Postman had one million stamps delivered to his door

Some stamp collectors spend years searching for the one elusive stamp that will complete their collection.

But that's not how postman Alan Roy went about the process. Rather than search for the stamps, he made them come to him.

Roy, who died aged 76, invited used envelopes to be sent from all over the world in bulk and removed the stamps from them. His vast collection will now be auctioned in stages.

It is estimated that his collection contains one million British stamps, 500,000 Irish ones and 400,000 from the rest of the world.

Some have themes such as Christmas, World Cups and Olympic Games. There was no special selection for rarity, but there will inevitably be some highly collectible pieces.

Starting as a child - long before he became a postman - Roy later enlisted his less-than-enthusiastic wife, daughter and twin grandchildren in his obsession.

Old baby oil found a new use in the family home, used to loosen stamps from envelopes. Roy's two bedroom flat in Poole, Dorset, UK had drying stamps lying around wherever there was space.

On average, he acquired 80 stamps each day or nearly 30,000 per year. The stamps date from every year over the last seven or eight decades.

"The stamps were put in bundles of 100 and then packs of 1,000. He was very meticulous and labelled them ready for sale." said his daughter Janette Dorrell to the UK's Telegraph newspaper.

"Dad started when he was very young, long before he became a postman, and it just grew and grew, it was relentless."

Roy hoped that the stamps would be a nest egg for his retirement. But, sadly, he died before any of them could be sold.

His family have mixed feelings about the sale of the collection. They have no love of the stamps themselves, but associate them with memories of their collector and his tireless dedication.

The stamps will all be offered in lots with low estimates, as the auctioneers have decided it is not practical to value all of them.

But eagle-eyed philatelists should be able to spot a bargain or two among the relatively low value items.

The first sale will start at 10am November 28, carried out by Elliott's UK Auctioneers and Valuers (formerly the Winborne showroom) at the Stone Lane Industrial Estate, Wimborne, Dorset. A preview will be held the day before, 10am to 5pm.


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