The Philatelic Traders' Society - I am a long standing member of The Philatelic Traders' Society.
The PTS is a UK based society with 100s of members from around the world, established since 1929. All Members of the Society are subject to the approval of the PTS Council and its membership. Applicants must provide references which are rigorously checked, and only when the Council is satisfied are they affiliated. Each Member agrees to abide by a Code of Ethics and the Articles of Association. Complaints and disputes between collectors, dealers and Members are taken up by the Society, and this is the Guarantee of Integrity extended to all those who deal with PTS Members.
The PTS organises Stampex International which is Europe's largest stamp exhibition and has been running for over 60 years. Stampex is twice a year at The Business Design Centre in Islington, London.
The Modern British Philatelic Circle - If you collect the type of items for sale in my store, then you may well already be an MBPC member. If you aren't then I can thoroughly recommend it. As a member, you receive the Bookmark Journal 6 times a year, have access to regular exclusive member only auctions and are part of a large network of like minded collectors. The annual subscription is very low (£8 at the time of writing) and although members come from far and wide, there are meetings a couple of times a year. The MBPC publish the Bookmark catalogue (8th edition currently in the pipeline) which, along with the Deegam Machin Handbook, is indispensable.
The SB, DB and DP series for cataloguing decimal stamp books and panes and the Loveland scale for perforation condition, which are used by Jerwood Philatelics, are the copyright of the Modern British Philatelic Circle (MBPC) and are used under Licence with the Circle’s kind permission.
The Complete Deegam Machin Handbook - The Complete Deegam Machin Handbook has been the "bible" for specialist Machin collectors since it was first published in 1993. Originally authored by the late Douglas Myall, a renowned specialist on this iconic stamp issue, it is still available from his website on CD-ROM. Regular updates by Hanns Fasching & Gerry Fisk are included in the purchase price. It is immense in it's scope and detail, daunting to the newcomer, engrossing and utterly indispensible.
The Deegam reference numbers and notations, which are used by Jerwood Philatelics, are the copyright of Douglas G.A. Myall and are used with his kind permission, as given generally on page P-1 of the Handbook, in return for this acknowledgement and copyright notice.
Solihull Philatelic Society - If you happen to live anywhere near me then I can recommend joining Solihull PS. In an era when member numbers are often falling and some societies are struggling to continue, Solihull continues to thrive. It is the only club in the region that meets weekly from September through to April and it has an excellent and varied programme of speakers. The programme secretary is a member of the Royal Philatelic Society London and as such has very good links throughout the philatelic world. It is not uncommon to have national and international award winning collections displayed there. The society also hosts an annual auction for which I am the auctioneer.
Anthony Wakefield & Co. Ltd - Ensuring that your collection is adequately insured will no doubt be a priority for many of you. Fortunately, I have never had cause to make a claim on any policy I have held, but over the years I have come to the conclusion that it is much better to have a separate specialist policy for a stamp collection. General household insurers simply do not have sufficient knowledge about stamps and postal history and, in my opinion, this could cause problems in the event of a claim. There are several specialist insurance brokers out there but for the past couple of years I have given my business to Anthony Wakefield. His prices are competitive and he provides policies not just for stamps but many kinds of art, antiques and collectibles.
Art Stamped by Suzanne Rae - In her own words: "I collected stamps as a child, spending my spare pocket money on stamps. My friends at school didn’t look at stamps in the same way I did – a never ending world of exploring, paired with the competitive (and slightly obsessive) opportunity to fill pre-defined spaces in a childhood album. So, I started making flowers, cards and crafts out of my duplicate stamps and suddenly others understood my passion – the colours, themes, history, beauty – each and every stamp, a chance to discover something new.
Fast forward 20 years. I was working long hours for an international oil company and travelling to and from Africa most weeks. When I got home, I needed to switch off from the stresses of work. I remembered my stamp collection and the feeling I got sorting stamps and exploring their stories. I bought some African stamps and made a stamp art map of Africa as a statement piece for my living room. I fell in love with stamps all over again. Soon I was shopping for more, making stamp art for friends and selling the excess stamps I didn’t need to pay for frames and more supplies. My Granny passed away and left me a small amount of money to 'follow my dreams'. I couldn't think of anything that brought me more joy than working with stamps and getting them on show and into people's lives.
Art Stamped was born, and in the last four years, it has been a stamp whirlwind of fairs, Stampexes, social media, philatelic society dinners, stamp art, quitting my day job, selling stamps, working with other stamp enthusiasts, and generally promoting the hobby I love. Today, I find myself working full time at Art Stamped and in my spare time, I am Chairman of the Philatelic Traders' Society - a society for respected stamp dealers from around the world. I am also a proud member of the Royal Philatelic Society London. I can't wait to see what 2019 brings."