GREETINGS FROM NOTTINGHAM
Souvenir presented at Nottingham Collectors Fair
7 May 2022
REFLECTIONS OF A BYGONE AGE
Ref: 1. AROUND NOTTINGHAM
This is a free postcard people who attended the recent postcard fair in Nottingham received. All dealers attending also received a copy.
PHOTO PRECISION LIMITED, St Ives, Huntingdon
This was my best find at the recent Nottingham Postcard Fair which was on last Saturday. I like adding unusual television related images to my TV collection and this superb Batman themed children’s ride fits that bill perfectly. I have an extensive Batman themed collection and it is often difficult to find new additions from pervious decades so when I saw this one, I had to have it and it was a bargain at £1.
MAY THE 4TH
BE WITH YOU
DARE TO GO TO THE DARK SIDE
CHOCOLATE IS BETTER IN COLOUR
‘STAR WARS EPISODE III’
m&m’s chocolate advert
Happy ‘Star Wars Day’ everyone. Thought I would show you this unusual chocolate advert from 2005 from Australia as something different in commemoration of this annual day. This card was part of a set all incorporating the m&m logo characters from this chocolate brand, well known to many these days because of their TV advert appearances.
ON TOP OF THE LEANING TOWER
FRIDAY, AUGUST 13TH 1954
EDIZ FE-BI -Pisa
Lit. Tacchi – Pisa
This lovely postcard shows that Enid Mortimer reached the top of the Leaning Tower of Pisa on the 13th August 1954. Enid was the late mother of three friends of mine. She passed away a few years ago but after her husband more recently passed away her postcard collection came to light (in the attic I believe) and her sons asked me if I would like cards they had found. The answer was of course obvious, but I was nicely surprised with the cards that were contained within the box I received (The current May 2022 issue of Picture Postcard Collecting contains an article about some more of the postcards found in this bundle).
After speaking with one of her sons I have since discovered that this Italian trip in 1954 was Enid’s last big holiday before she got married in the following year, and judging by this card, and many other Italy view cards she bought, Enid certainly seems to have had a great trip.
LARGE MASK SHAPED POSTCARD
Published in China
Postcard from a boxed (folder) set of eight
I have been working most of today on an online pictorial listing of Covid-19 related postcards which I am working on along with an American collector and with the IT help of the Wichita Postcard Club. The online data base is due to live some time after the summer, but we have uploaded around 1500 postcards so far. Having had the subject in my head all day I suppose it was inevitable that it would be a card from this collection that I would choose to depict today. This ‘superb’ shaped postcard is just such a card. It has been used with a special coronavirus themed cancellation as can be seen from the second image below.
H.M. QUEEN ELIZABETH II
Portrait by Dorothy Wilding
J. ARTHUR DIXON LTD
Ref: R 1
Used with Canadian Stamp cancelled 1953 on the front
The 21st April was her majesty’s birthday but I was unable to post that day because of work, but I make amends today with this lovely postcard from the 1950’s.
MAIDEN VOYAGE APRIL 1912
Printed and Distributed in the UK by
STAR EDITIONS LTD
I depicted this one in my article recently in ‘Picture Postcard Collector’ as it is the most recent Titanic postcard I have received. This one was a present from my eldest son and his family. Yesterday was of course the anniversary of the sinking of this now famous ocean liner. I think it is fascinating that postcards are still being produced which show it, and long may it continue so.
TITANIC OFFICIAL BLUEPRINT
Plans of RMS Titanic
‘Inspired by the original blueprints created in 1908 by naval architects Harland & Wolff in Belfast, Ireland’
Published for the
TITANIC THE ARTIFACT EXHIBITION
RMS TITANIC, INC (2016)
I picked up this large A5 sized postcard at the TITANIC EXPERIENCE located in Orlando, Florida some years ago now. One of the fascinating facts about the RMS Titanic blueprints is that they are not quite exact as there were some last-minute changes to the design which the blueprints in existence do not incorporate. This means, that technically, there are no exact blueprint images, although it is to be accepted that these small changes do not mean that the existing blueprints do not give us a pretty good view of the ship’s innards and shape.
This card has obviously been posted today as it is the anniversary of the date that the ship hit the iceberg that caused it to eventually sink on the 15th April 1912.
