Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Charles Horner hatpins – get the point?

This week found me researching the Suffragette movement, a term coined - according to - by the Daily Mail as a derogatory way of describing members of the Women's Social and Political Union, headed by Emmeline Pankhurst.

Interestingly, the same newspaper carried a report of how a judge ordered a group of Suffragettes on trial to remove their hatpins in court, fearing they could be used as weapons.

Images courtesy of Charles Horner of Halifax by Tom J. Lawson, published by GML Publishing and distributed by the Antique Collectors’ Club Ltd., which supplied them.

By now off on a completely wrong tangent, I learned from another report, dated December 17, 1908, how a woman lost her sight in one eye after an accident in the rush on the first day of a shop

Read more »

Labels: , ,

Monday, 16 February 2009

Car boot sale buy is rare PenDelfin plaque

A chance find at a car boot sale is set to hit the jackpot for a couple after auctioneers valued their £2 bargain at £1,000 or more.

UPDATE: The wall plaque sold for £1,350.

"The little ceramic wall plaque was lying in the grass underneath one stall and my husband walked past without giving it a second glance," said the woman, a local government officer who asked not to be named.

"I was following on behind and it caught my eye when I looked down, so I picked it up. I didn't think much of it at first, but when I turned it over, I saw the name .

"There was no price on it, so I asked the stallholder how much she wanted for it and she said '£2.50'. I offered her £2 and bought it just like that.

"When we got home, we looked it up on the Internet but couldn't find anything about it. The

Read more »


Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Stevengraphs: silken Valentine’s Day gifts

February 14 presents something of a double whammy on my wallet: not only is it Valentine’s Day, but it’s also the Business Manager’s birthday. Mrs P and I have known each other for a long time and it has always caused a problem.

See a slideshow of silken Stevengraphs

One year I recall buying her a wonderful Nailsea glass ship under a glass dome – a Victorian fancy that I thought she would like as much as me. She did, but she’s never let me forget just whose present it really was.

Then there was the year when, following mutual agreement, we decided not to buy anything

Read more »

Labels: ,

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

So, farewell then wonderful Wedgwood

So, farewell then wonderful Wedgwood (at least in the form we know it today). You will be sorely missed … Last week, and with virtually the same words, this column mourned the passing of Woolworths.  Now another great institution is on the ropes.

     Venture capitalists circle over the Barlaston works, enticed by Receivers who will be the only winners in the game, while a talented workforce of Staffordshire potters nervously awaits its fate.
    Founded by the great Josiah in 1759, Wedgwood once produced wares that everyone wanted to buy from Catherine the Great to people like my parents who just wanted a smart Sunday best teaset. Not any more it seems.
    The youngest of 12 children, Josiah was born at his parents' pottery in Burslem. He started school at the age of six, but was forced to leave on his father's death at nine.
    He then worked then for five years as apprentice in the family pot bank, but was then

Read more »

Labels: , , ,

Thursday, 5 February 2009

Masriera – master jeweller

Technorati Tags: ,,

Fly to the Costa Brava for a penny? You must be kidding! I wasn't, and we did, thanks to a last-minute flight out of Liverpool's John Lennon Airport courtesy of one of the low-cost airlines operating there.

It was a great way of setting ourselves up for the twin Christmas excesses of too much turkey and television.

In contrast, we raced around in the glorious winter sunshine seeing cities and seaside resorts, eating paella in two-hour lunches and even managing to fit in visits to a museum and an antiques fair - all without the crush of summer tourists.

The first of many revelations was Antoni Gaudi's Temple de la Sagrada Familia - Barcelona's astonishing "jewelled" cathedral to the Sacred Family still being built more than 120 years after it was started in 1882.

The following day, we enjoyed tapas at a pavement cafe outside one of the most striking Art Nouveau buildings in Girona, and in the same city we saw an exhibition featuring the

Read more »

Labels: , ,

Monday, 2 February 2009

Farewell Woolworths – hello Homemaker

So, farewell then wonderful Woolworths. You’ll be sorely missed, and not just by the pick-n-mix crowd.

We drove past the shop where Mrs P was a Saturday girl on the cheese counter (remember the days when they sold food?). What remains is a cavernous white elephant on a High Street crippled by closures.

Click here to see a slideshow of Homemaker images*

Now the sales vultures have finished picking over the carcass, the detritus of the shopping giant has started to appear on eBay.

Staff T-shirts, customer service badges, rolls of “Sold By Woolworths” tape, even plastic

Read more »

Labels: , , ,