A FINE example of the world’s first adhesive postage stamp has been raffled off to raise funds for a York primary school.

The Victorian Penny Black stamp, which carries the head of Queen Victoria, was donated to Woodthorpe Primary School by Jonathan Alexander Stamps in Shambles and is being raffled off to raise cash to buy books for the school’s library.

Mr Alexander said he would expect the stamp to sell for about £100 at auction and quite often they can go for £150 and more.

He said: “This all came about because one of my customers that I have known for a lot of years has a son who goes to the school and he said they were trying to fundraise and I thought it sounded like a good cause. I just thought that if some money could be raised from the sale of the stamp it would be good as far as I’m concerned.”

He said the Penny Black had three good margins.

The fourth margin is slightly smaller at one corner and it has been hand franked with a Red Maltese Cross.

Karen Heywood, the head teacher’s PA, said tickets for the raffle cost 50p each and were available from the school. All stubs and cash should be returned to the school by Thursday, December 13. Raffle tickets are also on sale in local shops in Woodthorpe.

Karen said: “It would be a great addition to an established stamp collection or perhaps encourage the start of a new one.

“Even if you are not a stamp collector why don’t you try your luck? You can always sell it on ebay.”

Mr Alexander said: “The Penny Black was the world’s first adhesive postage stamp used in a public postal system. It was issued in Britain on May 1, 1840, and started being used on May 6 of that year.

“There were 68 million of the stamps sent out in total, so, although not rare, it has real historical significance.”