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DaveG38 last won the day on August 24

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  1. Here's something rather different for the penny collectors. The attached photos show a penny sized brass 'coin', clearly marked GPO Telephone Service. This was used by engineers in the pre-decimal era to test the operation of the Coin and Fee Checking Equipment in a public phone box - for those of a certain age the Press button A then button B type phone box. The idea was that the engineer checking the operation of a box should have no access to the money, but needed to test the equipment functioned correctly. He was issued with these tokens which are of the correct size and weight to operate the mechanism, thus avoiding any need for him to use actual pennies. The boxes were emptied by a specialist team and the coin compartments were taken away for the cash to be to be counted. Any brass tokens were removed and returned to the engineers for use another time. In this way any possibility of fraud or theft was eliminated. The face with GPO Telephone Service is plainly obvious. The reverse shows S Eastern District, which refers to the organisational structure of the GPO at the time, and the number 447, is likely to be the identifier for a specific engineer involved in this work. Alternatively, it may simply refer to the actual number of the token itself. To the best of my knowledge it isn't clear which. This particular example came from Margate exchange, some 30 years ago. End of history lesson!
  2. I use Excel spreadsheets to record dates, price paid, variety, book value, photo (where available) and seller, but if you haven't done this from the start then catching up may be impossible.
  3. How do you find out what lots were unsold - it isn't obvious on their website?
  4. DaveG38

    R.I.P. Don Everly

    Behind Blue Eyes - fabulous song.
  5. DaveG38

    R.I.P. Don Everly

    Curiously, just after you posted this, I was going to comment that, for me, it will be a sad day when The Rolling Stones start to fall off their perches, and blow me if Charlie Watts hsn't gone and died. The beginning of the end of my childhood music!
  6. DaveG38

    Proof Set Boxes

    Not that long. Glueing the lid back together took about 10 minutes plus a day's drying time. Repairing the hinge, just a few minutes to drift the pin out slightly, fold the hinge back in place and drift the hinge pin back again. The longest part of the leather restore was actually mixing the acrylic paints to get as close to the original shade as possible. Then it was just a case of touching up the scuffs and using a finger to spread the paint evenly to blend it in. Touching up, took about 20 minutes. Once dry a couple of coats of hide food plus buffing out took about 5 minutes each. So, overall working time was no more than an hour, maybe a shade over, all spread out over a couple of days to allow for drying times. Not too onerous realy, and not much real skill needed either. Just a bit of patience and a little knowledge on how to treat leather - been watching Susie on 'The Repair Shop' to gather the knowledge needed.
  7. DaveG38

    Proof Set Boxes

    I've just finished conserving my 1893 short proof set box, and I thought I would share the results. The first pic shows the box in its original state with dozens of scuffs, a broken wooden lid and damaged hinge. I've now re-glued the wood, repaired the hinge and used acrylic paint to touch up the scuffs, followed by a couple of treatments with with hide food. The results are in the second pic. I must say that I'm very pleased with the results. The box hasn't been restored to brand new, but it does look very much nicer than it did when I got it. Just need to visit the bank to put the coins in, and then its onto the next project of sourcing a 1887 set plus box!! Sorry about the slightly blurry image of the second pic.
  8. Very optimistic. They are not that rare, even in high grades. Mine cost £26 in EF.
  9. DaveG38

    Proof Set Boxes

    Thank you for this. My own box is nowhere near as nice as yours, although with some careful colouring and the use of hide food or equivalent, I'm hoping mine will improve considerably. I'm always impressed with the way in which leather responds to being fed!!
  10. Have you considered that no TPG is infallible, and that they may simply have it wrong?
  11. What do you mean send it? I thought that was Esther Rantzen?
  12. DaveG38

    Proof Set Boxes

    My 1927 set is as originally issued and is in a leather case, not a cardboard box.
  13. DaveG38

    Proof Set Boxes

    Good advice regarding the RM. I'll give them a try. Many thanks for the suggestion.
  14. This is a bit of an unusual request, as it concerns proof set boxes, rather than the coins. I've managed, at long last, to acquire a 1893 short set box, which will allow me to house my reconstituted set. The box I have found is structurally sound, has a decent interior, plus working hinges and clasp. All in all, it isn't too bad. However, the exterior is quite scuffed and looks in need of some TLC. So, my questions are, does anybody know what these boxes were made from so far as the finish is concerned? Are they leather? How is the texture and glossy finish achieved? I'm looking to do a painstaking clean, recolouring with stain/paint and a tiny brush, plus a refinish of the surface, somewhat like Suzie Fletcher who works with leather in the Repair Shop programme on the BBC. Or maybe the lady who conserves works of art on the same programme. The starting point for this has to be to understand what material I am dealing with, and to be honest, I'm not sure what it is. It seems similar to the finish of the 1927 sets, but I can't be sure. So, anybody got any ideas? Or any suggestions. The box, by the way, is not the black dated box, but is a Royal Mint box with the coat of arms in gold on it, similar to but not the same as the 1927 type. Thanks in advance.
  15. DaveG38

    Ebay imports from the EU

    Almost certainly. Back in the 1970s, when I first joined BT (Post Office then), billing payments were always deposited twice a day, with an extra 1/2 day interest for the morning banking. Mind you interest rates were much higher then, so it was probably well worth while, but even now it is a simple and easy way to earn money without doing much.