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AN INTRODUCTION TO MYSELF AND THIS WEBSITE

DANGER: People with a weak disposition should be careful when going to the bottom of this page, as there is a picture of myself that some people might find is more than they can handle after a meal or before a stiff drink.

  

    Welcome to my website. I hope that you find the enclosed pages of some use for your collecting requirements and that you enjoy having a browse around this site. The original production of this site started in 1998 and I believe was then and still is now the most advanced GB stamp site in the world. I can't take too much credit for it I'm afraid, that has to go to Michael, my web designer, who has had to put up with me telling him how I want it to look and work and then having to go off and make it happen. Thankfully over the years I have learnt how to do most of it, but Michael still has to do the real technical stuff when needed. To say that it has taken literally thousands of hours to put together is an understatement. My contribution has been mostly enjoyable except when things don't go the way they were planned and then it's a nightmare. If it doesn't contain the things you are looking for, then please contact me via the feedback/contact me link in the top links panel on every page, as I have far more in GB that is not listed.

A lot of people like to know something about the person that they deal with. At a Stamp fair, you can spend time chatting, getting to know each other and in many cases become friends. Unfortunately, the internet doesn't really cater for the personal touch, so I thought a brief introduction to myself wouldn't go amiss. So, here goes-

I am 54 years old or young as I try to think (I was only 38 when I penned the first version of this, how time flies). I am married to Bobbie, real name Roberta, but she hates being called it. Over 32 years now with two children, a boy and a girl.
Anthony who is 25 and despite my trying to get him interested in the Stamp Business decided that Plumbing and gas fitting was more to his liking and he now runs his own business, so if you need a plumber or a gas fitter and are local then..... 
Louise, who is 19. My nightmare teenager was Anthony, but that roll has now been taken over by Louise who is very good at it!.
Over the years I have learnt, like all other parents, that kids don't get easier as they get older, the problems just change, but I wouldn't be without them, but we did stop, once we had a pair.

 For the first part of my working life I used to be a builder (I know, somewhat different) with my own business and until the slump of the late 80's things were wonderful. Unfortunately when the bubble did burst, it was firms like mine that didn't survive because we didn't cut corners and couldn't compete with the cowboys.

 In 1990 I was taken to a stamp fair by a friend and very quickly got the bug, picking up my old childhood collection and realizing that it wasn't as fantastic or worth the fortune I had always believed. I read everything I could find on stamps and brought everything, singles, collections and accumulations that I could afford (or not). I then realized that I was buying lots for just one or two stamps that they contained and had a mass of material just sitting around. What to do with the leftovers?

 It was then that I started to trade at stamp fairs (I had trouble filling a 3 foot table at first, now I couldn't fit on 30' with a quarter of the stock). I quickly moved into dealing solely in all aspects of GB and specialist GB first day covers. In 1993 I was lucky enough to be offered a job by one of the largest GB dealers in the country, which enabled me to see and handle some of the things that I only ever dreamed of having myself. First with stamps but then first day covers. I used to have a very successful FDC site as well, but the workload just got too much, so I sold it. I'm still owed a ;pt of the money for it, but that's another story. Just one piece of advise on it though, don't sell anything to Mr Derek Klein of Markton Stamps, Riddlington, the man is a convicted crook and you will be lucky if you get paid.

 To say that I lived stamps is not overstating the fact, as my wife will testify. Working full time in London, coming home and working on my own stock and doing two stamp fairs each weekend. She almost wanted to start charging me rent as I treated home like a hotel. But I had a dream! I hoped that the end would justify the means.

As part of my job, I became a buyer for the company and purchased some of the best collections and single items that have come onto the market. I also produced regular auction or buy/bid catalogues. I have (so I'm told) become one of the countries recognized "experts" on first day covers. I use the term loosely, as there are many people with far more knowledge than I. I'm told, I'm pretty good with stamps as well.

Over the years, as my own business got bigger and bigger I reduced my commitment to my job to the stage where it wasn't practical to do both. So, in June 2000 I took the plunge and resigned to become a full time dealer in my own right. I joined the Philatelic Traders Society (for those who don't know, the PTS is an organization that has a set of rules that are there to insure that members operate honestly and fairly and to give you added confidence in the way I do business) and started to do STAMPEX. The only part of my business now is the site you are visiting.  The first version went on line in October 99 thanks to the endeavors of my friend Frank Mardle who showed me how to use a computer from scratch. He got the site off the ground and convinced me it would work and that I could learn about hyperlinks, databases, etc, etc. He was right, the only trouble is now I can't leave it alone. 

Whilst the old versions of the site received a lot of praise, I was always aware of things like search engines, shopping carts and check out systems that just couldn't work on the old site and I really wanted them. The trouble is the size of the stock is huge and most carts can't handle it all. I haven't actually had a look, but I'm sure that my stock items number more than Tesco. This was where Michael came in. He has designed and built the programme that runs this site from scratch. I can't heap enough praise on him, have a look around the site and decide for yourself. It really is a work of art!!

I now have the pleasure of dealing with people from all over the world, who wouldn't have heard of me in a million years if it wasn't for the internet. So, I'm a true believer. My wife says I love stamps more than her. As with nearly all the dealers I know, you do have to love stamps to do the job as it's probably an 80 hour week at least. As for loving them more than her, I'll take the 5th amendment on that.

I plan on staying in this business for the rest of my life (hopefully), so please remember that if you order something and you are not happy with it, just return it for a full refund or if there is any problem, please don't just disappear, talk to me. I'm not here to just take your money and run.

Finally, below is a picture of myself just in case you want to see if I have an honest face! Sorry if it damages your system!
And really finally, there is the rest of my gang.

 

Alright, I know. I used to look like this, but Pierce Brosnan kept getting mistaken for me, so I had to change my hairstyle as below .

My Better Half!!!

My Teenager. She's lovely really!

Anthony, at last, a new picture!

Lastly, all together ish!!

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