November 29, 2011

Travel Hostess- Thunder Bay, Canada

Last weeks Fisher Price air stewardess reminded me of this old, souvenir slide, which I've been meaning to post for a while!

Back in the day, before digital cameras, videos and dvds, families would often invite each other round to one anothers houses, to view slides and cine film of their holidays. The quality of peoples own photos were generally, pretty ropey, so a gap in the market emerged and companies began to produce souvenir packs of slides, taken by professional photographers. Quality assured, you could now share those magical moments without embarrassment!

Todays post, of an Ontario Government Travel Bureau Hostess is taken from a pack of 5 travel slides of Thunder Bay, Canada produced by Gaf. Their series of slides was called pana-vue. You can see more from the pana-vue series over at and also at There are lots to choose from at disneypix, but my absolute favourites are of Tomorrowland.

Now, if the response is good to these slides, I could always share with you my set of Calgary stampede slides, featuring an Indian village and chief!!!

November 21, 2011

Fisher Price Air stewardess

Hot on the heels of Pan Am, thats recently been aired on UK TV, heres Fisher Price's very own Air Stewardess from the seventies. Although complete with matching bag, I cant see how she can hold it!

November 09, 2011

Birmingham Bull Ring Commemorative Plate

The Old Birmingham Bull Ring was the first indoor market in the UK when it opened in 1964. It mixed traditional open air market with a submerged market hall. Considered to be the height of modernity when it opened it soon fell from grace with its labyrinth of subways, and failing escalators. None of this was helped by the isolation the ring road caused.

Back in the eighties it used to run a rather good flea market, and I remember picking up a couple of fine finds there. Last month this plate, by Purbeck Pottery turned up. It commemorates the opening of the Bull Ring. It seems at odds to have an almost folk response to what was at the time, such brutal modern architecture!

October 31, 2011

Halloween offering

Happy Halloween, one and all. Brought to you, especially for today, another unknown plastic offering, this time in the shape of a 3.5" Dracula. Ive been saving this little gem for a while. I believe he dates from the eighties.

October 17, 2011

Small plastic Giraffe seeks wheels!

Rather nice, seated Giraffe made from a soft rubbery plastic. My guess is he came with a car. He stands 35mm small, but with no makers mark, I haven't got a clue who the fella is!

October 05, 2011

Live action Tele Babar Part 2

A couple of years ago I posted some lovely Babar dominoes. They caused quite a stir over at do you remember blog. Apparently a lot of people remembered the TV show, and found the live action Babar frightening. I can't see it! For my money, the masks and costumes are magical and share links with the Theatre of the Bauhaus.

Not long after I posted the dominoes I was lucky enough to find these two hardback copies in English, taken from the TV series. The books are beautifully designed, and the stills from the show are fantastic.

You can watch a foreign language version of the Tele Babar TV show below.

Published by Methuen in 1969, the hard back books measure 248 x 300mm. As far as I can see there were three books in the series, the two here; Babar goes visiting, Babar Keeps Fit & Babar Learns to Drive.

October 04, 2011

Fisher Price Little People

An extra helping of Fisher Price Little People for Steve. Thanks for the thumbs up! Fisher Price Little People were originally made from wood and then later on, plastic. Its always a joy to find another member of the gang!

September 16, 2011

Savoy Youth Theatre

Ive been walking past this sign for a number of years now, always with the intention of photographing it. More recently I've been getting slightly worried it will have been replaced with something new, not nearly as nice, or so interesting. However last month I bit the bullet, picked up the camera and got the shot!

The sign,made with vinyl lettering, on wooden board, has peeled over time. As legibility decreases, the intrigue grows.

September 15, 2011

In case of complaint please return and join a sample.

Top marks to our son, who was helping out at the School fair, and found this box of Caran D'ache pencils, from the 1950s. What care has been taken with the packaging, from the paper label to the string that binds them together.

Included in the box (below) was the original customer complaint slip. The translation into english is rather quaint 

In case of complaint please return this slip and join a sample.

September 09, 2011

Disco Bear

Small plastic novelty bear throwing some great shapes, why?

September 01, 2011

More fisher Price animals

A while back I posted a Fisher Price Circus monkey, last week some more turned up, and this time the monkey has a tail!

August 31, 2011

Never seen a stranger puzzle?

Last July I posted a "Say No to Strangers" badge. But look what I was given for my birthday, last week! The 30 piece puzzle is made by Waddingtons, and looks as if, it was given away by Lothian & Borders Police Force, in an attempt to educate young children.

