Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Bargain Hunting at the Antiques Centre

One day last week we had a trip to one of the large antiques warehouses in the area and I bought a few items to bring home with me.

These came from more than one stall, but there's a 78 rpm record - regular readers will know I'm partial to them - four 45 rpm E.P.s, 28 postcards and one other item that we'll have a look at later.

The 78 rpm record is one that I've coveted for quite a while. Anyone who remembers children's TV from the days of Black & White TV would recognise this straight away. And I wouldn't mind betting that the song and exact words are going through your heads at the moment!

Robin Hood, Robin Hood riding through the glen
Robin Hood, Robin Hood, with his band of men
Feared by the bad, loved by the good
Robin Hood, Robin Hood, Robin Hood!

The 78 records made of shellac were very brittle. They broke if dropped or sat on and in the 1950s they came to be replaced by smaller records made of vinyl. Smaller because the spiral of the groove was tighter and required a smaller stylus that even now many people call a needle.

They were very hard to break, but sadly for the collector were very easy to scratch. And it's not always apparent that they might be damaged in a small area enough to make the needle bounce out of the groove into a different part of the spiral. Unfortunate for me because despite a close look at them in the shop, they all "jump" at some point.

But just because they jump now, doesn't necessarily mean they are designated for the bin. I'll have a go at washing them first, taking care not to wet the labels. Years of dust and finger grease, not to mention lumps of sticky toffee being dropped on them, sometimes means that the damage is not a scratch but a build up of material causing a blockage inside the groove. Fingers crossed!

The postcards are a real mix. There are comic cards and picture postcards ranging from the 1910s to the 1970s. Some are from our own country and some, like this 1954 card of an erupting Mount Vesuvius in Italy, are from abroad. Some have been posted and some have been bought as a collector's item.

The other item was a late 1920s photographic album containing 117 family snaps ranging from 1930-1932. The majority are labelled across a corner in fountain pen with the year and the location.

Sadly, none of the people depicted is named and there is nothing inside the album to say whose it was. However, I imagine many of the photos will scan well and clean up and we'll take a look at them on this blog in due course! Come back for a look at some point!

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