How to identify London Olympics and Royal Diamond Jubilee memorabilia

With the London Olympics and the Royal Diamond Jubilee around the corner, 2012 is a big year for UK commemorative memorabilia.

Carbooted got in touch with the people who make it for tips on identifying the real deal. Read on if you don’t fancy getting sold a rip off down the car boot.

Look out for the identifying stamps on official Jubilee memorabilia.
(Image courtesy of Royal Collection © 2012, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.)

Royal Jubilee collectibles

An official range of china has been commissioned by the Royal Collection to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee of H.M. Queen Elizabeth II. Tea caddys and tea towels are at the cheaper end of the range where as a Diamond Jubilee cake stand will set you back almost £400.

Emma Shaw from the Royal Collection said that all official Diamond Jubilee china is easily identified.

“ All pieces of Diamond Jubilee china have the Royal Collection stamp on their base if they are a limited-edition piece they are numbered too. They also have the Made in England back stamp on their base.”

London Olympics 2012 memorabilia

The range of official Olympics merchandise is as widespread as the range of sports the games include. There are key rings, flags, binoculars and books as well as reworked versions of traditional board games like Monopoly. There are also higher end lines of fine jewellery and silverware available as part of a collaboration with Links.

Lloyd Evans from London 2012 said: “If a product is genuine London 2012 Games merchandise it will feature a numbered holographic version of the official London 2012 logo as part of the packaging or labelling.”

Kate Lloyd


Preview: The Art Car Boot Fair on Brick Lane – May 27 2012

The end of May will see the return of the Vauxhall Art Car Boot Fair to Brick Lane’s Truman Brewery.

The fair, which costs a bargainous £3 to get in, will see a car boots brimming with arty deals, including works especially commissioned for the event.

Organisers promise works by more than 70 international artists, including Sir Peter Blake, Mat Collishaw, Polly Morgan, Tracey Emin’s Emin International, Keith Tyson, Chantal Joffe, Jessica Albarn and Billy Childish.

There’s also a handbag disco – which sounds absolutely amazing on its own – but you could also come away from the dancefloor with an exclusive designer or celebrity handbag. When the music stops, you grab a cotton bag, and it’s a mystery which bag you’ll find inside! Bags have been donated by celebrities and designers including models Sophie Dahl, Jasmine Guinness, Liberty Ross, Daisy Lowe and designers Lulu Guinness, Balenciaga, Barbara Hulanacki, with many more donors to be announced soon.

Last year, artist Tracey Emin, Blur front man Damon Albarn, and designer Pam Hogg were spotted at the event in what must have been the East End’s glitziest car park.

Best of all, you can indulge your arty side and enjoy a dance while raising money for a good cause. All the proceeds go to the Just for Kids Law charity, which gives legal help to young people in difficulty.

The Art Car Boot Fair

£3, 12-6pm, Sunday May 27 2012

Brick Lane Yard, London, E1

Helen Lawson


Trend alert: DVD box sets

During this never-ending recession, Britons are choosing to stay in and indulge in a new hobby: DVD box sets

William and Kate love it. So do David and Sam. Michelle and Barack are probably at it as we speak. In fact, according to You magazine, we’re all guilty.

DVD box sets are hot property right now. With endless reality shows on our TVs and a recession that looks like it might never end, people are turning to the comfort and security of a box set on a Friday night. Shows like The Sopranos, The Wire, The West Wing may be long gone from our TV guides but are far from forgotten.

Couples up and down the country are eschewing pricey nights out in favour of a bottle of wine, packet of posh crisps and a couple of hours with Baltimore drug dealers, forensic mass murderers and sexed up vampires.

Look through your DVD collection at home, turf out that Buffy box set your mum gave you two Christmases ago and add it to your next car boot sale – one man’s Lost is another man’s Breaking Bad.

Top tip: Shows like Dexter, The Killing and In Treatment are a higher caliber of programme that may not be everyone’s cup of tea. Keep an eye out for Family Guy and The Simpsons if you want to go for (near) universal appeal.

Sophie Tighe


Bernie Ecclestone goes bargain-hunting with new fiancée

So it turns out Bernie Ecclestone is a part time bargain hunter…

He may be a billionaire but, according to this article in the Daily Mail, the 81-year-old Formula One magnate and his 32-year-old fiancée, Fabiana Flosi, were “spotted bargain-hunting at the Lots Road house clearance auctions in Fulham just recently.”

Flosi may have given up her job with Hungarian business man Rohonyi Tamas after meeting Ecclestone ­but it’s unlikely the couple are having money problems. In fact, Lots Road Auctions isn’t exactly cheap, with items advertised on its website for thousands of pounds.

But house clearance sales can be good places for picking up bargains to either keep or sell at the car boot. In 2010 a family found a £43m Chinese vase at a house clearance in Ruislip.

Tom Allsop


Poll update: Boris v Ken, the results

Londoners and car booters have spoken: Boris Johnson has come out victorious.

With 55% of the vote, Boris was your ideal car boot mate but having been elected for another four year Mayoral term, chances are he probably won’t be available for a car boot any time soon.

Ken, anyone?

Sophie Tighe


Rags to riches: flogging fashion at car boot sales

Car boot sales are a great way to declutter and shift some of your more regrettable fashion faux pas.

Top tips for carbooting in today’s Guardian include doing your research on where to sell, arriving early and (most importantly) being prepared to haggle with buyers.

Read the full article here

Sophie Tighe


Poll: Who would you rather car boot with, Boris or Ken?

As we await the results of the London Mayoral Election, the Mail on Sunday have conducted a unique poll of their own asking, among other things, ‘Who would get the best car boot sale bargain?’

Surprisingly, Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls came out on top with 26 per cent of the vote – no doubt his reputation as an ‘attack dog’ would help him hold his own out there in the tough world of car boot negotiations.

Unsurprisingly, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg came last with a mere seven per cent of the vote – but with today’s results across the country, this poll may be the least of the Lib Dem leader’s worries.

What do you think? Take part in our special London-based poll and let us know: who you would rather have on your car boot team?

Sophie Tighe