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Oldnautibits Weblog

Over the years since 2005 I have written a number of short features for our "Weblog". These pieces normally relate to something topical - the most recent entry appears in the scrolling window on our "desktop" Home page - it is also available here, together with an archive of what's gone before.

1st February 2022

Our Latest News

Spring is in the air!

Christmas and New Year now seem a distant memory, but it is hoped all our regular customers and friends had a good one, wherever you may be located. Here in the UK life seems to be returning to some sort of normality,except in Downing Street and its enclaves, but we prefer not to wash our dirty laundry in public, so will swiftly move on!

We intimated in the December blog entry that Mr Oldnautibits has been somewhat distracted in 2021 assisting with fighting several unacceptable local planning applications. Sadly, one that relates to the reopening of a redundant quarry right on our doorstep, that has been rejected by the local council twice has now been taken to appeal. We are mounting a robust and final campaign so this entirely inappropriate scheme can be finally consigned to history. We hope this should be concluded by the spring, but in the meantime the business is having to play second fiddle. We are, however, still here in the office so if you do have a specific requirement just drop us a mail and we will respond promptly in the usual manner.

Despite reporting the Covid situation on the ground is returning to some form of normality, this is not entirely true. The end of January normally sees all the key UK and EU dealers assemble at the Stoneleigh Militaria Fair where we all meet to buy, sell and trade. Sadly, the organisers were not prepared to commit in view of the Omicron variant of Covid and the event was pulled at the 11th hour. It has now been rescheduled for the 22nd of May so it is hoped this and other key UK fairs will be back on the agenda as 2022 rolls out.

And finally, have you ever considered owning the classic sports car beloved of RAF pilots in the 1930's, 40's or 50's? If so your opportunity to invest in a 1954 MGTF 1250 registration 359 UYN will be up for sale through Charterhouse auctioneers with viewing on 2nd March with the sale the following day, Thursday 3rd March at the Haynes Motor Museum in Somerset. The TF is the final derivative of the classic T series of cars and regarded by many as the prettiest. This is an original right hand drive example with matching engine and chassis numbers and is of course finished in flame red with wire wheels. Bidding is in person on the day or online and full details can be found via this link: https://charterhouse-cars. com/next-car-auction The TF has sadly been consigned by me as owning three classics as well as a small sailing boat has proved a bridge too far. These cars like to be used, hence making the difficult decision to rehome the MG. We will be posting a few photographs on the site to perhaps whet your appetite and with spring just around the corner, what better time to invest in some open top classic motoring?

Keep safe and let's hope 2022 proves to be the year when life returns to a new normal!

9th December 2021

Happy Christmas and a Better New Year!

The team here at the Oldnautibits HQ are not quite sure where 2021 has gone but gone it has and like many, we will not be sorry to see the back of it. This time last year, here in the UK, we were about to go into a full pandemic lockdown and now a year letter we are faced with the new Omicron Covid variant and our leaders in Westminster are instigating their 'Plan B', in the hope this more virulent strain may be contained. All we can hope is 2022 finally brings better news on this front.

Whilst on the subject of bad news Brexit has done no good for our trade with our EU customers. Our despatches across Europe have been seriously delayed and, in most instances, local duties have been charged and it would seem from this side of the pond, the UK are being punished by our former "friends" in the EU for leaving their Club. Unlike some of our dealer chums we have not had any orders lost or destroyed, but in view of the difficulties outlined we will, for the time being at least, only ship to EU destinations entirely at the customers risk as we can no longer guarantee safe deliveries. If the situation eases in 2022, as we hope it will, we will of course resume trade as before and hopefully this will only be a temporary moratorium.

Finally, an apology for the lack of recent fresh stock updates on the site. This has partly been caused by the non-availability of quality new stock and partly when it does become available, particularly via our local auctions, prices have become ludicrously high. We have spotted the odd 'sleeper' this year but with most auction houses now offering online viewing and bidding the dealers advantage of actually being in the room is lost and we are unable in most instances to compete with online bidders. A case in point is a decent '41 pattern Mae West listed on E Bay recently that finally sold for £2,400 +, an eye watering figure that would have secured an elusive '32 pattern not so long ago.

This situation has been compounded by 'Mr Oldnautibits' being co-opted onto two local committees that have spent the last 12 months+ fighting local planning issues. This has proved hugely time consuming and more so when our planning regulations allow applicants who have lost their case (sometimes more than once) to go to appeal, meaning just when you think it is safe to relax the issue reappears in a new guise. We currently have just one more battle to fight that we are hopeful will be successfully won in the early part of next year and then we trust the team here can concentrate on the day job that has proved impossible this year. If, however you have a specific requirement please just e mail us via the enquiry screen as we may just have what you are after tucked away and if not, we may be able to find it for you.

