Another Video

In this video, I talk about how my “World Wide” Stamp Collection has evolved.

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My First Stamp Collecting Video

For some time, I have been toying with the idea of making some videos on Stamp Collecting. This is the first in (hopefully) a series. In this first video, I am talking about Collecting in general.

If you have a problem with my accent…I might have to consider subtitles.

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Ireland Stamp Programme 2020

Today An Post published the Stamp programme for 2020.

Surprisingly there is no reference to the League of Nations Centenary, the United Nations (1945-2020) or the Olympic Games.


23rd January …European Cities of Culture, Galway and Rijeka, Croatia (2 stamps).

30th January…Love & Marriage (1 stamp issued in a booklet of 10)

20th February…War of Independence (The Struggle for Independence) (2 stamps). Interestingly one of the two stamps features the iconic painting “Men of The South” which hangs at the Crawford Gallery in Cork City and it should be possible to get a postcard there.

27th February…The Irish Abroad (5 stamps) issued ahead of St Patricks Day. Richard Harris, the actor will feature.

5th March …Pioneering Irish Women (5 stamps) one will be Hollywood actress, Maureen O’Hara. I have a few appropriate postcards.

9th April…Centenary of Birth of Liam Cosgrave (1 stamp) Former Taoiseach.

16th April…25th Anniversary of Father Ted (4 stamps). Should be a fun issue and should be easy to find some appropriate postcards.

16th July *…Europa (2 stamps). The theme is “ancient postal routes”.

11th June* …Ireland’s Pride Movement (2 stamps). “Pride” is now an accepted part of Irish life. The stamps will probably reflect the referendum in which Ireland voted for Equal Marriage.

25th June*…Definitive Issues (12 stamps). the next phase in the “Ireland in 100 Objects” series. I expect that eight stamps will be SOAR and the others will be Coils and booklet stamps.

August…GAA/County Colours (4 stamps). Again this could be a fun issue. All of Ireland’s 32 counties have much loved colours with which they have been associated for decades. With just four stamps, these colours might be shown in the form of the four provinces or possibly as a series spanning eight years.

September…War of Independence (Civil Society) (2 stamps).

8th October…U2. A Celebration (4 stamps). Oh GOD no….not U2 again.

29th October …Christmas (6 stamps).

To clarify, I am showing the June and July issues with the dates as shown in the “Collector” brochure issued by An Post. The August and September issues have no exact date shown.

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Crystal Ball & 2020 Vision

The days between Christmas and New Year are a curious mix of Relection and Anticipation.

I am looking forward to seeing the Ireland Stamp Programme for 2020.

There are two big international commemorations. The first is the Centenary of the League of Nations. This was the attempt made after the First World War to bring the nations of the world together in an international forum, to settle differences peacefully. It was of course doomed to fail. The membership varied a lot as nations withdrew or were expelled before the Second World War broke out.

Ireland was not an original member as it was not independent in 1920 but joined after independence. A little known fact is that the League of Nations is that existed during 1939-45 and the presidency was held by Ireland.

The second major commemoration is the 75th Anniversary of the United Nations. In many ways the successor of the League of Nations but originally membership was confined to the victorious Allied nations in 1945. As a neutral nation, Ireland was not permitted to join until December 1955.

The Olympic Games will take place next year so almost certain that there will be a stamp issued.

Likewise there will be stamps issued for Love & Marriage and I would speculate that the concept might be more inclusive to reflect the referendum in 2015 which legalised Equal Marriage. Also stamps for Europa, A Stamp for Ireland (which replaces the St Patrick’s Day issue) and of course Christmas.

One of the first issues in 2020 will be the SOAR Labels in the Ireland in 100 Objects series.

Another centenary is the birth of Maureen O’Hara, the Hollywood actress. She is best known for John Ford westerns and co-starring with John Wayne in movies such as Rio Grande, McLintock and of course The Quiet Man.

I have heard that there is likely to be a stamp or set of stamps to honour U2.

The most sensitive issues are likely to involve the War of Independence (1919-1921) as 1920 and marks the centenaries of deaths of Thomas MacCurtain, Terence McSwiney and Kevin Barry as well as the (first) Bloody Sunday.

Almost ten years ago, we entered a Decade of Centenaries. Events such as Home Rule Act, the First World War, Easter Rising had to be commemorated with a degree of sensitivity because of the impact of the Troubles in “Northern Ireland”.

It will be interesting to see how An Post deals with this. And within the next week, the programme for 2020 will be published.


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Nollaig Shona! Happy Christmas!

