Hi there, I'm back! From my trip to Holland, that is. Had a great time but not much stamp-related activities. Did manage to find a Michel Germany Specialized catalogue for less than 2 euros though! Only ten years old so still ideal for the issues that matter. I tell you, it really pays to search in second hand book shops etc!
And I did spend a nice evening with my brother-in-law browsing through his albums and surplus material. He did give me some nice covers which I will show you later when I've hasd time to sort and scan the lot. But in one of his cigar boxes he had a lot of seventies surplus material of which I could pick whatever I wanted, and among that was the child charity champs of 1974, which I'm showing you here.

This is one of those key sets in my Dutch collection. I started collecting Holland when I was a wee 9-year-old. The first issue of 1975 was the first issue I bought at the post office. And as you do, you fantasize about working your way back through the catalogue. But being that young, these plans usually never materialize. And so I've been dreaming for years about this 1974 child charity set which immediately preceded the ones my collection started off with. I know I could have bought them many times over but when you get older, other things seem to come in the way of fulfilling those boyhood dreams! So you can imagine I was all happy and smiling when I came across this set!

And what a beauty it is! I absolutely love the nostalgic atmosphere of the photographs. Apparently, with this set, 50 years of Child Charity stamps were marked, hence the historic feel to the set. When browsing the net to see if I could find any info on the stamps, I came across this website which had a lot of interesting information. The children depicted on the stamps have of course long been identified and this 30c stamp especially has a poignant tale.

All children come from the Van Bruggen family. The boy with the hoop was Gerrit van Bruggen who had to undergo a life-threatening operation way back in 1902, when he was just a seven-year-old boy. His parents, well aware that he might not make it through the operation, had this picture taken, so that at least they would have a lovely photograph of their boy, should he not recover. But luckily for all he did and only just failed to live long enough to see his own picture on the stamp. Knowing this, I like the set even better!