ONE of the oldest stamp clubs in South Wales is celebrating its 70th anniversary.

Newport and Gwent Philatelic Society will be displaying hundreds of stamps at an anniversary stamp and postcard fair to celebrate the milestone.

Stamp clubs from across Wales will also be attending the event at Graig Community Centre, where stamps will also be on sale.

Roy Bentley, chairman of the club, said he has been collecting stamps for around 40 years when he took over his son’s collection from a school project.

Since then he has built up a rare collection of stamps and envelopes, known as covers to collectors.

“I enjoy the research which goes with it,” said Mr Bentley, 64, of High Cross Road, Rogerstone.

“The purchasing of stamps has changed over the years. I used to buy from dealers advertising in magazines or go to stamp fairs, but now most of my buying is through ebay and online auction sites.”

Mr Bentley says one of his main interests is researching the collection of the Phillips family who traded in Dock Street, Newport, between 1926 and 1945.

Harold Phillips produced letters that were flown on aircraft across the world known as First Flight covers, becoming one of the largest airmail cover dealers in the UK.

Two of the children in the family, Malcolm, 17, and Myrtle, 14, died when a German bomber crashed in Stow Park Avenue, Newport, in September, 1940. Mr Bentley began researching the family’s collection around three years ago and gives talks about the collection.

The stamp club, which has around 40 members, meet twice a month at Newport Civic Centre on Wednesdays at 7pm.

Collectors at the club have many rare stamps with connections to Newport. Amongst these is a rugby stamp produced in the British anniversary series in August, 1971, which shows a player in Newport colours.

Membership has increased since the club was founded in October, 1947, and it is now one of the largest clubs in South Wales. Club members regularly visit schools in the area to discuss stamp collecting and encourage pupils to take up the hobby. The stamp fair will be held on Saturday, September 23, from 10am to 4pm at Graig Community Centre in Caerphilly Road, Newport.

Anyone interested in joining the club can email