About Me

My photo
No Fixed Abode, Home Counties, United Kingdom
I’m a 58-year-old Aspergic gardening CAD-Monkey. Sardonic, cynical and with the political leanings of a social reformer, I’m also a toy and model figure collector, particularly interested in the history of plastics and plastic toys. Other interests are history, current affairs, modern art, and architecture, gardening and natural history. I love plain chocolate, fireworks and trees but I don’t hug them, I do hug kittens. I hate ignorance, when it can be avoided, so I hate the 'educational' establishment and pity the millions they’ve failed with teaching-to-test and rote 'learning' and I hate the short-sighted stupidity of the entire ruling/industrial elite, with their planet destroying fascism and added “buy-one-get-one-free”. I also have no time for fools and little time for the false crap we're all supposed to pretend we haven't noticed, or the games we're supposed to play. I will 'bite the hand that feeds' to remind it why it feeds.

Friday, November 29, 2019

News, Views Etc . . . Forthcoming Events - Saturday 30th November-Friday 6th December 2019

Good news - Hungary has pulled out of the "...too gay..." Eurovision Song Contest, now, don't misunderstand me here - I wholly condemn the homophobia represented by the semi-fascist state's actions, but, heay, if it's the first nail in the Eurovision coffin, I'm all for that!

Better News - Boris is crying foul because he was replaced by a block of ice in a roundtable hustings he failed to turn-up for, complaining it was a bias attack on him or his party, an official complaint has been sent to OffCom, but as Nigel Farage (rhymes with c**t) also failed to turn up, receiving a temporary ice-doppelganger too, I can't see how Boris's argument can be found to hold much water . . . except; until it melted! The arrogance of the Right is really equalled only by the Right's hypocrisy, self serving, pocket lining and inhumanity!

Gisela Stuart has called for people to vote Tory, this Labour MP (ex) who is actually German, came over here, promulgated her Brwreakshit-shit, and then (like a lot of the Brwreakshiteers) resigned to run away and not take responsibility for her divisive actions; Gisela - fuck off!

Trump? Well he's just spent the week being Trump, that weird comedy gift which keeps on giving!

Toy Fairs

Saturday 30th November

Chester - Tony Oaks Toy Fairs
The Cheshire Country Club Sports Club, Plas Newton Lane, Upton, Cheshire, CH2 1PR
Internet presence unknown
Tel. - 01270 652 773
Mob. - 07825 631 323
10:30 - 14:30hrs
Admission £2.00
Free Parking

Hawkinge - SRP Toy Fairs
Hawkinge Community Centre, Heron Forstal Avenue, Hawkinge, Kent, CT18 7FT
Mob. - 07739 998 012 (Paula or Gerry)
10:00 - 14:00hrs
Admission charge unknown

Nottingham - Townsend Toy & Train Fairs (Malcolm Townsend) - Nottingham Toy Fair
Bluecoat Academy, Nottingham, NG8 5GY
Mob. - 07951 072 790
10:00 - 14:00hrs
Admission unknown, accompanied under-16's free
Light refreshments
Free Parking

Sunday 1st December 2019

Colchester - SRP Toy Fairs
Langham Community Centre, School Road, Colchester, Essex, CO4 5PA
Mob. - 07739 998 012 (Paula or Gerry)
10:00 - 14:00hrs
Admission charge unknown

Eastbourne - Eastbourne Historic Vehicle Club - Toy & Transport Collectors Fair
Polegate Community Centre, 54 Windsor Way, Polegate, East Sussex, BN26 6QF
Web. - www.ehvc.biz (note change of .url)
Telephone unknown
10:00 - 14:00hrs
Admission£1.50p, children free
Club event

Falkirk - McLaren Models - Scotmodel
Tel. - 01324 624 102

Kempton Park - RM Toys Ltd. - Kempton Park Toy Fair
Kempton Park Racecourse, Staines Road East, Sunbury-on-Thames, Middlesex, TW16 5AQ
Internet presence unknown
Tel. - 02392 381 529
Mob. - 07957 823 507 (Russell Martin)
10:00 - 15:00hrs
Admission - £4.00, seniors £3.50p, children £1.00, early bird (from 08:30hrs) £10.00

Newton Abbot - Ray Heard Train & Toy Fairs
Newton Abbot Racecourse, Devon, TQ12 3AF
Internet presence unknown
Tel. - 01823 480 097
10:00 -15:30hrs
Admission £2.00
Free parking, refreshments

Shepton Mallet - Bulldog Fairs
Royal Bath & West Showground, BA4 6QN
Tel. - 01373 452 857
Mob. - 07917 125 641
10:30 - 14:30hrs
Adults £4, under 16's free if accompanied, early-bird (from 08:30hrs) £10

