New stamp shop at Blickling aims to raise £100,000

Meet David in our new stamp shop © Paul Bailey

Meet David in our new stamp shop

Latest update 29.05.2013 11:37

A new second-hand stamp shop has opened at Blickling Hall in Norfolk – tasked with raising more than £100,000 to pay for the restoration of the estate’s walled garden.

Local man David Musson is the brains behind the scheme, having previously set-up the hall’s highly successful second-hand bookshop in 1999. The bookshop raises thousands of pounds every year for the National Trust, the charity which owns Blickling, and David hopes the stamp shop will do the same.

'Stamp-collecting has been a real passion of mine since I was a seven-year-old boy,” said David (76), from Sheringham. 'The bookshop has been a huge success over the years and I hope the stamp shop will be as well. We need to raise a lot of money to help restore the walled garden back to its former glory, so it may take some time but hopefully we’ll get there.'

The National Trust wants to see a working fruit and vegetable garden once again at the heart of Blickling Estate, providing visitors with truly local produce. Back in the 1930s, the walled garden provided Lord Lothian with all the fruit, vegetables and cut flowers the estate and its guests needed.

The stamp shop has opened with more than 150,000 stamps on sale, ranging from rare stamps like the Penny Black of 1840 to the most recently issued. There are stamps from all over the world, including obscure places like the Democratic Republic of São Tomé and Príncipe, a Portuguese-speaking island off the coast of West Africa.

All the stamps have been donated by kind-hearted supporters of the Trust and David would like to appeal for more.

'We would like stamps in any decent condition from any period – any country, any age, any subject,” said David. 'I’m particularly keen to hear from people looking to donate collections they no longer want.'

David also needs volunteers to help him run the shop. There is only one requirement – a love and knowledge of stamps!

David has been associated with the National Trust for more than 50 years, having first joined in 1961 as a land agent responsible for managing properties. He then spent six years at Blickling Hall, from 1969 until 1975, when he was senior land agent for the East of England.

After 14 years in Surrey, as Regional Director of the South East region, David retired and returned to Norfolk. His association with the National Trust continued and he has worked ever since as a volunteer, first at Felbrigg Hall and then at Blickling.

The Blickling Hall second-hand stamp shop is open Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays, from 11am to 4pm. Tel: 01263 738019.