We are wondering what to call this page. It is hoped it may interest younger collectors. But since most stamp collectors are 'kids' at heart we thought we would try this title as maybe both older and younger philatelists may find some interest in the contents?


Issued last year by the GB Post Office these have rapidly developed a new following amongst collectors.

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Younger collectors also rapidly scooped up the 'free' cards on offer from Sainsbury's. The effect on sales of groceries is not known but the cards were popular and many swaps took place. They also reminded us that 'collections' do not have to be restricted to stamps.

We look forward to seeing some of these cards in upcoming "Open" class exhibits.

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Another very popular topic at the moment. It is amazing how younger children seem to have no difficulty with remembering and pronouncing complex Latin based names, whilst struggling with the longer words in books such as by Julia Donaldson books? Perhaps the author did not need to shorten "Compsognathus" in 'Tyrannosaurus Drip'? The Stegosaurus in this Polish stamp has a contented grin, and if the stamp is a little battered - well dinosaurs are very old!

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A stamp from New Zealand

A dinosaur whose fossilized remains are mainly found in Arizona, USA. So a good example of how countries often issue stamps of interest that are not specific to their own domain.

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A large predator (achieving 9 to 12 metres in length). Most fossils have been found in Colorado, Wyoming, and Utah in the USA. This stamp was issued by France.


The Stamp Active Network has announced this year's one page competition open to collectors up to the age of eighteen, based on "the philately of favourite things". 

"Favourite things" could be flowers, authors, toys, animals, games, transport, super-heroes, films or anything you like! 

All that is required is that the entry uses stamps, covers, or other philatelic items on one A4 sheet of paper. 

Entries should be sent in by 28 February 2021. 

Full details may be found at www.stampactive.co.uk



some of these are described below and in following sections



“And here I sit with my stamps in a complete muddle, and nobody has bothered to tell me what it's all about."
"Listen now, Hemul," said Snufkin slowly and clearly. "It's about a comet that is going to collide with the earth tomorrow."
"Collide?" said the Hemulen. "Has that anything to do with stamp-collecting?”


“It's finished. There isn't a stamp, or an error that I haven't collected. Not one. What shall I do now?"
"I think I'm beginning to understand," said Moomintroll slowly. "You aren't a collector anymore, you're only an owner, and that isn't nearly so much fun.” 

Tove Hansson’s “Moomins” books were published in Swedish (she was a Finn; born 1914, died 2001) in 1948 and translated into English in 1950.

Moomintroll is cheerful and chubby and lives in the magical Moominvalley with his mother, Moominmamma, his father, Moominpappa and all of their friends. Throughout the winter the Moomins hibernate, but before they go to sleep they fill their tummies full of pineneedles. In spring they wake up, ready for their fun-filled summer adventures. A children’s story that many adults will also enjoy



available from Sainsbury


The Lego album is well worth a read. Adding a 'back-story' to the characters and making it an interesting read even for non-Lego fans.


Even a Lego fan will be surprised at the number of characters now available. Many have been seen in the Lego movies but here is an opportunity to think about how they could be included in new adventures and models.


"SAMMY THE STAMP" by Pip Comport

published by Austin Macauley, 25 Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London. 2018

A short book, intended for children and beautifully illustrated by the author. 

There is an interesting review of the book by Brian Livingstone in the December 2018 issue of "Stamp Lover".

The story is set largely in India from where Dheera establishes a pen pal based friendship with Laura who lives in England. Their letters describing radically different worlds, and yet many shared human values. 

'Sammy' is a stamp on the only sheet of some Australian stamps that survives a fire and is used to make up the postage on a letter to India. The tale follows his progress as a rare stamp on a cover through many difficulties and disasters until a final (happy) resolution.

The story reflects a world where snail mail provides a valuable link between people of widely divergent cultural backgrounds. The images of life in rural India are vivid and compelling. A place and time when opening the mailbox and finding a letter was an almost magical experience, and raises the interesting question as to whether we ever think about "where do some stamps finally end up"? 

This is a delightful book, that as some reviewers point out, may require some explanation for children and young adults who have never written or received a letter, or used an adhesive postage stamp! The tale of 'Sammy the Stamp' is cleverly constructed and designed to keep one guessing; and is enjoyable for adults, as well as younger people. 

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"There's no such thing as a Gruffalo"

But there are Gruffalo stamps! This mini-sheet was issued rather unexpectedly by the Post Office in late 2019. 

The mini-sheet shows the Gruffalo and his conqueror the little mouse: together with the three other animals (Fox, Owl and Snake) that the mouse outwitted. 

The Royal Mail also offered a full presentation pack celebrating the work of artist Alex Schiffler - who has illustrated many of Julia Donaldson's books. 


"The Stamp Collector" by Jennifer Lanthier, illustrated by Francois Thisdale

published by Fitzhenry and Whiteside; 2012

Jennifer Lanthier is a Canadian author, noted for her children's books. She was formerly a journalist and is currently Director of News at the University of Toronto. 

This illustrated prose poem is suitable for children but will also engage many adults. It is about the power of friendship and the importance of freedom of expression. 

