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RICC's stamp of approval

RICC's stamp of approval

The English Riviera resort of Torquay enjoyed Britain's stamp of approval this weekend, when the Riviera International Conference Centre hosted the country's biggest ever stamp collection.

Nearly 50 dealers displayed thousands of stamps from all over the UK and abroad, the biggest collection ever featured by the Association of British Philatelic Societies and twice the number of entries shown at the last national exhibition in London.

The association is made up of 450 local societies containing philatelic professionals and amateurs alike. One of its aims is to encourage the growth of stamp collecting and one of the most effective ways is through exhibitions which brings together several factors key to philately as it is one of the few hobbies that feature a competitive element similar to gardening or horticultural shows.

The show at the Riviera International Conference Centre, appropriately named Torquay 2006, represented the association's sixth National Philatelic Exhibition and is the only competitive national exhibition in the U.K. to be held this year.
Highlights included the Queen's Architect who was involved in some of the design and brought 12 frames (a frame holds 16 album pages) from the Queen's collection. The Postal Museum also displayed a special Brunel collection to commemorate the famous engineer's special anniversary this year.

Barry Horne, organiser of Torquay 2006, said: "The exhibition was particularly significant as it was the first time ever that a full national exhibition without restrictions had been staged outside London and also the only national exhibition taking place in the UK this year."

The exhibition, which was opened by the chairman of Torbay Borough Council, John Dunn, also included an Awards Dinner at which the presentation of medals and awards for the competition winners were made.
Barry Cole, managing director of the Riviera International Conference Centre said: "We were delighted to host such a prestigious exhibition which not only attracted dedicated stamp collectors but those who simply had a passing interest.
"It certainly gave us and Torquay a stamp of approval and we hope the organisers will sick with us."

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