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Malcolm Bentley

I spent most of my career outside the United Kingdom, mostly in Latin America but also in Continental Europe. It was in Brazil that I took up my childhood stamp collecting hobby once again. Slowly but surely I found my metier in Great Britain stamps used abroad. With my South American background and my knowledge of the country it was natural that after retirement in 1999 I should start the research which led to me writing “The British Post Office in Colombia 1821-1881”. It achieved a gold medal in Chicago in 2011.

More recently, given the difficulty in finding more GB material, I have expanded into India used abroad; also now, I enjoy finding village cancellations on Leeward Island stamps. This latest interest means I have five reigns to work through, six islands and three main watermarks and lots of colour varieties. Should keep me busy for some time!

I have been treasurer of my local philatelic society for more than twelve years. This year I was elected a Fellow of The Royal Philatelic Society London. In addition I am a member of several national societies where I am able to find information and support for my interests stated above.

I would be very happy to receive feedback on my blogs, positive or otherwise!

Alan D Anyon FRPSL

Alan D. Anyon, born in 1931, a retired medical and chemical Sales Manager, lives in Wembley, London. For over 50 years he has studied and collected Colombian Provisionals, Revenues and other back of the book material. His Provisionals and Revenue collections have received various gold medals in the UK, USA and other overseas exhibitions. He was awarded a gold medal for his exhibit Colombia: Revenue Documents and Stamps at Brazilian 2013 last November (see Other News, February 2014). He is a Fellow of the Royal Philatelic Society, London, a member of the Revenue Society and several other philatelic societies including the National Philatelic Society.

You may ask, why Colombia? Alan started collecting stamps in the early 1960s and built up a general world collection with nothing complete. So he decided to concentrate on one country or a group of countries. His album had quite a good show of Colombian stamps, it was unpopular country philatelically so prices were not too high and material was available, the stamp issuing policy was conservative and Alan had a friend in Bogota who was saving clippings from his office mail. Perhaps, most importantly, there was a great opportunity for research as little had been written about the country’s stamps. Since that decision more than 80 articles of Alan have been published.

Initially Alan concentrated on putting together a comprehensive collection of the postal and airmail issues of the country and it Sovereign Stated and Departments, looking for fine used stamps where possible. However he soon realised the country offered many types of stamps and he was gravitated to revenue stamps with them used on documents for many of the issues. After 40 years of research in this area Alan was able to publish his Handbook of Colombian Revenue Stamp which was the first listing to be produced since that contained in the Forbin Catalogue of 1915.

Other types of stamps were added to Alan's collection including telegraphs, Christmas seals (Liga Colombiana Abtituberculosa), Red Cross issues, municipal fund raising labels, Express Carriers’ issues and opening up a new collecting area, provisional stamps often produced by local postmasters contrary to the postal regulations of the country but, in many cases, meeting the need when national stamps were unavailable, as in periods of war.