The Special Air Service is perhaps the best known of all elite fighting forces. Set up to fight behind enemy lines during the Second World War, the SAS has been involved behind the scenes in almost every subsequent conflict in which Britain has participated. At the end of World War II the SAS was disbanded - temporarily. In response, one of its recruits decided to document the regiment’s history, binding in a homemade book every document he could find. The resulting diary then stayed hidden away for more than half a century before being handed over to the SAS Regimental Association by the veteran himself shortly before he died. In 2011, a limited run of 5,000 copies was produced to mark the SAS’s 70th anniversary. Now, thanks to the generosity of Robert Holding, a supporter of ABF The Soldiers’ Charity, we are able to offer copy number 78 of the SAS Diary. It is a remarkable record of this country’s military history. This is a large book, 43x31x10cm – over 600 heavy weight pages. Excellent condition. There may be additional charges if shipping outside the UK.
Lot 2 A stylish, Swiss break at Lucerne’s Hotel Château Gütsch
The proprietor of The Independent and Evening Standard, Evgeny Lebedev, and his father Alexander are the owners of the recently refurbished Château Gütsch, a grand boutique hotel in one of Switzerland’s most famous buildings. Now is your chance to experience 5-star luxury in Lucerne with a three-night stay at the hotel, courtesy of the Lebedevs. Dine in Château Gütsch’s top restaurant, with its panoramic views of the city below; stroll along the shore of the nearby Vierwaldstättersee, one of Switzerland’s largest lakes; or head into the Alps for some bracing air. With return flights from London (or elsewhere in the UK subject to agreement) to Zurich included, this is the chance to have a long weekend of real indulgence, far from the bustle of everyday life. Date to be arranged by mutual convenience; visit must be undertaken by the end of June 2015. Offer includes three nights, half- board at the Hotel Château Gütsch for two (or one) in a double room, as well as return flights from London to Zurich. Transfers to and from airports not included. Additional personal expenses also excluded. The successful bidder may extend their stay at the best available room rate and at their own expense, subject to prior arrangement with Hotel Chateau Gütsch. Not available for under-18s. http://www.chateau-guetsch.ch/
Lot 3 Cook with Angela Hartnett and Neil Borthwick at Merchants Tavern
Cook with Angela Hartnett and Neil Borthwick
Opening to critical acclaim last autumn, Merchants Tavern is a Shoreditch restaurant that serves exceptional food inspired by the seasons, run by renowned chef Angela Hartnett, and her partner, Head Chef Neil Borthwick. Now is your chance to develop your cooking skills, with an amazing opportunity to step out of the dining room and into the kitchen, helping to prep and cook for service for a day at one of London’s top eating venues. This will be an experience to remember for any budding chef or passionate foodie. Offer available for one person, 18 or over. Date to be arranged by mutual convenience, subject to availability of Angela Hartnett and Neil Borthwick; visit must be undertaken by 30 November 2015. Travel not included.
Ken Howard OBE RA studied at the Royal College of Art in the 1950s and was President of the New English Art Club from 1998 to 2003. In the 1970s he worked extensively with the British Army around the world, including Hong Kong, Cyprus and Northern Ireland. One of the works that Howard completed during this period was Riot in Belfast: the final oil painting is now on display at the National Army Museum. An original sketch made in preparation for the final work, and signed by the artist, can now be yours. 21 x 17.5cm, unframed. There may be additional charges if shipping outside the UK.
Mons in Belgium was the scene of some of the fiercest fighting in the First World War. Next year, it will be European Capital of Culture. At its heart will be the new Mons Memorial Museum, due to open in April – and you can be one of the first to visit, in the company of The Independent’s award-winning travel correspondent, Simon Calder, with whom you will attend the media preview of this fascinating and thought-provoking venue. You can share your thoughts on it for an item to run in The Independent and, after the launch, Simon will explore the city with you before you return later that evening. For one person. Launch likely to take place on 3 April but dates and times are subject to confirmation. Travel not included. Depending on your choice of transport you can either meet Simon at Charleroi airport on arrival or on the Eurostar from London St Pancras. Lunch and dinner included subject to travel timings. Over-18s only please.
Oliver Duff is the UK’s youngest national newspaper editor and is in charge of the country’s newest UK-wide title, the i. With its readership at an all-time high, the i has proved that there is still a considerable market for new, innovative print products. This is your chance to grill Oliver on the day to day workings of the paper over lunch and to see the team at work. For one person. Attend the offices of the i in Kensington, London for a tour with the editor followed (or preceded, subject to prior agreement) by lunch, to be arranged at a restaurant of the i editor’s choosing. Travel not included. Date to be arranged by mutual convenience; visit must be undertaken by the end of December 2015.
This is an unforgettable opportunity for you and up to five companions to learn the remarkable history of some of the British Army’s most famous regiments. You will arrive at Wellington Barracks for tea, coffee and pastries, before watching the form-up of the Changing the Guard ceremony. After the ceremony is finished you will be taken by the Curator on a guided tour of the Guards Museum’s unique collection, which tells the proud story of the 372 year history of the five regiments of Foot Guards. Finally, you will repair to the Curator’s office for a drinks reception (including champagne for over 18s) and light luncheon. Date to be arranged by mutual convenience; visit must be undertaken by the end of December 2015. Travel not included.
ZSL London Zoo is offering a family of four a once in a lifetime opportunity for a private, behind-the-scenes tour of the world famous zoo. Led by a director of the Zoological Society of London (ZSL), the conservation charity behind the zoo, you will not only discover the inside scoop on the zoo animals and the work underway to save them in the wild, but will even have an opportunity to meet the Penguins. Date to be arranged by mutual convenience, subject to availability of ZSL Directors; visit must be undertaken by 30 November 2015. Tour lasts approximately two hours, guests may continue their visit of the zoo at their own leisure afterwards. Travel, meals and other personal expenses not included.
