Photographs and Press Releases

An account of some work I have done with some very rare and valuable medals.


Although work has barely started as yet on the James and Sons January auction, there has been one huge development, in the form of some very high value medals. 


There are two groups of medals in this story, a very rare group awarded to Chief Gunner A E Seymour for the Battle of Jutland, which include a Russian Order of St Anne Gold Medal awarded to foreigners (exceedingly rare) and a group of World War Two medals awarded to his son. 


On the 12th of December I was asked to photograph the medals, making sure that we had top quality pictures available for use in advertising and promotional materials. These are the pictures that I took, starting with the Jutland group:

Jutland 1 - reduced
The first seven shots you will see are of the front side of the Jutland group

Jutland 2 - reducedJutland 3 - reducedJutland 4 -reducedJutland 5Jutland 6Jutland 7

Jutland back
The next three shots are of the back of the Jutland group

Jutland back 2Jutland back 3

russian medal - close up
The exceedingly rare Russian medal.
The naming on the back of the bronze medal.
The World War Two set
medals front
The front of the WWII medals
medals back
The back of the WWII medals

Until yesterday, barring a print out of some of the better pictures that I had produced for my employer’s use that was all that had been done…


As well as the document that I used as the email/ press release I had to create two mailing lists. One, a list of everyone who had bought medals from James and Sons in the past and had an email address was easily extracted from the client database (designed, created and maintained by me). The second, a combination of contact details for military publications and for everyone who advertises in the Medal Yearbook had to be assembled manually. In addition to these I had of course the regular press to contact, but those details are already available at a click in my work email account. 

The bulk email recipients merely got the document itself, plus the images actually used in it as attachments. Those who were being sent this as a press release got the full image gallery. At the end I also had send a jpeg of the press release to The Armourer, as we had missed the copy date for the printed magazine, but they were going to display it on their website.

The Press Release/ Email in jpeg form.


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

Compensation for Public Transport Problems

An account of how I gained deserved compensation from Stagecoach for unacceptable delays to their X8 service between King’s Lynn and Fakenham


This post is mainly taklen up with an email exchange between myself and various people at Stagecoach, who since they took over Norfolk Green have run bus services ion my local area. Last week, after five successive journeys that were late, sometimes by very large margins I decided it was time to contact Stagecoach about the X8 route between King’s Lynn and Fakenham, which I use to get to and from work, at a cost of an hour’s wages per working day.


This starts with my opening email, sent on Friday morning, 24 hours after the last of the five delayed journeys in question…


This is the text of my initial email, with the subject being “poor servcice on X8 between King’s Lynn and Fakenham”:

To whom it may concern

I use this service to travel to and from work, and it has been plagued by punctuality problems for some time. This week the situation has finally become so 
unacceptable that I have decided I have to write to you. My working days this week were Tuesday, Wednesday and yesterday, and in chronological order the 
experiences I had were:

Tuesday AM: bus was over 20 minutes late at King’s Lynn (it is supposed to leave at 8:45, and both 8:55 to Spalding and 9:05 to March which were running to time 
came and went before it).

Tuesday PM: bus was over half an hour late.

Wednesday AM: bus was 15 minutes late at King’s Lynn.

Wednesday PM: bus was over 10 minutes late

Thursday AM: bus was just under 10 minutes late at King’s Lynn (The 8:55 to Spalding was already standing in bay C, so this bus used bay B).

Thursday pm: Mirabile dictu this bus was actually on time.

Five buses out of six being not just late but significantly late cannot be considered acceptable by anyone. I also point out that as someone who is very conscientious 
about arriving in good time (especially given that this service runs hourly) I spent considerably more time waiting for this buses than documented above (5+ minutes for 
each journey). As a final point, this bus service is expensive enough that each journey swallows an hours wages. I would like to suggest that what has happened this 
week is sufficiently unacceptable to warrant financial compensation. My suggestion is that given an expenditure on my part of £20.70 compensation of £15 would be 
appropriate. If you agree, you could send a cheque to:

Thomas Sutcliffe
117E High Street
King’s Lynn
PE30 1DD

As a final point, I have various press contacts with whom I could share this story, a well supported blog and an even better supported twitter account. Just how hostile 
to you my final write up of this story is depends on the speed and nature of your response to this communication.

