The everyday blog of Richard Bartle.
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4:34pm on Saturday, 26th May, 2012:
Today, I finally had enough time (that is, I was alone in the house at a weekend) to look at the contents of the old tin of cards I found in the attic a couple of months back. Here's the result:
That's a bigger photo than I usually put on QBlog, but this way you have a fighting chance of reading what's on some of the cards if you're mildly curious (whether that's mildly curious about the cards, or that other people find you mildly curious).
There are 62 different sets of cards represented, excluding roughly the same number of cards from Brooke Bond Tea sets. Lots of people used to collect Brooke Bond Tea cards, including (in my case) both sets of grandparents. I think there may be some completed sets of those in my attic, too, inherited from my maternal grandmother. The sets I'm showing here, though, are from other sources.
7 of these sets are also from tea sources. The vast majority are from sweets. Barratt, the makers of sweet cigarettes (now called "candy sticks"), are responsible for 17 of the sets here; Primrose (ditto) is 7; cadet (ditto) is 5, including the Doctor Who and the Daleks one; Como (ditto) is 3.
It wasn't just tea and sweet cigarette companies that included these collectible cards, though. I have representatives of 8 sets from Lyons Maid and 2 from Walls; these cards came with iced lollies. As you can imagine, they could get into quite a state... I also have 4 Kellogg sets; I don't know what they came from.
Thematically, the cards cover things of interest to kids in the 1960s: space, secret agents, cars and TV shows feature strongly. Although some sets have only one or two cards from them in my collection, there are large numbers for Gerry Anderson programmes(Thunderbirds, Captain Scarlet and even U.F.O.); this is because they were being bought in preference to others. However, they weren't being bought necessarily by me: some of these sets were claimed by my brother, so although I might have bought a few of them, he actively targeted them. U.F.O. is one such set, as is the most complete set in the tin, The Magic Roundabout. The latter has 35 cards in it, but I'm missing 8 of them (one of which, number 34, is currently for sale on eBay for £1.99 plus a £1.50 gouge on postage and packing). I have 47 Magic Roundabout cards in total, though, so that means 20 swaps. If only I actually liked the TV programme, I might have been motivated to give myself a quest to complete it.
The first card I collected is not in the collection. It was an ice-cream card for a vertical take-off and landing aircraft (I guess a Harrier Jump Jet prototype). Prior to that one, I'd thrown away any cards I came across, but with that one I started collecting. The reason it's not in the collection is because it was torn up by my brother when we were in our teens; he had decided that as we weren't collecting cards any more, he might as well have some fun ripping them up. When I complained, he let me have the whole collection by way of compensation.
Maybe another day I'll show you what the front of some of the cards look like. You Have Been Warned...
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Copyright © 2012 Richard Bartle (firstname.lastname@example.org).