Andy's Cider & Christmas Coasters & Collectables

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.