Stanley Gibbons sings the Blues

With London 2020 postponed, Stanley Gibbons decided to launch an online, single-sheet philatelic competition aimed at bringing the philatelic community together during the current crisis.

Titled the Stanley Gibbons Blue competition, the competition took its inspiration from prestigious institutions who award ‘Blues’ to those individuals who represent the highest level of excellence in their field. In the competition, a Stanley Gibbons Blue was awarded to collectors who successfully conveyed philately’s best quality – its ability to represent history’s most significant moments. No extra points were awarded for value, quality or condition. The competition ran until 5 May on a special Stanley Gibbons website (

The competition was well-supported and it was a pleasure to judge the final submissions

Peter Cockburn, Royal Philatelic Society VP

Two categories were available in the competition – Apprentice or Master. The Apprentice category was for new collectors, with less than two years of experience, while the Master category was reserved for more advanced collectors. All entries were displayed on the Stanley Gibbons website and members of the public were asked to vote for their favourites. Master entries were also reviewed by Peter Cockburn, Vice President of the Royal Philatelic Society, and Graham Winters, Chair of the Association of British Philatelic Societies. The judges said: ‘The competition was well-supported and it was a pleasure to judge the final submissions.’

After voting, in the Apprentice class, the top-three were Aditya Singh, Susan Taylor and Cleo Lownster. For the Master class, Keith Brandon, with ‘The Sad Story of Nurse Albine Pecha’, was named the overall winner and Lew Paterson, with ‘The Transition of the Austrian Postal System after the Anschluss’ was named runner up.

All Apprentice category winners were awarded their choice of a Stanley Gibbons catalogue, a £25 SG shop voucher and a Stanley Gibbons Teal certificate. Master winners will see their entries displayed in the new 399 Stanley Gibbons Gallery and will receive an exclusive invitation to the opening of the refurbished SG building. They will also receive an annual subscription to GSM, a £50 SG shop voucher and a Stanley Gibbons Blue certificate.

The competition received 78 entries, with entries, and votes, from across four continents – Asia, North America, Australia and Europe. A total of 1203 were registered to vote, with the poll receiving 2328 votes.

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