Whether seeking a birthday treat or an homage to one’s hometown, collectors with the Strait Stamp Society continue to pin down new angles for their hobby.
Dozens of local and even international stamp collectors come together for Sequim’s one-day Strait Stamp Show on Saturday, Aug. 10, at the Sequim Masonic Lodge, 700 S. Fifth Ave.
Organizers anticipate about 200 people visiting the free, all-ages show.
“For a small, one-day show, that’s pretty good,” club member Phil Castell said.
As in previous shows, children receive free stamps with a penny stamp table available along with seven vendors who will appraise, buy and possibly trade for your stamp collections.
“They’ll be happy to tell you how good it is,” Strait Stamp Society club members said.
As a tip for aspiring collectors, club members recommend keeping collections in plastic sheets or stock cards without tape and glue because those can damage postage over time.
Club members will offer door prizes every hour featuring stock books, stamp jigsaw puzzles, stamp books and more.
Some of the many exhibitor include a spread on the Queen Mary by Roger Heath, an international award-winning stamp collector and exhibitor. Of the 30-plus exhibits, they’ll focus on postage featuring the birds of Papua New Guinea, Japanese children, Antarctic territory, flowers and more.
Organizers anticipate Victoria collectors attending and exhibiting as well.
The club continues its tradition of offering a local letter and stamp this year honoring the 100th Clallam County Fair, plus a custom cow stamp created by the club.
Some collections can take a while to develop as club members hunt at shows or search the Internet.
Show organizer Cathie Osborne’s collection centered around her birthday. “It took a few years before I was willing to let people know how old I am,” she said.
Born on Jan. 26, 1947, Osborne said she looks for stamps and cancellations issued on her birthday, whether the year or day. She’s categorized her collection from her actual birthday followed by stamps through the years.
Osborne said she was born on a Sunday so it is hard to find issued stamps on that specific date, but she said she does have a cancellation from the day before.
After exhibiting the collection previously, she plans to incorporate more people including Wayne Gretzky and Paul Newman, with whom she shares a birthday.
Castell said he’s been scaling back some on his collection but for the last five years he’s continued to look for stamp-related items to or from his hometown of Blackpool, England.
He’s slowly picked up things as he comes across them on eBay through searches.
One of his more unique finds includes a vintage postcard from a resident to the sanitation department seeking support to unclog a drain.
He also has a letter from a prisoner of war during World War II sent to Blackpool from a Germany prisoner of war camp.
A more lighthearted part of his collection includes a postcard of Blackpool featuring his parents. While eating his breakfast in the mid-1980s, Castell’s son James noticed his grandparents in a tiny portion of a place mat he was eating on.
They’ve become a piece of tourism history for the city as Phil said he’s seen it on plates, T-shirts and postcards for years.
A newer attraction for Sequim collectors includes a mid-month morning meeting at Burger King where they sort bags of penny stamps.
Osborne said shows sell large bags for less than $30 and you can receive about 8,000 stamps or so.
“A lot of what we get from it is sitting and talking about everything like the history,” Osborne said.
“It’s not high value, but unique and interesting,” club member Bruce Halstead said.
Regular meetings for the Strait Stamp Society are at 6 p.m. on the first Thursday of each month at the Sequim Library, 630 N. Sequim Ave. For more information, call 360-683-6373.
Reach Matthew Nash at email@example.com.