Courtesy of the Football Association, the winning bidder will head to Wembley for England’s Euro 2016 qualifier against Lithuania in the company of The Independent’s finest, Sam Wallace. See at first-hand how one of the country’s foremost football correspondents analyses the action and keep your fingers crossed for an exciting match! For one person, 18 or over. Match takes place 27 March 2015 in the evening; travel to the ground not included. Detailed plans for the evening to be arranged directly with The Independent and Sam Wallace.
Spend a day with the oldest regiment in the British Army, the Honourable Artillery Company (HAC), and see them fire a Gun Salute at the Tower of London. Your VIP day starts at the historic Armoury House, home to the HAC, where you and a companion will enjoy the Company’s hospitality as the saluting squadron go about their preparations before being inspected by the Master Gunner. You will then enjoy special transport to the Tower of London where you will be able to stand in the HAC enclosure to enjoy the spectacle of the guns firing from Tower Wharf. Following the Salute, you will be brought back to Armoury House where you will enjoy lunch in the prestigious surroundings of the Long Room. At the end of your day with the HAC, you will be presented with a polished cartridge case, identical to the type you will have just seen fired, as a souvenir of your day. This offer is for two people. The HAC fires several Gun Salutes throughout the year to mark Royal and State occasions and the successful winner will be able to choose the date most appropriate for them. Visit must be undertaken by the end of December 2015. Travel not included except where otherwise stated. Not available for under-18s (unless one under-18 is accompanied by an adult).
The perfect gift for any fan of Chelsea football club: a ball signed by the club’s first team and a Number 10 shirt signed by Belgian midfield maestro, Eden Hazard. Both items, offered courtesy of Samsung, come with authentication certificates. Ball and shirt available for collection direct from the head office of Veterans Aid’s in London.
Battersea power station (Val Doone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
With Battersea Power Station currently undergoing redevelopment, its working life may seem distant. But with this beautiful, framed, limited edition, silver gelatin fibre print you will be immediately reminded of the building’s glorious, industrial past. The print has been kindly donated by Getty Images and appeared in the Getty Images Gallery’s recent exhibition (www.gettyimagesgallery.com). A 12x16” print, frame included. There may be additional charges if shipping outside the UK.
Making decisions on front page news is not always easy. But when you tell us the details of your story there will be no contest for the next splash. The winning bidder will get a personalised front page of either The Independent or i – all you need to do is provide images and background information. A great gift idea. You will receive a printed and framed copy of this one-off page –please note it will not feature in a published edition. We retain final copy approval but will endeavour to work with the winning bidder with regard to the main body text. There may be additional charges if shipping outside the UK.
Writer and broadcaster Tracey MacLeod is well-known as one of the regular food critics on the BBC’s Masterchef and writes restaurant reviews for The Independent. Now is your chance to dine with Tracey and to see her taste buds at work. Date to be arranged by mutual convenience; visit must be undertaken by the end of December 2015. Travel not included. Restaurant will be chosen by Tracey MacLeod and may not accommodate specific dietary requirements. Meal may be lunch or dinner.
Lot 15 Signed QPR shirt and a match day at Loftus Road
Queens Park Rangers' Robert Green (3rd R) punches the ball clear during their English Premier League soccer match against Aston Villa at Loftus Road in London
Queens Park Rangers is one of London’s oldest football clubs, having been formed as St Jude’s in 1882. Now fans can get their hands on a 2014/15 season shirt, signed by the first team, and attend a match at Loftus Road at the invitation of Andy Evans, Trust CEO of the QPR in the Community Trust. Keep your fingers crossed for plenty of goals. Offer includes one signed shirt and attendance for two at QPR’s match against Southampton on Saturday 7 February (standard seating, date/game subject to change). Guests will be met at Loftus Road prior to kick off by Andy Evans, Trust CEO of QPR in the Community Trust.
The rise of Ukip – and the response by Britain’s more established political parties – has provided a rich seam for Dave Brown’s distinctive form of graphical commentary. Now you can bid for ‘ Calypso’, which appeared in The Independent on 22 October 2014. This is an original, not a print or a copy, and will grace any wall. Sheet size 410 x 300mm, with image size 260 x 165mm. There may be additional charges if shipping outside the UK.
Grange Hotels and its valued partner, Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, are offering two guests a night of culture and comfort with an overnight stay at the 4-star Grange Fitzrovia in London and a chance to see Peter Pan, The Seagull or Seven Brides for Seven Brothers at the famous Open Air Theatre in Regent’s Park. This could make a perfect gift – perhaps even to yourself. Offer includes a voucher for a Friday night stay for two people sharing a double or twin room at the Grange Fitzrovia, date subject to availability and agreement, not to be used in conjunction with other offers. The offer also entitles attendance for two people at a performance during the 2015 season of Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre (to see one of Peter Pan, The Seagull or Seven Brides for Seven Brothers), date subject to prior arrangement. Attendance at the Open Air Theatre is subject to terms and conditions, including the weather policy, available at openairtheatre.com/terms. Travel, meals and other personal expenses are excluded.
Josh Wood has been dubbed the beauty industry’s favourite hair colourist. The opening of his eponymous Atelier in Holland Park three years ago was a major event and his handiwork can be seen on the heads of many of the world’s big-name stars from music, screen and catwalk. Now is your chance to live the life of a celebrity with a year’s worth of blow-dries at Josh Wood Atelier Lansdowne. Pamper yourself or a loved one with this brilliant offer. Offer valid from 1 January 2015-1 January 2016 at Josh Wood Atelier Lansdowne only. One free blow-dry per month with an assistant. Appointments subject to availability. Missed blow-dries cannot be carried over. Travel not included.