Tuesday, 19 May 2009

First Day Covers...

When Tom was born, some friends of my parents gave me £50 for him. Being the first baby to come along in a long time, he already had an impressive wardrobe and so I wondered what I could do with this money. I decided to open an account with British Philatelic Bureau (later to become part of the Royal Mail) and start a collection of first day covers.

The collection is still going strong and has now been transferred over to No2's name on the envelope (I found it really hard receiving things through the post with Tom's name still on it). Every month a new set of stamps is issued and I still get excited about it! Looking through the collection this morning to photograph some for this post, I realised that we have a little bit of history in our albums. Stamps are issued for significant events and celebrations, so we have a our own timeline for the boys' lifetime.

1996 Olympics & Paralympics

One of the first set of stamps produced after Tom was born, in 1993, marked the centenary of the letter that was to become one of the most famous of children's books, The Tale of Peter Rabbit. 1993 was also the 50th year of Beatrix Potter's death on 22nd December 1943. I always like to think that I named Tom after Tom Kitten as I am a huge Beatrix Potter fan. He was often called Tom Kitten by friends and family, so this was an unexpected surprise.

Today sees the issue of a set of 1st class stamps depicting UK plant species in recovery together with the 250th Anniversary of Kew Gardens.

We always like the postmarks. They are carefully chosen for each set of stamps to associate with the subject. Some of them are obvious but others are fun. I'd love to have the job of finding all the quirky places to go with each set. Did you notice that the Olympic ones were posted in Much Wenlock, home of the first modern Olympic games?

Here's a few of our favourites...

:: posted in Morecombe ::

:: posted in Freezywater, Enfield ::

:: posted in Mousehole, Penzance ::

The Christmas ones are always posted in Bethlehem, Wales, which I was thrilled to discover was just a couple of miles up the road from Bantwen.

Blogger has just about driven me nuts doing this post, with its mind of its own when it comes to positioning and layout. And my photos aren't great... the battery was dying on my camera and it's SO grey here at the moment!


  1. What an interesting post. My ex used to collect first day covers, but not regularly like you have. I think it's a lovely thing to have done, and as you say - they each have a bit of a story attached, don't they? x

  2. That's such a lovely idea. I remember collecting first day covers when I was a small person - I'd forgotten all about them. I had no idea they were so clever with the postmarks.

  3. I think the postmarks are as neat as the stamps. And I adore the children's book illustration ones. K x

  4. What a lovely idea, and a great piece of history to pass on to generations to come!

  5. what a fantastic collection, I had no idea about the post marks either, so clever xx


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