First: The Guardian a couple of weeks ago had a photo of a sheet of Penny Blacks with the heading ‘Black Day for Stanley Gibbons’. The item was about the stamp dealer’s sale of itself, and the bad news on its share price when a private equity firm denied any intention to bid for Stanley Gibbons. Private Equity firms are those groups of millionaires who get together to seek targets for buying, stripping of assets and loading with debt before they move on to another target, having taken all the value. Generally something they don’t shout about – I mean voracious greed and selfishness is not the way to make friends, but I may be wrong. This particular Private Equity body calls itself, that is it has decided to be known as, publicly and presumably without shame or guilt: Disruptive Capital. Wow.
Incidentally does anyone recall the Goodies, or was it early Python, referring to that rarer volume of information for the enthusiast: ‘Stanley Stamps Book of Gibbons’?
Second: Back in 1968 I went to university in Norwich, at the nearly new University of East Anglia. I spent three years in the delightful ziggurat halls of residence next to the library, with a view across the shallow river valley and reed beds from my window and balcony. Bloody luxury. The chair in my study bedroom was a welded wire armchair that was modern and comfortable as well as light and tough. I am sure they were fairly cheap to buy in bulk. Today one will set you back over £1220, as this item from a Metro mentions. We have one on display in Brighton Museum, high on a wall in a display of designer furniture. Should have stolen one when I had the chance.