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When I was a kid I collected cards.  They weren’t cigarette cards by then, with artists impressions of clean-living, square-jawed footballers, all looking like Roy-of-the Rovers. 

No, by my childhood you found them mainly in packet tea.  I collected full sets of British Wildlife, Birds of the World and Freshwater Fishes.

Most memorable for me though, were Flags of the World which you got with bubblegum.  There’d be 80 or 90 in the set.  On the back would be six or eight snippets of information about the country – its capital, currency, population, area etc.

My dad encouraged me to memorise all the capitals, which I did.  (I probably remember most of them now – give or take emergent nations).  He’d test me on them and I’d be near perfect but would always fall down on Honduras.

My granddad, who died when I was seven, used to take me down the Constitutional Club on a Sunday dinner-time and part-way though a conversation with his mates would bark at me, “What’s the capital of such-and-such?”.  I’d tell him.  I don’t recollect it now but I expect that he’d beam at his mates with a pride known only to grandads.

It’s still handy.  It’s not often a quiz question on capitals catches me out – except, of course, Honduras.

◄ Penis Penis

Old Ladies ►


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Yvonne Brunton

Sun 20th Jan 2013 12:40

OMG Brooke Bond collectables!!!Talk about Memory Lane!!!

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Graham Sherwood

Sat 19th Jan 2013 17:29

Anyone remember Horniman's tea?

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Julian (Admin)

Sat 19th Jan 2013 12:39

I do remember Flags of the World bubble gum as well as the Brooke Bond cards. I even had cigarette cards of the pre-Munich United team, though the only one I can still picture is Duncan Edwards.
So, which city is the UK football capital? Unless one of them starts flagging.

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John Coopey

Sat 19th Jan 2013 00:15

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Yvonne Brunton

Fri 18th Jan 2013 23:21

hey not so sexist JC I collected all the Brooke Bond sets of card and like MCN pored over them like treasure. Yes I too wonder what became of them. I guess mum discarded them along with my 6th form tricorne hat (black trimmed with emerald green) when I deserted Manchester for Doncaster - serves me right!!! I so mourn the loss of my tricorne!.

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John Coopey

Fri 18th Jan 2013 15:24

From the comments, collecting these cards was obviously not a girlie thing to do. Brooke bond, greg? You may well be right.

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M.C. Newberry

Fri 18th Jan 2013 14:37

I remember those packet tea cards...your post takes me way back! Then came the "Observer" series of books. I still have two of them in front of me as I tap this out. One is "British Steam Locomotives" - and the other is "Freshwater Fishes"...with its inscription from my brother for "Christmas 1957". Instant memories!!! Coincidentally, I've just signed an online petition from Avaaz about the genetically modified salmon the USA seeks to introduce and which could pose a threat to the present wild salmon stocks. Avaaz refer to it as "Frankenfish"!! The dark side of progress perhaps?

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Greg Freeman

Fri 18th Jan 2013 14:33

Ah, freshwater fish! Tench, char, dace, and all the others. Funny I never became a fisherman. Brooke Bond tea, wasn't it?

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Dave Bradley

Fri 18th Jan 2013 00:23

British Wildlife, Birds of the World and Freshwater Fishes! The years roll back. I had the albums and used to pore over them. Haven't thought about them for ages. Whatever happened to those albums.....

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