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what a lovely surprise today…… I received my Customer Christmas Present. That is, a present I give to my customers who spend US $15 or more, exclusive of postage, in my Bidstart Store. I have been using a pair of these for some time now and really like them. Hope you will get to receive a pair. Just visit select the country you collect and fill a gap of two or more in your collection.

Best wishes.. michael


Hello, another weekend over.   A good one though. Hope same for you.

Lot of philatelic activities, well sorting and cataloguing and listing more new material to the Bidtstart Store.  Plenty of sleep for a change. and the highlight, if you are interested ……..  I won the golf today. 4 of us teed off at 9am.. Lovely morning for a game of golf. Par on the first.. and from there I was magic, for a change,  ok so I exaggerate  ha ha ha  I was lucky.. I missed every sand bunker.  14 shots better than last Sunday morning if you are keeping count!!!  Anyway nice to get it right more often than not,  just for once. A new PB.    Can’t wait to next Thursday when we have out next club outing.

But to stamps.and of course aircraft on stamps. I found this while sorting a few tonight. Am sorting Channel Islands at the moment. Guernsey seem to like aviation themed stamps. This one from 1998 and the 80th anniversary of the RAF. A set of 6 were issued showing various aircraft.

This one shows a Fairy Swordfish, a de Havilland DH-82 Tiger Moth, a Supermarine Walrus and a Gloster Gladiator. Interesting selection of aircraft. Now I see 5 aircraft on the stamp yet the catalogue only lists the 4  I noted. Anyone tell me why.

I will send my special Christmas present to the 1st correct email to

Have a great week… Michael


Hello, another weekend nearly over but with time to write. I found this while sorting some stock today.  One of a set of 11 issued by Japan in 1951.  Of interest, I think,  is that the set is catalogued at £110  in my 2009 catalogue and the same in the 2013 catalogue. That surprised me,  I would have thought it would have increased in value over 4 years.  Anyway it shows a DC4 flying over Horyuji Pagoda.

For a change I won’t write about the DC4 – you all know about that aircraft I am sure by now. But the temple is very interesting.

The Temple of the Flourishing Law is a Buddhist a temple that was once one of the powerful Seven Great Temples in Ikarunga, Japan Its full name is Hōryū Gakumonji or Learning Temple of the Flourishing Law. The temple’s pagoda is widely acknowledged to be one of the oldest wooden buildings existing in the world because of the wood used in its construction.  The temple seen today is on the site, I believe, of the original which was built around 670.

The five-story pagoda stands at 122 feet in height.  The wood used in the center pillar of the pagoda is estimated through a dendrochronological analysis to have been felled in 594. The central pillar rests three meters below the surface of the massive foundation stone, stretching into the ground. At its base is enshrined what is believed to be a fragment of one of Buddha’s bones. Around it, four sculpted scenes from the life of the Buddha face north, east, south and west. Although the pagoda is five-storied, it does not allow one to climb up inside, but it is rather designed to inspire people with its external view.

Stamp collecting is as interesting as you make it I guess :-)

Best wishes,    Michael


Hello, well yes I am back again from another “flying” visit to Sydney. This time, as you might guess from the stamp I am showing, I flew Malaysia Airlines.

4 flights, In the air 25 hours all up, round trip,  in two days. Well worth it because I went to a wonderful party , Thanks Captain !!! and I really enjoyed MH aircraft, 737-800  from HKG to KL and back, and A330-300 to Sydney and back to KL, and the service and the crew were wonderful and the flights were all on time.

As testament to the comfort, I slept 7 hours from KL to Sydney, Yes I know, I had no booze and no meals. Well that is another first I think!!!  And the flights were pretty full, in fact Business class was full,  I should tell you, so great to see people travelling with them. They are a great airline in my humble view.

As for the stamp above, it was one of a set of 3 issued in 1989 to commemorate the Inaugural MH 747 non-stop flight from KL to London.

For those of you who have been reading my blogs, you will know I flew the inaugural Malaysia Airlines A380 flight KL to London, which happened on the same day in 2012, July 1st to be precise. I still have a few flown, signed and unsigned, First Flight Covers left  if you are interested. Just email me

Enjoy your stamps, your aerophilately and of course your flying. ………. 747 or single engine what ever it is  :-)

Best wishes…. Michael


canada-blue6c-cover  canada-blue6c-reverse

Hello, I hope everyone is well and having a philatelic weekend. I certainly am.

This cover from 1939, carries  SG 371, 6c blue with a Fairchild 45-80 Sekani Seaplane over the ship Distributor on the River Mackenzie.  SG 2013 catalogue value for the stamp is £2.25.  Considering this was mailed 75 years ago I think you will agree it is in lovely condition with a rather nice reverse franking as well. Maybe someone knows what the S means?

I would be pleased to hear from you at if you have time to write.

