Beermats/coasters from the Czech Republic. All available to exchange for cider related coasters from around the world
Beermats/coasters from the Czech Republic. All available to exchange for cider related coasters from around the world
This album of photos have been taken over the last 12 years and show the inner city areas of Nottingham as they are at the time. some of the buildings have been demolished since I took the photos. I always regretted that as a young teenager I didn't have access to a camera to record what was going on in the 1960's, a time of great change in Nottingham and all over the country. In the 1960's many areas were still as they had been in the 19th century but this was to quickly change with much demolition and rebuilding, and not always for the better. Many of those new buildings have already been demolished and replaced again with even newer developmnts. I decided that I would start to record the state of Nottingham as it is now rather than let another chance slip away so with my wife, we occasionally get up at 5am/6am and park the car in an area of Nottingham and have a walk round taking photos of anything and everything in that area. The traffic is still very light and roads are pretty clear of vehicles at that time. By about 8am the morning traffic and public are around and that is time to go for a breakfast somewhere. We don't really have a plan we just go where we feel at the time. I'm not really a photographer, I simply have a half decent camera and like going out at daft times snapping pictures. These are the result. One day I will commence writing captions against them all, a few already have titles but more will follow in time.
I can't resist toys and games, especially when I can afford them so I've accumulated quite a few random pieces. Boxed games I must have over 40 examples and then loads of other smaller game pieces and odds and sods. I also have quite a few packs of playing cards and game cards in packs. I don't try to find rare expensive toys and games just those that grab my attention when attending car boot sales, some are a bit older of course and I keep away from brand new ones, everything else is fair game. Here are a few of the things I've got, and some more appear in the section of things I just couldn't resist. More will be photographed and uploaded when time and inclination coincide.
Something else that I've accumulated over a few years are egg cups. I've no idea why I started to pick them up but that is a difficulty I could attach to most things I collect. My first egg cup is probably the Bonzo dog pedestal example that I dug up from an old rubbish tip in the 1970's - the Cow Paddle in Lincoln. It was complete and unbroken so it was a joy to dig up and naturally I kept it for that reason initially but perhaps because it is an egg cup it might have influenced my later interest. To be honest I don't go out of my way to collect egg cups but I do go to lots of car boot sales during the year and I see them on stalls, and some take my fancy and I take them home. I have no plan for a theme, which means the designs are very random. I would not be able to pick only one theme such as railways, or dogs or royalty etc. As with all my collecting, if it takes my fancy and I can afford it at the time, then it comes home with me - whatever it is. Sometimes it would be good to have a place for these things before I acquire them but what fun is there in that eh?
I've always had a sneaking admiration for those who can collect just one thing without deviating, or can buy things without getting emotionally attached to them, and sell them again with the single-minded intention of making a profit. I only buy things that I like and that means it is difficult to part with them, and profit has never been my motivation. Luckily many things I buy are at good prices so there is profit to be made, but Selling is the problem. My nature is to be eclectic and so I end up with all sorts of things, and that includes these matchboxes which I bought on a spur of the moment decision whilst buying another collection from a Gumtree seller. I'm sure that a psychologist could write a book about me and my ways, I'd certainly buy a copy to add to my collection.
I am a fan of Christmas and the traditions that go along with it. A few years ago I started to pick up books related to Christmas and its traditions, not the expensive, limited edition, leather bound, hard to find, desirable ones but the ones you can find in charity shops, car boot sales, collectors fairs, and as gifts or from shop bargain buckets, National Trust book sheds etc. These are some of my 'collection'. In 500 years time they will be on the antiques Roadshow, I'm just looking after them until then.
3970 photos in 16 sub-albums
I got my first beermats in about 1960/61, just a few to start with mainly Babycham. Cherry B and the like from the local Club where my dad was a member and where we would go at a weekend and I'd have my packet of crisps and bottle of Shipstones pop, usually Portello. I had no idea that anyone collected them I just liked the few that I had. I remember having seven mats that when stood up fitted across the top of the fireplace in our front room and made a pleasing symmetrical display. I was hooked and continued to collect through my teens by writing off to Breweries and air and shipping lines and receiving replies laden with beermats (those were the days eh?). In January 1970 I became member 2823 of The British Beermat Collectors Society and my collection started to expand rapidly with all the new contacts and possibilities that opened up for me being a member. I also purchased a few collections locally and gradually added a few prewar issues and the odd rarity. A lad I went to school with had a collection that he'd been given by his dad or grandad and I purchased a load for an old penny each (1d). I managed to scrape together £1 and purchased 240 which included Warwicks No 1 and Southams No 1 both from the 1930's. I didn't of course know that at the time I just bought mats that I liked the look of. Goodness knows what I left behind because I didn't have the money to buy them; it was about 1964 and I was about 12! I collected everything and by the mid 1980's I had too much stuff and so it all had to go but I kept my cider mats, for some reason I really like them, and still do. In about 2008 I started to get the urge to collect them again but this time I stuck rigidly to cider (only later adding Christmas to my portfolio). I now once again have many thousands of mats around, and a large collection of cider mats from around the world, and a small but growing collection of Christmas mats. I rejoined the BBCS in September 2009 and am now member 9486.
