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STAMPEX in the Eye of a Novice

From Eric Simmonds, Reading, Berks

Wednesday 19th

My day starts at 5.30 a.m. As usual the train is delayed and the dulcet tones of the station announcers apology do not enthral me at 6 am. Arriving at Kings Cross I learn that trains are not running to the Angel, Islington so it’s a taxi. Now the day really begins.

I must say I was really impressed by the British design Centre Building with security at a premium yet I was welcomed with a smile and a pleasant “Good morning!” On finding the ASSS stand I set to work putting up posters and copies of the front cover of the last 30 Orbits to adorn the back wall and then I put out the fliers and pamphlets and freebies which PRO Godfrey Winston has obtained for the show.

As I take a short breather a lady approaches me carrying a chair and selling it down she introduces herself as our Chairperson (Margaret Morris) – obviously! Together we rearrange some features of the stand and talk about what we can bring the next day to add more colour and interest to the area. We decide to run the booth as an open house for people to read in and sit and talk about Orbit and the Society.

The exhibits by members are of a high standard, easy to walk around and for me a delight to view and photograph, but my main criticism is the lighting which makes viewing and photographing a problem, not just around our exhibition but elsewhere on the upper floor.

Thursday 20th

Eight prospective new members express much enthusiasm on various aspects and two more join there and then after looking at a copy of Orbit. During a breather I am able to talk to several traders all of whom were very helpful and provided generous discounts on seeing my ASSS badge — an unexpected delight. Back at the stand Mr. Peter Duck of the Scouts P.S. with whom I have corresponded turns up and Margaret Moms introduces me to many eminent people in the stamp world. ASSS member no 008 John Guy joins me at the stand for a few hours and we spend a couple of hours in interesting conversation, again being visited from time to time by many passers by.

At 6 p.m. it’s time to head for home and after saying farewells and thanks for knowledge imparted I express my regrets I cannot stay longer or return on future days. I would so liked to have met more ASSS members who are to turn up later in the week!

Constructive Criticism

We could have done with more information somewhere along the line about the size and furnishing of the stand to allow us to show off the Society to its full potential for when you look at the exhibits you can see the quality within the Society. The purpose of the stand was to attract new members and we did this by talking to people who stopped.

Our display was fine but it wasn’t a magnet judging by the glances of passers-by.

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