THE Daily Express tells us that the Royal Mail has launched a series of stamps commemorating famous British children's toys from the last 100 years.

They include the Sindy doll and Action Man, Frank Hornby's Meccano, the Merrythought bear; Spirograph; Stickle Bricks; W Britain toy figures; Space Hopper; Fuzzy-Felt and Hornby Dublo trains.

Royal Mail spokesman Philip Parker said: “British toymakers enjoyed a reputation for quality and innovation, and these nostalgic stamps celebrate 10 wonderful toys that have endured through the decades.”

If you're a real Beatles fanatic this article in The Guardian might be right up your street.

Up for sale at auction is the right to be buried on top of Eleanor Rigby in a Liverpool graveyard.

It seems that deeds for the grave of the woman who may have been the inspiration for the Beatles song go on sale at a Beatles Memorabilia Auction to be held in Warrington on September 11.

Eleanor Rigby was buried in St Peter’s churchyard in Woolton, Liverpool, where Paul McCartney first met John Lennon at a church fete.

McCartney, who wrote the lyrics about a woman who is “wearing the face that she keeps in a jar by the door”, allegedly said it was simply a name that came to him. But it later emerged that it was inscribed on a headstone in the graveyard which he and Lennon used to regularly use as a shortcut.

The deeds for the graveyard are expected to be sold for between £2,000 and £4,000.

They will be auctioned alongside the original handwritten score for the song, which is expected to fetch £20,000.

Paul Fairweather, from Omega Auctions,said: “Each item is fantastic, unique and of significant historical importance in itself so to have both to come up for auction at the same time is an incredible coincidence and it will be exciting to see how they perform.”

An exhibition to be held at the National Portrait Gallery in London next year will cast further light on the Victorian era.

The Guardian reports that fragile images by some of the pioneers of Victorian photography, rarely displayed because the prints and negatives are so vulnerable to light damage, will be on display.

They include images by the Swedish photographer Oscar Rejlander, and will be the first time they have been publicly displayed in London since his death in 1875.

Visitors will also be able to see Lewis Carroll’s portraits of Alice Liddell, the real model for his Alice in Wonderland – including the original negatives – as well as the less familiar portraits by Julia Margaret Cameron of Liddell as a grown woman.

Phillip Prodger, head of photographs at the NPG, said: “These are pictures that inspire and delight. And this is a show that lays bare the unrivalled creative energy, and optimism, that came with the birth of new ways of seeing.” The exhibition runs from March 1 to May 20 next year.

It's amazing what you can find when you go walking in the English countryside.

A Daily Express article reveals that a 15th century heart-shaped brooch which was found in a field near Kirby Muxloe Castle in Leicestershire was a gift to a lady aristocrat during the War Of The Roses and has been sold for £20,000 at auction.

It has been identified as a gift from Baron William Hastings to wife Katherine Neville. Hastings built the castle and was one of the most powerful and wealthy men in England - until he was beheaded by Richard III for alleged treason.

Charles Hanson, owner of Hanson Auctioneers, said: “The demand for this brooch was so high because of its rich historical pedigree. It is totally unique and has to be one of the most romantic brooches in the world.”

The high carat jewel, inlaid with white enamel and engraved with the medieval French inscription honor et ioie (Honour and Joy), was unearthed just outside the castle's moat.

Reference list:
The Express (

The Guardian (