Penny Blacks in New York

24 May 2016

As we prepare to take our most treasured possessions abroad for the first time, Fundraising Events Officer Rhea talks us through her own journey…

Fundraising Events Officer, Rhea Harvey

I joined The Postal Museum three months ago at an incredibly busy time, but I’ve quickly learnt my way around. I’ve had to – my first event is the World Stamp Show in New York, starting this Saturday (24 June)! The museum was invited to this once-in-a-decade exhibition, and was asked to bring along two items which have never before left the United Kingdom – the original sheets of Penny Black and Twopenny Blue stamps.

Original sheets of Twopenny Blue and Penny Black stamps

Original sheets of Twopenny Blue and Penny Black stamps

Logistically, taking these items abroad has been challenging but nonetheless fascinating. For example, booking a sheet of Penny Blacks their own seat on an aeroplane is something I never thought I would be doing!

My role has primarily been planning all staff itineraries and travel, the stand design and materials for our booth in the main hall, as well as the organisation of our exhibit in the Court of Honour. Our stamps will stay there for the duration of the 8-day show, opposite other priceless stamps like the 1-Cent Magenta. The two custom-made frames our stamps will sit in travelled to New York very recently (with a little help from TPM’s finest!):

The Postal Museum team helping with the delivery of our A Frames as they make their way to New York

Staff from The Postal Museum helping load our A-Frames as they make their way to New York

As well as managing this event, I have been helping the fundraising team to support the trip through the Your Stamp campaign. We launched the campaign a little while ago, giving people the opportunity to sponsor us for £100 to have their name credited with either a Penny Black or Twopenny Blue stamp on its journey to New York.

Flyer for Sponsor a Stamp campaign

It has been a whirlwind starting a new job and tackling a project of this size, but everyone at The Postal Museum has been incredibly helpful. I will be filming our time at the show as well as keeping everyone updated on how it’s going throughout the week – watch this space!

– Rhea Harvey, Fundraising Events Officer