Wishing all readers of this Blog a very Happy Christmas.

Thank you for your support.

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Review of the Year: 2019

As Christmas approaches, this is a good time to look back on 2019. Overall it was a good year.

Irish Stamps (new issues)…I have all the stamps, mint and used. So that is a success. One quibble. An Post seems to have no confidence in its current SOAR (Stamps on a Roll) series “Ireland in 100 Objects” and keeps adding popular commemoratives into the series. This is often done without prior notice.

Irish Stamps (older)…I started 2019 with a “wants list” of about 23 stamps and I was able to take three stamps off the list. This leaves about 20 stamps. Two are “coil” stamps and one is pretty expensive and the other is impossible. In a way, no stamp collection should ever be really complete so I fully accept that there is an “impossible” stamp. The other stamps are all British produced stamps but overprinted in Irish¬† as “Irish Free State” or “Provisional Government of Ireland”. They are known as “Seahorses”…expensive yes but not impossible. Will I have them by the time I turn 70 in 2022? Well …2027 is probably a more reasonable target if I target three per year and shop around.

World Stamps…very much a fun thing and without any real pressure. I end 2019 with over 28,000 stamps and I am pleased with this. There will come a time (maybe after 30,000) when I will draw a line. I am pleased that I have so much mail (envelopes and postcards) showing genuine postal use from 179 nations.

SOAR Labels & Post Offices…there are around 978 post offices in the Republic of Ireland and I have SOAR Labels from 866. I have photographs of about 200 post offices. Reasonably pleased. It is of course harder and harder to find a post office that I dont have but this is a nice little secondary collection.

Postcards (World) unposted…not very active here. Certainly I like having almost 900 scenic and history-themed USA cards. But now I really prefer world cards to be posted.

Postcards (World) posted…not a good year. Getting postcards from other countries is always nice. But it is not a level playing field. It is too easy to find trade partners in say, United States of America, Russia, Germany, China etc but not so easy in say Mexico, Egypt, Uruguay, Vietnam etc and nearly impossible to find trade partners in say Andorra, San Marino, Eritrea and Samoa. On the plus side, I met some PostCrossers in October and they are very nice people.

Postcards (Modern Ireland)...this interest started nearly forty years ago. Postcards of places that I have visited with my family. Initially this was to compliment my Irish Stamp Collection and later as souvenirs of day trips and vacations. But in the 21st century, tourists have camera-phones. Other than in major Irish cities, there are few outlets for traditional (scenic) postcards. This aspect of my collecting is largely dormant.

Vintage Postcards (Ireland) posted…essentially these “Golden Age” postcards (1900-1922) were posted in Ireland pre-Independence and the stamps are British and the postmarks are in the English language. In this period, all of Ireland was part of the “United Kingdom”. I have about 160 of these cards. This has been a good year as I now have cards from all 32 counties. The problem is prices can vary so much. While my interest is primarily about the postmark, there are collectors who are interested in a theme, a publisher or a certain town or county which can push prices up. As a general rule, cards bought at flea markets are better value than cards bought thru dealers.

Coins (Ireland)…nothing at all added to the “Sterling” issues 1922-1970 and nothing added to the “Decimal” issues (1971-2001). I have already obtained all the common coins and really I dont have the inclination, time, interest (or money!!!) to pursue this. But as my grandson (12) is taking an interest, I might take a closer look at the loose Euro change in my pocket.

Coins (United States of America)…sadly not much to add to several hundred already picked up at flea markets.

Coins (British pre-Decimal)…I really should work on this as this was the change in my pocket in the 1960s. And cheaply available and of interest to my grandson.

And not much to add in respect of Autographs, Football programmes, Phonecards, Toy Soldiers and Records.

Yes it was a good year.

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My Grandson (12) HasThe Collecting “Gene”

I have often said that collectors have a specific “collecting¬† gene”.

In my case, it is primarily Stamps and Postcards and to a lesser extent, Coins, PhoneCards, Plastic Toy Soldiers, 1960s records and….too much.

Obviously my sons took an interest in the Toy Soldiers so that my wife would often say “don’t play with daddy’s toys”.

A few years ago my oldest grandson (then about 5 years old) asked if he could have my Toy Soldiers when I die and I said “of course you can have them” and then he added …”granda…when are you going to die?”.

In the last few months, my second grandson (now 12) has become interested in Coins. And it was a wonderful bonding time this past weekend when we sat down and talked about Coins and looked thru my collection of Coins which is totally worthless.

He is really really interested. And it looks like he has inherited that “collecting gene”.

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