It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

Sadly, I just don’t get time to post here these days with “Collect Ireland”, “Irish Postcards”, “Art For Art’s Sake” and “Irish Movie Madness” becoming increasingly busy, but there’s always time for the annual Christmas indulgence!

During the year I have been buying Christmas themed paintings for an ongoing project – more of which another day – and I have used two of these for my 2016 cards. The Choirboy card was created using original Christmas card artwork from the long defunct firm of Arthur Burkart & Co., London, and the snowy church scene is from a 1920/30s card purchased from an American eBay dealer. As usual they were printed by Vistaprint and the quality of printing is quite outstanding.



New site for Art Lovers

Apologies for the long gap since my last post here – busy, busy, busy….

A link to my latest project below. Enjoy!

art 4 arts sake

The Barbarians are Inside the Gates!


If you’ve ever been to the Isle of Man, or are a transport preservationist of any kind please consider signing this petition asking that Douglas Corporation and the Isle of Man Government reconsider their hasty decision to close-down the unique Douglas Horse Tramway with immediate effect.

In many ways the Isle of Man is run in the same Mickey Mouse fashion as our own country – i.e. by an elite, out of touch clique who blunder from one crisis to the next while always managing to look after themselves and their pals in the process. The island’s tourist industry has been dying a death through neglect for decades and the people who want to kill off the tramway are cut from the same cloth as the charlatans who have the abolition of the Isle of Man TT in their sights. A tax haven purged of the pesky visitors who lower the tone of the place is their long-term goal. Apartment blocks for those involved in the financial laundry sector have all but obliterated most of the hotels on Douglas Promenade so it’s little wonder that traffic on the tramway has been in decline.

Please sign the petition!


The Christmas indulgence again!

Christmas draws near and I’m still above ground so it’s time for my favourite fetish…

This year my card cost very little but it took quite a long time and a fair bit of searching to track down a suitable picture. Several false starts and then this superb watercolour popped up on eBay.

eBay Mandara

As you can see, it cost a pittance, but I did have to set the alarm for 3.00am to get up to bid for it! A small amount of editing on Vistaprint’s user friendlywebsite and voilà. I haven’t been able to find out a thing about the artist but he is, of course, credited inside the card.

Vistaprint card

I have been too busy elsewhere to post on this blog during 2015 but hope to get back to it next year – in the meantime don’t forget to check out my new Irish Postcard site.

Happy Christmas everybody!


A Man from Elsewhere – J.G.Farrell

This ultra-rare title has been on my wish list for a few years now and when it popped up in my eBay notifications recently I was very excited – until I saw the price! It is a rare item – there’s not a copy anywhere online – but I’m not lashing out that sort of money for something which may not even be that good. It was the author’s first novel (published in 1963) and I’ve found some of his early work is bit of a struggle to wade through – “A Girl in the Head” (1967) – being a case in point. Anyway, I’ll put it out there for any J.G.Farrell fans.

A Man for Elsewhere for blog

eBay link here: A Man from Elsewhere

Irish Postcard Collectors Forum

Postcard Ad

Forum link here:

Christmas and another excuse to indulge myself.

Christmas means one thing for me – a new card – to prove that there’s life in the old dog yet. This year as the Festive Season approached I was struggling to find a suitable image for the card when I stumbled on the charming work of English artist Mark Wakefield.

Mark is an ex.coal miner turned artist who sells his work on eBay under the name wren9180 and is well worth checking out. A gentleman to deal with, Mark was more than happy to let me use his painting for my 2014 Christmas card and I’m sure you will agree the result is very pleasing. As usual Vistaprint produced a high quality product in double quick time. Not cheap but very satisfying.

