A chance to change
Coping with the coronavirus restrictions have led to some blue-sky thinking
Shall we, shan’t we?”; “Can we, can’t we?” are phrases in constant use at WI Committee meetings together with “I am not sure” or even “I don’t know”.
Currently the institutes and county federation are facing problems associated with how to arrange a meeting safely within government guidelines. This is not an easy task and one which requires a degree of change, something which is very necessary but not all feel comfortable with.
Our membership has a broad age range, though it is top heavy in the older band. This has meant that we have had more members shielding and isolating during the pandemic than some other organisations. Many members are very wary of socialising at the moment and the return to any sort of normality is going to be a slow one, not least because most WIS meet in comparatively small halls.
All through our wonderful WI committees have been finding ways of keeping contact. Now when the weather is fine you could find small groups of women meeting in the park. Mostly with their own chairs and food not our usual tea and cake! Otherwise they may be making home deliveries or post drops. The young caring for the elderly members. Many of those younger members have had to take on home schooling combined with working from home. Thankfully by the time you read this the children should be back in school. I think little has changed for the key workers who have had a very different lockdown. We thank them for all they have done for us.
It is a testing time for all of us and sometimes the close proximity of family for prolonged periods is an even greater test. Yet as social animals we miss the interaction with others. What a complex scenario it creates! Now we have to make a culture leap and become more used to wearing masks or other face coverings away from home.
For those spending more time at home the traditional skills have seen an upturn in popularity and there is greater appreciation of ‘homemade’. This is good news for the artisans and farmers, as well as village shops all of which need our support.
Not such good news is the increase in the use of plastic that the pandemic has created. Unfortunately for the planet it is often the best barrier we have.
Sadly the amount of plastic aprons and gloves as well as masks being used and then not disposed of properly has only added to the plastic mountain around the world. Plastic has also come back into regular use, particularly for home deliveries, though I notice that some supermarkets are introducing biodegradable ones. A step in the right direction.
These forms of increased plastic use are understandable but why not use fabric masks or scarves where possible? One use of plastic could easily be cut out altogether and that is balloons of all kinds. They kill livestock and wildlife worldwide. If you still insist on using them please make sure you dispose of them safely. As WI members we will continue to campaign as hard as ever against the unnecessary use of plastic.
As a group we are also thinking of ways to support the campaign by CPRE for a greener, cleaner and generally better environment. There is less air and noise pollution, wildlife, both plant and animal, is thriving, the stars are brighter and the sky bluer. Let us try and keep it that way. Nature has bounced back from where we had sent it. We have been given a chance to change and make things better, we must not waste that and jeopardise our world.
Britain’s lofts, garages, spare rooms and cellars have never felt so much love as they have in the past few months. If lockdown has had you rummaging around among your possessions, you may have blown the dust off your long-lost record collection, or if you’re still a regular collector, you may have been having a good old reorganisation. Either way, there’s probably some gems in there worth a bit of money.
It was around 40 years ago that record sales first began to dwindle – cassettes took a share of the market and, gradually, as compact discs became the format of choice for recorded music through the late 80s and into this current century, our love affair with vinyl records waned.
With the digital download age dominating the first decade of the 21st century, the value in second hand records dipped. I, for one, can remember seeing original David Bowie albums in record shops for £3 each 20 years ago, while car boot sales and charity shops were the place to pick up unwanted slices of music history.
Now it’s a different story. Around 10 years ago vinyl records became popular again. Record Store Day was one reason, the other was that longing to actually physically own music once again. Either way, record collecting went full circle and spun back into our lives. They started appearing in shops like Urban Outfitters and John Lewis, and supermarket giants Tesco and Sainsbury’s wanted in. HMV went from displaying a couple of dozen titles to devoting a huge part of their store to records, turntables and plastic sleeves for collectors to keep purchases in.
While millions of new vinyl records have been purchased in the last decade, the value here is in older records. With the help of three music experts and record shop owners – John Naylor, Andrew Worsdale and Eric White – we’ve compiled a ‘Top 15’ of records that you may have tucked away in your house that have a good value...
‘OK you probably already know the story of this controversial single and how it went to number two in the charts, but who remembers what beat it to number 1? Rod Stewart’s Don’t Want to Talk about It. Before the Sex Pistols signed to Virgin, A&M Records released a small quantity of the 7” single and its value – are you sitting down? – is over £10,000.’
‘Does your Beatles 1963 original come with a black and gold (rather than yellow) label? You’ll get around £1,200 for a mono, or five times that for a stereo copy.’
‘If you’ve got a copy of the Zep’s debut with turquoise rather than orange lettering, it’s worth a nice sum. How does £1,500 sound?’
‘Everyone has heard of heavy metal legends Iron Maiden, but did you know their first 7” was self-released and now worth a staggering £1,000 in mint condition? Get searching!’
‘Look for a solid light (not dark) blue prism on the label, distinguishing a first press, and yours could be worth upwards of £1,000.’
‘Recognise Pete from The Who Sell Out, 1968? The sticker says the poster’s inside, but it’s long gone, so you can drop a zero from that £800 price tag, sadly!’
‘Regarded by the majority of Beatles fans as the band’s best, this LP has always been available on vinyl with many variations. Collectors are always seeking the best condition original earliest 1966 mono issues with the slightly longer version of the track Tomorrow Never Knows and should expect to be around £350 for the best examples.’
‘The undisputed kings of Britpop, Oasis released this in 1994 and it set them on their way to being one of the biggest and most famous bands in the world. It was the fastest selling UK debut album of all time and if you were one of the lucky ones to buy it on LP you are sitting on another £100.’
‘Does your copy of Joy Division’s Closer bathe your bedroom in a red glow when you hold it up against the ceiling light? If so, you could triple that £30 value.’ ‘Fairly level pegging with The Beatles’ Revolver album for the best album ever made accolade and both from the greatest year for music – 1966. It is tough to find an original copy that has not had many plays. Look out for the Capitol “rainbow rim” labels with the wording “sold in the UK” to the left. Mono originals fetch £75.’
‘The Grunge legends; everyone knows the front cover with the baby in the swimming pool with the dollar bill floating in front. It’s one of the most iconic LP images of all time and one of the best rock albums of all time. Its value, £60.’
‘Does your Queen original have a “cut” corner on the inner sleeve or a rounded one? Don’t sweat: it’s only the difference between £60 or £25.’
‘No list of desirable and in-demand artists is complete without the much missed singer/ songwriter. Those that raced to the shops first in 1973 found a fan club mail order insert inside, which most filled in and sent away. Retained ones with unblemished vinyl and a clean gatefold cover plus photo inner sleeve make about £50.’
‘Over 40 years old and although earlier albums are significantly more valuable, this double album complete with removable PVC transfer on the cover, curved edges, lyric inner sleeves and spotless vinyl is a fast seller at around £30.’
‘Possibly the greatest 12” single in history and also one of the best-selling. The only trouble for Factory Records was that it cost more to make than they sold it for. Peter Saville’s iconic cut-out sleeve is as recognisable as the pulsating drum beats that start the song. Everyone bought this for about a pound, it’s now worth up to £20.’