Fundraising to the letter at Blickling's stamp shop

A collection of stamps from Belize
Published : 31 May 2016 Last update : 01 Jun 2016

With around one million stamps ranging in value from a couple of pence to several thousand pounds, the Blickling stamp shop has been generating charity funds for the National Trust for several years.

The brainchild of the late David Musson, whose credits also include opening charity bookshops at Felbrigg and Blickling which have raised hundreds of thousands of pounds, the shop is lined with catalogues, albums, tubs of loose stamps and show stamps.
 
At the moment the shop, staffed by volunteers (Wednesday to Sunday, 11am-4pm) is seeking new volunteers to give a couple of hours a week and trying to raise awareness of its existence.  If you're interested in finding out more about volunteering, please get in touch.
 
The money the shop raises, about £70,000 in the last four years, goes towards the restoration of the walled garden, except for revenue from a small specific collection which used to belong to Mr Musson, which is split between other Trust sites.
 
" We rely on donations of stamps from people, volunteers sorting through and cataloguing those donations, and then manning the shop and speaking to visitors and collectors."
- Mike Carter, stamp shop manager
Discover some of the million stamps in the stamp shop
Mike Carter holding an album of stamps in the stamp shop

 
“We have about a million stamps, with lots and lots of duplicates, but we estimate there are between 200,000 and 300,000 different stamps in here. We often find people have an album or two tucked away
in a dusty loft or untouched in a bookshelf and they typically don’t know what is in it. They come to us and they may let us have all of it, or they may keep some of it and give us the remainder" says Mike, a retired bank manager and Horning’s former postmaster.
 
“We can’t buy anything from people, but we are always happy to cast an eye and give a view on a collection and its potential value."
 
" We are keen to see more people wanting to buy, but if you’re a collector, don’t forget to bring your ‘wants list’."
- Mike Carter, stamp shop manager
 
"If you know nothing about stamps and just want to browse to find something of interest, you will be made most welcome.”
 
 
You can find the stamp shop, next to the Stables cafe, on the path up to the farmyard, where you'll also find the plant centre, second-hand bookshop and farmyard cafe.
 
 
Re-produced with the kind permission of Just Regional