?

One idea was to consider the images of the Queen and that led to stamps.

Now it happens that my dad was something of a philatelist. One of his treasured possessions was his varied collection, in fact; which he felt sure would be a nice little inheritance for mum. When he died I took the books to be valued. I’m glad he wasn’t around to hear the result.

So I kept them. Some I shared with my nephew but the books of First Day Covers are with me. We thought we’d have a look, the Textiliste and me, to see how the Queen was represented over the years. I’ve not had them out for a decade I’d guess but they contain some delights as well as memory joggers.

These two he loved.

The first, celebrating the first airmail between England and South Africa in 1931 was very prized – I don’t know who the recipient is – but the second, to Australia was addressed to my Grandfather.

And then, on the theme of accessions and coronations there was this, relating to the Queen’s father, posted in Ceylon, present day Sri Lanka.

When did he start with the Frist Day covers, I wonder? I’ll have to look through them but here are two early versions.


was addressed to the Archaeologist in August 1957celebrtign the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Boy Scouts. The Archaeologist was just two.

And this

to me, celebrating the British Empire and Commonwealth Games in Cardiff in July 1958. I was about 15 months…

The stamps become more colourful. In 1966 England hosted the World Cup. The irony that dad had it addressed to the least sports mad person, my brother isn’t lost on me.

But then, later, one of his best friends gave him this one

A rare example of over printing, and iconic since that was our one and only success… so far.

I think I’ll keep digging and let you see some more examples, as well as how some bring back a few memories…

About TanGental

My name is Geoff Le Pard. Once I was a lawyer; now I am a writer. I've published several books: a four book series following Harry Spittle as he grows from hapless student to hapless partner in a London law firm; four others in different genres; a book of poetry; four anthologies of short fiction; and a memoir of my mother. I have several more in the pipeline. I have been blogging regularly since 2014, on topic as diverse as: poetry based on famous poems; memories from my life; my garden; my dog; a whole variety of short fiction; my attempts at baking and food; travel and the consequent disasters; theatre, film and book reviews; and the occasional thought piece. Mostly it is whatever takes my fancy. I avoid politics, mostly, and religion, always. I don't mean to upset anyone but if I do, well, sorry and I suggest you go elsewhere. These are my thoughts and no one else is to blame. If you want to nab anything I post, please acknowledge where it came from.
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37 Responses to Putting A Stamp On It

  1. Keep them coming. Fascinating memories.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. joylennick says:

    All most interesting, Geoff. Fascinating stamps! My own father had several hobbies , and one of his favourites was stamp collecting. He left one beautiful album to my youngest brother, and started another for me ; sadly not completed, as I was busy writing, bringing up three sons, business and travelling..

    Liked by 1 person

  3. willowdot21 says:

    Gosh is it a year already I remember you telling us all about the last one!
    We found the same with one of my deceased sister’s stamp collection…. Shame she put so much effort and probably cash, like your father 💜

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I never knew that about the overprinted Winners stamp!
    That’s 2 things I learned this week, the other being that House Martins have feathery legs 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. My mother had a collection of first day covers which she intended for my two nieces. My sister declared that of course they wouldn’t want them, so I was wondering about trying to sell them. I’m glad I didn’t have to from your comment (and I could have predicted the result anyway, but they had been lovingly collected so I didn’t want to just dump them). Fortunately, Niece Number 2 was emphatic that if Granny had wanted her to have them, then she was most certainly taking them. So back to Harrow they went after the funeral, much to my sister’s disgust!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Darlene says:

    What a great collection. I collected stamps as a child and dreamt of visiting all those exotic places like Spain and Malta. I gave my collection to my grandson.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. A great treasure of memories, Geoff. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Steve Tanham says:

    Lovely memories, Geoff. I hope the stamps work as sources of craft inspiration. Curiously enough, we’re on holiday the Outer Hebrides with a lady who is deeply into crafting, too.
    I’ll tell her your tale.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Elizabeth says:

    I have my own childhood collection and much of my late mother’s. I especially love all the former occupied countries with the King or Queen smiling off the page.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Firstly, why does the Cabinet of Curiosities have an empty bottom row. Is that the curiosity?

    Secondly, I collected stamps as a boy and, in my early army career bought (when I could afford to do so), firstly, quarter sheets of any new British stamp, then half sheets, and, finally, whole sheets, thinking I could pass them on as a legacy to my family. I do so wish that I’d used the money to go to exotic restaurants in the Middle East!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Chel Owens says:

    These are really neat. I suppose they’re not worth much because they’re stamped, but I don’t know that much about collections. (Honestly, my one experience with them is from watching “Charade.”)

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Happy Panda says:

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  13. Jennie says:

    This is a remarkable collection, and first day of issue no less. What a treasure, Geoff!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Ah. This post reminds me of my grandparents and the olden days when people sent letters. What a great collection, Geoff. Thanks for sharing!

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