January 26, 2011

Britain's New Decimal Currency Mug

Following on from last August's post, Im posting this interesting find from The Staffordshire Pottery. Like the information wheel it acts as an aid for getting to grips with Decimalisation. On February 15 1971 Britain's currency moved over from the old system of pounds, shillings and pence, to the new one, where there was 100 pence in the pound.

The photo above shows the mug from three sides. Its interesting that old money is represented by a stencil font, that in my mind seems more evocative of pop art and the sixties, than my notion of old money.

Im fascinated by these items that document, what at the time, must have seemed like radical change. It may take a while, but soon the changes are accepted, and the old system becomes history. These artifacts remain the only reminder of the fear, authorities had, that the public would not embrace the new system.

I have a tea towel that records a similar moment in the Seventies, when the British electrical wiring system changed. I promise to post it soon!

January 17, 2011

5" Barry Goldwater Plastic REMCO figure

Barry Goldwater (January 2, 1909– May 29, 1998) was an American politician. He was a U.S. Senator from Arizona, and the Republican Party's nominee for President in the 1964 election.

I picked up this 5" plastic figure at the last car boot of the year from a very muddy field in Elstree. He came with a rather nice electoral badge, that I'll post another time.

January 10, 2011

Planet of The Apes at Selfridges

Back in the day when there were only four TV channels, Fridays after school were special! Three of us, would catch the 142 bus, back to our friend Nainesh's house, to watch old Top of The Pops/ Whistle Test recordings on The Shah familys' state of the art, top loading video recorder.

The videos were the trailer for the main feature, that was Channel 4s, The Tube. If the thrill of seeing our favourite bands wasnt enough, it was accompanied by the joy of a small tin of Long Life lager , and if we were really lucky, Mrs Shahs, fantastic Aloo dosas. Halcyon days indeed.

But above the Telly, and the sleek black drinks cabinet were the family photos, one of which features above. There was Nainesh, his sister, Mrs Shah, but with Galen, Zako and Urku from the Planet of The Apes TV series!

The story goes, that back in the winter of 1975, a number of characters from Planet of The Apes made an appearance at Selfridges in London. It appears you queued to be photographed with some of the characters, a bit like Santas Grotto, but even more terrifying. There are a few more Selfridges pictures circulating online and apparently there was even a live show ( Think, Its a Knockout!) If you like the idea of these Store appearances photos, theres an unbelievable site, Plaid Stallions, that has many more!

Planet of The Apes has a special place in my heart. I remember fondly playing with the mego action figures and of course watching the TV series. Years later I read the Pierre Boulle book (that was bizarrely missing the last page!) and watched the original film, which I still enjoy, but why did Tim Burton feel the need to remake it?

January 07, 2011

Green speech mark toy

This delightful 4.5" figure turned up in the 1p box, in my favourite local charity shop, last week. With no makers mark, he remains something of a mystery!
He reminds me of some figures , that friends brought back from holidays in Germany in the 70s, but he may be later than that! Another thought was, he was one of Noddy's friends. His green body is made from a squeezable, lightweight plastic, while his head is more robust. His funny blue hat and super speech mark eyes are the icing on the cake.

If you have any more information, or thoughts Id be delighted to hear from you!

January 01, 2011

Loony Links- An Educational Construction toy from Kohner

A strange plastic construction toy to start the new year! It comes from the same company that brought us Pop -o-matic Bingo, Kohner. Brightly coloured, plastic limbs are snapped together to different torsos to give you several interesting characters!