A couple of events in the run up to the Secret Postcard Sale


Stretch your fingers and get drawing for the Secret Postcard Sale.

In the run up to the sale Age UK Barnet will be with Grange Big Local at the Vale Farm Allotments carboot sale on 19 Oct 10am-2pm Tarling Road. Come along and find out more about both of organisations.

Come along for information about both of us, gardening tips, tea and cake and the usual carboot rummage.

I will also be at Boyden’s Kitchen in Church Lane N2 from 2.30pm on 5 Nov with blank postcards and pens at the ready if you want to come along. Bring yourselves, bring the kids and make a postcard for the sale.

Many thanks to Helen and Ben from Boyden’s Kitchen for their support, and to Janine and Lyndsey from Vale Farm Allotments.


Butterflies of excitement – Dame Zandra Rhodes


Dame Zandra Rhodes DBE (74) started her career as a textile designer, with colour and print central to her work. Her collection of pink and black jersey in 1977 saw her dubbed the Princess of Punk.

She has designed clothes for Diana, Princess of Wales, Jackie Onassis, Bianca Jagger, Freddie Mercury, Elizabeth Taylor, Kylie Minogue, Helen Mirren and Isabella Blow.

Her vintage pieces have been collected by Tom Ford and Anna Sui. It is also held in numerous museum collections around the world, including the V&A in London, Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art in New York, and the Musee de la Mode et du Textile in Paris.

She continues to design clothes, costumes for opera, china and jewellery.

In 2003 she set up the Museum of Fashion and Textiles in London. She is also Chancellor of the University for the Creative Arts.

She was awarded a Commander of the British Empire in 1997 and made a Dame Commander of the British Empire in the Queen’s Birthday Honour’s List in 2014


Her archive of sresses and drawings can be seen here


Dame Zandra has long been a supporter of both local and international charities. From supporting the NSPCC with the showing of her 1980 collection, to her recent appointment as a London Breast Cancer Ambassador, her generosity leaves us in awe.

It is therefore with huge gratitude that we have a postcard by Dame Zandra Rhodes included in this year’s sale. Her work has been described as graceful, bold, dramatic and feminine, with inspiration drawn from nature. Will you be able to spot her card?


Working Together for the Older Generation in Barnet


Yesterday Barnet Council published the annual report of the Neighbourhood Services project, a review of the first year of a new way of collaborating for many of the charities working to support older people in Barnet. I’m really proud of the success it has been. Some of the charities are large, like Jewish Care, some small, like Barnet Asian Women’s Association. Some focus their work on specific BMER groups, like CROFTE (which supports Tamil elders) or Anand, and others focus on specific areas of the borough, like FIN or the Good Neighbour Scheme in Mill Hill.

All of them have worked together, under the independent chair Gillian Jordan, to share information, knowledge, resources and their own perspectives. Together we are helping more older people than ever, in more places and in more ways.

In the end, it doesn’t matter to me whether older people are supported by Age UK Barnet, or by RSVP, or one of the many other charities in the provider group. What matters is that older people get the support and advice they need, in the most appropriate way.

You can read more about the groups achievements here:


And so it was with particular pleasure that I received a wonderful bundle of postcards from Alex Georgiou, the interim manager at Barnet African Caribbean Association, in support of the postcard sale. Alex has a degree from Chelsea College of Art and has worked as both an art teacher and a window and exhibition display artist in the past.

Her work and generosity are greatly appreciated. I’m sure you will enjoy them at the sale.

Thanks so much Alex- you are really amazing.

Age UK Barnet Secret Postcard Sale 2014 – Magnus Irvin


Magnus Irvin is another artist who has kindly agreed to contribute to the Age UK Barnet Secret Postcard Sale for the second time in a row.

His work is held in the collections of the V&A, the British Museum, the Arts Council of Britain, the Imperial War Museum, the Museum of London and the Royal Society of Painter Printmakers. He is a founder member of the London Institute of Pataphysics and an elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Painter Printmakers. And he is utterly lovely.

You kind find his work on his website here – the surreal, the scatological and the seascapes.  His work is beautiful, funny and brilliant, imbued with mischief and wonder.


However, for those readers of a delicate disposition, unwilling to explore the sections of his website entitled “poo” or “anus”, here is a lovely film of the man in action, painting something rather larger than a postcard.

Thank you so much Captain Magno, for all the sweetness and joy you bring.

A Community Effort – Local Businesses and Local Charity


The Age UK Barnet Secret Postcard Sale – another little preview.

The relationship between local businesses and local charities is a complex one, but they both support each other.  Sometimes the relationships are easy to understand – the estate agents who sponsor primary school fairs for example. Both the schools and the agents benefit from the advertising placards, but the agents also benefit from having good, well-supported schools, because a good school pushes up house prices and therefore the commission the agents can achieve.

The relationship between Age UK Barnet and the businesses which kindly support it is a little less straightforward.  I could tell you that Age UK Barnet’s benefit advice service put £165,000 into the pockets of older people last year, money which is likely to be spent locally, rather than online or in town. I could also tell you that, whilst 14% of older people in Barnet live in poverty, the section of the community with the most available income is the 55-65 age group (who are often caring for their parents, our clients).

Older people both need and support local shops and services, because many are not online, and find transport a problem. A thriving high street is a necessity for them.

But generally the shops and businesses which support Age UK Barnet, like Tally Ho Discount @thfruitandveg or Funky Flowers @lisanthusliz, who helped support the recent fundraising concert that raised £1,600, do it out of kindness. And in return, I would like to express my gratitude to them and to the local businesses who have offered to make postcards for the Secret Postcard Sale.

Planet Jump @planet_jump_dw – supercool animators who donated last year too


Insight School of Art @paul_regan – art classes for 6-18 year olds


Maven Design – @mavendesign – websites and branding


Artists Resource @artistsresource – Art and Craft workshops for children and adults


Frame Stop @frame_stop – framing


Ann Froomberg Design – @annfroomberg – hand painted silks scarves and textiles and another second time contributor


Thank you all for your generosity

If anyone reading this would like to take part, please see more details here








Secret Postcard Sale – Carrie Reichardt

One of the artists who has already promised a postcard for the Secret Postcard Sale in aid of Age UK Barnet is craftivist Carrie Reichardt.

You can see her work at the moment in the V&A.


There is another review of the show here


Follow her on Twitter @carriereichardt

Thank you Carrie.

For more information about the sale and how you can take part take a look here




Secret Postcard Sale 2014



Hooray! The Secret Postcard Sale is on again this year.

Age UK Barnet need hundreds of people to make and send us a postcard with a drawing, painting, photograph or artwork in any medium on the front. On the back you can sign and print your name, and add any other details you want, like your age, your website or an art group if you belong to one.

The cards are then sold anonymously, all for a fixed price, although there is a list of contributors available. This means it is partly an art sale, because you buy an image you love, and partly a raffle, because you might spot a valuable card buy a well-known artist or celebrity.

Last year we had cards by artists like David McKee, the creator of Mr Benn and Elmer and the Elephant, whose joyful image is shown above, as well as cards by the likes of Jude Law and Sir Chris Hoy.

But everyone can join in. Our youngest artists were 3 last year – here is a beautifully worked example:Scan76

Our oldest artist was in her 80s – here is one by the late mother of Councillor Richard Cornelius.


So, please send any contributions to Age UK Barnet, c/o Julia Hines, 37 Briarfield Ave, N3 2LG by 5 November (earlier if possible). Size is not crucial, but 6×4 works best.

With many thanks, Julia