Southport - Barry Stockton Fairs
Splash World, Dunes Leisure Centre, The Esplanade, Southport, PR8 1RX
Tel. - 0151 334 3362
10:00 - 14:30
Admission £2.00, children 50p

York - J&J Fairs (J&J Webb) - 'York Racecourse'
The Knavesmire Stand, York Racecourse, York, Yorkshire, YO23 1EX
Tel. - 01522 880 383
10:00 - 14:30hrs
Admission £2.50p, seniors £2, 1st child £1.50p


Saturday 30th November

Poole - Cottees Auctions Limited
Mannings Heath Road, Poole, Dorset, BH12 4NQ
Tel. - 01202 723 177

Tuesday 3rd December 2019

Essex - Sworders Fine Art Auctioneers (day 1 of a 2-day auction)
Cambridge Road, Stanstead, Mountfitchet, Essex, CM24 8GE
Tel. - 01279 817 778
Sale Starts 10:00hrs

Stockton-on-Tees - Vectis Auctions (1st day of a three day auction)
Fleck Way, Thornaby, Stockton-on-Tees, TS17 9JZ
Web. - www.vectis.co.uk
eMail - admin@vectis.co.uk
Tel. - 01642 750 616
Specialist die-cast sale

Wednesday 4th December 2019

Essex - Sworders Fine Art Auctioneers (day 2 of a 2-day auction)
Cambridge Road, Stanstead, Mountfitchet, Essex, CM24 8GE
Tel. - 01279 817 778
Sale Starts 10:00hrs

Stockton-on-Tees - Vectis Auctions (2nd day of a three day auction)
Fleck Way, Thornaby, Stockton-on-Tees, TS17 9JZ
Tel. - 01642 750 616
Specialist die-cast sale

Thursday 5th December 2019

Stockton-on-Tees - Vectis Auctions (last day of a three day auction)
Fleck Way, Thornaby, Stockton-on-Tees, TS17 9JZ
Tel. - 01642 750 616
General toy sale

Friday 6th December 2019

Taunton - Greenslade Taylor Hunt (GTH)
The Octogon Saleroom, 113a East Reach, Taunton, Devon, TA1 3HL
Web. - www.gth.net
Tel. - 01823 332 525
Collectors sale (includes a number of large-scale civil car model-kits)

Other events

Now until Friday 8th December 2019

London (Central) - Barbican - International Animation Festival
Barbican, Silk St, Barbican, London EC2Y 8DS (venue)
London International Animation Festival, Hungerford Road, London, N7 9LF (promoter)

Now until Sunday 22nd December 2019

Brighton - PaxtonGlew (Pam Glew & Emily Paxton) - Urban Miniatures Pop-up Art Event
11 Dukes Lane, Brighton, BN11BG,
'Urban Artists' take's on model railroad elements, all brought together in a wacky and somewhat dystopian diorama/exhibit, possibly as a foil to the event below?
[If you do manage to go; pictures would be nice - hint, hint!]

Saturday 30th November 2019

Brighton - Brighton Toy Museum - The Great Vintage Model Train Running-day
Brighton Toy & Model Museum, Trafalgar Street, Brighton
An excuse for museum curators to play with their train-sets I think!

London (W. Central) - KDF - Kensington Dolls Festival
Kensington Town Hall, Hornton Street, London W8 7NX (venue)
The Studio, 70a Lawford Road, London N1 5BL (promoters)
Tel: 0044 (0)20 7812 9892 (promoters)

Sunday 1st December 2019

Basildon - Dolly's Daydreams - Doll & Bear Show
Holiday Inn Basildon, Waterfront Walk, Festival Leisure Park, Basildon, Essex SS14 3DG
Dolly's Daydreams, Wisbech, Cambridgeshire (organiser)
Tel. - 01945 870 160
Mob. - 07860 517 048
Open 10.30am to 4pm.
Admission £2.00 (half price entry after 13:00hrs), seniors £1.50p, accompanied children under 16 free
Free parking on site (please register your vehicle registration at hotel reception)

Overseas Events

Saturday 30th November December 2019

Kalamazoo (USA) Kalamazoo Antique & Collectible Toy Show
Kalamazoo County Expo Center, 2900 Lake St, Kalamazoo, 49048, United States
Tel. - ++2623 661 314
0 9:00-14:00hrs
Admission $8.00US adults,  under-12's free with adult

Vancouver (Canada) - Fun Promotions - Vancover Swap Meet
Scottish Cultural Centre, 8886 Hudson Street, Vancouver, BC  V6P 4N2, Canada
Admission $3.00Can., children12 or under free
Free Parking
Free gift for the first 100 visitors