Yours sincerely

Thomas Sutcliffe


That afternoon I received this initial response:

Message Received: Dec 11 2015, 03:14 PM
From: “Amy Fields” 
To: “Thomas Sutcliffe” 
Subject: Re: Poor service on X8 between King;s Lynn and Fakenham

Good Afternoon Mr Sutcliffe 

I am sorry to hear the circumstances that have brought you to contact us. 
We will be looking further into the matter and I will be passing this over 
to the Assistant Operations Manager her attention who will be in contact 
in due course regarding this matter,

Would you be able to advise me if in the morning it is always the 8.45am 
bus you catch in the morning and would you be able to let me know what 
time you catch the bus home so that we can look at the correct journey.

Please accept my sincerest apologies for the delays you have been 

Kind Regards
Stagecoach in Norfolk
Hamlin Way
King’s Lynn
PE30 4NG

Tel: 01553 776980

Registered Office : Stagecoach (East) Ltd, Daw Bank, Stockport, Cheshire, 
SK3 ODU. Registered in England & Wales No. 1673542

I duly fired back this response of my own:

Dear Amy

Yes – the 8:45Am is my regular morning bus, and the one that applies to all the journeys mentioned in the initial email. My regular bus home, and again the one that applies to all the journeys mentioned in my first email is the 17:38. I look forward to learning the final results of your investigations. 

Thomas Sutcliffe


Finally, this afternoon (given that I sent my initial email on a Friday morning I considered Monday afternoon to be not unduly tardy), I received this message…

Message Received: Dec 14 2015, 04:06 PM
From: “Lisa Addison” 

Subject: X8 Service

Dear Thomas,
I am writing in response to your email dated 11th December 2015 regarding 
service x8
Thank you for bringing this to my attention and I apologise for any 
inconvenience caused
I have investigated your comments regarding the Kings Lynn and Fakenham 
departures due to depart at 08:55 and 1738 hours respectively. On 
investigation and after tracking the services via our Greenroad system, 
which is GPS based, I can confirm that unfortunately the journeys stated 
were indeed operating excessively later than scheduled. One of the reasons 
for this is due to traffic related issues in both arriving into Kings Lynn 
in the mornings but also the service departing from Norwich in the 
afternoon. The second is that the vehicle that operates both the AM and PM 
journeys operates a school service prior to the X8. This more than not 
incurs lateness primarily down to departing the school grounds and then in 
turn operating light to the relevant starting points thereafter i.e Kings 
Lynn and Norwich respectively.
I appreciate that the above is not acceptable therefore and as a matter of 
course I have copied our commercial manager into this response in order 
that this ongoing reliability issue can be addressed. 
As a token of goodwill and part compensation I will post, via a postal 
order, the sum of £15 for inconvenience caused.
May I take this opportunity to apologise for the inconvenience caused and 
you can be assured that further investigations will be forthcoming into 
the reliability of the X8 service.
Yours sincerely
Lisa Addison
Assistant Operations Manager
Stagecoach In Norfolk
The Bus Station
Vancouver Centre
Kings Lynn
PE30 1DS
Tel :- +44(0)1553776980
Email :-
Web :-

I concluded the exchange by sending this brief acknowledgement…

Dear Lisa

Many thanks for getting in contact with me regarding the problems I have highlighted and for agreeing to compensate me as per my request. 

Thomas Sutcliffe


An acceptable resolution has been arrived at. I woulkd point that although I expressed myslef quite forcefully in the opening email there was no bad language on either side, and I cast no aspersions on the ability of anyone at Stagecoach to do their jobs. I do hope you have all enjoyed this post even though it includes no pictures.


Emails and Cameras

An account of a day at James and Sons, including my first public mention of a new project, some important links and some photographs from in and around King’s Lynn.


Welcome to this post about yesterday at James and Sons. I also have some pictures from King’s Lynn and a few links to share.


Today there were two bulk emails to dispatch., The first was a straight forward email to everyone living within a sensible distance of the locations concerned about the two fairs that James and Sons take part in every month. The second, following instructions relayed by a colleague was a targeted email about our auction for buyers of Medals and Militaria. I chose as well as altering the strapline of the email to create a new graphic featuring military themed items only , and as a matter of necessity I very carefully made sure that the list of recipients for this email did not include any of those who had received the one I sent out on Friday. Here are the images involved…


This was the image I decided to use.
This was the image I decided to use.

