The following pages have been put together in the hope of stimulating interest in the study of our countries postage stamps and of the postal system from its inception to the present day. As a dealer in British Postal Stamps and Postal History, I find myself in a somewhat unique position. I am able, in the course of a few months, to purchase, handle and resale more stamps than the average collector might see in a lifetime. In doing so and indeed by living and working with stamps so closely, I have found that although a huge amount of knowledge and information is known on all aspects of British Philately, there is still much to learn and many gaps still to be filled.

During a working day I might well come across an item of interest only to find that I can discover little or nothing of its background. These articles then have been written with the intention of filling in a few gaps and generally expanding on certain ideas.

The reason for producing a work such as this is to transfer information from one mind, that of the author, to another mind, that of the reader. Books on philately are our main source of knowledge and it is the enthusiasts job to know as much of stamps as he can. The books have all the answers and this is simply another which I hope will tie up some loose ends and perhaps intrigue the reader enough to arouse further interest. Some areas of British Philately have been exhaustively researched. The penny black for instance, or perhaps the penny reds from 1841 to 1858, but little information exists on other sections of the hobby. The 1881 penny lilac controls are a prime example, barely two pages exist on the subject in the Gibbons Specialised Catalogue. What I am trying to say to the reader is that everywhere one looks there are gaps to be filled and that no matter how long our hobby may continue, there can never be enough information available to satisfy the appetite of the enthusiastic collector.