An over-enthusiastic member of staff from Glastonbury at the Royal Mail has destroyed a rare set of stamps.
The envelope was sent from Switzerland and included a rare first day cover – when a stamp is issued and used on the first day of its existence.
Collecting first day covers is a popular aspect of philately and stamps marked in this way have enhanced value and collectability. Unfortunately for collector John Richard, from Glastonbury, his stamps arrived on Friday morning – complete with a Royal Mail special delivery sticker slapped right across them.
“I’ve been collecting stamps on and off since I was a kid,” Mr Richard said. “These were sent to me by a friend in Switzerland – they probably cost around £15 on face value, but obviously I’m not sure what the value would have been with the first day stamp on it.”
To make matters worse, when Mr Richards took the envelope to the post office to complaint, an enterprising member of staff tried to peel the sticker away from the stamps – tearing some of them. And when Mr Richards asked for a complaint form to be sent to him on Friday, it still hadn’t arrived by Tuesday morning.
“Our usual postman is brilliant, but we’ve had a few bits of items going missing somewhere in the system, or turn up late over the years,” he said.
A spokesman for Royal Mail said the incident was being investigated by their customer services department.