PICTURE OF JOCK HEULME
Violinist on board the RMS Titanic in the band with Conductor Wallace Hartley.
All the members of the band perished when the ship went down on the 15th April 1912
Ref: No. 12 of a series
Tonight’s RMS Titanic postcard is a modern 1980’s issue which depicts a photograph of one of the ships band members, Jock Heulme. This is a good example of how just about every element of the Titanic’s history can be found on postcard issues. Jock, of course, like all the band members did not survive the disaster.
THE DEPARTURE OF THE TITANIC
The departure of the Titanic is held up, due to the nearby “New York” breaks her moorings and stops near “Oceanics” bow 10th April 1912
(Text from reverse side of postcard)
Ref: No 119 of a set
It is that time of year again when we remember, well, at least when I and all the other RMS Titanic collectors, the sailing of the ocean liner. I think I must have commemorated this every year the webpage has been up and running (I will have to check if it has been every year – now seven years!!)
This postcard showing the Titanic on her launch day is a fantastic example to be posted on the site on this 110th anniversary of the day she set sail from Southampton. Despite its look, this is a modern postcard which I believe was published in the 1990’s by a company that produced an amazing range of Titanic postcard items during this decade and beyond.
Novelty Stitched Postcard – SPAIN
Postally used 1956
I know these were a standard for any Spanish holiday back from this era and through to the 1980’s although you can still buy these today. The earlier 1950’s cards are now becoming collectible, and I have seen copies selling for £5, sometimes even more on eBay. This one has the added bullfighting element, another topic which is much collected despite its many issues (I have a separate Bull Fighting section – hit the CENSORED tab and then the Bull Fighting sub tab)
BUTLIN’S BARRY ISLAND
THE OUTDOOR HEATED POOL
JOHN HINDE LIMITED (STUDIOS)
This is a lovely Butlins postcard from my collection of these. This ‘particular’ card was posted from Barry in 1974. Because so many people of my sort of age (just assume…old) had a Butlin’s holiday in their childhood, my brother and I had three, although never at Barry Island, these cards are now extremely popular, and it is one of the most collected of such like themes.
STEPH’S PACKED LUNCH
One-off postcard produced for my appearance on the TV show
1st April 2022
Well, I appeared on television! It was quite an experience and being a fan of television history and a collector of TV related postcards, it was fun to see behind the screens and be backstage with other people who really are celebrities. At the end of my segment the show’s host and presenter Steph McGovern presented me with an exclusive card that they had had prepared especially for me for appearing on their show. Hopefully I presented postcard collecting in a good light and showed the joys of being a postcard collector. So far people have been very kind about my segment, and it seems to have gone down well.
ROSALIND WICKS (1995)
Ref: TEDDY BEARS AND MONEY BOXES No 7
STILL COLLECTING seemed like a good title for todays post as it has been some time since I have posted here (although some posts have appeared on the facebook account). This is because it has been a very busy time. We were at the Shepton Mallet ‘Festival of Cards’ for several days last week, and I have spent several days preparing my cards for sending off for hand-stamping with the Royal Mails covid stamps which were released on the 23rd March (a couple of days ago – I have sent off over 45 cards and it took time to apply the separate stamps, write on my address and envelope them all up for the hand stamp centres). On top of that I have been speaking with a television programme organiser re an appearance on live TV next week in relation to my postcard collection (scary, but exciting as well - more information about this later next week). Also, I have my new part time job which I started last month, and which now takes up four days of my week! So, I am sure you will forgive me if my posts dropped off a little. But there is no reason to worry as I am, as this postcard title states, “STILL COLLECTING”.
MAGIC IMAGE CARD
“To develop magic picture, hold over the strong heat of the fire or gas”
‘WHY DO THESE PEOPLE SMILE?’
Ref: Valentines Series Patent No 5183
Clearly these days we would never suggest holding a piece of card over a fire or heat source! But these days we have electric lighting so this nicely produces the same result, which is that a hugging couple can be seen in the window. A nice early card which I bought because of the inclusion of a police officer in the crowd. A nice early novelty card.