The Sekani, named for an idigenous people of Canada, was a twin-engined aircraft developed in Canada in the late 1930s. Although the 45-80 was the largest  bush plane developed by Fairchild, its poor performance doomed the project, and nearly the company. The Sekani was, what is termed, a sesquiplane of conventional configuration, with the sets of wings joined to the top and bottom of the fuselage and braced by N-struts. The lower set of wings were little more than stubs; their bracing to the upper wings passed through the engine nacelles (mounted on the upper wings), and they carried the pontoon undercarriage beneath them.  Flight testing commenced in August 1937 and revealed a number of serious deficiencies in the design, including that the aircraft was overweight and impossible to control directionally when flying on only one engine as the ailerons caused severe drag tending to turn the aircraft in the opposite direction. Hmmmmm, that doesn’t sound too good. The better news, only two were built. It was designed to carry 2 pilots and 12 passengers

For those of you who also like ships, the Distributor was a Paddlewheeter   placed in service in 1920 by the Lamson & Hubbard Trading Company. It operated on the Slave-Mackenzie River network, below Fort Smith on the Slave River, in the 1920s-1940s. It was decommissioned in 1946 and scrapped in the 1950s.

And some final history and trivia;  In 1898 the Klondike Gold Rush gave an impetus to the exploration of the Canadian North and the Mackenzie River basin was promoted as the best route to the Yukon if one was departing from Edmonton. The 1898-1900 period was very busy for the waterways with many new private vessels built and running between the Athabasca and Mackenzie Rivers.  Three companies competed for the fur trade and water transportation including the Lamson & Hubbard Trading Company  with the “S.S. Distributor” as its flagship

Have a wonderful weekend and enjoy the history of your stamps.



Hello, sorry it has been 10 days since I last wrote. I have no idea how that happened. Tonight I was sorting some mess and found this.. Not exactly clean but some nice stamps. Click image to enlarge.

Anything you can see that is significant about this envelope? I only see the Not Opened by Censor cachet. Other than that I know that March 29th 1941 saw the first performamce of Benjamin Britten’s “Requiem Symphony”. No idea where though :-)

And the $1 stamps, shows what aircraft? Maybe a prize to the first correct answer

Enjoy your stamps  and please don’t forget to look at my Bidstart Store. Got a gap in your collection and don’t want to buy the complete set. Do what many others are doing. Visit and improve your collection. I still have over 10,000 listings so there is a good selection I think.


pal-dc6-reverse manila-1948

I read that my good friend Philip is in Manila this weekend so thought I would show a cover for him and his visit, and give a little aviation history at the same time.

On July 31, 1946, PAL became the first Asian airline to cross the Pacific Ocean when a chartered Douglas DC4 ferried 40 American servicemen to Oakland California from Nielson Airport with stops in Guam, Wake Island, Johnston Atoll and Honolulu.  A regular service between Manila and San Francisco started in December 1946.  During this time, the airline was designated as the country’s flag carrier.

This Air Mail cover, flown nearly two years later, was for the inaugural DC6 flight. It was flown from Manila to Honolulu (back stamped as you can see)

I have tried to research this inaugural flight but cannot find reference to it. I did find a reference to Philippine Air Lines operating a DC6 from San Francisco to Manila on June 4th, 1948 with the first sleeper service, which would have been the return flight of this inaugural.

One thing I did find while searching Google, was that I actually wrote about and showed this cover back in February 2013. Oh well, maybe I have new readers and since I have written this I am showing it anyway.

 Have a great weekend, especially you Philip, in Manila.




Hello, I just got back to Hong Kong from Sydney and on a lovely flight with Qantas. An A380. Very nice. Much quicker, and quieter on an A380 than a Super Constallation, and overall much nicer flight I expect :-)

So I thought this would be a nice cover to show. Many years ago now. January 14th 1958, when Qantas carried some mail on their first round the world flight which was operated by a Super Constallation, the “Southern Aurora”, tail VH-EAO, flying Sydney – USA –  London – Sydney.  A 2/- stamp was used but this cover has two stamps.

It is in surprisingly good condition for a 50 plus year old cover.

 Hope you enjoy seeing it 

Have a great weekend… Michael




Ok, so I may have shown this before  – well if you are a regular reader you will maybe remember having seen it. Tonight, sorting through some stock I found rather a lot of these so thought I would use these on my next,  lets say 12 Bidstart orders.  Nice and collectible I think, especially  very fine used as they will be, as I will have them hand franked at Hong Kong airport for you.

 Got to promote sales haven’t I   :-)  visit   

If you want a copy Mint or used and don’t find anything to buy from my Shop just email me at

Am flying all day  tomorrow.. be back on-line Saturday..

Best wishes.. Michael  




Hello, tonight another of the aerogrammes I have recently found. Hope you like this one. Issued in 1992 and still in pristine condition.  

The aircraft shown, as you can see, – click image to enlarge –  is a Nomad, a twin-engine turboprop, high-wing short take off and landing aircraft.  It was designed and built by the Australian Government Aircraft Factories in Melbourne. Major users of the design have included the Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia , the Australia Army and the Australian Customs Service. 

Rather a sad history to the aircraft because the Nomad was considered problematic and early Royal Australian Air Force evaluations were critical of the design. An early, stretched-fuselage variant crashed, killing the chief test pilot Stuart Pearce (father of actor Guy Pearce) and the assistant head designer. The Nomad has been involved in a total of 32 total hull-loss accidents which have resulted in 76 fatalities. perhaps not surprisingly only 172 Nomads (including the two prototypes) were manufactured.

Enjoy your stamps and aviation




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