Christmas Card 1 (2) - Copy


Mark’s Facebook page is here

Another lightship that got away…

A fine scale rc model of the “South Goodwin” lightship sold on eBay last night for a paltry
£199.00 – I would have bid on it myself but the seller couldn’t organise packing for courier collection. That meant the only option would have been to travel from County Wexford in the SE corner of Ireland to Sheffield in the English Midlands, collect the model and back to Ireland. Two sea crossings and a lot of rail travel that would have cost me another £300-400 on top of the purchase price. If I was 20 years younger, and less impoverished, I would have gone for it but my heart just wasn’t in it. There will be others, or so I keep telling myself. See what you think – approx  31” long and 6” wide – a gem!


Bell from Light Vessel LV.10. sells on eBay

LV 10 BELL 1

The bell from the Trinity House light vessel LV .10. complete with the original clapper and bell toggle/rope. The bell, 12” in diameter at the base and 11” tall, weighing in at around 12 kilos sold for £561-00 on the 3rd July. A fine piece of maritime heritage which has hopefully gone to a good home.

LV.10. was built by Philip & Son, Dartmouth, Devon and launched in 1951 serving initially on the Helwick station. In 1984 she was converted to an Automatic Light Vessel and saw further service on the Sandettie and Sunk stations. I think she is still in service but will have to check with Trinity House.

Irish Lightship 27 “Penguin” on the move again?

Sooner or later everything turns up on eBay and thus I wasn’t even slightly surprised to see the former Irish Lightship “Penguin” listed for sale on the site last month. Priced at a cool £180,000 there have been no takers as yet. See details below.  Main photograph of “Arctic Penguin” at Inveraray Pier © Gordon Hatton

The Arctic Penguin at Inveraray pier © Copyright Gordon Hatton - Copy

From the eBay listing:

Fancy a lifestyle change?  Iron sailing ship.  Amazing conversion opportunity to have your own three masted schooner sailing ship or static house boat.

99.93′ x 24′ Beam x 11′ Draft. Iron Shell and Floors, Steel Framing.

Built originally as the Light Vessel “Penguin” in 1911 a role in which she served until 1966;
During the 1980’s she was converted to sail – her two foremasts being added and of course the Kelvin diesel engines.

Since the mid 1990’s she has operated as a museum and café. The museum and café have operated very successfully to the end of the 2010 season.

Arctic Penguin interior 1

The Museum Directors have a flexible approach to the vessels future and are happy to assist potential new owners to perhaps have the vessel remain where she is currently berthed.

As a Registered Museum with a trading history she may be in a position to attract grants and funding.

Currently laid out with a welcoming gangway entrance, customers may choose to buy a museum ticket or just- takeaway and stroll or of course be guests of the cafe, sitting comfortably in the deck house or in dry weather on the sheltered foredeck, a purchaser of the museum should if they so wish continue to operate the cafe within the ship, it is the current intension to include all fixtures and fittings provided the asking price is offered:-furthermore we are assured the ship/museum has Argyll and Bute planning permission to operate where she lies, continuation to lie at the pier would be by negotiation with the piers owners who we are assured would be unlikely to unreasonably withhold such permissions.

Museum guests may explore the topsides of the ship from forecastle and forepeak to the afterdeck steering position and the raised aft saloon, while below decks the “For’d Tween Deck” provides the principal exhibition space, aft of this the full width machinery space could be considered the “Main Tween Deck”, aft of this is the athwartship cinema:-aft again is the mostly original Masters Cabin then aft again to the rudder flat and afterpeak, these areas are currently used to the full with public access and interesting displays.

Filmwork on and around the Ship has provided income and interest- she has featured in the Onedin Line and many films since.

Alan Villiers book about buying and sailing the “Joseph Conrad” 57,000 miles is relevant to anyone wishing to re-rig the Arctic Penquin as both ships bear a striking similarity.

Arctic Penguin under sail

Whatever or wherever your interest in this valuable ship may lie please contact us for further information.

Further information on the vessel can be found at  under heading – Arctic Penguin.

No reasonable offer refused may also part exchange Property/Boats/Cars? Open to suggestions.

Asset Management Argyll Ltd

247 Argyll Street


Argyll and Bute

PA23 7QT

United Kingdom