Militaria IMG2 Militaria IMG 499 451 448 447 440


As well as my usual duties connected with an auction, and my role running the database, and my role doing press releases and my unofficial role as in-house “Gordianus” (Gordianus is Stephen Saylor’s central character in his Roma Sub Rosa series and has the nickname “the finder”) I have yet another area os responsibility relating to our 28th October auction – we have received a car load of vintage cameras, and I will be responsible for catalogiuing them, as well as for producing the images. I have made a start on this new project, and the images will give you an idea of my approach…

This lot are just about worth listing as a boxful.
This lot are just about worth listing as a boxful.
A close up of the Thornton Pickard name.
A close up of the Thornton Pickard name.
Camera open and ready for action.
Camera open and ready for action.
Closed case - ready for carrying
Closed case – ready for carrying
This is the star item of the collection thus far (and likely to remain so - I have given it a deliberately conservative estimate of £60-80 - there is one without the case, instructions and accessories on the net at 119.99) This is one of four images I took of this item.
This is the star item of the collection thus far (and likely to remain so – I have given it a deliberately conservative estimate of £60-80 – there is one without the case, instructions and accessories on the net at 119.99) This is one of four images I took of this item.

point and click Kodak Mixed EKF EKF -b

A genuine antique, should attract some inetrest.
A genuine antique, should attract some inetrest.


Interesting again, but not worth a huge amount.
Interesting again, but not worth a huge amount.

Coronet Rapide

This is of an interesting type, and comes in its original carrying case.
This is of an interesting type, and comes in its original carrying case.

boxed mixed BN2b BN2a

This image and the next two are all of a camera that is worth selling singly only because of its antiquity and the fact that it is still in its original box.
This image and the previous two are all of a camera that is worth selling singly only because of its antiquity and the fact that it is still in its original box.


I have three things to share in this section, starting with…


The title of this subsection refers to the actions of the Student’s Union at Warwick University. An ex-Muslim named Maryam Namazie had been invited to speak at the university about why she had abandoned her religious faith and other related matters. Some idiot within the Students Union then decided that there was “a danger of her inciting hatred” and barred her from coming. A petition was quickly organised on to get the S.U to reverse this appalling decision, and with strong international support, notably from the team at whyevolutionisttrue it has duly been overturned. I have three links for you to gain further information…

  1. The original petition
  2. The official declaration of victory.
  3. A final word on the case from whyevolutionistrue.


This is an update on a long running campaign. Apparently many MPs who have been contacted about this (and I did not deem it worth my while to contact my own MP given how obvious it is where he will stand) have been sending form replies about the vote in favour of retaining FPTP at the last referendum. This is calculatedly dishonest, since at that referendum FPTP was not being tested against PR, but against a system called AV (although I made a point of voting for the latter so that my opposition to FPTP was a matter of record). Thus, I have two links and, courtesy of George Aylett on twitter, a splendid infographic to share with you:



This is a three-and-a-half minute you-tube video created by Autism-Mom and her son, the Navigator (it is more hearing than seeing, as neither are ever actually in shot, but there is some good text accompaniment to the voices). Please view this video by clicking here.


I finish this post by sharing some of my recent pictures from around King’s Lynn…

DSCN6205 DSCN6207 DSCN6227 DSCN6228 DSCN6230 DSCN6232 DSCN6233 DSCN6234 DSCN6238 DSCN6241 DSCN6242 DSCN6243

These pics from here until the second to last are from yesterday morning before work.
These pics from here until the second to last are from yesterday morning before work.

DSCN6253 DSCN6254 DSCN6257 DSCN6260 DSCN6264 DSCN6265 DSCN6269 DSCN6271 DSCN6274

This pumpkin field is near Knight's Hill, just beyond comfortable walking distance from the town centre - I took this from the top deck of an X8 bus.
This pumpkin field is near Knight’s Hill, just beyond comfortable walking distance from the town centre – I took this from the top deck of an X8 bus.
From yesterday evening, part of the light show at King's Lynn Minster.
From yesterday evening, part of the light show at King’s Lynn Minster.