I'm a private collector of British Telecom (BT), Mercury and other UK Phonecard issues e.g. Plessey who has decided to set up a website all about telephone cards, though with the main focus on BT issued telephone cards.
I first started collecting phonecards in I believe 1993 aged 13. The BT Phonecard that first got me interested in collecting them was the Kelloggs Cornflakes Phonecard. This card of which over 3 million cards were produced was free when collecting tokens from Kelloggs Cornflakes boxes. So I'm sure for many other people this card was also the catalyst that got them collecting BT Phonecards too!
Later the same year whilst on holiday in Pembrokeshire I remember going into the Post Office in the small coastal village of Freshwater East to see what different Phonecards they had for sale. I brought two or three cards and then wondered how many more cards there might be to collect! My hobby and interest snowballed from there.
Pictured right - Me aged 14 with my 'Phonecard' birthday cake.
I then joined the BT Phonecard Collectors Club (BTCC) later BT Phonecard Direct and ended up with a standing order receiving all the new monthly issues through the club. Later in 1996 when the new chip cards replaced the optical Phonecards I also started collecting those cards too.
I continued collecting until moving to Burgundy, France in 1997, at which point I stopped buying and collecting Phonecards altogether. Although after returning to the UK I created a website which was online in 2000/2001 - called "The Phonecard Store" listing the Phonecards I had in my collection. So my interest still remained.
It wasn't though until May 2012 that I really kicked started my collecting once more. After browsing the auction website eBay and seeing the various phonecards that were selling at to me, very reasonable prices (my head was still set to 1997 prices)!
I'd been thinking about creating a telephone card website, since the summer of 2012. There doesn't seem to be many resources for collecting BT Phonecards on the internet so that's partly why I created Telephone Card Collector - to share my passion for the hobby, to collect and share information about the history and tell the story of BT Phonecards.
Since setting this website up in February 2013 I've had many people contact me from those with cards to have valued or sell/giveaway, to other collectors, to people who worked or still work within the industry. I really welcome and appreciate those who do take the time to contact me. I'd not yet call myself a "complete expert" in this field, but I do have a very good knowledge which is steadily growing!
Pictured above - My very early BT Phonecard collection on my bodyboard. Click the photo for a large view.
I've just added a swap section to my website, which will grow over time. Initially this will be for me to list some BT Phonecards that I've got duplicates copies of in a bid to swap them with other collectors to help fill missing gaps in mine and their collections.
I've also just added an online shop with a range of telephone card catalogues and album page inserts specifically for telephone cards. Years ago the choice was plentyful - even WHSmith had a range of telephone card album sleeves available on the highstreet. These days as I found out last year, there's very few options. So I've decided to start providing collectors with the option to buy a leading brand solutions directly from this website.
In the future I'm planning to add an online catalogue for all BT issues, this though is a major undertaking and will take time! I've made a start with a couple of phone cards catalogue numbers BTP087 and PRO262, so I have a long way still to go!
I'd also like to cover other telecoms cards as well, I've made a start with UK company New World Payphones and Mercurycard, but my knowledge for many telecoms and especially foreign cards e.g. Portugal is pretty much non existent. I'm really looking for collectors from or of other countries cards to help me write those pages.
Thanks for reading.
Last updated: 20th February 2017
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