An account of the time I spent in Penzance on the Saturday of my Cornish holiday.


I have finally edited all the pictures from my recent Cornish holiday and have now at last got time to get back to blogging about it. My last post described my journey down to Penzance, and this post provides the story of the rest of the day.


Having arrived in to Penzance pretty much bang on schedule I visited the local information office, purchased a detailed and very cheap souvenir map (I will conclude this series of Cornish posts with one featuring all the publicity materials that I collected while down there), and set out on the first part of my exploration of the town. An early necessity was finding somewhere to eat lunch (although I am not entirely inflexible on the matter I generally aim to eat lunch some time close to 1PM), and having walked past the Harbour and the Chapel I found an establishment suited to my needs. The Turk’s Head was not too extortionate (there are no cheap places in Penzance). I opted for a BBQ Chicken, Bacon and Davidstow Cheese melt, and enjoyed it, although I felt that it did not really live up to its name on two counts:
1. There was precious little evidence of bacon (though they had used good quality chicken)
2. Davidstow is supposed to be a strongly flavoured cheese and yet I barely noticed it over the other flavours – if I ask for something of which cheese is a featured ingredient I want to taste said cheese.

Here some photos taken between leaving Penzance station and having lunch:

PenzanceFerryWall painting PenzanceWall Paintings, PenzancePenzance WalksMap, Penzance Info OfficePenzance HarbourPenzance ChurchOld lifeboat station, PenzanceView from the Bridge1View from the bridge 2Mermaid Pleasure TripsMermaid Seal Cove CruisesCornish IFCAWildlife Display BoardShark TripDisplay BoardPelagic TripsChapel

Egyptian House
The Egyptian House

The GlobeTGChurch Tower

Air pressure
The first of a number of shots of interesting items on display at The Turks Head

Decorative plateBrass implementsInternal DecorTurks Head

There were five sets of framed banknotes starting with this one.

BN2BN3BN4BN5BeermatsHorsebrass 1LanternHorsebrass 2Toby JugsCopper Plate

Devon and Cornwall
Poor lighting prevented me from doing full justice to this map.
This, and the two set of framed cigarette cards the follow it were in a narrow passage that meant that I could not get them fully in shot from front on – had to photograph at an angle.

Cig Cards 1Cig Cards 2otter aleCopperwareBed warmerCopper Pot


Having consumed my lunch I headed for the Promenade, and walked along it. From the other end of the Promenade I walked back to the train station and then did some exploring on the other side of the train station, locating a path that ran between the tracks and the sea. Here are some photographs…


Jubilee Pool 1
In November one would not expect an open-air pool in Engalnd to have much custom, and indeed the Jubilee Pool was empty.

PromontorywavesChurch from PromenadeJubilee Pool 2Penzance Town trailJubilee Pool RestorationJubilee Pool 4MemorialMayor Stuchbery1839 RC

Helen Glover post box
A number of post boxes were painted gold to honour people who were successful at the London 2012 Olympics – this one Penzance is dedicated to rower Helen Glover.

Plaque close upHG Postbox - frontThe BuccaneerPearly Nautilus from the BuccaneerAcross the bayAcross the bay 2walks from PenzanceBranwell's MillAtlantic CoastersBus infoPZPZ support 1PZ Support 2Looking across the stationSurfDomeGothic TowerThe LongboatOutside Penzance Station

I conclude this post with two special sections, firstly…


Being grey the whole time, and misty for most of it this was not a great a day for taking long-range photographs, but St Michael’s Mount was not a target I could resist, even under those circumstances, so here are the results:

St Michael's Mount through mistSt Michael's MountSt MNichael's Mount IIISMM4SMM5St Michael's Mount and Flying GullSMM7The St Aubyn Estate, atop St Michael;s MountSMM8SMM close upSMM close up 2

You will notice gulls in a couple of these shots, which leads to the second special section, which concludes this post…


There are many seabirds to be observed in Penzance and I was able to capture some of them on camera…

Small Wadersbirds and boatsbirds on a rockPosing cormorantBirds on a rock 2bold gullRock and birdsOne gull, two corvidsGull and corvidGathering of gullsSwimming gullsGullsGulls on seaweedMarine CorvidFlying CormorantSea CorvidMany Gulls

The journey back was uneventful, and with the train departing Penzance at 16:41 on a November afternoon it was too dark for photographing through the windows of that train.



