Discovering stamp collecting rarities - 1955 half-crown booklet errors

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imports_CCGB_stampbooklet_90236.jpg Stamp booklet
We all dream of finding a valuable stamp or two amongst a packet of stamps, in an old album, or on a sheet purchased from the Post Office, writes Ed Fletcher, in the first part of his online series on stamp discoveries that made stamp collecting history… ...
We all dream of finding a valuable stamp or two amongst a packet of stamps, in an old album, or on a sheet purchased from the Post Office, writes Ed Fletcher, in the first part of his online series on stamp discoveries that made stamp collecting history…

He missed a bus and caught a booklet that proved just the ticket…

On a wintry day in 1955 Cyril Hirst of Leicester just missed his homeward bound bus and, while waiting for the next one to come along, decided to buy some stamps at a nearby post office.

A half-crown booklet seemed to have the mixture he needed, so he bought one.

Glancing through the contents at home he was puzzled to find that a GVI Half Penny pane of six had accidentally folded during printing. As well as fractions of stamps, the pane included a stamp printed upside down alongside a normal stamp (tête-bêche).

Thinking they might be worth rather more than a half-penny each, he took the pane to a stamp dealer and was soon £850 better off.


Read more about stamp discoveries, auction prices and stamp collecting news in every issue of Stamp & Coin Mart magazine, available to download as a digital edition or order in print.

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