James and Sons April Auction

An account of James and Sons April auction, a plug for a petition to honour the Hillsborough campaigners and some photographs.


The day before yesterday, at the Maids Head Hotel in Norwich, James and Sons had their April auction. Overall, the auction was a great success. Although the number of internet bidders did not equal that for the March auction, there were 180 internet bidders, and this was a one day sale whereas March had been a two day affair. I will also be sharing some other stuff, including photos, at the end of this piece.


My travel expenses have recently gone down, due to the introduction of an all-day ticket which covers travel on any Norfolk route save the Coast Hopper and costs £5.50. This did mean that I could not get to a Norwich auction as early as if I were to use the X1 route (run by a different bus company, therefore ipso facto not covered) but it was still a seriously early start, as I had to be on the first bus of the morning, at 6:10AM to arrive early enough to do everything that I had to do for the running of the auction. The run to Norwich was thankfully, save for the inevitable bottleneck near Hellesdon Hospital, a very clear one, and the bus arrived exactly on schedule.


As I have indicated, this auction was a very successful one. The principal highlights according to my method of evaluating these things were in ascending lot number order:

  • Lot 78, a collection of British banknotes in a tin, valued at £30-40, sold for £65
  • Lot 87, a Lebanese 1 Livre note with a lilac overprint, valued at £25-30, sold for £45
  • Lot 232, an R101 Royal Airship Works cloth cap badge, estimated at £75-85 and sold for an eye-popping £170.
  • Lot 263, an Imperial German WI Zeppelin commemorative badge, estimated at £55-60, sold for £120
  • Lot 268, a British WWII Commandos Middle East cap badge (brass), estimated at £20-25, sold for £48
  • Lot 270, a WWI aerial flechette dart as dropped on enemy soldiers, estimated at £15-20, sold for £42
  • Lot 680, a postcard of the 1906 New Zealand rugby team, estimated at £10-20, sold for £45
  • Lot 714, a Victorian scrapbook assembled by Harriett Riches of Trunch, estimated at £40-50, sold for £90
  • Lot 715, a Victorian/ Edwardian scrapbook, estimated at £30-40, sold for £90 to the the same person who bought lot 714.

Here is a ’tiled mosaic’ of images of these lots – to see an image at full size click on it:


I had contrived to arrange my breaks from computer work to coincide with periods when lots of interest to me were going under the hammer. The first such lot was number 460:


Don’s mugshot on one half of the stamps, him playing the pull shot (his trademark, and a shot about which he wrote a short piece which features in many a cricket anthology).

This was knocked down to me for £7, and better was to come near the end of the auction…

Lot 711 was a 1904 Erie Railway pass, for which a single bid of £8 sufficed:

The front of the pass.
The back of the pass.
Erie Railroad
Both sides of the pass.

Construction started on this railroad in 1835, and the first run along the full length of the route, from Piermont, New York to Dunkirk, New York took place in 1851. More information about this railroad can be found here. Below is a route map:


This map comes from erierailroad.org: http://i2.wp.com/www.erierailroad.org/erie-1914-map.gif

Lot 717, a print of old London Bridge based on the earliest known drawing of that structure, which is in the Pepys collection, attracted no interest from anyone save me, and was knocked down for £5:



27 years ago 96 people lost their lives at Hillsborough football ground. Through most of this period people seeking justice for the dead faced a media and governments that were almost uniformly hostile to them, while the police force involved consistently refused to accept responsibility for the disaster. At long last, after a full inquiry and inquest into the deaths it has been established that these 96 people were unlawfully killed and that blame for their deaths lies squarely with the police. Just this morning I found out about a petition on 38 Degrees to honour the campaigners who have fought so hard for this outcome. They are far more worthy of being honoured than many who have already been honoured (As a resident of King’s Lynn I think of Sir Henry Bellingham MP, apparently knighted for the great feat of having attended the same school as the prime minister, albeit at a different time). If you share my view…



To finish, here are some more photographs…


Does this look like the start of a public footpath to you? It is, and you are looking at one reason why the developer who perpetrated this (with whose name I shall not sully this blog) are personae non grata in King’s Lynn


My contribution to this document was to scan the postcard that appears on the front cover.
This is the only example of this particular £2 coin that I have thus far seen. I approve of commemorating Darwin, but not necessarily of the chosen picture (a Galapagos tortoise, or finch, or a map of the Galapagos islands would have been my choice).