The publisher's description of this multi-award winning book reads: 

"A city boy finds a stamp that unlocks his imagination; a country boy is captivated by stories. When they grow up, the two boys take different paths – one becomes a prison guard, the other works in a factory – but their early childhood passions remain.

When the country boy’s stories of hope land him in prison, the letters and stamps sent to him from faraway places intrigue the prison guard – and a unique friendship begins.

The rules prohibit the guard and writer from talking. As the years pass, the writer's story spreads around the world and letters of support from faraway places begin to arrive.

The guard is fascinated by the beautiful stamps and intrigued by what they suggest about the prisoner he watches. With time, the guard feels compelled to deliver first the stamps and eventually the letters, as evidence to the writer that the world has not forgotten him.

A unique friendship begins. The writer grows ever weaker while the guard begs him to tell him his stories and promises to share them.

After the writer's death the guard courageously leaves his post and journeys to a distant but safe library where he puts pen to paper and begins to share the stories."

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Harry Potter

The French Post Office also celebrated the books in 2007 with the issue of three mini-sheets.

Each sheet shows five postage stamps and 5 vignettes depicting objects described in the books. 

Ron Weasley

The stamps and mini-sheets were the annual "fete du  timbre" issue - a tradition of La Poste.

Hermione Grainger

An interesting detail is that the French Yvert & Tellier catalogue lists the author as "Joanne Kathleen Rowling" - not the way that J K Rowling is normally addressed in the UK? 

This book will probably be remembered by some of our very old 'Kids' in the Society from their early collecting days. 


By Frank Richards: published by Cassell & Co 1952

Not all novels that rely upon stamp collecting as a theme focus upon psychopathic behaviour. In 1952 Frank Richards used philately in an early ‘Bunter’ book, and although the usual passion of collecting is exposed by the loss of a prized stamp, the story is comic, if now somewhat dated.

Sir Hilton Popper, is an irascible land-owner, and a governor of Greyfriars – Bunter’s school. He is also a a keen philatelist. His prized possession is his Blue Mauritius stamp. In order to be in a position to gloat over this at any time, he keeps it in his wallet. He really should know better. His precious woods are not only frequently trespassed in by Greyfriars men taking short-cuts; they are also a regular haunt of thieves & footpads.

On the fateful day in question, all three are present on his property. Sir Hilton “a gentleman whose estate was covered with morgages almost as thickly as by oaks and beeches” is moodily contemplating “those wastrels at the Income Tax Office, who have sent him yet another iniquitous demand”.Bunter’s five chums are trespassing in the woods, and  a certain Mr Judson is stalking the baronet with criminal intent.

Sir Hilton is duly robbed, and the boys, after a brief chase, capture Mr Judson. As usual, it is Billy Bunter who happens to be in the wrong – or right – place at the right – or wrong – time!

The result is Billy Bunter innocently rolling around Greyfriars with a £2,000 stamp about his person. A desperate villain anxious to get it back, and half of Greyfriars searching for the plunder.  All leading to confusion about watches, attempted abductions, and things going bump in the night. There are lots of ‘yaroohs’ – (hooray backwards for those uninitiated into Frank Richard’s puns), and food is never far from Billy Bunter's thoughts. 

The story is preposterous, and for a stamp collector doubly so with the invaluable Blue Mauritius stamp being carried around in Sir Hilton’s wallet! And its condition hardly being helped by Billy Bunter jamming it inside his pocket watch. But a jolly jape and humorous touches about the rancorous  baronet softenning at the thought of his beloved 'Blue Mauritius'. 



Superman, Wonder Woman, and Green Lantern

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Their web-site is https://www.stampactive.co.uk/about-us/ 

Stamp Active is a voluntary organisation which promotes stamp collecting for young people in the UK.

Stamp Active Network promotes a number of initiatives, including:

  • KIDS ZONE, sponsored by The Philatelic Traders’ Society, which takes place at Spring and Autumn Stampex, held at the Business Design Centre, Islington, London.

  • THE STAMP ACTIVE COMPETITION, sponsored by the GBPS and THE BRITISH YOUTH STAMP CHAMPIONSHIPS, sponsored by Stanley Gibbons, for those interested in displaying their collections.

  • STAMP ACTIVE is a resource programme for organisers of junior clubs with information and updates on the website.  More information can also be found on  the Club section of this website.

  • STARTER PACKS, sponsored by Stanley Gibbons, for the organisers of new school and junior stamp clubs.

  • KIDSTAMPS, a free postal club for young collectors between the ages of 5 and 19, providing stamps, activities and much more to make your hobby even more fun!

  • WORKSHOPS for children interested in developing their competition entries.

  • AWARDS for the young collector of the year and to organisers for outstanding service to youth philately.

  • NATIONAL YOUTH CONFERENCE for organisers of clubs.

  • STAMPS IN SCHOOLS, sponsored by The Postal Museum, is an independent project run by Erene Grieve, which provides a fun-packed day of stamp collecting displays and activities for primary schools in the UK.

  • and, of course, their WEBSITE to find out more about collecting and the activities of the Stamp Active Network.

"Big Kids" might also considering donating unwanted material from their collections to help younger collectors develop their interest in our hobby? 

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