I was introduced to stamp collecting by a cousin when I was just a child, and like many at the time, started by receiving approval books through the post, and did this until my early teens.

Like many, the interest waned and my collection was put aside.

After leaving college and returning home, a stamp shop opened near my mother’s hairdressing shop. I went along and met Ann Walsh, who was a great inspiration, and who set me off collecting again.

I started with the USA, (because it was cheap and reedally available) and really became totally engrossed in the hobby. On a Thursday evening, a few of us used to meet at her shop, Old collectors, new collectors and those in between. I learnt such a lot from these more experienced collectors.

Ann suggested that I look at selling my surplus, and the selling bug hit! Whilst my children were little, I was given the opportunity to help Ann with her shop stock, preparing it for sale, and learnt invaluable lessons from her. This included her specialist George VI collection – at this time such valuable stamps were well outside my collecting copacity . It was a perfect way to increase my knowledge with someone prepared to invest in my future ability, and who instilled a very high standard of perfection for the stamp.

Unfortunately, Ann died suddenly, in her early 50’s, which was a big knockback to many collectors, including myself as she was a very good friend, and inspiration. After her loss, I continued to collect, but with less inthusiasm.

After a few more years, and the children were older, the interest was rekindled, and then my stamp collection was revived. The selling bug also returned.

It was suggested to me by another stamp dealer, that with my knowledge, and my attention to detail for the stamps, I should seriously consider selling stamps.

As such Manor Stamps was born.

Despite my knowledge of stamps, the internet is very much a mystery in me, and when it became clear that Antique fairs were just the tip of the iceberg for my selling, my daughter Claire stepped in to help with the computer side of the business. It wasn’t long before the stamp collecting bug started to bite with her, which makes the business even more enjoyable. Added to this, my husband, became a keen collecter and has been a vaulable help in many aspecs of the business. It’s also rather reassuring that when I die, my collection will not be put in a skip or sold for a few pounds!

Knowledge learnt over many years is never lost, and gives a great foundation to learn more.

Michelle

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