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).


Author: Thomas

I am branch secretary of NAS West Norfolk and #actuallyautistic (diagnosed 10 years ago at the comparatively advanced age of 31). I am a keen photographer, so that most of my own posts contain photos. I am a keen cricket fan and often write about that subject. I also focus a lot on politics and on nature.

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