From the time children learn to write with a pen they become an important tool in education. For many people it matters little whether the pen used is a cheap BIC or Papermate or an exquisite fountain pen.

My first fountain pen was given to me by my grandmother, as was the Geha I had in secondary school with the magical reserve tank where you got an extra few pages by pushing in a knob under the nib.

I was then given a Parker 45 stainless steel Flighter set. The fountain pen is thick and heavy, the ball point operates by pressing down the clip section and the pencil by twisting the barrel. I never really like the set.

In 1967 I got a Parker Slimfold, and eventually the colours blue, black red and green from Harrisons in the High Street Grantham. I filled each pen with the matching colour ink and used them for writing, drawings and illustrations. I first had the nips replaced with italic, being left handled. I then discovered that there was a needle point and got that fitted to them.

In 1968 I developed skills in technical drawing and obtained a range of Rotring drawing pens for my work in class and homework. As these fitted to a compass and the Parkers did not I began to use 0.25 and 0.1mm pens for writing and drawing in all my class work through school, college and university. To the blue, black, red and green I added yellow.

For a birthday present from my Uncle Norman I was given a gold Papermate ball point. This very slim biro fitted in well with my writing style. I lost it on the London Underground and replaced it. I later obtained a stainless steel with gold trim matching fountain pen. The boarder nib was more useful for office and better holding than the Parker 45 fountain pen.

At college I also used a Mitsubishi Golden Axe clutch pencil and later a Rotring rapid 0.5 clutch pencil.

So I already had a small collection of pens when I tried to get my daughter interested in collecting and began to build up a collection of gold fountain pens, ball points and mechanical pencils. Thanks to the internet and online auction of eBay it is easy to specialise and build up an interesting collection very quickly. This collection of gold and gold tone pens belongs to Yasmin McMullon.

Gerald McMullon



 Last updated 3rd February 2010