Saturday 30th November-Sunday 1st December 2019

Edison (USA) - Greenberg’s Great Train & Toy Show
New Jersey Expo Center, 97 Sunfield Avenue, Edison, NJ 08837, New Jersey, USA (venue)
Greenberg Shows, 280 Carlton Drive, Carol Stream, IL 60188, Illinois, USA (organiser)
Web. I- http://greenbergshows.com/ (organiser)
Tel. -  ++6302 794 087
Fax. - ++2405 974 482
Admission is $10 Saturday (for both days) or $9 Sunday (on-site ticket sales cash only), children 11 and under free

Sunday 1st December 2019

Gent (Belgium) - Dipro BVBA - International Collectors Fair
ICC, Gent, Belgium
Web. - www.dipro.be
Tel. - ++032 395 638
Toy, Train, Die-cast, Doll & Bear Show

Herne (Germany) - PB Toys - 47th German Plastic Soldier Show
Kulturzentrum, Willi-Pohlmann-Platz 1, 44623, Herne, Germany (venue)
PB Toys, Wickeder Straβe 32, 58739 Wickede, Germany (promoter)
Web. - www.ksfb.de (venue)
eMail - peter@pbtoys.de (promoter)
Tel. - 02377 787 9322

If you are an event promoter/show curator/auctioneer and you want your toy, model, collectable, military, historical or popular-/youth-culture type sale/exhibition/event listed here -  FOR FREE  - or linked to; please eMail me -


- stating the date/s of the event, address of event, contact details, opening/viewing times, admission pricing and any other relevant facts/details or features - parking, travel notes, disability access, availability of refreshments, event subject matter &etc.

And please mention any flyer-art or poster-/leaflet-scans but send by separate eMail, in case they go to the 'junk' folder, from where they can be recovered and marked safe, but only if I know they're there!

Toy News

The Nottingham Mafia

Games Workshop sales are up for the first half of the year which prompted a rise in the share price. Pre-tax profits are estimated to hit £55m, which astounds me, but they have a slavish following, who take the entire rule and army-list changes on the chin by hammering their plastic cards!

Rod Stewart

Who you may remember from his support of the vandalised club exhibition earlier in the year, has a six-page spread in this month's Railway Modeller magazine, in which he shows-off (and why not - I would!) his finished meisterwerke; Grand Street and the Three rivers Station diorama, a vast display of US rustbelt from the steam era.

Says Rod - "A lot of people laugh at it being a silly hobby, but it's a wonderful hobby" I wonder if he'll be attending the Brighton exhibitions . . . either of them?


Has ditched it's £1 model and started offering things at less than a pound The Metro told us the other day, but A) they had already ditched the  model the other way (offering things for more than a pound - see Small Scale World passim), B) will now stuggle to make a profit as their model relied on making thing 'up' to a pound which were less than a pound elswhere and C) like The Works (see story here two-weeks ago) has ceased to feature on the Blog as it used to . . . so we don't care if it goes under, we want someone to take-up the baton of carrying our 'Armyman' rack-toys!


Speaking of novelty tat (as I just was!), Waitrose supermarkets (John Lewis Partnership / JLP) have a budget mini-cracker set (Mini Sprout Christmas Crackers) with traditional capsule-toy type tat in them! Expect French flat cars, pencil sharpeners, lucky-fish &etc.

Hasbro / Entertainment One
The seemingly endless takeover of the latter by the former went to the Competition & Markets Authority (relatively toothless Tory replacement for the too-successful Monopolies & Mergers Commision!) for investigation. It was announced that the inquiry is to last two months (the MMC would have said it'll last as long as it takes!) from last Friday; expect bugger-all difference.

H is for How They Come In

It's been a funny week, lots of non-toy soldier, non-blog running about, Basingrad on Tuesday, Farnborough today (Thursday), not much Blogging, but lots of sorting, a fair bit of consolidating and some parcels out, consequently I A) haven't had spare case for Charity shops, and B) have sent-out more than I got in! But; a few pieces joined the pile . . .

. . . including three rubber jigglers and a Schleich mallard, which were purloined in Basingrad, both from Waterstone's book shop the 'Finger Frights' further branded to House of Marbles.

These came from the craft superstore in Farnborough, there was very little in the way of cake-decoration stuff, but - having gone there for [overpriced] Swann-Morten blades - I spotted these and though they looked to be different colours to the previously seen Henbrandt ones (background screen-shot), so took a punt (£1.50p I think?) and luckily - as you can see - they are different treatments.

