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Junkshop Gem: Blue Peter Book Of Teddy's Clothes


Crafting is big business these days - a quick browse of Etsy is enough to tell you that. Which probably gives the Blue Peter Book Of Teddy's Clothes a monetary value alongside its novelty one.

For anyone outside the UK, Blue Peter is Britain's longest-running kids TV show and a show that's always been big on making things out of items you might have hanging round the house. This book, dating from 1969 (as Valerie Singleton's hairdo probably indicates), is a set of step-by-step designs for making clothes for your bear - something that Val was known for it seems. And it really is a gem, with designs for a pirate, a cowboy, a Mexican and a pilot, all with instructions anyone can follow. Although whether you have the patience for all that sewing and knitting is open to question.

Our junkshop find was just £1 - I imagine a search on Abebooks or eBay will bring up a copy for not much more.

Search for Blue Peter Book Of Teddy's Clothes on eBay

Selcol's 1964 Beatles New Beat guitar


Want to play just like The Beatles? Well, there's little chance of that with Selcol's Beatles New Beat guitar.

This is an original piece of Fab Four memorabilia, dating back to 1964 and now extremely rare. Because lets be honest, no-one ever looks after their toys. Officially licensed and measuring 32 inches in length, the guitar has just four strings, a logo and some mock autographs to the face.

So can it be used to play anything at all? Well, it does come with a lyric sheet and chords for five songs, so it probably can. It also has its original coffin-shaped cardboard box, albeit with some slight wear and tear. Not the kind of thing that appears all that often - so the price of £750 is probably about right.

Find out more at the 991 website

Retro Postcards: Sheraton Washington Hotel

Sheraton I can't resist picking up vintage postcards when I'm browsing junk shops, which is reason enough to start a new series of posts under the Retro Postcards banner. And we'll kick off with this gem from the Sheraton Washington Hotel.

Now, I've never been to Washington. Indeed, I've never been to the US - but if the Sheraton Washington Hotel still looks like this, I'm calling the travel agent tomorrow. A great example of 70s excess, from the chrome pillars and chrome-clad stairwats through to the space age seating. I also like how the image has been slightly stretched to fit the format.

Have you been to the hotel? Does it still look like this? Let us know. And if you have scans of quirky postcards, send them in - we'd love to feature them.

Junkshop Gem: Burglar To The Nobility

Rubysparks Every generation has its minor celebrities - famous for 15 minutes, then off back to obscurity. In the 1940s, that was Ruby Sparks - and Burglar To The Nobility was his story.

Ruby Sparks was a villain, pure and simple. From the earlist days as a child thief, through to robbery with a horse and cart and later widespread notoriety - Ruby was the first man to do a "smash and grab" in Britain and the first to use a getaway car. And while we're onto his achievements. he was also the first man to escape from Dartmoor prison (he also started the infamous riot there and escaped from Strangeways in a suit made out of an old mail bag).

Played out like an Ealing Comedy with added violence, Burglar To The Nobility is a cracking read. Gritty realism, amusing anecdotes, some pictures of the time and a "crime doesn't pay" mesaage at the end. Not to mention a great period cover.

Cost £1 and worth every penny.

Find a copy on the Abebooks booksellers network

Junkshop Gems: Ladybird books


You probably remember Ladybird books from school or the local library - short, image-packed reference guides to the past, present - and even the future. Unfortunately they dated and got discarded, finding their way into junk shops and secondhand bookstores. Well, here's some good news - Ladybird books are definitely a collectable for the future.

They're great little guides - well-written, superbly illustrated and if you pick the right ones (like the ones above), fantastic period pieces. Very old copies are already worth a small fortune, but the 60s titles can be picked up for very little - and are probably the best of the lot.

We paid no more than £1 for any of the titles pictured above, yet they're great reads, great to look at and if you put them away for a few years, possibly very shrewd investments.

See all Ladybird books currently on eBay


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