Today is the birthday of the British artist who put his stamp on the Post Office

In the excellent company of rock singer and campaigner,Bob Geldof, former England goalie,Ray Clemence, author and broadcaster,Robert Kee, and many,many others, Ronald Maddox, celebrates his birthday today. He is 80. President of the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours, he is a renowned artist,illustrator and British Stamp designer. (where you can see examples of his extraordinary work) writes:

“In the 70s and 80s artist Ronald Maddox travelled throughout the United Kingdom making drawings and paintings for the Post Office, Royal Mail and BT. The resulting images later appeared on stamps, first day covers, posters, aerogrammes, telephone directories and stamp books. In a talk given [here] in May, Ronald Maddox reflected on more than two decades of work. This talk is now available on our podcast.”

In the Times today he is quoted as saying:”I never think about getting older. I shall just carry on walking,cycling and drawing.”

We wish him a very Happy Birthday.

Why not take the garden tour next year?


30th September 2010

· Where to Profit from your unwanted collectables
· Why not take a garden tour next year?
· You, too, could have many holiday places of your own


Remember last week we looked at finding cash in the attic. Well this week there is a little more on where to go for advice…Also, fancy a garden tour? …or perhaps an affordable holiday place of your own, in a sunny paradise…


Where to profit from your unwanted collectables

If you are fortunate to be in a position to bolster your cash with the sale of some antiques or collectables that are surplus to your requirements, then it pays to have a second opinion. In addition to last week’s online suggestions you could go to an antiques’ fair. At the least you can have a great day-out! Have a look at the Antiques Trade Gazette or for details.

For a guide price on your goods, it can repay you to visit the new website at On site there are also many interesting articles – Mark Hill’s current piece on ‘writing collectables’ particularly caught my eye’, vintage propelling pencils, fountain pens, desk stands, all that. You may also be able to borrow a copy of Miller’s Antiques guide from your local library.

And, finally, don’t forget eBay, for a guide as to what your stuff is worth in the current marketplace; and also as a place to sell it online.

Why not take a garden tour next year?


Love gardens? Looking for something a little different for a holiday break next year? Well, you could visit and be inspired by the gardening masterpiece created by Peter Wolkonsky who, according to Financial Times columnist, Robin Lane Fox: “Aged 65,[he] took on a valley of 40 acres and turned it into a garden which still attracts 20,000 visitors a year from all over the world.”

The gardens at Kerdalo, 10 minutes away from Treguier situated on the north coast of Brittany, France, are” the creation of a family in direct descent from Tolstoy’s War and Peace .”

For further information you can check out

Kerdalo Gardens

Next year a tour of Kerdalo will be run in May, by French Gardens Today, with the help of Peter Wolkonsky’s daughter Isabelle. Further details at or contact

You, too, could have many holiday places of your own
Hopefully, gone forever are the spivs who several years ago accosted holidaymakers in the Costas, and elsewhere, selling and scamming with timeshares, giving that industry a bad name. “26 years ago a more flexible alternative to timeshare emerged with the Holiday Property Bond which turned the traditional timeshare on its head,” say the Holiday property Bond people.
It offers its” investors a financial interest in an entire portfolio of villas, cottages and apartments. And enabling them to holiday at a choice of popular UK and European destinations rent free – at times to suit them.”

So (as they say) why settle for one place to own when you can choose from 1,300? You can check it out here at

I hope I have given you some food for thought when planning your holidays next year.

Don’t miss your next weekly issue!

If you have missed earlier issues of The60Life Weekly – these can be found by scrolling down the categories in the right hand column at


Mike Paterson,
The 60Life Weekly

PS: Please, if you have your own stories, tips, or feedback send them to me at

Disclaimer: It is always my intention to be as accurate in fact, detail and comment as possible. However, I cannot be held responsible for any error in details, accuracy or judgement whatsoever. This e-letter is produced on this understanding.

Are you a dissectologist?

While trawling through some archive stuff on an old blog of mine, I recently came across the following short post I had written:

‘It was some chap called John Spilsbury in the late 18th century who devised the first ‘dissected puzzle’. Almost all the earliest such puzzles to become known and beloved as Jigsaw Puzzles were made out of wood,often of mahogany. They were also often map puzzles depicting the countries of the world, hand coloured , the pieces cut around the different countries.

If you can find one of the earliest puzzles with all pieces intact, you will be well rewarded. Apparently,several years ago a set of Spilsbury jigsaws would have fetched at auction in excess of £25,000. One Spilsbury jigsaw of the map of England, where each piece was allocated a county could set you back around £2,000.

Although you may not be able to get your hands on one of these rarest of puzzles, you may profit by visiting collectors weekly
But you may not be looking merely for profit, and as a collector you continue to research and hunt for choice specimens to add to your collection. These may include the most recent variety of mass produced puzzle punched out of cardboard. And yes, there is a name for such collectors: Dissectologists. For further research, you can go to The British Jigsaw Puzzle Library

I shall be developing a category here on the60life site devoted to collectibles and retro items.