Yesterday was the 10th anniversary of me writing and blogging about Jubilees! So I thought to celebrate I’d write a bit about how I got into Jubilees and my journey to creating this website, and at the end I include some site statistics (which are interesting to me at least).
Corbitt’s stamp shop in Newcastle upon Tyne
So I started collecting the Jubilee issue in around 2003 when I was 18 years old. As I teenager, I was helping my Grandad with his collection of GB new issues, sorting them into album and going to Corbitts in Newcastle in the North East of England in order to fill in the gaps. It was a shop I used to go with him when I was young and me and my brother used to love buying kiloware and soaking all the stamp off the bits of paper and putting them in our stockbooks. At 18, I still had all my own stamps I had collected, and one day I come across an album page I had bought from Corbitts for a princely £2, which had a few used Jubilees on it. Looking them up in the Stanley Gibbons catalogue, I was struck not only by their attractive designs of the whole set, but their affordability! This was at a time when eBay was still growing in popularity and I remember my first purchase was a used set of the Jubilees for £9.99 plus postage (I was the only bidder). Although Paypal was already a part of eBay by this point, the vast majority of people were still using cheques. How things have changed!
1887 ½d vermilion with complete offset on the reverse; my first purchase from Stanley Gibbons
As I continued to search through eBay listings, I began to discover there was more to collect than just the 14 issued stamps. There were overprints: Government Officials and British Empire overprints from countries such as Bechuanaland. I still remember when I was living in my halls of residence at Uni, bidding on a mint Mafeking 1d on ½d and being most disappointed to lose out on it for £35, but at the time I had never seen it before and had no clue of what it was worth. My interest in the Jubilees continued to develop and increase, with my first three-figure purchase: a ½d vermilion with a complete offset on the gummed side for £195. My friends I was sharing the house with were curious as to why I was receiving mail but I never let on I was a stamp collector. It wasn’t until my last year of Uni, when it came to applying for jobs for when I had graduated, that I finally “came out” as a stamp collector after applying for a job at Stanley Gibbons. Unfortunately a degree in Physics from Imperial College and an interest in stamps wasn’t enough to get the job as a Junior Describer in the GB department (much to the chagrin of the GB department when I told them some years later). So instead I ended up doing working experience at Bonhams in their stamp department before being offered a full time job, which sadly didn’t last very long as the message came from the top to close the department (no correlation I’m sure…). This led to a reunion with colleagues at Stampex in February 2009 and a fortuitous meeting with Marcus Orsi, who invited me to Geneva and I’ve been working at David Feldman ever since.
In early 2011, I created this website as a way to collate all the information I was accumulating; mostly from eBay listings, auctions and dealers’ websites. It was only meant for myself really as a tool to help me learn and remember, and to have the info at my fingertips if out and about. I wasn’t really thinking it would get picked up by Google and other search engines (including one click from a search engine called dogpile.com…) and that people would find the site without me telling them. I’ve also had 360 clicks come from the GB Philatelic Society web page since I was added to the useful links section of their website thanks to Maurice Buxton.
“The De La Rue Years 1878-1910”, volume 2, by W. A. Wiseman; the most important resource for a Jubilee collector
So what’s to come in the next 10 years? Perhaps a site redesign since it hasn’t changed in all this time! But I’d rather spend the time getting new content online, and eventually I’d love to do a book. However there is still so much I don’t know. In fact every time I pick up on of Wiseman’s “The De La Rue Years” I learn something new.
Page views: 51,441
Number of visitors: 12’722 from 121 different countries (I’m guessing a good chunk of them are bots unfortunately)
Number of blog posts: 150
Number of followers of the blog: 48
First post: Spink offer strong selection of Boer War
Most viewed page (excluding home page/directory pages): 1890 Uniform Penny Postage Jubilee
Most viewed blog post: “Wellington” collection goes by mostly unnoticed
Most viewed eBay report: June & July 2017 Ebay Report