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  1. https://www.sintons.co.uk/sintons_commercial/the-pen-shop-bought-from-administration/ It is now down to 5 stores from 10. IIRC, they had 20 stores 3/4 years ago. OTOH, their shop in Trafford Centre (one of the largest malls in the UK) had only one MB LE ink in stock and 3/4 from the standard range. The website has had a revamp.
  2. Ebberman

    Platignum - A Short History

    http://hans.presto.tripod.com/scan/platignum02.html I find it interesting. Rather than copy & paste it I've given you the link. Platignum made the reai-life James Bond type pens for the British Government.
  3. Another Diamine ink in the Cult Pen exclusive 'Deep Dark' range has arrived. If you have been looking for a very dark red ink, this one is for you. I absolutely love the colour and it is one of the few red inks I would use in the office. Oh, and it has both shading and sheen! Form an orderly queue now USAGE DAILY WRITER: I can see that BUSINESS USE: I would use it for all but the most formal of communications ILLUSTRATIONS: Not convinced that it stands out enough NOTES: Yes (in a dry environment, at least) PERSONAL: Very welcome LOVE LETTERS: Not really my speciality but I can see this one being used for a serious love letter. PERFORMANCE FEATHERING: 4/4 BLEEDTHROUGH: 3/4 - very slight with the 1.1mm nib SHADING: 3/4 - lots, but can be hard to control? SHEEN: 2/4 - very obvious in the 3.8mm writing FLOW: medium, but can skip or burp on Rhodia though that may be the pens.... WATERPROOF: 1/4 DRYING TIME: 2/4 FADE RESISTANCE: (not tested) REVIEW WRITING SAMPLES Please forgive the even more than usually atrocious handwriting! (Bad cold => no patience) (As usual, the sample text is from the Office of Readings, in this case following the calendar for England and Wales where today is the Feast of the forty martyrs.) Cartridge stock Rhodia Rhodia R COMPARISONS WITH OTHER INKS The lines on the left (from the monster Diamine comparison) were written with the medium nib. This is cartridge stock. I hope this is useful.
  4. evyxmsj

    Uk Nibmeister?

    Hello, Sorry, I know this has come up a few times. Looking for someone in the UK who could repair make work my Visconti Rembrandt. (I've posted about it elsewhere, but never been happy with it. I think it has one tine longer than the other so needs a bit of grinding and probably work on the feed / feed replacement. Tempted to get it ground to a stub as well.) I've seen mention of Oxonian aka John Sorowka but can't find him searching FPN members. Also saw mention of PenPractice.com but doesn't seem to cater for repair or modern pens. Any tips?
  5. I would love a list of FP friendly products targeted towards the UK. All I can get locally (East Yorkshire) at present is Clairefontaine and Oxford Optik. The Clairefontaine paper is in Rhodia & Europa pads as well as under their own name. Some Supermarket chains do get Clairefontaine pads as part of a 'back-to-school' range in August and I am also hoping for a repeat in December/January '20 as I scored Clairefontaine A5 Koverbooks silly-cheap. Wilkinson (Wilko) used to have Silvene Memo books and exercise books cheap but do not do them now. It's all their 'own' brand light-weight paper, 60 or 70gsm that I know nothing about. Get a truly bad pad and you get bleed-through affecting two sheets & just marking the third sheet.
  6. Parker Ruby

    1930S Uk Red Ink

    Hello, I'm trying to find a suitable alternative to this red ink. The paper is an off-white - it's slightly darker than cream. The colour rendition of my phone camera is pretty good, and what I see on a calibrated monitor is a good representation of these two samples I have in front of me. The manuscript dates from the early 1930s, and was written by someone in the UK, thus it would've been a UK-sourced ink. As you can see, it has a peach hue to it, though it feathers to a magenta where it's been exposed to damp. It looks quite a bright ink, and a little unsaturated. I don't generally look at or for red inks - Parker Ruby is still my favourite red, though for every day use I use both Diamine Majestic Purple and Montverde Horizon Blue, which is my replacement for Parker Penman Sapphire. Many thanks Richard
  7. Uncle-Meat

    New But Old User Saying Howdy.

