First class Ilford exhibition: From hurricanes to the Penny Black meet the man who makes stamp collecting exciting

PUBLISHED: 13:00 16 October 2018 | UPDATED: 13:06 16 October 2018

Tony first fell in love with stamp collection when he was seven years old. Picture: Tony Hoad

Tony first fell in love with stamp collection when he was seven years old. Picture: Tony Hoad


Letters from an aeroplane crash, relics from a national disaster and correspondence between long lost lovers.

1933 block of four. Picture: Tony Hoad1933 block of four. Picture: Tony Hoad

Stamp collecting doesn’t initially sound very sexy, but when you delve a little deeper you will find out that each postage marking has a wealth of information behind it, giving insight into the environment, politics and how people lived.

To celebrate 70 years of loving stamps, Goodmayes Philatelic Society is holding an exhibition at Redbridge Central Library in Clements Road, Ilford, showing just how exciting the activity can be.

Committee member, Tony Hoad has been collecting stamps for more than 40 years, and despite once finding a misprinted label worth £4,000 he said he doesn’t do it for financial gain.

“It sounds really boring but it’s not just about going down the post office and buying a pack of 1st class,” he said.

LT Col Jones stamp circa 1982. Picture: Tony HoadLT Col Jones stamp circa 1982. Picture: Tony Hoad

“There are so many ways to collect from new special editions and old stamps to envelopes from aeroplane crashes or hurricanes.

“It’s a fantastic hobby if you get into it.”

Tony first got excited about stamps when he was seven years old, and he hasn’t looked back ever since.

His dad bought him a set from Tristan da Cunha - a group of volcanic islands in the Atlantic Ocean - and he was fascinated by this remote cluster of exotic territories quite literally a world away from the London borough of Redbridge. Now he has amassed tens of thousands of stamps and he tours around London and Essex giving talks about his collection.

1933 whale stamp with original artwork. Picture: Tony Hoad1933 whale stamp with original artwork. Picture: Tony Hoad

“My favourite stamps are from the Falkland Islands - and they are included in the display at the library,” he added.

“It is a remote place in the Atlantic with lots of wildlife including seals, nature and of course the war.

“There is a really wide range of stamps from there.”

The Goodmayes Philatelic Society was established in 1948 with the hope of attracting stamp collectors from Ilford, Seven Kings, Chadwell Heath and surrounding areas.

The club would invite guest speakers down to meetings and hold competitions and serve refreshments.

The format is very much the same three score and 10 years later, and for an annual membership price of £7.50, participants can learn about stamps, and socialise every other week.

The club has around 50 members and committee members are keen to get more residents involved to ensure the hobby continues locally.

“Most people into it are in their 50s and beyond or retired and there is a worry that it will die out after our generation,” he added.

“Young people today are more interested in their phones.

“In China and India, however, there is a growing trend of young people taking it up and collecting anything from the Penny Black to modern stamps.

“We really hope it carries on herE and people will take up the legacy of stamp collecting

“It is not just buying them - it is a whole learning experience.”

And if you are going to choose a new hobby, a selling point for taking up stamp collecting is that it doesn’t take up a whole lot of room even when you collect thousands of them.

“I store them in albums in some sort of order, usually alphabetically or thematically,” he explained.

“They do have to be kept in an area that is not too cold or damp and you can buy special albums to help preserve them.

“You need to look after them it is really important how they are kept.”

To celebrate the 70th anniversary of Goodmayes Philatelic Society join Tony Hoad for a special Heritage tea time on Wednesday, October 17, 2.30pm to 3.30pm.

He will speak about the history of the society from its earliest days and share his memories over a cup of tea.

Guests will then be able to view the club’s exhibition at Redbridge Central Library, at the Redbridge Heritage Centre, Clements Road, Ilford.

Tickets can be booked in advance via Eventbrite or at the library.

For more information call 0208 708 9055 or email

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