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Saturday, 5 September 2015

Stamp Dealing as Work ...


Friday 4th September

04.30. 
Get up, shower, tea and biscuits

05.00.
Leave home, drive into Central London, a 60 mile / 100 km journey which this morning takes one hour and fifty minutes (which is good: this is England. We don't do fast roads).

06.50
Unload car, park car, set up my table at Central London's monthly stamp fair  at Russell Square (near both Euston and Kings Cross / St Pancras Stations). Officially, it's called the Strand Stamp Fair but it is many years since it was held in The Strand. Some people call it The Bourse. Go to www.stampshows.net to find the details

07.05
Start trading. At this small but busy fair I sell cheap material, most of it at £2 and spread over my 2m x 2m table. I guess there are 5000 items on the table, lots of it Great Britain but also Russia and Eastern Europe. The prices are good value - Gunstig! - and I sell to both dealers and collectors. Most people here are "Regulars" which is a challenge: every month  I have to find something new. Today I have a new stock of covers from Turkey (bought in Switzerland and delayed for two weeks by our Soviet-style Customs), German pre-philatelic (also Switzerland, also delayed), Third Reich (covers to Finland bought in Finland and not delayed, thanks to the EU), and new Great Britain (bought in Germany and not delayed)

08.00
Eat the breakfast sandwich I have bought with me

11.00
The room gets busier as people arrive after travelling free or more cheaply on off-peak trains  and buses. No one wants to pay the huge fares which apply early in the morning. We dealers who drive in arrive by 07.00 to avoid the heavy traffic of the 07.00 - 10.00 period.

13.00  
I close my shop. Yep. If I stay later, the journey home in the Friday traffic is just horrible and at 68 years old I have lost my youthful enthusiasm for traffic nightmares.

13.35
 After a very quick lunch on the premises, I load up my car and set off home

16.15
Home. Two hours 40 minutes after leaving London, which is good - on a really bad Friday, it can take three hours.

A cup of tea, read my emails and then unload my car, put my boxes away, sit down with my red Accounts Book and do the Income and Expenditure columns for the day.

*

My next drive to London will be for LONDON STAMPEX at the Business Design Centre in Islington from 16 to 19 September. I have a Stand in the Gallery, near the cafe. I will have with me my Russian and related areas stock and also my new Latin America stock. There will be a one - price (£7.50) All World range too!





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