    Hi all, I live in London and have recently re-discovered the inky world of fountain pens. I used them regularly at school when I was but a mere stripling, as all my inky pocketed shirts will testify! but that was a while ago. Anyway hey-ho here we are a whole heap of years later and I have just purchased a Sailor Professional gear in silver and a Kweco Dia 2 also with silver livery. (I'm not a gold type of guy) I also acquired some Sailor and Pilot Iroshizuku inks. As my pens haven't arrived yet and i'm bursting with apprehension I intend to cover my body from head to toe in ink I already have and dance the dance of eagerness until they do! Uncle Meat.
  8. quilluser

    Can Anyone Date This Parker?

    This was my grandfather's fountain pen. It is a Parker and it's a Duofold, I believe. However, I don't know that date as he died in 1963 and had used the pen for years. The nib is very fine and semi flexible. Filling is by manually depressing the bars on the bladder. It is very small, measuring 12 centimetres with the cap on closed.
  9. A Smug Dill

    Bureau Direct Is Gone :-(

    Sad news! Bureau Direct in the UK has just announced it has ceased trading. http://bureaudirect-email.co.uk/_act/link.php?mId=P921591601281956156842030527415&tId=150024149 Jo and Dominic are good folk. I wish them the best in their future endeavours!
  10. Hi, I would like to buy a bottle of Pilot Blue/Black ink, because I have read many complimentary things about it on here, but... ...I live in the UK, and it seems that Pilot won’t let us British types buy it in bottles The only bottled inks that Pilot will let us buy are the 60ml bottles of Namiki Blue or Namiki Black.(Well ok, they do also sell the Iroshizuku ‘luxury’ inks here too. At much higher prices.) AFAIK, there’s only one UK retailer that even sells Pilot Blue/Black in the IC100 pack of Pilot’s proprietary cartridges.But proprietary cartridges aren’t much use to anyone who uses a piston-fill pen (e.g. a Pilot Custom Heritage 92), and nor are they much good to anyone who uses a Pilot ‘MR’.(Pilot’s version of the Metropolitan for the European market; it is a Metro that has been ‘chambered’ for ‘Short International’ cartridges.) Given that Pilot do sell the ‘Custom Heritage 92’ here, can anyone tell me definitively why they won’t sell Pilot Blue/Black in bottles to UK customers? It can not be because the ink contains has been ‘Unpersoned’ at regulatory level (e.g. for containing an ingredient that is persona non grata), because if that were the case the cartridges would be off-limits to us too. Are Pilot & Namiki perhaps two entirely-separate companies who have, after centuries of inter-Corporate feuding, agreed to a mutual-co-operation treaty for the European market that is policed by Weapons-grade Corporate lawyers, and in which Pilot have bound themselves to selling only Namiki’s bottled inks in Europe?But then, Namiki don’t even sell a blue-black, and how would the Iroshizuku range be exempt from such an arrangement? Are Pilot perhaps trying to push me towards buying the ink direct from Japan (from where I will also be able to buy a Custom Heritage 92 for much less than its UK RRP)? My thanks in advance to anyone who can solve this mystery. Cheers,M.
  11. A small group of us have recently set up a pen club in the south of England for those not able/willing to make it in to London for the one there. It meets on the 3rd Saturday each month and presently is alternating between Fleet and Petersfield (though if numbers at Petersfield stay minimal we may make it just Fleet or look for another alternate). Details can be found on FaceBook - the group is "UK South Fountain Pen Club Meet Up" with https://www.facebook.com/groups/uksouthfountainpens/ being the URL. Note it is a closed group so you need to search for it then apply for access (else anyone can see and post and potentially troll). Note this is not intended to replace the London Club as we hope many people will attend both
  12. I really love the Retro 51 Tornado Lincoln fountain pen, I have only seen it being sold from the US. Does anyone know of a UK supplier, I don't feel like paying loads for shipping.
  13. Hi Recently, after watching a few reviews online, I decided that I'd like to get a Pilot Custom 823. I've heard they have great nibs, and I'd love to get a vac filler. The problem is that they're not available from any UK sellers that I know of. And importing from Japan would lead to import costs, and any issues with the pen/nib would be a pain to solve. Has anyone else in the UK imported the 823? If so, how much did the import duty/VAT cost you? Also, when I do figure out the best way to get one, I can't decide between broad or medium. Some people say the medium is just like a western medium, but some reviews say its more like a fine. Any advice? Thanks
  14. Hello, I'm afraid I'm coming at this from a rather newcomer's perspective, as I only have one fountain pen to my name, but I'm really in need of help and this seems like a lovely, friendly, knowledgeable community from which to seek it! I'm afraid it's a rather long story, but I don't want to do it the injustice of not starting at the beginning. I've always only liked writing with fountain pens, and used the same £10 Parker (Jotter) all the way through school. It seemed almost timely when it came to a sticky end just a few days after I finished my final exams. My Grandma took me to get a very lovely new pen to start medical school with. I have unusually small hands, and found that the small diameter barrel of the Jotter was rarely replicated in better pens. It sounds bizarre, I know, but I really don't like how the bulkier ones feel, and I can't control them properly. After much deliberating and traipsing between shops, I fell in love with a Yard-o-led Viceroy Pocket Barley pen. The nib was just unlike anything else I tried out - I think I really like the softness of the white gold. And it even had the lovely small barrel! It just so happened that I really use it a huge amount. I'm studying in Cambridge, which is stuck in a bygone era, and I hand in 3-4 handwritten essays a week, as well as transcribing numerous lectures and supervisions. And I just loved it so much! It was so beautiful to write with, and such a generous gift. I loved writing with it for work and pleasure, and loved thinking of my Grandma and the continuity of only using one pen. Everyone knows me for always carrying it around in a little blue carry case. Unfortunately, just shy of a year, the pen started playing up. Eventually, it wouldn't ever write ink for very long, even when I cleaned it out in all the ordinary ways. I took it to the shop I got it from who agreed that something wasn't right, and we sent it