Jon Gilbert, Peter Burt and myself holding an early print of Casino RoyaleAs some of you may remember I spent a few days in London, England two weeks ago and I also did a blog post of what I had planed. Below you can find a small recollection of what I actually did.
Thursday December 3.
Admiralty as quickly as possible since I wanted to have my picture taken in Room 39 where Ian Fleming worked during the war. This was one of the things I looked most forward to but as a Swede I did not know much about the building.
So when I arrived I was very sad to notice that the entire building was shut down since it apparently had been sold by the military to the government and the education department that was moving in. I actually rang the door bell but they re decorators on the inside said that there was absolutely no way for me to get inside.
I decided not to feel bad. If the education department are moving in I hope I will have better odds for a picture when I visit London the next time. The building is magnificent and to my knowledge Room 39 is on the first floor.
For the rest of that day me and the wife spent just taking it easy. Visiting some antique book shops and also Goldsboro Books. The pricing in these shops took me by surprise. The actual shop price for old Fleming books is far higher than it is on Ebay. And on Ebay the books do not sell at a lower price. According to the shop keeper at Goldsboro books there Thunderball print they had for sale cost £300 with a facsimile dust jacket. Now I paid 300 Australian dollars for my first edition with a near fine dust jacket. Goldsboro have a Thunderball first edition for sale now and they want £1500 for it.
Gilbert Scott. On my way to the bar I snuck in a book store on Charing cross and bought IAN FLEMING - A PERSONAL MEMOIR by Robert Harling and also BOND Vs BOND by Paul Simpson. Both were review copies and at a really good price. The second book would normally be something I would not buy since we had these books over and over again. But this one contains a lot of info on the books compared to the films with some rare photos. It looks as a good read.
Friday December 4.On the second day in London I wanted to visit Peter Harrington books that specialize on old rare books. They have two shops in London. One is located in Fulham road and the other is located at Dover Street in Mayfair. There I was helped by Rob Sandall who showed me some of the Ian Fleming books that I had never seen in person and will never have in my collection like the limited edition of ON HER MAJESTYS SECRET SERVICE.
Back in 1962 Ian Fleming and Jonathan Cape decided to print a 250 limited edition numbered and signed version of the book a few weeks prior to the actual release.
Later on that day it was time to visit the only filming location of the Daniel Craig era that has made me curious. I took the wife with me and went to Notting Hill and No. 1 Stanley Crecsent. This is the actual address that were were used for external shots of James Bonds apartment in the latest film SPERCTRE. Sadly the building was being renovated just were Bonds living room windows are. I just must mention how I love that the apartment has hardly any decorating and that it looks like Bond has just moved in. Its a nice touch for a man always away on a mission.
After the visit to James Bond apartment we took a walk down to Portobello Road Market were there actually was a lot of Fleming Books trading hands.
Later that evening me and my wife were on our way to check out the Winter wonderland in Hyde Park I passed a big door that I recognized. A second later I saw the big sign saying that this was the Eon House. The door to were all things James Bond is being discussed and negotiated. A picture had to be taken. The address is Picadilly 138.
Saturday December 5.
On Saturday it was an early wake and then of by train to Royal Tunbridge Wells. There I had made an appointment with both Jon Gilbert who is an expert on James Bond literature and also have many books for sale at the Adrian Harrington book shop.
I had also made an appointment with Peter Burt and his lovely wife Jackie Burt.
I did not buy any books in the shop but I did buy a copy of the Ian Fleming painting that looked fantastic. It will be pure joy to build a frame for it soon.
After the visit to the book shop me, my wife and the Burts went to a pizzeria to have lunch and I hope they enjoyed themself as much as I did because we sat there for many hours, not talking about James Bond, but about life itself. It was a great conversation and actually the highlight of the
trip. Who knew that I and Peter would have so much of our childhood in common. I believe it got us both thinking about why we are collectors and why others collect as well. Can it be so that we all are very much alike?
Sunday December 6.
Not much time on Sunday to do anything. We made a quick visit to Camden market but nowadays this is highly overrated and I cant advise anybody to actually go their unless you wish to buy junk and pirate goods.
Then off to the airport and rush back home to Sweden and reality.
Below you can see some pictures from my trip.You can click on them to make them bigger.