A Varied Day at James and Sons

An account of today at James and Sons, featuring the construction of a press release, a bonus explanation of the origin of the phrase ‘bent as a nine-bob note’, and at the end a couple of important links.


I have some old images to share, some new images to share, and a press release to talk about. Additionally I have a couple of important links that I will be sharing at the end of this post.


There are several stages involved in creating press releases/ bulk emails. Stage 1 is working out what to cover, which in this case involved two aspects:

  1. The success of the March 30th and 31st auction, with large numbers of internet bidders, and…
  2. Advertising the April auction, complete with a link to the online catalogue listing.

Each of the foregoing for maximum effect needed to be accompanied by an appropriate image. Hence:


For the March image I was looking for something that had sold for well above estimate, and would look good in an email. Thus my attention focussed on lot 720, which I recalled as being both interesting visually and spectacularly successful in the auction room. Thus I needed to view the full image gallery and select from within that…

I decided, given the shape of image I was looking for to combine the shot of the four coins and the ingot and the close-up of the ingot into a composite image (I considered the four reverses on their own, but wanted both parts of the image to have the same colour background).


The composite I created for the occasion.

For the image to accompany the text advertising the April auction the task was easier – I went for the front cover item for very obvious reasons.


Incidentally the above denomination of banknote provides the origin for the phrase “bent as a nine-bob note” – ‘bob’ was a colloquialism for a shilling, and as shown above, a ‘ten-bob’ note was kosher while a ‘nine-bob note’ would absolutely not have been.


Coming up with the text for the press release is a straight-forward task, and assembling a mailing list is a simple matter of noting which categories of items are prominent in the upcoming auction, selecting the appropriate lists from the database and combining them into one big list. In this instance there were almost 400 names on the final list. As a security measure (and a guard against people hitting the ‘reply to all’ button) I am the designated recipient of the emails (my James and Sons email address, not my personal one) and the true recipients are bcc’d. Thus, given that our system can handle approximately 100 people being bcc’d at a time, this one involved sending the email four times.


I have a jpg of the final press release, and also a link that will enable you to view the document in its original word format.



In addition to the above, some work on the database and some fetching and carrying there were also a few items that had been catalogued but had not previously been in our possession so still needed imaging…


First up, courtesy of WEIT comes a horror story about a secular blogger being hacked to death in Bangladesh.

Finally, to end this post on an upbeat note, a story from the New Statesman by way of Prides Purge about how badly the Tory campaign for London Mayor has come off the rails (attentive followers of this blog  and my London transport themed website, www.londontu.be, will know that if I had a vote in that election I would be using it on Sian Berry’s behalf, but whoever ends up benefitting – most likely Sadiq Khan – bad news for Tories is good news for me!)


A King’s Lynn Walk

As usual, before getting to the main part of the blog I have some links to share…

First of all, a story in the Mirror about housing benefits profiteers (i.e. big landlords) accompanied by a link to list of 20 of West Norfolk’s worst offenders in this regard:


A shocking story from the Independent about a scientific peer reviewer who in the year 2015 said that women should get help with their research from men.

Shocking but not in the least surprising to anyone who knows anything about destructive Dave the debate ducker and his mate Gideon is this story about the effect of Tory cuts on the disabled from the New Statesman.

Now, some political dynamite from Vox Political in the form of story about how the Labour and Green party candidates were omitted from 480 ballot papers sent out to voters in Hull.

Katie Hopkins has been at it again, and is the subject of another petition on change.org demanding an apology to the autistic community for her latest offensive remarks. Please sign and share.

My last story is of a good outcome to a horrible event. The people who attacked and almost killed Malala Yousafzai have been jailed for life, and here is the story courtesy of BBC News.


This afternoon I went out for a walk, which turned out be full of glorious spring sights. The first camera moment came within minutes of setting forth, as I was crossing over the upper Purfleet, in the form of this Moorhen…


The Great Ouse rarely fails to provide some decent opportunities for pictures, and here are some from today…

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Neither Hardngs Pits nor the Nar provided much of interest, but the parkland areas (the Walks and the Recreation Field) certainly did…

Opportunities to photograph the South gate with no traffic interfering are not common.
Opportunities to photograph the South gate with no traffic interfering are not common.

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The loco pulling a goods train.
The loco pulling a goods train.
Tree sculptures, at the Tennyson Road edge of the Recreation Field.
Tree sculptures, at the Tennyson Road edge of the Recreation Field.


A front-on view of the loco showing a couple of trucks as well.
A front-on view of the loco showing a couple of trucks as well.


Between Tennyson Road and Bawsey Drain there were a few small things of interest…

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Bawsey Drain provided two examples of a mother duck taking her little ones out on the water and some small birds of the beautiful but frustrating (because they are so hard to capture on camera) variety…

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I took the way home that leads via two ponds and a section of river to the Railway Station and thence home. This last stretch provided some further duckling pictures and as my final shot of the day a blackbird…

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One duckling that is already a fine swimmer.
One duckling that is already a fine swimmer.