||The book estate;
collection of the late Tom Ebbage; the story of the
examination and eventual disposal.
8th December, 2003
Today developed into a sunny day and it was the
first such day for a couple of weeks. The lorry
(seemingly longer than this house) arrived a little after
1 pm. The sight of this giant vehicle momentarily made my
legs weak but it turned out that the boxes only occupied
a small part. Luckily I'd decided to have the cartons
(240 large fruit type, most not sealed) unloaded into the
garage, hoping that there would still be space for the
station wagon. To stop damage from the concrete floor I'd
rolled out plastic sheeting topped with opened out
cardboard cartons. With me helping it took 90 minutes for
us to unload the truck. Possibly I should have left the
unloading to the two young blokes but I had to have a
The truck has now departed and the garage is shut, as
I let off an insect b o m b (spaces there for reasons you
may know) to wipe out any wildlife. I'll give it 3 hours
then open up. I'll snap a photo or two and load it for
you to have a look later. There IS still room for the
car, the cartons being piled 6 high.
The collection should include every BOA, Chums, (many
of these are however, damaged), Bunter, The Captain less 1
volume, Howard Baker reg and ltd ed less the several
scarce volumes, much Boys Friend, Magnet, Gem, Modern
Boy, BFL, SOL, most schoolboy fiction hardbacks, Picture
Post, 19th Century Bulletins, many Graphic and London
Illus News. There's a lot of material of nil interest
(for me) which will go into the Penrith Library book
fair. For example, American history & politics,
Australian politics and so on.
You're wondering about girls' books? I've spotted
Bessie Marchant (yawn!) but nothing else of interest. But
this is just glancing at the items of top and I did pick
up EJO and EBD hardbacks previously. Biggles, etc.? I
cleared these out a couple of years ago via swapping for
cricket books but there are still some on the tops. Most
of the cricket went to another collector mate of mine, in
Melbourne. I'm wondering if this included all of Tom's
correspondence with 'The Don', as he used to write to him
back in the 1940s and 50s.
THE FIRST BOX
I had to start somewhere! A bad pick as it was
American politics with most of the books damaged by
cockroaches along the edges. Some lovely books, pretty
good otherwise. Does anyone know how to remove the black
trails they leave along the page ends? Sandpaper? Or
should I just dump them?
Should mention I rang the council and asked if books
can go into the paper recyclable garbage pickup. Lady's
response was "A few each week otherwise they'll
ignore them", meaning they'll be treated as
commercial waste and I'll have to pay to have 'em carted
So ends report one. Should I upload any photos I'll
paste the link in.
The TV ratings have finished for the year. Sorting 240
cartons of books is a good replacement. Can too many
books really be "too many'?
"AND SO IT BEGINS"
Further updates will appear here, most likely. Best find
in the first few boxes - 5 yearly bound volumes of the
Boy's Friend. Note that unwanted school fiction will
go onto Barbara's sales lists
11 cartons of Americana, Australiana, politics and
history (aaph from now on) delivered to PCL plus 2 for
disposal. Best finds include most issues of The Silver
Jacket including the missing Biggles covered issues,
bound volume of The Champion from #1, various bound
volumes of The Magnet and The Gem from Syd Smyth's collection plus 37 of the 38 post war Bunter books, all in
jackets. wonder where the missing one is?
15 cartons delivered to Croydon Park Psby Recycling
Centre. A big day as this was the day on which I had to
organise cheques for the property settlement. 35C in the
shade and humid; by the time I arrived home it was too
steamy to do any further sorting.
Now I'm really making headway; some nice early Christmas
numbers of THE STRAND and similar, and the following two
The first was not unexpected! But it's in poor
condition with half on the title page missing and many
other faults. In need of a complete restoration which
would involve disassembly. 'Floreat Greyfriars', though,
was totally unexpected and the one item of Hamiltonia
I've been after for decades. For those not in the know,
it's a 12" recording of an interview with Charles
Hamilton / 'Frank Richards'. I'm saving it for Christmas.