115 photos in 3 sub-albums
I had toy cars from Dinky as a youngster and I specifically remember a sky blue Chevrolet El Camino being a favourite of mine. I never collected them, just destroyed them in play. I used to like pulling the tyres off the wheels and putting them back on again. It was in the late 1980's that the thought of collecting them came to me, and specifically Police Vehicles as I was a serving Police Officer, and we had a pair of retired miners on our patch who set up with their payouts to produce 'Code 3' diecast vehicles. Basically they took existing models, stripped them and repainted them in the livery of Police Forces or specific Companies and sold them off in Limited Editions of 'No more than 1000 or 1100' models with a certificate included in the box. Once again I was hooked and started to collect them as they were produced. That company was EPM (Eastwood Promotional Marketing) and eventually I added Police Vehicles from Creaks of Camberley and Castlehouse Models of Birmingham, all in limited editions. I now have hundreds of them with many duplicates.
202 photos in 2 sub-albums
Way back in the early 90's a friend of my daughter was playing with a plastic elephant with a blue character on top that spun round when the elephant was pushed along a surface. It transpired that it was a McDonalds toy given away 'free' with a Happy Meal and came from the 'Circus' set of December 1991. I'd never been to a McDonalds so we went along and initially got the toys for my daughter. I thought they were well made and interesting but had no thoughts on collecting them. Soon after the discovery of these little treasures, and while still a serving Police Officer I had cause to attend a bomb scare after a suspicious box was left in what turned out to be a place where several gas pipelines fed into the local gasworks. There was a Mcdonalds restaurant close by and we evacuated the premises and other local places while the army bomb disposal team dismantled what turned out to be a large box of carpet squares that must have fallen off the back of a lorry. The manager of McDonalds offered all the Police Officers who attended a free meal as they had loads of cooked stuff that would all have to be thrown away, so it was sensible not to waste it completely. Some of us took up the offer and I got talking about the toys and the advertising material (as you do...) and the upshot was that he managed to get me some old mint in packet toys from head office and promised to keep back some of the advertising material at the end of promotions, that he would normally throw in the skip. I was hooked and for a few years I accumulated a lot of 'collectables' including these translites. I managed to get hold of some old stock translites from long gone promotions from several of the local McDonalds and in return I made donations to the Ronald McDonald Charities and everyone was happy. In the end I got too much stuff (the story of my life...) and had a big clear out of it to various charity shops and sold some of the rarer items on Ebay and to collectors. I'm now left with these translites and some bags of other items that remain sealed in a dark place in my attic. I try not to visit that dark place these days but I know that it is still there...and where it is!
Many years ago I bought a box of Christmas decorations on a Sunday car boot, I paid £2 if memory serves me right and I didn't check the contents first, trusting to fortune. Upon checking the box at home I found lurking at the bottom of the box a plastic toy Father Christmas with a pair of independant waggly legs and with a toy sack behind him with a single wheel underneath it. It balanced when stood on a flat surface but as soon as the surface was made into a slight incline it came to life and started to trundle in a weird but fascinating way down the incline. It did this on its own with no mechanical power source and without being held. I discovered that these toys are called Ramp Walkers or Gravity Walkers or Slope Walkers and that there are loads of them to be found. In America you can find 'Wilson Walkies' and they are made of cardboard cotton bobbins and many different characters - I've got nine of those so far, they date to the 1930's to the 1950's and were made first in America and then later in Canada. There are 1000's of different Ramp Walkers to be found and I've got around 100 of them. They don't turn up too often on car boots and when they do it is often in a box of toys under a table. I'm always on the lookout for new ones to add.
While searching for Ramp Walkers I came across another series of toys that could walk down slopes unaided, these are called Shufflies and moved using a patent design of metal balls held in slots in a metal frame fitted to the bottom of the toys. The movement of the balls in the slots causes a rocking motion in the toy and causes it to move down grooved walkways in Shufflie hospitals, Police Stations, Farms and Castles. Characters can be found that matched the buildings. I'm still looking for the Knight on his horse and I think the castle had a ghost. When they turn up on car boots they are usually in boxes of toys under the tables and so take some seeking out. The boxed sets are very hard to find, and can be expensive, I'm still looking out for my first one.