Portsmouth High School welcomed local auctioneer and dealer, John Cameron to the School. John who is a regular presenter on BBC’s Cash In the Attic programme created a stir at Portsmouth High School when he popped by to talk to the sixth form students about collecting memorabilia and gave some top tips about what to think about when collecting items from the 2012 Olympics. He was interviewed by his daughter, Lena, who is a year 8 pupil at the school and she did a great job of quizzing her father.
John talked about autographs and said, “Collectors will usually pay more for an autograph of their favourite sportsman if signed on a photograph, especially if the picture shows them engaged in their chosen sport, than they will for a photograph or image of them in casual non-sports related clothing.” He added, “Signed programmes are slightly less desirable than photographs but a signed programme is always more popular than unsigned examples. Most athletes and competitors are very humble and generous and usually very willing to give away personal items and sign autographs. John advised, “Remember, ‘He Who Dares Wins,’ ‘Don’t Ask , Don’t Get,’ ‘Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained.’ Just don’t be afraid to ask.”
John was questioned about the condition of memorabilia and he shared the advice that it is best to keep programmes and paper items flat and in protective polythene wallets, never to fold them or roll them up or write on them, unless it’s an autograph. “Collectors will always pay a premium for items in good condition,” he continued.
Lena probed her father about collecting commercial merchandise and John advised that this type of merchandise is often issued as a set to secure customer loyalty over a period and complete sets make more per item than individual items realise when sold separately. A programme with the ticket stub and other items relating to an event should be kept together.
John concluded his talk by advising the students that they will probably not get a return on their Olympic collections in their own life times but to view it as something to pass down to future generations.
Following the talk John said, “I am delighted to be talking to the girls at Portsmouth High School today. I have personal connections with the school as my daughter is a pupil. Also, Mr Graeme Field, Assistant Head and Head of Design & Technology at PHS was my teacher when I first left school and was starting my apprenticeship. It’s great to be able to do something to help my daughter’s school and to repay my debt to Mr. Field who gave me a set of skills to earn a living.”
Graeme Field responded by saying, “It has been fantastic to re-establish with John after so many years. We are incredibly grateful that he was able to find the time to come in to school and inspire the girls. It was really enlightening.”