Lots of good items have come to light, a number of which
have homes waiting with mates. Generally I've been wading
though boxes of American, Oz and British history with
lots of politics. Most is going to the library or op shop
above. It's the story papers and dated annuals which will
be going into my collection. The Howard Baker facsimiles
have surfaced and these will be sold off, after filling
in my own gaps and upgrading copies. What to do, though,
with the hundreds of Illustrated London News and Saturday
Evening Posts? I will probably keep the Picture Post
collection, these being one of my favourite mags of the
Thanks to Owen for his advice re cockroach stains: "
Emery paper ...I use these types of papers on some of my
really browned stained Ob's and dependent upon the paper
used for printing, these papers sometimes work a treat.
However, make sure the pages are gripped tight and don't
rush the job. Quick light pressure I've found to be the
best and always use good quality paper that's had little
use. / Continue using a paper until it starts being
ineffective, then dump it and start using a fresh piece.
Sometimes a sandpaper ends up getting folded several
times, but it still works a treat. Some types of emery
cloth are OK too, but be careful of the black stuff. Grey
is fine. Some glass papers are OK too, some being better
than sandpaper. All are cheap to buy and it's worth
trying them out on the worst book because with this one
you can do no harm."
5.30 and a foggy morning; these days I wake up early,
anxious to get 'stuck in'. So many boxes inspected and
yet I'm not halfway through. Good material is getting a
brush then going back into cartons so it's unlikely I'll
give many details here until I do a later resort.
Numerous volumes of boys' papers predating BOP have been
unearthed together with stacks of single issues and more
annuals than I'll ever to able to index.
||Only one copy of this
'Strand-sized' monthly but it's one I've read of
but never seen a actual sample. 32pp plus covers,
published in Sydney, this issue dated 4th April,
A 'sporting' magazine, with articles on
boxing, fencing, swimming and general 'keep fit'
subjects. Also humour in the shape of an article
called 'Shark Tickling'!
Includes two full-page boxing plates of
Arythur Pelkey and Bill Lang.
And so it continues ...
MAN, April, 1941
#12, 28.11.1942, published by 2KY, Sydney
Greg (of WIDE WORLD fame :), son/apprentice Oliver and
pal Steve arrived on Saturday to look through stuff I'd
removed for their examination. They kindly drove away
with a boot-full of books and mags, including some early
though damaged bound volumes of the 'Illustrated London
News'. Thankfully they delivered a goodly supply of
Sylvia's superlative scones. Mmmmm, says John.
Hundreds of boys' annuals have been checked and sorted
according to condition. These and the many cartons of
story papers will take the next 125 years to index. A
pity though about the hundreds of early British comics,
most of which are the worse for wear, many having been
folded/rolled in bundles. I've had to throw out scores of
these and story papers such as 'Triumph' which lack
pages, etc. Another 30 cartons of books and mags for the
library. B took 6 in her small wagon and stands in the
back of the garage so you can judge the quantity of stuff
remaining. And later, a pic of my big wagon loaded with
more than a dozen cartons about to head off down the
Yesterday I worked in the garage from 9am until 9.30pm in
an effort to examine everything before tomorrow. Still
more startling discoveries but to illustrate just one, an
advertising BOP postcard found inside a Boy's Own Annual
1st January, 2004
I'm in the process of sorting of good material and
disposing of unwanted damaged stuff now. Below is
something I consider a really nice find; anything in the
comic line from Australia during WW2 is choice! Front and
back, 10 nice interior pages.
28th February, 2004
||This painting of Inveresk House
comes from a supplement to the Illustrated London
News, 6th October, 1928. Known as the home of THE
GREAT EIGHT, it originally housed 'The Morning
The '8' were:
THE ILLUSTRATED LONDON NEWS,
THE ILLUSTRATED SPORTING AND DRAMATIC NEWS
The 40-page supplement includes a cut-away
centre spread of the building, illustrations of
early editions of the papers, 'From press
photograph to printing block in 45 minutes' - a
photo article on the entire process and a
multitude of illustrated ads for the companies
which assisted in the process.
This is what I term 'an
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