The Beano turns 80 this year. I’ll just let that sink in.
I still remember running down to my old corner shop every Wednesday after school to pick up the brand new Beano comic for 2p (the mind boggles!), then running home to try and get a read of the first few pages before mum cleared the table for dinner.
Of all the Beano characters, there was one character I looked forward to reading about more than any other – my favourite mischief maker – Dennis the Menace.
And that’s why I have been so excited over the last few months to be able to work personally on an exclusive and highly collectable Beano Commemorative – especially as this year the comic turns 80.
Brand new never before seen Dennis illustration
As a special privilege for their 80th birthday, Beano have given us unparalleled permission to create some brand new Beano artwork.
That’s because, for the very first time, Dennis the Menace has been brought to life on a brand new and exclusive Silver-Plated Commemorative by actual Beano artist – Wayne Thompson.
As you can see, the medal is a perfect limited edition tribute to Dennis in his classic red and black sweater that you, I, and many generations of children have grown up to love.
And as I mentioned, the Dennis the Menace illustration has been specially commissioned exclusively for Mint Editions. No one has ever seen it before and it has come straight from The Beano studios, direct to us from their artist – Wayne Thompson.
A whole collection of beloved Beano favourites
Just as in the comics, Dennis is never far from his trusted companion Gnasher, who is also part of the collection of new medals featuring beloved Beano favourites.
The complete collection of eight medals also includes Bananaman, Plug, Minnie the Minx, Roger the Dodger, Danny and Pieface – and each Silver-Plated Medals all feature brand new never-before-seen illustrations from Wayne.
Your invitation to SAVE £10.00 when you order today
Today, I would like to personally invite you to start your collection with the Dennis the Menace Silver-Plated Medal – for JUST £14.99… that’s an exclusive £10.00 SAVING. What’s more, alongside your second delivery you’ll also receive a free collecting pack to house and protect each Silver-Plated Medal.
Pink Floyd, David Bowie, the Beatles. Giants of the international music scene, and most importantly, all home-grown talent.
That’s why all of these artists have been commemorated at one point by Royal Mail, with their own set of official postage stamps, featuring a selection of their most famous albums.
But what I, and many others like me, love most about the original albums is the artwork that adorns their covers. The prism on Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of the Moon. The Beatles crossing Abbey Road – two of the most famous images in British popular culture.
And I know I’m not alone when I say “they don’t make them like they used to!” But it’s true.
My point is that after vinyl fell out of fashion (it still pains me!), many of these classic albums, these heavyweights of British culture, ended up in lofts, given to charity shops or just binned! Criminal! The fact is they should be presented, shown-off and displayed – like the pieces of art they are.
Framed Vinyl Classics
This was the driving force behind Framed Vinyl Classics. To give vinyl its place back in the home. Definitive tributes to some of the greatest artists and albums the UK has ever produced.
With our background in stamps, we were able to pair together the stamp and matching classic vinyl album to make a genuinely superb wall display. Giving each iconic cover the place it deserves in your home or office.
So we can’t say we’ve been surprised by how popular they have been with collectors. Because we collect them too. Editions for The Dark Side of the Moon, Ziggy Stardust and Abbey Road have all SOLD OUT, catapulting Framed Vinyl Classics from humble beginnings as art for enthusiasts to a genuine piece of must-have memorabilia for the fans.
First Look – Brand New Releases
Now, after listening to many requests for other albums, I’m very pleased to be able to show you for the very first time, more definitive tributes to some other of the all time classic Brit artists. The Clash, Led Zeppelin, Blur, Coldplay and Mike Oldfield are now available to order – all set to worldwide editions of JUST 250. Click here to see all the available presentations >>>
If you click on one the links above or below, you’ll view a gallery of all the past and present Framed Vinyl Classics. Some have sold out of their strictly limited worldwide editions, some are on their way to doing just that, and some, like today, are brand-new – hot off the press.
And what further adds to the limited status of each framed presentation – the element highly desired by collectors – are the official postage stamps. Not only are they among the few issues to feature album covers, but some of the stamps are extremely scarce and are only available on the secondary market – you can’t get them from the post office and won’t see them on your letters.
