Philatelic Fun

I dont understand why philatelists have the reputation of being boring middle aged and even elderly men. Stamp Collectors are wild and crazy guys who do wild and crazy things. Political Propaganda has always featured on stamps and people have used unofficial stamps to make political points. Or just have fun.

Take these two examples.

 In December 1992, I was in London and it was already known that the marriage of “Prince Charles” was in trouble and there was speculation that a seperation was about to be announced. I went into Stanley Gibbons Stamp Shop in the Strand and bought the two stamps issued to commemorate the Wedding of Charles and Diana. “Royal Wedding” stamps are popular world-wide but obviously there was never going to be a stamp to commemorate the “Royal Seperation”. I thought it was an event that needed to be commemorated. When I flew home I cut the stamps in two with a horizontal cut on one stamp and a vertical cut on the other…..literally seperating the “Royals”. I put the stamps on an envelope and carried it around in Belfast for a couple of days…until John Major announced the seperation in the British House of Commons….when I ran outside and dropped the envelope in a post box. You might be able to make out the postmark “Belfast 10th December 1992”, the date of the seperation.

 During the same London trip, I bought the two stamps issued to mark the wedding of “Princess Anne” to Mark Phillips, some twenty years previously. It had been announced that Anne was marrying for a second time and as no second “Royal Wedding” stamp issue was planned, I decided….that as an ardent Republican, I should mark the happy event. So they got married on 12th December 1992, just two days after the seperation of Charles and Diana. I dropped the envelope in a Lurgan postbox. I thought it would be postmarked in the normal way….but after it went thru the machines, a member of staff noticed that it was a “special occasion” and as you can see actually hand-stamped the envelope to make it more clear.

For years I wondered whether the postman who did this….was a loyalist (who thought it was a tribute) or a republican (who saw it as sarcasm), although I speculated it was a republican as my address which is “blacked out” above was in a very nationalist village. I eventually discovered it was a fellow republican.

So never think that stamp collectors are boring. The long winter nights just fly by. We are cool and crazy guys.

 

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