back. Yard-o-led returned it some weeks later, and it seemed back to normal. A few months later, it happened again. I sent it back. And then it happened again. This time, I was eager to get in touch with them, but they're very hard to contact. I was frustrated that this unusual and generous expenditure was not working as it should, and I didn't know if I was doing something wrong. Eventually, when I got through (by writing longhand and sending it to the repairs address), it turned out that the main brothers are profoundly deaf, so cannot use a phone. Oops. Sobered by this, I was receptive. They said that something was, indeed, wrong and they'd replaced the nib and feeder. Yet again, it worked like a dream for the first few months. I only ever use yard-o-led cartridges that I buy off the filofax website, and I use the pen every day. I don’t press hard when I write, and I never let anyone else use it. Over the last few weeks it’s began to play up on occasion. Sometimes it just needed to be left alone for a few minutes, nib down. Sometimes, washing it through with the converter until it ran clear and then putting in a new cartridge did the trick. It’s got increasingly common, and eventually stopped in the middle of some writing. I washed it through 5 times, with increasingly warm water. Each time the same thing happened: it ran inky and I kept going until it’s clear. Then it flows across the page nicely with a very dilute, watery mark, and as soon as the water runs out it stops again. I’ve tried several different cartridges, and left it over night, but all to no avail. Completely at a loss, and frustrated and disappointed, I e-mailed Yard-o-led yet again. I said that, with a heavy heart, unless they had other suggestions, a refund would perhaps be the best option if they were prepared to offer it. My £10 Parker was infinitely more reliable, albeit so much less a work of craftsmanship and lovely to write with.They were eminently lovely: "I am the manager of Yard O Led and I am so sorry you are still experiencing problems with your pen. I can asure you we are just as frustrated as you with the quality issues we have been experiencing not just with your pen. I can assure you it is not something you are doing wrong. I have in the past returned nibs to the manufacturer to see if they can solve this kind of problem and unfortunately I have got nowhere." This seems to suggest that I'm not the only case they've had. Has anyone else come across this problem with Yard-o-led? Anyway, John offered me a replacement nib unit, but later that day the director got in touch and offered me a full refund. I've spoken to my grandma and she feels that it would be entirely appropriate to get the refund and go out to buy another pen from a different, more reliable brand. But I just wanted to do some research first, which brought me here amongst other places. So here are my questions: Do you think it is worth refunding and going to another brand? Are other pens likely to be more reliable, or is this normal for a fountain pen? Should I stick it out and try a replacement nib one more time? (As an extra complication, they have none in stock so I'd have to wait some time). Could you possibly suggest pens that have a small barrel and gold or white gold (soft) nib, for somewhere in the region of £260? It would be useful to see alternatives. I've had real trouble finding anything of this sort somewhere where I could try it out, except some vintage pens. I really do want to be able to go and try out a pen. Which brings me on to: Any particular recommendations of FP shops in London? (Ideally SW or central). There do seem to be several, but with my elderly Grandma I'd really rather only make one trip, and I don't know where exactly is best. I'm not quite sure enough what I'm looking for. And with Vintage pens: I've heard so much that you mustn't let others write with your FP. I can't find anywhere clearly explained - how is this overcome with vintage pens? Are they any less pliable to write with, rather than collect? Sorry about the Essay. Best Wishes Abi
  15. If anyone needs a rather smart journal Asda is well worth checking out. They have a range upto A4 size either plain or ruled. Purchased this stitch bound leather cover journal today from Asda (UK supermarket) It is between A5 and A4. Fountain pen tests show no bleed through or feathering. Unknown number of ruled white pages make up around 22mm thickness plus covers. Has a ribbon. Best part is the price £4 pounds Stirling
  16. Hi everyone, First post here, but looks like a cool community! I bought a really neat French lever-filling fountain pen at the flea market today, I'm wondering about how I'd go about getting it repaired from the UK. The problem is the lever itself, which seems to have broken over the years. I'd expect the sack could probably do with replacing, too. Does anyone have any sort of idea where I could get that sort of thing done, and sort of cost I should expect? Thanks in advance for your help!
  17. Hello again to all my FP friends, I've got two English-made Parker Duofold Juniors from the 1950s, both bought from different sellers in different countries. One has a medium nib and the other a broad oblique stub nib and both are the smoothest nibs imaginable. I mean, ridiculously butter smooth with some nice softness to boot. However, they both have are extremely dry writers that won't write at all unless some pressure is applied. I've tried improving flow by using a brass shim to open up the tines a little and it has helped some, but I'm just wondering if this is a common trait of UK Duofolds. Could the smoothness be related to a baby's bottom issue? Has anyone had similar experiences? If so, what did you do to solve the issue? Thanks!
  18. This will be my first pen show! I hope it will be busy with lots of stalls selling vintage and modern pens, cases, inks and papers. I hope there will be lots of people to chat to and I hope to have a great day. Lichfield looks a really pretty town and I'll look forward to seeing the cathedral and the Tudor buildings, and having lunch somewhere. I'm looking to grow my collection (which consists of: a Sheaffer Prelude, chrome with gold trim, with a gold plated nib, with some of the gold worn off, a TWSBI Eco, a Parker Frontier, with lots of scuffs and a nib which refuses to start well, and a Cross Sauvage which has seen heavy use). I'm looking for a really nice Parker Vacumatic, or a Parker 51, or maybe something modern like a Visconti Van Gogh or a Waterman Carene. Is there a good mix of vintage and modern at the show? Anyway, hope to see you there If you see a sheepish, youngish, bespectacled, bearded chap in a hoodie looking shifty, that's probably me!
  19. eugenebeauxbuton