An Auction Deferred

An account of the rescheduled James and Sons auction which happened yesterday.


Followers of this blog will be aware that the second James and Sons August auction had to be postponed. Yesterday, at James and Sons own premises, 5 Norwich Street, Fakenham NR21 9AF was the appointed time and place for the rescheduled auction. We could not display all the stock in the limited space of our shop, so only small items made it downstairs. What follows is in account of my day and of the auction.


Some preliminary testing was done on Thursday to help ensure that the auction ran properly. On the Friday I caught the first bus of the morning into Fakenham. I was thus at the shop at about 7:10am, and after making a cup of coffee, getting my computer switched on and checking my emails I had a little time to spare before anyone else would be arriving, so I photographed some maps that will feature in the first of our end of September auctions. At 7:45AM I headed back downstairs, switched the downstairs lights on to acknowledge my presence to the world and was ready for action. Here are some photos from this period…

bus map
This route map can be seen at the bus stands on Oak Street, Fakenham


From here until the picture of the two computers are pictures relating to auction layout and setup


Beatrix Potter coins
The light was wrong for capturing these Beatrix Potter coins – the sun was shining directly on them.

Hats 1Hats 2

IT setup
The IT setup – the silvery computer is the master machine,, and is open on the operator screen, with my notepad, pen, catalogue and ersatz coaster (formerly the back cover of a notepad) in front of it, along with my bidding paddle. Note also the camera attached to to the other machine and positioned to focus on the auctioneer, and the brand spanking new mic in the middle.
The maps – this is lot 538, and although I only got up to lot 545 there are maps from this series up to lot 600, and then a few more will feature in the third and final auction of the end of September series, with lot numbers in the 1500s. I will be imaging the rest on Tuesday.



Because of the circumstances of the auction there was a button I had to press called ‘repush bidders live’ when preparing for the start of the auction. Additionally, the auctioneer had decided to start at lot 921 instead of the official lot 924, which meant that I had to manually re-offer those first three lots before the system got back in sequence. A reset request from atgmedia also contributed to a slowish start. However, once this was all dealt with the auction proceeded smoothly.


The militaria fared well, the antiques and bygones far better than I had expected, while the records and books were predictably quiet. Then we got into the ephmera, for which section I had two plans, as follows:

  1. If lot 1415 was available at a price within my means I would get that and my interest as a potential buyer would terminate.
  2. If plan 1 failed then I would try my luck with lots 1422 and 1428, with a fair degree of confidence of getting them.

    Lot 1422 (four images)


    Lot 1428

    In the event the starting price for lot 1415 was too high for me (I had decided that I would come in at £25 but not if more was required, and the auctioneer wanted £30), but I was successful with plan 2, getting each item for £10.

Some of the framed prints sold as well, which is all to the good. Lot 1600, the last item in the sale went under the hammer at about 2:20PM, and once I had accomplished as much of the clear-up of the IT stuff as was possible (typically, the laptop we used as the master computer decided that before shutting down it needed to install a load of updates, so I had to leave it where it was, though now unlugged and running on battery).

After consuming my sandwiches I was able to get away, having had a tiring but very satisfying day. 


Auction Delayed

The rescheduling of an auction – a first in my time at James and Sons.


Yesterday was the day on which James and Sons’ second August auction should have taken place. This post is about what actually happened.


I arrived at Fakenham Racecourse precisely as planned, which was about the last occasion on that day that anything could be said to have gone to plan. We were slightly late getting things set up. Then my computer failed to connect to the racecourse’s internet as their set up is not secure enough for my computer’s liking. Another laptop having been located it then became apparent that we would not be able to run video, although the audio seemed fine. 

