The PTS were delighted to receive this blog post from member John Auld who along side being a member was also part of the council for over 20 years and chair for 6 years. Congratulations John from everyone at the PTS for your 50th Anniversary in philately. #cheers
My 50 Years In The Trade by John Auld
So the 9th July is my 50th anniversary in the trade. When thinking about A levels wrote to several major dealers and auctioneers and had 3 introductory interviews. Two said they would offer me a job if there was a vacancy but SG said they would definitely offer me a job .So in June 1973 I wrote to John Farthing at SG to remind him that I was about to leave school and hoped I could start at SG perhaps in September. The very next day he phoned and offered me a job working in the Commonwealth rare stamp dept at £750 per year but he needed me to start asap. Two hours later he rang again to say he had just got my letter and had diaried me from 2 years earlier ! He said that as I was 18 he would increase the starting salary to £850. I asked if I could run it past my parents and they agreed so next morning I rang to confirm and it arranged that I would start on Monday 9th July 1973 complete with my flared beige suit and kipper tie (well John Farthing had a purple suit it was the 1970s after all !)
So I arrived and was introduced to Colin Whitehead the Commonwealth manager his assistant Michael Mayall and Chris Rainey who I already knew who was doing stamp fairs! The very next day I was asked to see my first client David Mortimer then a naval commander now of course in Australia. I was later told that it was because he was such a decent man that he was my first client!
After 30 months I was moved to the buying dept with Barry Peachey ,the late Vic Walker and Chris Radley the GB buyer. I very soon met clients including Joe Saatchi, Phil Wilde of Western Auctions and Frank Stott of Vessey Auctions sadly all three have gone to the great philatelic bourse in the sky. I also met John Curtin of Royale who of course is very much with us .
About this time outside SG I met John Hayward a leading medal dealer who was trying to sell his business to SG. Nobody apart from me knew about this apart from SGs directors. John wanted me to join him as his right hand man whilst he ran the business as part of SG. He loved ringing me up at work until Vic took the call and told him never to ring SG again! Negotiations fell through but he did sell the business to them a couple of years later but did not stay on and by that time I had left!
After 5 years at SG a friend told me of a vacancy for a describer at City of London Auctions run by the late Brian Tyrrell a former PTS council member so I attended an interview which was a formality as I apparently already had the job! Whilst there I met Bjorn Mciver the office junior and coffee maker and Phyl Wills now company secretary at Argyll Etkin.
So after 3 years there was an unpleasant personality clash with a colleague .I was already supplying lots of my own for the auction so it was time to go on my own for 2 years I supplied auction lots and wheeled and dealt .It was August 1983 my first marriage had broken up and I had an opportunity to take a table at Charing Cross market a bargain £4 for the table and £ 2 parking. My first client was Mike Pugh who bought all my covers which must have been absurdly cheap.
In 1984 Stampex was expanding to 2 halls at the RHS and Ron Mead of RF Postcards said go for it. So I scrounged stock including Mike Pughs cover stock and made a modest profit and have been at every Stampex since.
In 1987 Otto Hornung was looking for PTS council members I casually asked what was involved and found myself pressganged! I was on council for over 20 years and Chairman for 6 years
I do little retail now apart from York and Stampex and concentrate on Alliance Auctions and have no intention of retiring!
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.