Faith Versus Fact paperback out soon

If you have not already got a copy of this book take this opportunity to rectify the omission. For more about it see my review here: https://aspiblog.wordpress.com/2015/12/30/faith-vs-fact-book-review/

Why Evolution Is True

The paperback edition of Faith Versus Fact will be available on May 17, and it will have a fancy gold band on the cover instead of the drabbish band (which was supposed to be shiny gold) that was on the hardcover. It’s about fifteen bucks in the U.S., and you can preorder it from AmazonAmazon.ca, Amazon.co.uk, Barnes & Noble, and, as always, the audio version is available from several of those places or from iTunes.


Pre-orders are best for promoting the book, of course, but I’ll be chuffed whenever you buy it. And, as always, if you encounter me in person, I’ll be glad to sign it (or WEIT) for you.

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Accounts of a public meeting about disability and a protest against the possible closure of the Fermoy Unit, enlivened with photographs. Read, enjoy and please share!


I am treating these two events together because my attendance at each was connected, and I talked about one at the other. While I had strong personal reasons for attending both events, I was also motivated by not wanting to be in a position of “when they came for me there was no one left to speak out”. I will deal with the two events in chronological order and at the very end will also share some unrelated photos.


This toom place at the Vauxhall Centre in Norwich on Thursday evening. After speeches from various prominent local campaigners came the keynote speech of the evening. This was Roddy Slorach, author of “The Politics of Disability”, talking about the ideas expounded in his book. After this there was time for contributions from the floor. It was during this period that today’s demonstration was mentioned, and more details provided by me as the second part of my own contribution following mentioning the Positive Autism Awareness Conference of the previous Friday. Here are some photos from that evening for you…

One of the organizing groups displayed this banner.
Equal Lives provided this superb display board
Norfolk DPAC had this on show
A shot of the platform
The full platform plus the young woman doing sign language translations for deaf people.


I took custody of the National Autistic Society West Norfolk Branch banners and some NAS flags yesterday evening, and worked out a way to set up the banners that was suitable for them being on a march:

Some string and a couple of old cricket stumps provided my answer to the question of how to make these banners suitable for carrying on a march. The appearance may be less than convincing, but it held up for the duration of the march – job done!

We assembled at the bandstand in The Walks at 12 noon, and Jo Rust who did most of the organizing introduced a few speakers, before we set off on our march around the town. Many people expressed support for us while we marched through town, and at least one person took the trouble to express their gratitude that NAS were represented on the march. The event then finished with a few speeches outside the Majestic Cinema. Although organized by the local Labour Party and the King’s Lynn and District Trades Union Council this march was not a party political event, and Sir Henry Bellingham MP had been invited to attend and to make a speech, an invitation that he spurned. The turnout was excellent, helped by bright sunny weather (yes there was a serious nip to the wind, but this is King’s Lynn after all).

I finish this brief account with a few photos…

At the bandstand
A great placard produced by a teenage mental health camapigner
The same placard
The NAS West Norfolk banner post-march
Jo Rust making her final speech of the day.


I start this section with a photographic message for those who have reached this part of the post…


My remaining photos are presented as a’tiled mosaic’ – to view an individual image at full size click on it…

Two Days of Imaging

Some highlights from yesterday and today at work.


Yesterday and today were both work days for me, and I stayed overnight in Norwich as I was attending an evening meeting in that fine city. I will not be covering said meeting in this post as I plan to write about it and about tomorrow’s protest against the possible closure of the Fermoy Unit in detail in another post. All my images today are presented as ’tiled mosaics’ – to view an individual image at full size click on it.


Thursday was all imaging for the May auction. I finished the militaria imaging before moving on to some other stuff. Here a few highlights from these lots…

After the militaria I dealt with the coin lots that were unsuitable for being scanned…

There was then a mixture of items to finish the day…


Some of the last lots in the April auction (this Wednesday in Norwich) were located, and there was some interesting stuff for the May auction to image as well. I start with some of those April lots…

Now for some of the lots for the May auction that I imaged today…


NAS West Norfolk and the Fermoy Protest

A plug for Saturday’s protest on behalf of the Fermoy unit, and a brief explanation of NAS West Norfolk’s involvement.


I have made mention of the protest on Saturday against the possible closure of the Fermoy unit previously, but was not able in that post to say anything about NAS West Norfolk involvement as that was still under discussion and I did not wish to be seen as pre-empting that discussion in any way.

The discussion is now resolved and the decision has gone the way I was hoping for. Campaigning on behalf of services needed by autistic people is part of our remit and as such not only will various people from NAS West Norfolk be in attendance on Saturday, we will have the NAS West Norfolk banner with us. Although this protest has been organised by the local Labour Party in conjunction with King’s Lynn District Trades Union Council our presence is not in any way a statement of party political views – we are going to be there because the issue is important to us and not because of who is organizing it.

Before finishing by showing the poster for the event I issue a call: anybody reading this who can get to King’s Lynn on Saturday please do so – let’s make this big!

MH Protest