LE BOIS DE LA VACHE (BATAILLE DE LA SOMME) 4 JUILLET 1916
(The Wood of the Cow (Battle of the Somme) July 4, 1916)
EDITION DE LA SOCIETE DES AMIS DU MUSEE DE L’ARMEE
AMA – PARIS
Collection F. Flameng
We never really learn do we. It is almost as if we need a war every so often to show what our armies are for. Mostly during the 20th and 21st century our wars have been started because of either one dictator or a government often attached to or lead by a dictator. So, here we are again, history repeating itself. Horrific Images like this on a World War 1 postcard show us where all this can lead to. Weapons have improved since back then, but soldiers’ ability to aim them has not, it would seem. Civilians have always suffered and never more so than in the current fighting in Ukraine. I hope some sort of peace accord and cease fire is arranged and adhered too soon for everyone’s sake.
POSTCARD INTERACTIVE COMPANY OF SYDNEY
R.I.P. – SHANE WARNE
Shane Keith Warne – 13th September 1969 – 4th March 2022
Australian cricketer. In 2000 he was selected by a panel of cricket experts as being one of five of the ‘Wisden Cricketers of the Century’. He was the only specialised bowler amongst the five and was, at the time, the only player still playing.
SOUTHEND ON SEA
THE LONGEST PIER IN THE WORLD
Yesterday my hometown of Southend-on-Sea ceased to be a town anymore. Southend is now officially a ‘City’. To celebrate this change Prince Charles and Camilla attended Southend yesterday to officially witness the change. In celebration of this ‘update’ I post here an image of probably Southend’s most famous landmark, our Pier.
The reason for the change to ‘City’ status is in response to the sad death last year of a local Member of Parliament who was killed by a member of the public at one of his constituency open meetings. He had for some time campaigned for Southend to be given the status update so in response to his murder, and to celebrate his long serving time as an MP his wish was made reality.
INTERNATIONAL STAMP EXHIBITION
50P PHQ STAMP CARD
I spent a few days last week at the LONDON 2022 International Stamp Exhibition, so I felt that some sort of philatelic exhibition postcard needed to be shown today. Sadly, there was no connected card for this year’s exhibition, so I have gone back to the 1980 exhibition where the Royal Mail issued a 50p stamp depicting various London landmarks. This PHQ Stamp Card depicts that stamp issue. There was also a stamp sheet issued which included this 50p stamp (the sheet cost 75p) although no postcard was issued showing this sheet, but this single 50p card was used by many collectors and dealers to apply the stamp sheet, on the reverse side because of its size, and having this cancelled first day of issue. Shown below are the reverse sides of four copies of this card I have used with the stamp sheet but using different cancellations on each.
“YOU’VE MILKED THE COW – THEN WHY ARE YOU GIVING IT BACK?”
“IT CAME OUT A BIT THIN, MR. BROWN, SO I’M PUTTING IT THROUGH AGAIN!”
BAMFORTH & CO., LTD
Ref: “COMIC” Series. No. 435
It has been some time since I last posted one of these Bamforth comic cards which is unusual because I am very fond of them. This one is nice because it has no sexual content so cannot cause offence along those lines, but it is sexist as it makes out that the women is silly, which was often another theme of these designs.
INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL OF THE ARTS
WALT DISNEY WORLD, FLORIDA
“I helped create this masterpiece at the Epcot International Festival of the Arts!”
Official Epcot Walt Disney World Postcard
I have never attended the ‘International Festival of the Arts’, held at the Epcot theme park at this time of year, the 2022 event is on as I post this card. We hope to give it a go in 2023, if things go to plan (fingers crossed – we have not been to Florida since 2019 and this is the longest gap between trips since 2012, I think). This postcard I bought through eBay and although it is often quite an expensive card (£8 - £15 is not unusual) I was fortunate to find one priced very reasonably. The reason why this card is so collectible is that it was only available at one of the festivals, and it could not be bought. At these festivals one of the highlights are large murals (posters almost) which people pay to obtain a small pot of paint to paint five (I think) small blocks of. Eventually after the considerable number of small blocks have all been painted in a full picture is revealed. This mural, or wall painting in this case was of the head of the character Figment who is the unofficial mascot of the Epcot Park. Each person, after they had painted their five small squares, received this postcard as a souvenir of what they had contributed to and as an image of what the wall painting would eventually look like. New and different murals are created each year although I have noted that this year the image appears on a bookmark given to those contributing to the painting. Hopefully some more postcard versions appear in the future, like next year perhaps!
