Stuart Baldwin has been a book collector since 1936 after receiving the first Rupert Annual as a Christmas present. He has a professional background in Electrical Engineering (a five year apprenticeship with Crompton Parkinson's of Chelmsford); two years National Service; ten years in Pharmacy - Bristol Royal Infirmary, retail and as a medical representative with Burroughs Wellcome & Co; 17 years with IBM Marketing Computers, over two years with the London Enterprise Agency as Small Firms Adviser; and occasional University lecturing on small business start-ups over many years.
His main childhood hobby of fossil collecting led to the start of a small spare-time business, manufacturing fossil replicas for education and museums in 1969. To help finance this he sold part of his own library thereby gaining an insight into secondhand bookdealing. Whole-time working for both businesses with his wife Pam commenced in 1981 and progressed rapidly, leading to the addition of a Museum of Palaeontology & Zoology and a Gift Shop. Over a 25 year period around a million replicas were produced and supplied to Schools, Universities and Museums throughout the world. In 1995 the fossil replica business and museum contents were sold to the Open University as a going concern and the Gift Shop closed. The secondhand bookdealing business consequently grew and is now run from home via the internet.
Stuart is a life member of The Geological Society of London, The Linnean Society, The Geologists' Association (A former Treasurer), the Royal Institution, the Yorkshire Geological Society, The Croydon Natural History and Scientific Society Ltd., The Essex Naturalists' Trust, and The Museums Association. He is a member of the Society for the History of Natural History, The Geological Curators' Group, The Ray Society, The Palaeontological Association, The History of Earth Sciences Society, the History of Geology Group of the Geological Society and The British Beekeeper's Association. These memberships, along with his personal car number plate; FOS5IL, give an indication of some of his main interests.
written (or co-authored) and published five books to date e.g. Dinosaur Stamps of the World
with Bev Halstead, and has several more in preparation including a bibliography
of Charles Lyell. He started an Open University science degree in 1971 (the
year the OU started courses) and obtained his BSc in 1998, setting a record as
the Open University's slowest student to date, having taken 28 years and become
a Guinness World Record Holder in the process. His latest book: A Beginners Guide to Secondhand Bookdealing was published
in September 1999, and contains much of interest to anyone wanting to start a
Though no longer needing to work and well past his "sell by date" Stuart runs his business as a hobby; as a service to Geology, Palaeontology and Beekeeping, and as a means of financing his own book collecting. He has been operating from home since 2002 and visitors are always welcome (by appointment). Now in his eighties, he is winding down a little and gradually reducing stock, his personal interests include golf, beekeeping and collecting early bee books, the local Probus and Fine Art Societies, as well as lecturing and after-dinner speaking in aid of Cancer Research UK.