    1957 Parker Duofold Maxima

    As is my habit, I pulled the trigger on this pen and then began the deep research into its provenance and Duofold Maximas on the whole. A couple of questions: 1. The Maxima is said to have been released in 1958 to replace the Senior, correct? I have a nib imprinted with 1957. What gives?? 2. I was reading that the barrel is imprinted with something along the lines of "Parker Duofold Maxima/Made in England" and yet mine does not have that (the only thing is a rather cool reference to the 26th Colchester Sea Scouts which seem to be the UK's seafaring boy scouts -- fine with being wrong here). Thoughts on the above or why this might be the case? Is my 1957 in fact a Frankenstein's monster of a pen? See attached for pics. Thanks for the help and consideration!
  20. Hi, If anyone in the UK could do with a few ink transfer pipettes drop me a PM and I'll post you a few free of charge. Supposedly disposable, but they wash out and can be re-used several times. I ordered too many... Anyone outside of the UK is welcome to some if they're happy to contribute towards postage. Richard
  21. Hello all! I was wondering if there is any interest from those of you in Nottingham or nearby for meeting up and having a look at some of our pens, inks, etc.? Good opportunity to meet someone new, and for me to see some different pens etc. ;-) Maybe a pub somewhere? I'm Beeston-way and am happy to propose some dates and venues if anyone is keen.
  22. I see a couple of ringtops - simply designed, a gold-filled and a sterling, identified as "The Mascot". Not cheap, but tempting. The seller dates it as 1940. Anybody familiar with these things? Thanks for the info.
  23. ploddysaur

    Hi Everyone!

