All Roads Lead to Charing Cross

The notional ‘centre of London’ since the early nineteenth century, Charing Cross is still the point from which all distances to the Capital are measured. How fitting then that the six spokes of this junction mirror the principle fields of collecting at Saturday’s weekly market: stamps, coins, militaria, ephemera, postcards and miscellaneous(!)

Originally a vegetable market, the site can trace its roots as a trading place back to the late seventeenth century. Access to its wares was given a further boost in 1845 when the Hungerford suspension bridge was built and the market thrived for over a century before it became established as London’s premier collectors’ market in 1974. So far as we can tell, it remains the only weekly collectors’ market anywhere in the UK.

Postal Tribute to Great Britain’s Industrial Heritage

Advance notice of Royal Mail’s forthcoming set of six new stamps honouring some of the most pivotal inventions of the Industrial Revolution. Available from August 12, the stamps will be printed in three se-tenant (side by side) pairs while a further four are being produced (on a special souvenir sheet) to mark several key developments in the electrical revolution.

Among the major technological steps forward being featured are the Bessemer process, the Spinning Jenny, Portland cement and the Penydarren Locomotive. A short description of their significance has been thoughtfully added to the stamp for those of us who, even if we did study GC(S)E History, might be forgiven for losing sight of their significance. Indeed, while the words ‘interesting morsel of information’ and ‘Royal Mail press release’ might not often be seen in close company, such was the case on this occasion when we discovered why the Spinning Jenny was so called. Thanks then to the unnamed functionary who explained that it was “…probably derived from a dialect pronunciation of the word ‘engine’, a term that commonly meant machine.”