HUNDREDS of collectors and enthusiasts massed together for the 25th annual Swinpex Stamp and Postcard Fair on Saturday.

With 48 dealers and around 450 collectors, the event was a haven for unique and collectable items, including pictures, stamps and postcards that each tell their own stories.

Event organiser Dave Gibbon said: “We had about 450 people come in, but it varies from year to year. It is our 25th year now, so we are celebrating our silver anniversary.”

The fair was held at St Joseph’s Catholic College, and included a display set up by Swindon members.

“The one thing is that most stamp collectors are of the older ilk so the lighting here is fantastic,” said Dave.

“The one thing you need for a good stamp fair is light.We have 48 dealers here from all over the country, but mainly from the south.

“Stanley Gibbons is the name in stamp collecting, and they have got their roadshow here with all their hardware. They can sell off a lot of their stuff that is out of date, which is really good for stamp collectors.

“There is a more mature interest because people my age would buy stamps when we were younger from Woolworths or WH Smiths and start collecting the world. When you get older you then specialise with one country or one theme.

“We normally have competitions going on, but this being a special year we have put on displays by the Swindon members.”

Morra White, president of the Swindon Philatelic Society, had put on her own display of memorablia.

She said: “I inherited my father’s collection after he died 20 years ago. I knew a bit about stamps and was going to sell them off, but I didn’t want to get done over by a dealer. I talked to members here and got hooked.

“You get speakers coming along to talk about different subjects, and one evening someone came to give a very interesting talk about the Falkland Islands. I had quite a good starter so I started collecting everything to do with the Falklands.

“I am very interested in story telling, and 99 per cent of the Falklands stamps tell a different story about the islands.”

Keith Smith, 62, from Bristol, was returning to the event for the second time.

“I haven’t come here for about 14 years, and it’s great to come back, it is really nicely laid out,” he said.

“When I was 10 I started collecting lick and stick stamps, and used to keep going back to the little stamp shop where I lived in St Ives to spend my pocket money.”