STAMPA…the Irish National Stamp Exhibition is taking place over 17th October to 19th October. I journeyed up to Dublin for the first day yesterday.
Having first visited the Philatelic Bureau in the GPO, I got a stamped card, entitling me to €3 admission, rather than €5.
With a long line for the bus to the RDS, I decided to walk. Big mistake. Although it is a walk, I am used to…the journey remains unchanged but alas I have changed. I was tired and aching when I got there.
This year, the Stamp Fair ran alongside the annual Coin Fair and the lines between the two seemed blurred. Certainly, most people seemed to wander thru both. There was a small coffee bar but tables and chairs at a premium.
Indeed at the Stamp Fair, there was a distinct shortage of chairs. Not just at the Dealers tables. A Stamp Fair requires a lot of chairs. It is always good to get a chance to consult a “wants list”, write an envelope or just take a break.
As for the Dealers. Well…the thing about STAMPA…is that it is a chance to see the stock of some different Dealers. Armed with a pretty precise “Wants List”, I knew exactly what I wanted and I stuck to it.
My problem remains that I gave up Collecting for over ten years, resuming in 2012. I am pleased with the progress I have made. Yesterday, I was able to buy the three missing sets from 2008. And as I need them in “used” condition, I posted them to myself. If they are delivered, early next week, then I will have every Irish stamp mint and used from 2006 to 2014.
This of course means there are still a lot of sets to be obtained 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2005. But it is progress. Great progress. Certainly, if I maintain this progress, I might be able to be “complete” by STAMPA 2015.
Of course “complete” is a relative term. There are a handful of overprint stamps that I still need and I have no prospect of ever buying THAT coil (the 2d green map). But at least I will be “complete”, according to my own definition.
As for the Exhibition. I tend to feel sorry for Exhibitors. They are somehow squeezed between Dealers and Collectors. A lot of work goes into mounting a display and there does not seem a lot of interest. This year, two excellent displays …overprinted Seahorses on covers sent around the world. Likewise an excellent display of the “Airmail” stamps, postmarked in twenty six counties and mounted on a map of Ireland.
STAMPA is very much an “official” part of Irish Stamp Collecting. Stamp Collecting can be a social activity or an individual activity. Apart from a brief five years in the 1980s when I was a member of the Irish Philatelic Circle, I have always seen Stamp Collecting as an individual activity.
Finally …some good news. Declan O’Kelly, Cathedral Stamps now at Kimmage in South Dublin. I wish him well.