Ben Williams on collecting and Bond experiences.
When and how did you first get bitten by the Bond bug?
I was about 8 years old.
What’s your favourite item in your collection and why?
I’d say it’s the Book Club editions of the Fleming books. They were perfect when I got them at aged 8, but I don’t think I really understood their value. All the dust jackets have since gone (as have one or two of the books along the way) but they still retain their sentimental value to me.
What item would you most like to add?
Interestingly, I asked a group of Bond enthusiasts what their holy grail of Bond collecting would be. There were some interesting and varied answers! My absolute holy grail would be the typewriter Fleming used to write the novels, or perhaps an original manuscript. From the films, I’d say it would be Bond’s Walther PPK. I’m anti-guns, but it’s an iconic piece of memorabilia that’s as intrinsic to Bond as his dinner jacket or his Aston Martin.
What’s your biggest obstacle to collecting, or is there a tip you’d like to share?
My biggest obstacle is really that I’m more interested in experience than objects. I’ve got some great memories of the events I’ve attended. I’ll always have those stories, so I suppose I don’t really need mementos.
I love the artwork that Thomas Nixdorf has collected over the years and it’s good to know that there are people who are preserving these items for the future and not just dumping them in a skip as Peter Lamont told me he did with a lot of his artwork!
Also, a shoutout to Meg Simmonds – the EON archivist – who has done so much to preserve costumes, props, artworks, and other production pieces and for making them available for public viewing, so that we can all enjoy them.
Also, thanks for asking me to take part.