London Pen Show 2019

I was up bright and early this morning and decided to walk the three miles to the Holiday Inn in Bloomsbury. Passing the ever familiar statues of Shackleton and Livingston outside the Royal Geographical Society, I took inspiration from them for my own quest…finding a bargain that would interest me at the London Pen Show.

The walk through Hyde Park was lovely and just under an hour later I arrived at the Holiday Inn, Bloomsbury just before 10:00. There was an early bird option, allowing you to go in at 09:00 but I decided against it.

Paying the £5 entrance fee, a nightclub-style wristband was fastened into place and I was in. This was London Pen Show number four for me (if you include the one in March earlier this year) but despite the familiar surroundings I was still overwhelmed by the shear number of vendors and of course pens!

I must confess to not having the faintest interest in vintage pens. When I write vintage I mean anything earlier than about 2o years ago. They just don’t do it for me.



Very quickly into proceedings I spotted one of the new limited edition Pilot Capless pens in the quite gorgeous Tropical Turquoise. I had this on my radar to buy from the usual outlets, but this one was at a bargain price. They had the medium nib I wanted so I went away to have a quick scout around and think about it. My quick scout around didn’t actually last very long and the pen was mine. The vendor took my address details and the box will be sent to me sometime next week from Spain.

The photos really don’t do the colour and material justice. It really does have a very pretty finish and when I got home and inked it up…joy! A lovely smooth nib that glides.

I saw a few familiar faces all looking for bargains. Dave (Penultimate Dave from his excellent YouTube channel) was there as was Gary.

My next purchase was a bottle of Robert Oster, Bondi Blue. I think that I had seen this first in one of Dave’s pens at a pen meet, however I had not got round to buying a bottle for myself. Again for a bargain price it was mine.

Walking around the many vendors tables, to my mind at least I felt prices were very high for what some were selling. I fancy some will have the same stock next year and the year after. Still there were many selling at very keen prices.

I use a small A6 notebook daily and get through them at great speed. My favourites are Leuchtturm 1917 and a vendor was selling five for £20. Choosing a few different types and colours, I was rather chuffed as I walked off.


The final bargain of the day was a Diplomat Excellence A2 in dark green with chrome trim. This was a total bargain price and I had to ask twice to see if I were hearing things right. There was one with a gold nib – at an equally bargain price – but I had one of these in the recent past, returning it as I didn’t get on with it. Knowing how good the Diplomat Steel nibs are and wanting the green and chrome finish, there could only be one choice.

Inking it up at home it writes like a dream and in many ways puts some of the gold nibs on much more prestigious pens to shame.

After completing several circuits I called it a day and headed home, very pleased with my little haul. I had gone to the London Pen Show today with little expectations in getting anything other than some ink and perhaps some stationery.  Luckily I came away with more. There will hopefully be another London Pen Show in March 2020 so we won’t have to wait too long for the next fix!

6 thoughts on “London Pen Show 2019

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