StampNews.com is glad to inform our readers about the discovery of an interesting philatelic item – a tiny postage stamp that connects Stansted Airport and the African country of The Gambia.
Let’s get acquainted with this exciting story together!
John Auld of Alliance Auctions in Little Hallingbury came across the stamp, showing the rail tunnel at the airport, while sifting through the thousands of stamps that pass through his business.
He said: “I spotted it by chance. I thought to myself, ‘that looks like Stansted Airport’. I couldn’t believe it.”
The design is part of a series of stamps made in 2004 featuring rail tunnels, commemorating 200 years since the first steam locomotive was built.
Mr Auld said: “There are agencies that produce stamps for smaller countries featuring Disney characters and things like that.
“I think it’s to make money out of collectors!”
It is the first stamp design Mr Auld has come across with a local connection, having been in the business since 1973, but he doesn’t expect it to make him a fortune
“It’s not worth much – a matter of pennies,” Mr Auld said.
He entered the trade after acquiring a taste for collecting stamps as a youngster.
“I buy and sell stamps all the time. There are thousands made every year, it’s impossible to keep abreast of them,” he said.
Some of the rarer items to pass through his possession include a cheeky unofficial stamp from Eastern Europe featuring Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky.
Other paraphernalia in his collection include an envelope from the Belgrano, the ship infamously sunk by a Royal Navy submarine during the Falklands War and the signature of Lord Wellington, the
He explained that before 1840 letters were usually paid for by the recipient, but dignitaries would pre-pay when sending letters, which required a signature.
“It’s not hugely valuable, but very historic,” Mr Auld said.
He also has a number of the famous Penny Black stamps, but had bad news for anyone thinking they were sitting on a fortune.
“They are not very rare, we have had hundreds. They range from £20 to several hundred pounds, depending on the condition,” he explained.