In conclusion can we thank our diverse range of clients and for their business over the last 12 months and wish all customers and friends (who in many cases are both) the complements of the season, a very happy Christmas and we hope a better New Year!

14th April 2021

HRH Prince Phillip, Duke of Edinburgh 1921-2021.

We could not let the sad death of HRH Prince Phillip pass without honouring his long service to both Her Majesty, the Country and the Commonwealth. A few words on our website blog facility hardly seemed to do his 99.75 years justice. Instead we have taken the liberty of entering a small homage to his life as a stock entry, that has also enabled us to add some classic images of him doing the stuff he really enjoyed, when he was off duty from Royal Consort duties. Having completed his final engineering project of the 'Phillipmobile' Land Rover hearse, he will soon be using his down time to make improvements as soon as he enters those Pearly Gates. Rest in Peace Your Royal Highness, you will be much missed. To read our full tribute and see the images click here.

4th March 2021

2021:Into the unknown

2020 proved a challenging year for us all and we were glad to see the back of it, although 2021 is currently proving to be not without issues. The good news of course is the roll out of the Covid -19 jab. The team here at the Oldnautibits HQ have already had their first shot (and pleased to report we have all survived!) and we look forward to further protection with the booster dose in due course.

In addition, the UK had finally cast off from mainland Europe and is now an independent nation again. Whist this has given us a certain freedom, it too has raised further issues in terms of exporting to and importing from the countries of the European Union. Whist it was good news the Government signed an 11th hour deal with Brussels, this is currently not proving an easy ride. Despite complying with the new regulations, despatches to and from the EU are taking much longer than normal and unfortunately once they leave us, we have no control over them. Please also be aware if ordering from outside the UK then duty may be applicable on your purchase so please check local regulation before placing your order as again, we are not responsible once the consignment has left the UK for any additional costs. Whilst we have not personally had any bad experiences to date, we have heard of horror stories from other UK dealers, so please be aware orders shipped from us to overseas locations may now incur duty or other local charges before they can be released to you . Never has the term caveat emptor been more applicable!

Sadly, the current lockdown here in the UK continues and with it restrictions on travelling, meeting and attending events. This is impacting on all the major fairs we normally attend, and we have this week heard the major UK Militaria Fair 'The War and Peace Revival' has been cancelled for the second time running, despite not being scheduled until the 27th-31st July. This is another big blow for collectors and dealers alike. All we can do is hope the vaccine rollout continues and that the world will soon return to a new normal. In the meantime we continue to serve our customers needs as best we can, remembering our sources of new stock are strictly limited. In the meantime, keep safe!

Geoff Pringle

Oldnautibits HQ

18th November 2020

Christmas 2020 and a Covid free ‘Happy New Year’?

Autumn has swiftly shifted into winter without missing a beat and now the world faces the uncertainties of exactly what the festive season will bring, let alone the prospects for 2021. Currently, for those of us in England, we will have a better idea of the way forward after the current lockdown (supposedly) ends on 2nd December and we can only hope the 'R' number and pandemic statistics have been positively influenced by the sacrifices we have all made this year. Let's just say the jury is still out on that and the bottom line solution seems to be when the boffins around the world mange to get the formula sorted, so can all be immunised and we can resume something of the life we have all lost in 2020.

Despite our somewhat gloomy prognosis of the current Covid crisis, the team here are lucky in working from a secure office and we remain, as we have done throughout 2020, up and running. Whist we can not say business is normal, we have aimed to offer a service to our customer base worldwide and as along as we can get to our local Post Office, or arrange for courier collections, this will continue. Clearly sources of new stock have been distinctly limited this year but we have a solid inventory that should (fingers crossed) see us through the current crisis. To this end we are currently freshening our listings,particularly with the Christmas season in mind. So whilst you may be unable to visit your local sources of collectables, have a browse of our current offerings and get those festive orders in early, without leaving your home, to avoid disappointment! And if you don't see what you need please ask, as we may just have it tucked away in the dark recesses of our stock room!

Clearly the other major issue on the horizon is Brexit, a subject that has taken a back seat in these last troubled months. Our idea on trading regulations come the New Year are about as clear as our Government's but suffice to say, as we have done these last 20 years, we will see our way through and will surmount any new challenges in continuing to service our domestic and international customers.

And as Christmas decorations are already prevalent, we would like to wish all our friends, both home and away, the compliments of the season and hope that 2021 will be a year to remember-but for all the right reasons this time!

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