Just after lot 923 went under the hammer we finally and definitively lost our audio as well. Discussion with the folks at, which included them being given remote access to one of our computers failed to resolve the situation, and after 15 minutes attempting to resolve the situation we decided that the only option was to postpone the auction, so on Friday 8th September at 10AM we will be having an auction at our shop which will start at lot 924 and end at lot 1600. 

shop front


Once the we had got the stuff back to the shop we got the auction officially rescheduled and I sent out a bulk email and a press release about the new auction. Here are both documents, and all the images used in their creation save for that of the record.

I know I got the date wrong on this one – I was very tired and failed to notice.

JAMES AUCTION ON SEPTEMBER 10THemailJAMES AUCTION ALERT92410011001-a1053-d1053-c10531053-a1053-b127314151415-a1415-b1415-c1415-d1600


A brief account of yesterday;s episode of Antiques Road Trip, which featured both my home town and my employer. Also some photographs and some links.


Although I do have a few other things to share this post is mainly concerned with yesterday’s episode of Antiques Road Trip, which happened to feature an auction at Fakenham Racecourse (which took place on April 29th 2015).


Here is a link to last night’s episode:

For those who watch, I am the person in the red jacket sitting next to the auctioneer.

This was the start of a new week, so we were introduced to the two experts and shown the car that they would be using first. Then the buying part of the episode happened, which features some excellent footage of King’s Lynn among other places.

The episode concluded, as they all do, with the auction. While I do not know much about what happened to these items after the auction I can tell you that following a couple of other unsuccessful outings the baker’s scales are still on the James and Sons van.

The program was well made, and even though I of course already knew which items were destined to be bought for sale at that auction, nevertheless it held my attention all the way through.


I mentioned that there was some good footage from King’s Lynn on yesterday’s episode of Antiques Road Trip, and here some photos from King’s Lynn…

St Nicholas Chapel, taken in August
The Corn Exchange, also from August
The Custom House, from August
Taken yesterday
Taken yesterday
Taken yesterday
One of three images of the flag flying above King’s Lynn station, all taken yesterday
The Red Mount Chapel, taken yesterday


Taken yesterday
Taken yesterday
It is not often that a poll produces this result! – the story was about a Tory lord who was claiming that their daily allowance was insufficient!
The front of the Duke’s Head Hotel where the Positive Autism Awareness Conference will be happening on April 15th.


I conclude this post by sharing a few recent posts connected with my London transport themed website:

The Lost Property Office

Tube Strike over job cuts and ticket office closures – Vox Political

Tube strike over job cuts and ticket office closures – Guardian

My most recent original post – Chingford and Loughton

Emails, Images and Sorts

An account of today at James and Sons, with images and links, plus a couple of bonus links at the end.


This is a post about today at work. I also have some links to share later on.


James and Sons’ August Auction will take place at Fakenham Racecourse on the 26th (a week tomorrow). Today therefore was spent imaging lots that had not yet been done, creating and despatching a bulk email and various other bits and bobs.


There were a few interesting items in today’s imaging…

Some interesting memorabilia from the 1956 ashes (offspinner Laker 46 wickets at less than 10 each just 18 months after the pace of Tyson and Statham had done for Aus on their own pitches)
Some interesting memorabilia from the 1956 ashes (offspinner Laker 46 wickets at less than 10 each just 18 months after the pace of Tyson and Statham had done for Aus on their own pitches)

31 32 33 41 42 100 331 331a 331b 331c 331d 508 509


The process of creating a bulk email involves identifying recipients, selecting/ creating an image, working out a headline and body text, assembling, and once a higher authority has deemed everything acceptable sending it out. I used the cover of the catalogue as an image. There were several variations before I was done…

This was a first attempt using the scanner.
This was a first attempt using the scanner.
Subsequently I used screen dumps from the PDF document to create two possible images.
Subsequently I used screen dumps from the PDF document to create two possible images.
This one, with the front cover in the centre.
This one, with the front cover in the centre.


And the one I eventually used, featuring just front and back cover.
And the one I eventually used, featuring just front and back cover.

The complete document can be viewed below:

Auction Alert

View a complete catalogue


Just a couple of links:

A Very Varied Day’s Work

Accounts of some elements of yesterday at work, some important petitions, a couple of autism related links and some cracking pictures.


