Stamp Active at Stampex 2022 with Competition Results

The Kids Zone at Stampex International welcomed more visitors than for some years. After many years of trying to attract groups, Stamp Active were pleased to welcome three school classes from St. Johns Primary School, Highbury Vale and L’Ecole des Petits School in Battersea and Copenhagen Primary School in Islington. The level of interest and enthusiasm for the activities was brilliant. The team put on a short presentation about the introduction of stamps in dedicated areas in two gallery bays at the Business Deign Centre, followed by an activity session which included choosing their favourite stamps and mounting them on a page, a quiz and designing their own stamp. One group also created Stamp Art, a session that was introduced by Suzanne Rae of Art Stamped. There was a prize to one of the children in each school group who guessed the quantity of stamps in a sack and all the kids were given a goodie bag to take home with a guide to stamp collecting, activity book and other philatelic items. Sophie Moyon, the Librarian of L’Ecole des Petits, wrote “All the children enjoyed it a lot and many came to register for the school philatelic society”.

The Youth Zone at the back of the mezzanine had a display of Animal stamps with related activities. These allowed them to gain points to exchange for philatelic items or use in the popular children’s auction on Saturday afternoon. Notwithstanding the impact of the train strike on Saturday, the auction was well attended with an enthusiastic and noisy crowd that must have resonated around the Hall. Auctioneer, Keith Burton, showed his usual enthusiasm and there was spirited bidding in the auditorium as youngsters targeted their favourite items. There was lively bidding for all the lots of offer, with youngsters using the points they had achieved completing the activities in the Kids Zone. At the end of the auction, there was a draw for a Penny Black and Twopenny Blue, sponsored by Mulready Philatelics. This was won by Anastasis Henningham of Hackney, aged 8 who was delighted with her prize.

There was also an opportunity to “Spin a Prize” and a “Lucky Dip”. The introduction of a paddling pool full of stamps created another fun element for the young visitors with a chance to choose their favourite twenty stamps.

At the start of the auction, the Young Collector of the Year, Abdullah Usman, aged 15, from London, was presented with his trophies, certificate and a framed set of James Bond stamps as his prize by Susan Henderson, Chair of Stamp Active. Abdullah has created his own Facebook account and featured Stamp Active and Kidstamps after a visit to the London 2022 International Stamp Exhibition.

One group of children who are home-tutored were particularly excited by their first experience of stamp collecting and their leaders have already promoted the event on the community Facebook group. We are expecting to see numbers grow from their recommendations.

Suzanne Rae of the PTS wrote of Facebook “Did you get a chance to visit the Youth Zone at Stampex? Let us know what activities you most enjoyed! Thank you so much to the Stamp Active team for everything they do to support Youth Philately at Stampex and beyond!” and later…“What better way to attract kids and school groups to Stampex than a paddling pool full of stamps?!? Thank you to the team at Stamp Active for inviting me to get involved in the stamp art activity at the show. My favourite Stamp Art piece was a unicorn holding a tennis racket. There really is no limit to the hobby of stamp collecting and stamp crafting.”

Many junior stamp clubs have yet to fully resume after the problems caused by the Covid pandemic but, despite this, there was an encouraging level of entries to the three youth stamp competitions. All were displayed, either in the Youth Zone or a special booth on the mezzanine. The best overall entry in the British Youth Stamp Championships was from Magnus Cameron on “19th Century Postmarks of Leeds” who was awarded a Large Silver Gilt Medal and special prize. Hayden Moorcoft was Best in Class in the 14 to 16 age group with an exhibit of Guernsey Regionals. Maria McLoughlin was the best overall entry in the Stamp Active Competition, sponsored by The Great Britain Philatelic Society, awarded a Gold Medal and a special prize of a Stampex medal. The one page competition for beginners on the theme of “Our Natural World” also had a large number of entries.

The full results of the competitions are given below.

Susan Henderson, Chair of Stamp Active, commented “Anyone who thinks that children have no interest in stamps should have come to see the school groups at Stampex. The level of excitement in finding their favourite stamps and completing the various activities with real enthusiasm was a delight. Most of the children would have been happy to spend a lot more time at the show. We are hoping that the schools will share their experiences and we can welcome them back in the future. Our thanks to the PTS for supporting youth philately.”

The judges gave the following awards to the youth exhibits:

British Youth Stamp Championships

Class C (14 to 16)

Jessica Corbett                  Animals in Books & Films                           Small Silver

Rhys Hart                           The Battle of Britain                                    Small Silver-Gilt

Maria McLoughlin              Wildings in their many forms                       Small Silver

Hayden Moorcroft             Guernsey Regionals (1958-1969)                Large Silver-Gilt & Best in Class

Class A (19 to 21)

Magnus Cameron              19th Century Postmarks of Leeds                Large Siilver Gilt, Best in Class & Best Overall Exhibit

Magnus Cameron              Ukraine: 1918 Shahiv Issue                         Small Silver

Magnus Cameron              1940: The Olympics and the War                 Small Silver-Gilt

Stamp Active Competition        

Class A (14 to 16)

Rhyliy Bishop           The Silver Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II           Silver Bronze

Maria McLoughlin     The variability of British First day Covers         Gold

Class C (10 & 11)

Peter Talks               Amazing Marine Life                                           Silver Bronze

Group Entry

3rd Alloway Brownies & 1st Dalmilling Brownies: Fun at the Farm Park:      Silver

“Our Living World” One Page Competition

Prize Winners were:

7 Years and Under:            1st:      Mila Beattie *, 2nd:     Riona Begen *, 3rd:   Caitlyn McFarlane *

8 & 9 Years:                        1st:      Anna Finlay *,  2nd Heather McGill *

10 and over:                        1st:      Maria McLoughlin, 2nd:     Dawn Grey *, 3rd:  Tannish Timma

The 1st and 3rd Alloway Brownies from Alloway in Scotland rather swept the board picking up most of the prizes in this competition *.

The Chairman of the Judges, Richard West, commented “We were pleased with the level of entries and high standards were achieved, particularly in the Championships (national level) Class. Given that many school stamp clubs have still not resumed after Covid, it was encouraging to see that individual entries were still being received.”