You see, the stamps for the new presentations were released back in 2010, as part of Royal Mail’s Classic Album Covers issue. Significantly, these stamps were issued before Facebook and Google – and the more effective means of showing these fantastic commemoratives direct to the fans. In other words, many fans of these bands probably still aren’t aware these delightful pieces of memorabilia even exist! Which I guess makes this, a bit of an inside track (no pun intended).
One final point of interest to collectors, many of these stamps are so limited that Stanley Gibbons, the authority on everything stamp related, state that the Classic Album Covers stamps have increased in value by over 100% since their release, whilst the Beatles stamps from 2007 have increased in value by whopping 200%!*
But don’t just take my word for it, nor the hundreds of collectors who have snapped up their own Framed Vinyl Classic. See for yourself by clicking the link here and view the Framed Vinyl Classics gallery.
* Stanley Gibbons, Collect British Stamps 2016.
If you’re interested…
Google has the answer to everything. Well actually not quite everything, it seems…
That’s because when I sat down to write this blog about the Queen and Prince Philip’s Platinum Wedding Anniversary in November this year, I thought it would be interesting to see how many couples actually celebrate 70 years of marriage.
The answer is Google doesn’t know.
And the more I dug around, the more I realised the reason why. It’s incredibly rare.
So if Google can’t tell us, let’s see if we can come up with an answer.
Fundamental to the problem is that there is simply no central record of how long marriages last until one of the couple passes away. But perhaps we can make some assumptions based on some of the statistics that the Office for National Statistics (ONS) do publish.
How likely are two people to both make it past their 90th Birthday?
In 1947 the median age for marriage was 23.7 for men and 20.5 for women[i], making Princess Elizabeth and Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten pretty typical of their generation, marrying aged 21 and 26. It also means it’s fair to work on the basis that for nearly any couple celebrating their Platinum Wedding Anniversary, they are both going to be in their nineties.
So the chances for making it past the age of 90 in England and Wales is 0.8%[ii]. That means that the chances of two people BOTH making it is:
0.008 x 0.008 = 0.000064
0.0064% chance of two people both making it past their 90th birthday.
How many people were married in 1947?
Fortunately, it is much easier to uncover how many people married in 1947. In fact 1947 is the very first year that the ONS not only holds data for the total number of marriages in England and Wales but also in which month they took place.[iii]
Certainly by choosing November, they were not following the trend. In fact with fewer than 30,000 marriages that month, it was the third least popular month for weddings that year.
Overall, the young princess and her naval officer beau were one of 401,210 couples to tie the knot that year. Statistics for Scotland and Northern Ireland appear more difficult to track down but it would be reasonable to extrapolate the numbers based on the overall UK population split, which suggests a figure for the whole of the UK.
466,000 UK marriages in 1947.
But what about divorces?
Data is not easily available for 1947 but it can be found for English and Welsh marriages in 1950[iv]. According to the ONS, 8.6% of marriages at that time ended in divorce, so we should discount them out from our 466,000 UK marriages.
466,000 x 91.4% = 426,000 non-divorce marriages in 1947.
How many Platinum Wedding Anniversaries might we expect this year?
So we have now have two critical pieces of data. The chances of two people making it past the age of 90 – the realistic milestone age to celebrate a Platinum Wedding Anniversary – and the number of marriages in 1947 that did not end in divorce.
Based on that we can multiply the two numbers together to give us a pretty reasonable estimate of the number of couples who will celebrate 70 years of marriage this year.
426,000 x 0.0064% = 27 Platinum Wedding Anniversaries
So, although there are no official statistics to back it up, it seems likely that only around 30 couples will join the Queen and Prince Philip in celebrating their Platinum Wedding Anniversary this year. Or to put it another way – just 60 people in the UK will mark 70 years of marriage in 2017 – that’s 1 in a million.
That’s why for me, forget the Jubilees; forget the birthdays. For the Queen and Prince Philip their Platinum Wedding Anniversary is the pinnacle of their long list of incredible milestones. And we, the British people, must join them in marking this historic moment.