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9:53am on Sunday, 12th March, 2023:

The Royal Wedding


I was up in the attic again yesterday, looking at my grandfather's matchbox collection. It's a treasure trove of ephemera from the early 1950s to 1982 (when he died). Of course, a lot of it's of little relevance to anyone unless they want to trace the change in design and box contents of Pioneer matchboxes during this period or something, but there are some that are very interesting, or pretty, or humorous, or commentaries on society (e.g. semi-naked woman on an insurance company matchbox with the tagline "we've got you covered"). The sets are the best, but they tend to have too many members to be able to get them framed.

Most of the labels are glued down, so can't really be removed from the paper they're stuck to, which makes it hard to scan them. Here's one from the box of swaps my grandad had, though:

"The match of the year" end in divorce in 1992. This may or may not have been related to the fact that in 1985, a baby girl was born in New Zealand whom DNA tests in 1991 showed was fathered by Mark Phillips.

Unfortunately, my grandfather died before the then Prince Charles married the then Lady Diana Spencer, so I don't have a matchbox for that.

Neither matchbox label is worth a lot — you can buy them for £1.99 on eBay. The same applies to the rest of the collection. It seems that people don't collect matchbox labels any more, probably on account of how fewer people smoke and those that do use lighters.

Still, I like them!

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Copyright © 2023 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).