Photo by F. W. Bond
THE GARDENS OF THE ZOOLOGICAL SOCIETY OF LONDON,
REGENTS PARK, N. W.
I have been obsessed with London Zoo since I was a kid even before we had a special school trip where we had a training session in the official lecture hall there. Collecting the zoos many postcard releases down through the decades was a fore gone conclusion really, and there has been many series and sets with frequent new cards throughout the history of postcard production. The ones best known by fellow collectors are the many black and white and sepia toned photographs like this hippopotamus one, which is a well-known London Zoo image. Thankfully, these black and white cards are reasonably priced, often around £1.50, but sometimes they can be found for as little as 50p if you check the cheaper boxes at antique shops and at fairs (although £1.50 is nearer the fair price for such a card).
THE FLYING MACHINE
G & P LTD (Gale and Polden)
The Nelson Series
This looks like it was an interesting ride, but I wonder what the Health & Safety people would have to say about it today! I bet there were no seat belts, and the ride carriages were spun around over water! Also, there was a submarine in the water underneath (although a little way away from the ride) although this can only be partially seen bottom left in this artwork. It is historic postcards like this, that depict something long gone, that trigger my fascination and excite my interest in history. Wouldn’t it be great if we could, even if just for a few moments, step into the postcard images we have and see for real what is shown?
This postcard was posted in 1909 and I assume depicts a ride at the Earl’s Court Exhibition of that year.
COMPANHIA COLONIAL DE NAVEGACAO
PAQUETE “VERA CRUZ”
Details from reverse side – possibly Publishing details
30.000 ex.-11-956- Tip. Duarte, Lda. – Lisboa
This is a lovely art postcard of an ocean liner which was launched in 1951, on the 2nd June. She commenced work on the emigrant service from Lisbon to Santos in 1952 and transferred in 1953 to the Lisbon to Buenos Aires service. So, it travelled back and forth from Europe (Portugal) to South America. I have always loved images of ocean liners, possibly stemming from my fascination in the RMS Titanic story, but I think there is something about the early liners that appeals to my aesthetics. This liner depicted here has been caught beautifully by the artist.
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS,
B. S. REYNOLDS CO., WASHINGTON D. C.
One of my many cards that depicts a location that I have visited on my travels. We spent a few days in Washington D. C. back in 2018, which seems like a lifetime ago now. We drove past this structure on our coach tour of Washington D. C., one of the areas many stunning buildings that populate Washington D. C.
The reverse side of this older postcard has a nice block of descriptive and historic text which gives many facts about the building (see below image for this text) and this saves me having to google the building to get some basic history. Whilst I was crossing the U.S. I bought a range of both modern and older postcards from various outlets. I found a great Antiques Shop in Flagstaff where I bought a selection of postcards like this one all for around 50c to $1 each, which I thought was quite cheap, but then possibly these postcards are not uncommon there.
Natzweiler-Struthof Concentration Camp
Maximum Postcard – 23rd September 1964
Natzweiler-Struthof was a Nazi concentration camp located in the Vosges Mountains close to the villages of Natzweiler and Struthof in the then Gau Baden-Alsace region of Germany. Although mainly populated by resistance fighters from across occupied Europe there was a gas chamber fitted and in use from April 1943. The concentration camp held, in total an estimated 52, 000 inmates of whom 22,000 were killed. 86 named Jewish men and women were killed here for a project called the ‘Jewish Skeleton Collection’ which had the proposed purpose to exhibit that Jews were racially inferior, this project was conducted by an anatomist called August Hirt, and was sanctioned by SS Heinrich Himmler. The 86 people were chosen from inmates at the Auschwitz Camp and then transported to Natzweiler-Struthof Concentration Camp where they were allowed to eat well before, when considered ready, being murdered by gas for their skeletons to then be placed in the collection. This is just one small chapter in the horrific overall story of the Holocaust, but it is yet another story which shows the horrors which should never be forgotten with the loss of so many people deserving to be remembered, not just on one Remembrance Day, but on every day.
The concentration camp itself is now a museum which gives commemoration to all those held and killed here.
100TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE AUTOMOBILE
GERMAN STAMP ISSUE 16TH January 1986
MAXIPHIL – DEUTSCHE MAXIMUMKARTE
Ref: 1/1986 Bund
One of two major maxi-card publishers who produced these cards for German stamp issues. This one was for the 100th anniversary of the motor car which was celebrated in 1986. The combination here is very attractive and with cars being a popular theme it is the type of card which postcard collectors often sadly neglect, with most copies going to stamp and postal history collectors (although there is a very popular trend around thematic collecting which continues to grow in the philatelic world – I myself collect the theme of ‘Television’ like this – and thematic collectors are especially interested in maximum cards like this if it covers any aspect of their collecting theme.
SWEET THOUGHTS FLY SWIFTLIER THAN THE DRIFTING SNOW
RAPHAEL TUCK & SONS
Ref: “ART” POSTCARD No 3594
Designed in England
Chromographed in Saxony
I live in an area that receives hardly any snow. So far this winter we have had one little five-minute minor snow fall, which was so minor, and short, that nothing settled, and it is not unknown for an entire winter period to pass with no snow at all. So, we do not have any drifting snow here to measure against ‘Sweet Thoughts’.
This is an early UK postcard from around the turn of the last century, possibly before or around 1902 as it has an undivided reverse side. Despite this being such an old postcard, it was not finally posted until 1943, during the second world war (on the 1st of October). This means that someone either found this card amongst family items or bought it from an antique or collectors’ shop or market stall. Its usage is very unusual as it must have been around 40 years old when it was used (not that there is anything wrong with this as a postcard carries no expiry date).
REVERSE SIDE OF ABOVE POSTCARD
This was posted to my home town of Southend-on-Sea. If the cancellation had not been so clear re the year of use (and the fact that the stamp clearly is a King George VI definitive issue) it could seem, to some, to be a much older sending what with its simple address and no message written on this side.
PER LE FORZE ARMATE.
A CURA DELL UFFICIO PROPAGANDA R. ESERCITO
VERA - MILANO
For The Armed Forces
By The Propaganda R. Army Office
Printed in Milan
This is an official Italian army propaganda postcard from World War II. There were a number of these, and I think the artwork on these is great, although the others I have are better because they include people and these fascist styled poster/card designs are more impactive with soldiers included. This one though is collectible because it includes artwork of one of the more popular military machines, which, of course, first appeared in WWI but which became vastly greater in number during WWII. I bought this card some years ago for £10 and I believed it was a bargain when I bought it.
Ref: XX 900/ 24
I always find interesting when I come across a postcard depicting a film poster for a well-known, and popular feature film but where the poster design itself is one which is not the obvious poster that comes to mind when you think about this film. Most films have more than one poster design and collectors of these on postcard often find that they have several for the films they like. I have always, like many people, loved the film ‘Casablanca’ but when I saw this postcard it was ‘definitely’ a design I had not seen before. I do think it is a cracking piece of artwork.
POSTCARD INTERACTIVE COMPANY OF SYDNEY
I wrote about this Australian company in an article in ‘Picture Postcard Collecting’ last year. I have been receiving a range of different cards and I have liked this map series and I now have a few different including Australia itself. The output seems prolific but there are some really interesting cards being published by them.
THE MAKING OF HARRY POTTER
WARNER BROS, STUDIO TOUR
‘A CELEBRATION OF SLYTHERIN’
Official ‘The Making of Harry Potter’ exhibition gift shop postcard
Now, the reason why I am showing you this postcard today is that we are off to visit this exhibition tomorrow. It will be our fourth visit, but we always enjoy our visits and they have opened-up a Gringotts Bank area since our last visit. My only worry is the gift shop as this has ended up costing me a lot of money in the past (he says, laughing). This postcard here was bought for me by my eldest and his family and it was one of the cards they gave me for Christmas, and it is one which I had not previously seen which worries me about what I am going to find tomorrow!
WE SALUTE THE CORONA WARRIORS
IN OUR FIGHT AGAINST COVID-19 PANDEMIC
“Say No to Covid-19”
Published (Issued) by
POSTMASTER GENERAL, WESTERN REGION
COIMBATORE PHILATELIC BUREAU (INDIA)
24TH APRIL 2020
This is a lovely coronavirus postcard from last year from the early months of the pandemic, well, at least the early months here in the western half of the world. This very colourful postcard is from a set of four which were available either mint or used with a special red covid themed cancellation. The four postcards are all good, but my favourite is this one because this has a medical content which fits nicely with the theme.
