Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Are Too Many Stamps Hurting The Hobby?

Hunter Davies writes on Britain's Guardian website that the Royal Mail's desperation to sell stamps is killing off his "cheap and therapeutic" hobby.

Davies, who is the author of The Joy of Stamps, writes, "This will be a bumper year for commemorative stamps, with the Royal Mail shoving out loads of new issues for the Queen's jubilee, the Olympics, sheep, pigs, anything at all really. It has become the perfect definition of a licence to print money."

"The flood of commemorative stamps began in the 1960s when the Post Office got wise to the commercial possibilities. In recent years, we have had 14-15 new issues every year," according to Davies.

He goes on to pen, "People in the philatelic world are up in arms about it, realising it is doing their hobby no good. There are just so many new issues each year that children and new collectors will be priced out of the market, should they try to keep up with the output. Though in its defence the Royal Mail said this week that it has deliberately reduced the number of new commemorative issues this year, as a response to complaints."

"Which is a shame. Stamps are portable, easy to sort and arrange, and cheap to buy (in fact free, if you steam them off envelopes)," Davies says.

"They are terribly educational and informative – and also therapeutic. When I was in bed as a child, racked with asthma, I would turn over the pages of my stamp album – and in half an hour my wheezing would have stopped."

To read the entire article, click here.

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posted by Don Schilling at 7:05 AM