With over 30 years experience, Tony Buckingham is recognised worldwide as a leading authority on first day and commemorative covers. He was the first winner of the prestigious Rowland Hill Award for his contribution to philately.
Together with wife Cath, Tony founded and ran Benham Covers (the UK’s largest cover publisher) until he sold the company in 1997.
He edited Collect FDC for nearly 20 years and has served on the Philatelic Trade Society Council. He is a regular contributor to Stamp Magazine, Gibbons Stamp Monthly and other leading collectables publications.
He has also recently published his autobiography 'Gravediggers Apprentice.' https://www.amazon.co.uk/Gravediggers-Apprentice-Tony-Bucking ... apprentice
Buckingham Covers is based in Folkestone, Kent (South East England). It was founded in 2000, by 2 of the world's leading names in covers, Tony and Cath Buckingham.
Buckingham Covers, are designed and made in Folkestone and have grown and grown in popularity since then - and in most cases, doubled or tripled in price.
More people work here now but we are still a small company with a passion for covers, quality, customer service, charity fund raising and treating people decently.
Story of a Stamp Dealer Chapter 1
HOW IT ALL BEGAN
I have been asked before I go to that stamp collection in the sky to write about my stamp history. So I thought I would do a few mini chapters for you to peruse.
Group Captain Randle used to say he had been done by the best - I added I have been done by the rest. It was only when I started thinking about my start that I remembered my first time.
I was eight years old and like many of my generation a keen stamp collector (also a train spotting sad case) I of course collected the World. We were visited by a distant relation from Upside Down land that must have come over for the Coronation.
I proudly showed him my collection and he told me to stop collecting everything and to concentrate on GB and the Empire. I asked him what to do with the stamps I didn’t want and he said swap them, sell them, barter them for those that I did want.
So I became a mini dealer, fairly working catalogue value for catalogue value. Most of my friends were delighted to get 20-40 stamps in exchange for one but I was gradually building my mainly GB collection.
I also bought from a local collector dealer, Woolworth, and a stamp shop in St Albans when my parents went shopping. I distinctly remember being caught in class with my album and the teacher threw it in the waste paper basket together with the milk bottle tops, I was distraught but luckily a friend rescued it.
A month or so later my collection was stolen, an investigation was started and to my horror when it as found, the thief turned out to be the very same ‘friend’ who rescued it from the bin!
**End of Chapter 1**
By the time I went to Grammar School I was making up books of stamps to sell. I teamed up with a friend, Christopher Davies, he was known as the genius because he topped the Maths paper in the whole area (I was a miserable second.) We formed a business called the ‘ABCD Stamp Company.’
I used to go to the stamp club auctions and buy the collections no one wanted. They had probably been bought three or more time before, each time the good stamps being removed.
We counted at random 100 and put them in brown envelopes and sold them for 6d. One smug six former bought a packet and found a stamp catalogued £10, he came back to boast and to make us feel small. It was a great selling opportunity, we told everyone and sold loads more packets very quickly.
That first business lasted until I was 15 when I discovered not all women were called mummy and embarked on another hobby. (Safe to say train spotting also went at the same time!)
However, the seeds of my future in the stamp world had already been sown…
**End of Chapter 2**
Longest Reigning Monarch FDC (available to buy £15.95)
(Fingers Crossed this meets the Message Board rules)