It had to be a Coronavirus themed postcard today because I had recently received a package containing some new stamps and philatelic material which needed sorting and I have spent the last couple of days going through it and so this meant the subject has been on my mind (and last night I finished reading the book ‘UnPresidential’ by the BBC reporter Jon Sopel which is all about the 2020 presidential election race, which therefore was also about the pandemic – it is a great read and I highly recommend it if you are interested in this theme).
PLAN CAVALIER DE LA VILLE DE SAINTES EN 1560
BURIN 5 COULEURS, H. 36; 1.45,5 CM AU TRAIT CARRE
(Cavalier map of the city of Saintes in 1560
Chisel 5 colours, H. 36; 1.45,5cm a square line)
Official Museum Postcard:
MUSEE D’ART REGIONAL DUPUY-MESTREAU – SAINTES
G. BREUN (ecole allemande, XVIe siècle)
This is a postcard I bought in Saintes on a visit some years ago and long before the pandemic. If you go back over my postings you will find a number of postcards related to this town in France and any long term followers will perhaps even remember that we have a house just outside this town which used to belong to my in-laws (initial mentions related to postcards from here were whilst both my in-laws were still alive and because of our visits I would post cards from here whilst I was in the area – sadly because of the pandemic the house became very overgrown, but we did get to pay a visit last November, spending much of the time clearing back the extreme overgrowth – the house now has a buyer so hopefully soon we will no longer own property in this area, but it is such a part of our family past now that we all have said that we will continue to visit the area in the future).
I do love map postcards and it is always interesting to see much older maps of areas you know well, and which show just how much the area has changed, and this map image is a favourite of mine.
This is the first postcard in a set of eight. Although this card is from the series published by ‘TOYWAY LTD’ this set of dinosaur model photographs was published by at least one other postcard publishing company as well (they also appeared on much smaller cards given away free with curly-wurly chocolate bars when I was a kid – I managed to put together a complete set which I still have somewhere). Because I collected these as a kid, I have always been fond of the cards and as a result I have collected all the different published versions I could find. For me this is part of the joy of collecting, finding the different versions and types of any cards in any series. Dinosaur postcards have always been popular and are always found to be fascinating by kids of all ages. Perhaps this is one theme to being young kids into our collecting world.
PRACOWNIKOM STUZBY ZDROWIA
ZA WALKE Z COVID-19
‘Thank you for the fight against Covid-19’
POCZTA POLSKA S.A., Nr 6/WROCLAW, IV 2021, NAKLAD 300 szt.,
Prog. Joanna Rupnicka
Two images which depict the same postcard but with each used with a separate vaccine themed postal stamp. The stamps are not an official Poland stamp issue, but they do have postal validity so are genuine postage stamps, both with a vaccine theme. A special hand stamp has been used which reads:
#SZCZEPIMYSIE PRZECIW COVID-19
15.07.2021 WROCLAW 1
‘We vaccinate ourselves against Covid-19
(Wroclaw is a city on the Oder River in western Poland)
These special postcards were produced in very low numbers (believed to be around 200, but that may include mint copies of these cards as well) and they are very hard to source, very hard indeed. Fortunately, I have made-contact with a very special collector in Poland who obtained these cards for me (along with some stamp sheets including sheets for the two stamps used on these cards – all additions to my Covid-19 philatelic collection).
AND A DAM-SEL
Novelty Pull-Out comic postcard
Initially this looks like an image of a monk in a cell with a table loaded up with drink and books. On the right side there is a tab halfway down the side which needs to be pulled to reveal a further additional image (see below)
WITH TAB PULLED OUT (on right side)
When the tab is pulled this reveals an image of a female dancer apparently doing the can-can. There is also now more text revealed reading ‘AND A DAM-SEL’. This type of ‘Reveal’ novelty card became popular, and copies are still highly collectible. When I saw this one, I was immediately drawn to it as the idea is simple but effective.
HAPPY NEW YEAR
This nice ‘Happy New Year’ postcard is from Belgium and was posted from Antwerp in the mid 1930’s (possibly, and I think it was, 1934 – the stamp used is a promotional stamp for the 1935 Exposition, but it was released in 1934, so this seems an option – Ref SG 659). This was posted on the 29th December so would have arrived nicely in Rotterdam for the addressee to receive it in time for New Years celebrations.