Apart from a substantial links section, this post focuses on yesterday at work. I hope that you will enjoy it and that some of you will be encouraged to share.


The catalogue for James and Sons’ auction on Wednesday is now out in print form. It can also be viewed online at

Our feature image!
Our feature image!

The auction will taking place at the Maids Head Hotel in Norwich, and those who cannot be there but see something of interest can bid online via the-saleroom or Delcampe or leave bids with us either by emailing or phoning 01328 855003.


One of the tasks I was given yesterday was answering a query about one of our lots in the next sale. The  request was for some extra images, and here is how I resolved it…

This is the image that is available online.
This is the image that is available online.

317J5 317J4 317J3 317J2

And close-ups of each
And close-ups of each
The selection I chose to serve as highlights.
The selection I chose to serve as highlights.


My selection of links divides into two subsections, a selection of important petitions and a couple of autism related pieces.


The first petition I have for you comes via and is aimed at putting pressure on Pakistan to overturn Asia Bibi’s death sentence.

My next petition grew out of a Freedom of Information request submitted by Mike Sivier of Vox Political regarding deaths following the stopping of benefits. I have two links relating to this:

1)The petition itself

2)An accompanying blog post by Maggie Zolobajluk

My next petition is one that has already achieved its original goal but is being used as a jumping off point for tackling similar behaviour by an authority in Kent:

1)The original petition

2)An article on kentonline.

Last and in the chief place among the petitions is Joanne Fowler’s petition motivated by the needless suffering inflicted on her father in his last years


My first piece in this section comes from Dr Lisa Sulsenti, who runs an autism related facebook group of which I am a member and takes the form of an open letter to someone who responded badly to an autistic child in a restaurant.

Secondly, here is Autism Mom’s latest offering.


I conclude this post with pictures of some of the items I imaged for our August auction (26th, Fakenham Racecourse)…

Lot 5, a very fancy boxed Meerschaum
Lot 5, a very fancy boxed Meerschaum


This metal strong box is lot 337
This metal strong box is lot 337
This wooden cabinet type box is lot 339
This wooden cabinet type box is lot 339

339a 339b

This British made tobacco shredder is lot 340
This British made tobacco shredder is lot 340

340a 340b

This clock is lot 343
This clock is lot 343
A close up of the face.
A close up of the face.
The mechanism
The mechanism

Yesterday at James and Sons

This is the first of two blog post I shall be putting up in the course of today. The other relates to an important meeting that I attended in Norwich last night. I have three things to cover from yesterday at work, after I have shared a few links with you…


My first link is to a very interesting post in support of the tax dodging bill.

The other links I am sharing here rather than saving for my next post are all concerned with petition seeking to get Katie Hopkins sacked, about which I have already blogged. At present it has just passed 270,000 signatures, as you can see by visiting its home page. As well as the petition, complaints have been flooding in to IPSO, the press watchdog – more details can be found by checking out this piece from Huffington Post. Finally, both Ms Hopkins and the editor of the filthy rag that published her imitation of the Third Reich have been reported for incitement to racial hatred – more details in this piece from The Independent.


My day at work yesterday featured three different strands, a press release, the official post about which can be viewed on the James and Sons website. I now reproduce the jpg version of the original document and a link to the word document…

Antiques Road Trip

The composite image I created for the press release.
The composite image I created for the press release.
The press release in picture form.
The press release in picture form.

The second strand was resolving queries, which involved taking a picture of some old writing so that it could be sent to someone for translation, and also getting some close ups of stamps to resolve a query about lot 491 in our April sale…

DSCN4132 DSCN4133 DSCN4134 DSCN4135 DSCN4136 DSCN4137 DSCN4138

Finally, the greatest part of my day was spent imaging new stuff for our May auction (27th, Maids Head Hotel, Norwich):

511 518 518a 519 519a 520 520a 520b 525 525b 525c 526 526a 529 529a 537 708 708a 758a 760b 760c 760d 774a 774b 774e

Please share widely and do look out for my next post which will be about the Save Ashcroft Campaign.