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PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2009 2:53 pm 
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Hi,

My DD is moving up to secondary school in Sept, we have just received a list from her new school of things she must have. One of which is a fountain pen. I was suprised they are still used these days and my experience of such pens when I was at school was pretty bad, ink splodges everwhere, all the time. I have had a quick look in the shops but there seems to be a huge range in price etc.

I would appreciate any advice or recommendations as to what to look for, I don't want to spend lots of money in case it does not get much use but want to get one which isn't going to ruin her currently reasonably neat handwriting.

Thanks in anticipation.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2009 3:02 pm 
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WHSmith does Parker Series (range £7.99 to under £10.00) fountain pens.

They use Parker Quinn cartridges and in the summer before school starts, the store does 'Back to School' Stationery offers where you can stock up on the refill cartridges and they have offers on the pens too.

They are quite durable and unless you chuck them about carelessly in the bag and ruin the nib, they do last at least 2 years or more.

The ink is easily erasable with WHSmith's eraser pens (again, offers in the summer). Buy washable blue ink cartridges.

edit:

Most of the pens have lifetime guarantee, subject to wear and tear and misuse, and when we purchased ours, our local store had a free name engraving service if you purchase a pen(summer offer).


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2009 3:24 pm 
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You can tell I have a thing about stationery, pens in particular.

The new style fountain pens of today are nowhere a patch on the cumbersome pens of yesteryear.

The cartridges are sealed and only 'punctured' when changing refills.
Splodges are very rare and only occur if you are having a 'cartridge fight 'with a classmate and you flick your pen at your learned opponent. Don't ask; it's a boy thing.

Otherwise a much more civilised era with ink stains in shirt pockets very much a thing of the past.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2009 4:03 pm 
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I'll repeat my advice to go for a Lamy Vista or Safari at around £10-15, they're a delight to use (and with a Vista, your offspring can see whether they're getting near the end of the cartridge). After abandoning some very pricy Parker and Waterman pens in recent years in favour of rollerballs and pencils I've gone back to a fountain pen after trying one out for our son.

Mike


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2009 4:10 pm 
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I agree the Lamy Vista and Safari are a pleasure to write with and if within your price range, go for it.

It is just that in the first term of a new school with various other new and usually expensive belongings to look after, it is less painful to lose a pen that is not too costly.

Also, if children are not used to fountain pens and have only used the Berol Handwriting variety in junior school, they are likely to damage the nibs, especially if they do not have the perfect pen grip or constantly apply the wrong pressure or angle when using fountain pens for the first time.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2009 8:34 pm 
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Location: East Kent
lion63 wrote:
Don't ask; it's a boy thing.



:lol: :lol: :lol:


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2009 9:02 pm 
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Thank you all very much for your advice.

I will now be able to have a more knowledgable browse round Smiths.

I still can't help thinking that requiring them to have a fountain pen is a tad pretentious.

In the same way as requiring them to have a pair of navy tracksuit bottoms for £18 when you can get them in Sports Direct for £5 and skirts for £15 when you can get them for under £10 in the High St ........ the list goes on ..... £4.50 for a pair of sports socks etc etc.

Phew I have been dying to get that off my chest. Am I the only parent who thinks this uniform business is a con?


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2009 9:15 pm 
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A fountain pen makes the writer feel more grown-up and the design of the operating nib focuses (or frustrates) the pensman.

I have offered to get my child a more expensive pen if possessions are well looked after (read.. not languishing somewhere in Lost Property) but we have stocks of refill cartridges to get through and the pens are still intact after 3 years.

But I do agree with you about the uniforms in general. :D


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 21, 2009 8:26 am 
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Location: South Wilts
Nibbles wrote:
In the same way as requiring them to have a pair of navy tracksuit bottoms for £18 when you can get them in Sports Direct for £5 and skirts for £15 when you can get them for under £10 in the High St ........ the list goes on ..... £4.50 for a pair of sports socks etc etc.

Phew I have been dying to get that off my chest. Am I the only parent who thinks this uniform business is a con?


School uniforms should not be this expensive.

http://www.teachernet.gov.uk/management/atoz/u/uniform/

One negative point I have experienced with Parker pens is that they only seem to take Parker cartridges which are not as widely available as you would expect and cost a lot more than own brands.

Is this the case with other brands?


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 21, 2009 10:40 am 
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Quote:
One negative point I have experienced with Parker pens is that they only seem to take Parker cartridges which are not as widely available as you would expect and cost a lot more than own brands.

Is this the case with other brands?


Our local store stocks the refills by the dozens and then some when the 'I must have the right pencil-case' shopping starts in earnest in late August!!

Depending on where and when you purchase them, you can stock up on PQ refills at less than 21p @(average 27p@). For the prolific writer, you can buy in packs of 15. Lamy's costs about 37p-39p@.

WHSmith has a cartridge pen at around £3.50 but I don't know how much their refills are as we were seduced by the free pen engraving offered for Parker pens at the time of our purchase. Some styles have a rubber grip for comfort. No left or right versions though but most brands do a washable ink (black or blue) and that is what is most important if you have no other concerns about handwriting grips etc.

Hope it is permissible to mention these products.


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