August 17, 2011

Lines brothers Roll along plastic animals

A small collection of plastic animals on wheels. Not one has a makers mark, but on a visit to the rather wonderful Bethnal Green Museum of Childhood last year I thought I spotted the toys above. Apparently the animals were only prototypes and created by Fred Pearl, for Lines Brothers. Pearl is more famous for producing models for Star Wars.

August 06, 2011

How tolerant are you?

I picked this Tolerance calculator up last month at the local car boot. It was given away with Practical Electronics in April 1967. I was going to leave it behind, but the people on the stall had some interesting things and we got chatting. The items had belonged to a gentleman, who had worked as an engineer, at the BBC, in its early days. An intriguing image was built up of this chap, who had sadly passed away. Some of the items had been left to a museum, while other items, including this calculator were left to fend for themselves.

I have no idea what you do with a Tolerance calculator, but I dont think Id score very highly!

The notion of getting irritated by bad driving, dawdling tourists and screaming children, reminded me of the film below by Robert Popper and Peter Serafinowicz, Markets of Britain.

Most amusing!

August 05, 2011

Avon "Wild Country" aftershave Pipe

A splendid, but somewhat bizarre find in the 10p box, at our favorite charity shop, last week.
This beige aftershave pipe from Avon, must date from the Seventies. Its hard to believe that someone must have sat down at some point, and come up with this peculiar idea. I imagine it was created for the man who has everything!

The tobacco end of the pipe doubles as the aftershave bottle. You can see the bottle, separately on the left. An unusual item, that's for sure!

* Postscript: Well, it appears the pipe is not so unusual after all! There were a number of pipe designs by Avon, as well as all sorts of outlandish designs including a power drill! Below are a few more highlights.

July 23, 2011

Galt fabric building blocks

Six fabulous, 1960s fabric blocks from Galt, that turned up last month on a Sunday trawl. I never thought you could still find such gems. It makes all the blank days worthwhile.

I was in London with my mother, recently, and she was surprised how I still remembered with affection our trips to The Galt shop in Carnaby Street. It was always a magical experience. Perhaps, the toy I remember best is "The Old Woman who lived in a shoe", more of which, another time.

Above are a couple more close ups of some of the cubes. Ive posted a number of lovely Galt finds on here before, but despite Ken Garlands website, Im still waiting for a more definitive history on the toy manafacturer.

July 10, 2011

Serpo, vinyl sticker. Rue Chaudrier, La Rochelle

The pick of todays finds was this delighful vinyl sticker, for Serpo, a French photographic store in La Rochelle. Fixed to the side of a crumbling old Polaroid camera bag, it now has a new home!

June 21, 2011

Wooden russian sledge couple

Another holiday souvenir saved from car boot oblivion. This time from Moscow!

So many people go abroad, and want to bring something back as a memento, but overtime memories of the holiday fade and the objects loose their meaning. Sadder still, people die and family and friends have no knowledge of the objects significance.

This delightful couple are dated on the bottom, 1972. Theres a whole load more written on the base, but sadly I cant read russian or decipher cyrillic ! However on the off chance, theres some clever soul out there who can, Ive posted the label below!

June 13, 2011

Torque Computer SS306B

Found last week at the bottom of an old tool box. This is a Snap on Torque computer. It has a catalogue number of SS-306B.

May 27, 2011

Sasek Matchbox booklet for Liberty's London 1964

Much excitement in the Mendelsson household last week, when this dropped through the post! I hadn't checked ebay for a while for Sasek, as its become rather tedious trawling through all the modern reissues of his, This is series!

However a couple of weeks ago, I hit the search button, and was delighted to discover this rather battered matchbox booklet by the man himself. The booklet has some rather scratchy pen and ink drawings, depicting various modes of transport in London.

The booklet measures 320 x 65mm, was made in Finland in 1964 for Liberty's of London, it has a brilliant red interior and once contained 150 Crown matches.

May 24, 2011


Two Britains, plastic animals from 1978, that I picked up last month. You can see a whole load more over at the toybox, where he has some fantastic boxed elephants!

May 20, 2011

Who are you?

Amongst the many discarded photos I have, some of my favourites are polyphotos! Taken by a photographer and not in a photo-me booth, the photographer would take 48 different photographs, for you to choose from. You would be given a fantastic contact sheet, with small postage stamp images to choose from.

I have some of my dad, and my father in law, but the three above, have always intrigued me! Who is this man? I always hoped he would be a typesetter, or perhaps an architect. Was he European (Dutch maybe?) or was he just an office manager from Manchester?

I guess we'll never know!

May 14, 2011

2011 Cup Final post

Its that time of year again. Its Cup Final day here in England! Here to celebrate are two corner kickers from an unknown football game, maybe from the Sixties. They show a striking resemblance to the fairground game I listed back in 2009.