Whether they've (Unique) had the fifth pose included in their contract is up for grabs, but Unique operate in the US, and also supply party favours to Sainsbury's supermarkets, so if bendy-blunt-horns-guy is out there - he'll turn up!

And that was it this week - seven novelty monsters and a monster duck! Oh, plus the stuff I posted on Saturday last (evil bear, mosherettes, gun and wooden bits)

Links & Thanks

Held-over 'till next week - it's gone four-o'clock and I'm out of time!


The piece of floating-nail came off last weekend (after I got the scissors under it!) which lead to a rapid healing of the last of the damage, and earlier this week the outer layer just peeled back after I'd put the surgical spirit on it!

So I trimmed it back with the nail-clippers and underneath was a new thumb! It's even going to have the finger-print. So that's not bad for five-weeks, and I didn't go to A&E and bleed all over the floor while bitching about queues, nor did I use superglue . . . . although I considered it at one point!

National Tree Week

This is my legacy . . .

. . . I planted all the Poplar Niger (black poplars) down this path, along with all the trees of similar size in Manor Park (Aldershot), along with well-over a thousand or two other trees in the Borough of Rushmoor. Nobody really knows I planted them, no one will remember I planted them, they don't have my name on them, but they will be there, in the landscape, for hundreds of years to come . . . and that's why you should plant a tree . . . or two!

The mortality of young saplings is reckoned by commercial growers, local authorities and such like to be 50% for the purposes of ordering and planting, and the above 20 or so are actually the survivors of (from memory) an avenue of 105 or 115? And then various 'odds' which went at the bottom, we probably planted that pretty one to the right, all in all we (and the other teams) planted about 200 in Manor Park.

Winter shot

You can see the attrition-rate is well over 50% on the path, probably closer to 80/85%, but at the bottom they've nearly all survived? Natural drainage would have given them more water, but they sort of protected themselves, their numbers providing a kind of anonymity absent from the ones up the path, which I can tell you for watching them over 31 years (this was 1988/'89) stood out and were mostly vandalised in the first two years!

Kids! Poorer kids in that part of the borough; their parents complaining equally of their tax burden and the lack of local amenities, while their kids are out, un-accompanied, un-guided, un-educated; snapping the new saplings off at the base! But, they, now in their late forties will all be voting UKIP, Brwreakshit or Tory in two weeks time, as will their surviving parents - Rushmoor, like Heart here, are 'safe' blue.

To my shame I can't remember the name of the chap I worked with, his dad was a councillor - which might have had a hand in our having a brand new truck! But between us we planted trees in all the parks, some of which I can't remember the names of, but Manor, Crem', Sycamnore Road, King George V Playing Fields, Ship Lane & Redan Road Cemeteries, Boundary Road, the brook (Whitewater?) on the boundary with Surry Heath, the one at the back of Farnborough Station, various scrappy corners, verges and roundabouts, the Brickfields (?), Prospect, all over the bloody place!

They had been funded (or part funded) by Central Government to replace the trees lost in the great storm of '87, which I'd missed in Berlin (catching Chernobyl flu instead!), the ironies being that A) Rushmoor hadn't been hit like the coastal belt or the Downs, and B) several of the bigger trees in Manor Park came down in a storm in 1990, having probably been loosened in the '87 event!

Me and . . . errh, I thought I could trick myself into remembering his name! We'd load twenty-odd trees into the truck with two spades, a long wedgey-diggy-thing and a knife along with (I think it was-) two bags of compost, a post and two heavy-duty rubber-ties per tree, then drive round the borough with our blown-up street maps, doing a different species each day; flowering cherry, sycamore, maple, willows, acers (lots of acers) and the black poplars, all common 'municipal' fare!

Dig a hole, cut and empty a bag of compost in, lift the tree in (they were all 8-10 feet with a biggish root-ball, some were two man lifts), cut the root ball sacking, another bag of compost and then the earth back on top, bang the post in, tie the tree, then it was off to the next one! I don't remember watering them? Maybe the greenhouse gang were following us around with their watering trailer?

And some of them will be there longer after I'm gone, than I will ever have been here! The Blog will die within twenty years of my death; coding will change, software and hardware will change, service providers and platforms will change, images will fail and one day the Blog just 'won't be' any more, but the trees . . . the trees will still be there . . . plant a few trees . . . go on; it hurts no-one!

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The best time to plant an oak tree was twenty-five years ago.
The second best time is today.
James Carville

Late News - Barney's Herald Toys and Models

Christmas sale news

"Today sees the start of our mega *** CHRISTMAS SALE *** with 62 pages of Special priced sale items, with each page having 9 different sale items, making over a staggering 550 special items in total...! So "Get Them While They're Hot!"