My father, George McMullon, began to collect stamps when at primary school between 1932-41. My grandfather was first in the army and then in the Royal Air Force and was stationed around the world. Other people in the village, knowing of my father's interest, would save stamps for him.

The first stamp was issued in 1840, the penny black. The penny red replaced it in 1841. In 1864 Georges Herpin  coined the the term "philately" which replaced previous terms for a collector of stamps.

School children collected stamps for over a century but, by number, the hobby is in decline. We were told that the stamps would one day become valuable and everyone was on the look out for errors in printing that might make a stamp rare. The returns on any stamp collection are usually small as stamps need to be in perfect condition and not just steamed off envelopes and stuck down with hinges in albums. Even First Day covers and mint presentation packs do not return the original cost of the stamps.

My father was called up in 1945 and joined the RAF with postings to Egypt, Aden, Malta, Naples, Holland and Germany. He continued his stamp collecting and became more serious, for a few years, in buying stamps to add to the collection.

I began my interest at an early age and when we stuck the stamps in the album "Stamps of the World" my father would tell me about the countries. I would read the encyclopaedias to learn more. I learned a lot of geography and history from collecting stamps.

In 1965 one of his milk round customers gave me a Twinlock accountants ledger with some loose pages. At first I used this as a scrap album with cuttings taken from the newspapers, Radio Times and TV Times. I then used it to expand, and better organise the stamps that had over flowed the pages of the albums my father had.

We purchased packets of stamps and themes, particularly animals, my passion in life, and were given stamps by customers with relatives overseas.  In 1967 I started to collect First Day covers of British stamps and from 1969 Gibraltar First Day Covers and Presentation packs.

In 1980 I went to sell off my stamp but found the return very poor and so, in selling the presentation packs of British stamps, purchased more First Day covers.

I continue to collect Gibraltar stamps and any stamps from correspondence from around the world.

I presume my stamp collection is of little monetary value although the cost of purchasing a similar collection may be high there is nothing of great value. Stamps should not be stuck down with hinges, but we didn't know that back in the 1960s.

The contents, on the left, open up the scanned pages of the album, listed by country. The images are large, but will be scaled to fit the screen but can be enlarged.

Gerald McMullon


 Last updated 3rd February 2010