Im bitterly disappointed that the FA, and the Premier league couldnt work out a way for the FA Cup to be the last game of the season, and that it was the only game played in Britain today. Its criminal so many traditions and rituals are being undermined! I guess Im just a silly romantic!

May 07, 2011

Young Penguin seeks new friends!

Hot on the heels of the two lovely rabbits that turned up a while back, are these three little delightful wooden birds, with dainty wire legs.

I cant tell you a thing about them, except the stork and the red bird dont seem to be too enamoured, with their young penguin friend! It looks as if hes asked a question and they're not prepared to give him an answer. Oh dear! I wonder what the question was?

April 29, 2011

Royal footman

It seems somewhat appropriate to post this super little lead figure, what with all the fervour over the Royal wedding, today. Created by John Hill & co. in 1953 as a commemorative for the current Queens coronation. Its a bit classier than some of the tat thats being marketed for todays royal occasion. However I did see this, which I quite liked!

April 13, 2011

Butlin's Barry Island- John Hinde

A super haul of five John Hinde postcards from the car boot this Sunday. All featuring The Butlins holiday camp at Barry Island. Ive not seen any of these before, so a real technicolour treat!

One can only imagine what the holiday was like in the late sixties, but on the reverse of the card, Mrs Bradly does say the weather was not too warm, and she had met a friend (female) of her own age and they both like dancing at the Old Tyme Ballroom!

As Ive mentioned before on here, I cant get enough of these glorious holiday souvenirs. Hinde team of photographers produced some pretty astonishing images. The series here are all taken by Edmund Nägele, you can read more about him and his time with the John Hinde, here.

Below, Mrs Brady's favourite spot,the indoor heated pool. The card has a catalogue number of 3BY1.

On the back of 3BY13- The Lounge Grotto (below) Mrs Brady writes

"My friends husband is to ill to dance too much, so we are meeting up in the ballroom quite often. Hope the dogs are behaving themselves. The train leaves Barry at 6.15 on Saturday. So will be in Newport about 7.30. We'll wait at station entrance. "

April 08, 2011

Composite beer bottle stoppers

Following last weeks Antiques Roadshow, at The British Museum. I was reminded of my mudlarking days! The chap on TV had 1000s of items from The Thames including coins and clay pipes as well as some old bottle stoppers!

My small collection of bottle stoppers also came from The Thames, from just beneath Tower Bridge, each stopper carries a different Brewery logo. Its fun to imagine the identity of the previous owner, who opened his bottle of beer and threw the stopper into the Thames.

April 04, 2011

Häschenschule wooden Rabbits from East Germany

These rather fetching, wooden rabbits turned up at the car boot, a while back, but despite having their bases stamped, I knew nothing about them except they were East German.

However after stumbling across Spielzeugladen, a toy shop in Freiburg, South West Germany, I'm a little bit wiser. It appears the characters, Hans & Gretchen, come from the classic German tale, Die Häschenschule. The Rabbit School was written by Albert Sixtus, and first published in 1924.

March 11, 2011

Optimistic German miner doll & wife

At last the days are getting longer, and the weather seems to be improving, Hurray!
Im sure its not a coincidence but there were certainly more stalls at Sundays boot, and as result some nice finds! The lovely couple above, turned up, which I presumed were East German. Made from lightweight plastic, they are hollow. But without a makers mark, its been difficult to find out much. The guy on the left, is indeed a German miner, but no news about the girl. Hes 6" high, while she is 5".

March 02, 2011

Lenticular Decimal Currency Calculator

A wonderful recent find from a lovely little antique shop in Holt, Norfolk. Given all the recent material Ive been posting relating to decimalisation, I had to have this fantastic little currency converter. The photo above ( excuse the distortion!) shows the two different views of the card. Tip it one way and it displays old money, flip it the other and it reveals the decimal equivalent.

Ever since The Sun newspaper released its Gallery of 3D Soccer stars in 1972 I've had a penchant for all things lenticular. Of course, the classic image is of the winking, asian girl.

Released by The East Anglian Trustee Saving Bank, " to help you in the change to decimals".

February 25, 2011

To anonymity and beyond?

The front and back of another unknown spaceman, that turned up on a recent trip to Cardiff

February 12, 2011

Electrical Association for Women: 1970s Wiring Tea Towel

As promised in my last post, here is the tea towel that was issued by The Electrical Association for Women! It dates from the early 1970s when the wiring colours, inside electrical plugs changed from red, green and black to blue, brown, yellow & green.

Why they produced a tea towel, I dont know?