GCG are deeply saddened to bring you news that one of our longest serving members and great friends, Stuart Baldwin passed away on 20th September, aged 91. Stuart was well known to many as the extremely helpful, knowledgeable, and cheery bookseller based in Essex, and seen at many festivals and conferences.
Stuart was born in Essex in 1930 and educated in Witney after being evacuated to Oxfordshire during the war. He had qualified as an electrical engineer as well as a pharmacist, and spent seven years as a medical representative in London. Following this he spent 15 years marketing computers for IBM before being moving into the field of lecturing about small business start-ups. In his spare time he was also a collector of both fossils and books, and in 1959, he set up successful businesses of his own making wonderful educational fossil replicas (official supplier to the Open University) and dealing in second-hand books, as well as running a small museum (with over 100,000 specimens) of Palaeontology and Zoology at Fossil Hall, in Witham, Essex. He wrote several books of his own, including ‘Dinosaur Stamps of the World’ and ‘A Beginners Guide to Second-hand Book-dealing’. He held a Guinness World Record, as the ‘world’s slowest student’ – taking 28 years to complete his science degree with the Open University, as he was kept so busy with his career, his small businesses and his family. He ‘retired’ in 1995, selling his replica fossil manufacturing business and museum to the Open University, but retained his second-hand books which he continued to sell for many years, and a visit to his collection never failed to unearth a few literary gems of interest. He started winding down his book-selling activities still further in 2001 by initially relieving himself of large numbers of reprints, nicely pre-empting the move into mass-digitization of journal back-issues – a wise move on his part. He closed his bookshop at this point, but continued buying and selling from his home. Stuart even took up a new hobby of bee-keeping in his later years in order to keep active. Stuart was always a great supporter of GCG and its work, becoming one of our earliest members in 1974, and will be sorely missed by all who knew him. We send our condolences to his family.