Brothers stump up stamps for charity

WHEN Sam and James Templeman-Webb set out to collect a few old stamps for charity, little did they know they would end up with a whopping 44,600.The brothers, from Bramford, are today proclaimed as two of Suffolk's top collectors after their four-month mission.

WHEN Sam and James Templeman-Webb set out to collect a few old stamps for charity, little did they know they would end up with a whopping 44,600.

The brothers, from Bramford, are today proclaimed as two of Suffolk's top collectors after their four-month mission.

Their original aim was to save 1,000 each - a total they were not sure if they could reach. Now, they have more than 22 times that amount.

Sam, nine, said: "We thought 2,000 was a lot, especially because me and my brother don't really get any letters ourselves.

"We hoped we would make it but never believed we would end up with this many. We are very surprised."

Sam and James, seven, who live at Limes Avenue, were prompted into action by a letter in a newspaper asking people to save British and foreign stamps for a charity for blind children.

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Sam said: "We felt sorry for the blind children we read about who needed things and thought this was something quite easy to do which would make a big difference to them.

"Teachers and friends at school really helped. We had a box near my classroom and it kept getting full up so I kept having to take them home in my book bag to make more room.

"Now we have them all in big bags at home and aren't sure how to send them all away.

"We found it good fun and might carry on."

The boys set up collection points at Bramford Primary School and Suffolk County Council's Endeavour House - where their mother Bim Webb works.

Mrs Webb said: "I'm very proud of their initiative and resilience.

"It's taken them absolutely ages to trim them all and count them.

"So many times we are asked to dig deep into our pockets but we think this has been so successful because it does not involve giving money. Everyone can save stamps."

Donated stamps included some dating back to the reign of Queen Victoria, and a first day of issue stamp commemorating England's victory in the 1966 World Cup.

The Royal National Institute of the Blind (RNIB) plans to sell the stamps and buy toys and educational equipment for blind children at Sunshine House School, Middlesex.

A spokesman for the RNIB said: "We would like to warmly thank the boys for working so hard and for taking so much time in collecting such an enormous number of stamps.

"The charity would also like to extend our thanks to the people of Bramford and beyond for their donations."

WEBLINK:

www.rnib.org.uk

Have you done something amazing for charity? Or do you have a remarkable collection? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

Britain is the only country which does not print the country of origin on its stamps.

Perforations did not appear on stamps in the UK until 1854 - 14 years after they were first issued.

Royal Mail prints more than 480million Christmas stamps a year.

There are 5.9 calories in the gum on a definitive stamp (containing the Queen's head) and 14.5 calories in a special stamp.

More than 5.4million people collect or buy stamps as gifts in the UK.

The world's rarest stamp is the 1856 British Guiana One Cent as only one of them exists.

A desperate collector murdered a friend in 1892 because he wanted his rare 1851 two cent Hawaiian missionary stamp. The stamp led the police to the murderer.

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