A – Z April Challenge

Over the course of the coming month the Around the World in Stamps and Postcards blog will be taking part in the April A – Z Blogging Challenge.

Each day a post will be published representing the letters of the alphabet – 1st April is A, 2nd April is B and so forth. The only exception is there is NO post on Sunday!

Long time readers of my Guildford and District blog may recognise some of the images as they are favourites whilst others are brand new and from collection.

So stayed tuned! You can see who else is participating in the A – Z Challenge by visiting the participants lists at www.a-to-zchallenge.com

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10th (Prince of Wales’s Own Royal) Hussars

10th Hussars - Gale & P

From the personal collection of Julie Goucher

My 4 x Great Grandfather, George Ellis enlisted in the regiment in the regiment on 28th March 1797 when he was 21 years old. He served 20 years and 48 days before being discharged on 14th May 1817.

An example of the dress worn by those in the 10th Royal Hussars

An example of the dress worn by those in the 10th Royal Hussars. From the personal collection of Julie Goucher

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A-Z Challenge 2015

A2Z-BADGE-0002015-LifeisGood-230_zps660c38a0Over at my regular blog I have routinely taken part in the A – Z Challenge. I like the friendliness and team spirit and over the years more genealogical bloggers have taken part.

Since the end of last year I have been working on a project, which is what this blog is all about, and have decided to participate here in the A-Z Challenge.

If you want to take part then look no further than the sign up page HERE

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Concorde Stamp 1969

Growing up around 40 miles from London it is probably no surprise that the sky’s above contained many aircraft either landing or taking off en-route to somewhere wonderful. Concorde often flew overhead and despite being around 30,000 feet above in the air it was an incredibly noisy plane.

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This Concorde stamp dates from 1969, and is shared today because on 26th November 2003 Concorde made its final flight over Bristol, around 90 miles from where I currently live.

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Philatelic Counter at Guildford Post Office on 21st October 1981

Having explored the delights of the stamp shop collecting and feasting on the stamps of yesteryear I also gathered various First Day Covers (FDC) and commemoration postcards.

This one is a favourite and forms part of my Guildford and District Collection. As a child there was something rather magical in going to the post office and purchasing the First Day cover, addressing it to yourself and then awaiting it to be delivered.

This postcard was no exception. It was produced to celebrate the opening of the Head Post Office and the Philatelic Counter at Guildford on 21st October 1981.


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The One Penny Orange Mystery by Morris Ackerman – Book Review


I was intrigued with I saw this book , and reminded of happy memories of 40 years ago when my Grandfather put a 1p British stamp into a matchbox and told me to see if I could find any others amongst a pile of envelopes.

The book made it’s way across the Atlantic and I was fairly impatient to start reading.

There was a real sense of innocence about this book. The storyline and the characters and I knew within a page or two that I was going to enjoy it.

The character names are great, a play on the world of stamp collecting, which all starts when a British Official who spent many years working for the Government, first in India then in Mauritius fleas the start of an uprising taking with him a set of old historical papers.

The character, which has the wonderful name of Major Edward Postmark returns to Mauritius after some years to the house which he owns to sell up before returning to England. He sorts through his belongings in the house and comes across the pile of papers he recalls fleeing the embassy with years before. Amongst the papers is the One Penny Orange Stamp which is the catalyst of the whole mystery.

What follows through the rest of the pages is the valuation and then eventual sale of the stamp alas it is not without its problems. The author introduces readers to a series of characters, the stamp authenticator, stamp dealer, security agents and rather enthusiastic stamp collectors. Also thrown into the mix is a few red herrings. All of these individuals wish to own a valuable stamp, and some are prepared to regardless of the stakes.

The mystery structure was a good one, I certainly did not solve the who done it before the end of the book. This was a great book, with a strong storyline and none of the violence that perhaps might have wielded into the pages. It was a gentle page turner and it is this gentleness that had an innocence about it which I enjoyed.

This has potential for the start of a series, perhaps involving a Two Pence Stamp, but we will have to wait and see, but I do hope so. I loved this book and is certainly one of the favourites for the year.

The book which I do recommend is available from Amazon US, UK and Book Depository

Disclaimer – I was provided with a copy of this book by the author in exchange for an honest review.

This book was read 20th – 22nd March 2013 and the review was published at my shelf LibraryThing

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Guildford Railway Station

Railway StationThe postcard shown here dates from the early 1920’s and shows the forecourt to the railway station at Guildford. It is certainly the view my maternal Grandparents would have seen around this time.

When I was growing up it looked to some degree like this and it was that I recalled when I spotted this postcard a decade ago.

During the 1970’s and 1980’s when my stamp collecting was going full force there was a stamp shop in the row of shops on the approach to the station entrance. I am sure it was owned by a chap called John. Whatever he was called he was always welcoming and I usually left with some goodies and still have the pair of stamp tweezers he gave me thirty years ago.

Once or twice I talked to Mum, should I part with the collection. Nothing especially valuable, and Mum would always say the same thing, “they are yours and it is up to you.” Each time I would just have one last look through before parting with them, but find myself putting them back in the case, which is why I still have them today and why this blog has come into existence.

Happy memories!

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photo (2)When I was about 3 or so my Grandfather gave me a pile of stamps and a match box. The task was to put the one penny (1p) stamps in the match box. I guess it was a cheap and safe way of keeping me occupied whilst he did other tasks. I don’t recall the other tasks, but I do recall the event and I still have the one penny (1p) stamp.

Over time I was intrigued by stamps and like many children of my generation, I took up stamp collecting. Later on I became immersed in my family history which in turn lead me to local history and postcards.

This blog is the beginning of a new project that I am working on, so I do hope you will stop by again as this project gets under way.


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