    Hi! I'm a university student, currently finishing off my Physics masters in London. I've used FPs since I was 7, but only recently have I dived down the rabbit hole of the hobby! I've posted a few times on the /r/fountainpens subreddit as 'staberinde', but I thought I'd come join the community here! For the 10 years of primary and secondary school, I used a trusty Lamy Safari (which is still my lucky charm in exams!). For a short time I had a cheap plastic Parker (I can't remember what it was called, but it wasn't a Vector), but that got destroyed by a tank... My grandfather bought me a Pilot Capless when I got into my secondary school of choice, which I've treasured since. In the last 6 months or so, my interest in higher-end FPs has increased massively, and I've been collecting (some would say irresponsibly) some wonderful pens - which has in fact raised my friends' awareness of FPs at university to the point that some have also now started collecting! My primary interest is in German brands, and here are some of the more interesting pens I've accumulated over the last half-year: Soennecken (my absolute favourite): - 222 Green [x3] - 444 - 112 - 116 - 304 - 504 Montblanc: - Meisterstuck 149 (modern) - Meisterstuck 146 (modern) [x3] - Boheme - 256 Pelikan: - 100 [x2] - 400N Lamy: - Persona - 2000 Makrolon Sheaffer: - Snorkel [x5] Visconti: - Homo Sapiens Midi I've begun dabbling with repairing pens, and I can now confidently re-sac as well as replate brassed parts. I want to learn how to recork pistons, but that looks difficult so I might have to wait a bit... Anyway, enough about me - I can't wait to get involved in this community! (Additionally, if anyone could tell me how to disassemble a Soennecken 222, or who in the UK/EU I should send it off to, it would be very greatly appreciated!)
  24. The Good Captain

    New Aurora Blue-Black - A Uk Short Review

    I received a sample bottle of the new Aurora Blue-Black, kindly sent to me by Kirit Dal, Aurora UK, and here's one of my short reviews. There are plenty of other reviews where swabs, pictures of the bottle etc have been included, so I'm just concentrating how it looks when written with. The ink is in an Aurora 88 large with F nib. It's smooth, flows well and even with that nib, exhibits some shading. I've only compared it to a couple of my 'blue-black' inks that, in my opinion, show close similarities. There are many others out there that might look similar as well, but might not have the words 'blue-black' in their names. Likewise, there are many called 'blue-black' that bear no resemblance to the Aurora. Therefore, I've not spent the time writing samples of another dozen or so of my inks for this simple review. I also did a simple soak test, using my usual method. The paper was soaked for 30 minutes then rinsed for about 15 seconds before drying. As you can see, there is still a very reasonable amount of legibility from the Aurora Blue-Black, without the 'run' of others. I included the Noodler's Black as a 'control' comparison. So to sum up: it's a great ink and will fit into the market nicely, in my opinion. It should be available from the usual UK retailers soon, if not already!
  25. This was something I worked on a few months ago when trying to decide which blue-black ink to convince my wife to let me get myself for Christmas. I’ll let the images speak for themselves, but there are definite advantages to both inks. In the end, I got a bottle of Air-Corp and put Prime of the Commons at the top of my wishlist for the next time someone asks me what I want for a present. I prefer the color of ACBB, but also the absolute waterproofness of PotC. The main reason PotC came out second was its tendency to feather on most paper. Another major factor is that PotC costs about double the price of ACBB once shipping from the UK is taken into consideration. Third, my wife’s adverse reaction to the color (“It’s just blue”) also helped move PotC to the backseat. I spent a lot of time comparing these inks and didn’t put all my thoughts or photos in this post, so if there’s anything you want to know about them that I haven’t included please don’t hesitate to ask in the comments. J Pen Used: Pilot Plumix <--This is a dry writer, so both inks turned out lighter and with more shading than they would have in wetter pens. For all images, Prime of the Commons is on the left and Air-Corp Blue-Black is on the right. Cheap Legal Pad Rhodia 80gsm (Due to PotC’s tendency to feather and be hard to clean, I tried a 20% dilution [4 parts ink : 1 part water] and included it under the undiluted example.) Writing Sample (Legal Pad) Color Comparison (Rhodia) (From the top: lines 1, 3, 5 = PotC; lines 2, 4 = ACBB) Water Resistance 1. Drip test 5 minutes after writing 2. Soak test 30 minutes after writing 3. Soak test 24 hours after writing Of course a few weeks after doing all this I discovered Pelikan 4001 Blue-Black and was surprised to find myself preferring the traditional color over the funky tealish inks I had been so into previously. Pelikan BB has since duly fulfilled my quest for a perfect Blue-Black. Go figure.

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