Friday, 27 November 2020
Like many people of my age I used to write a lot of letters.
Growing up it was the only way to communicate with anyone beyond phoning them up, which wasn't always possible was it, not like today.
My first letters I suppose were love letters written on Valentines Days in the late Sixties, scribbled notes to young belles I gave my heart to. Most of these were in Leyland where I stayed with my older Sister Barb and her hubby Terry. I still have Valentine's letters written to me from back then! I'm not sure why we just didn't send cards but we didn't!
Next, my letter writing went commercial, when I started ordering stuff by mail order. Please Sir/ Madam, can you send me Hunky Dory by David Bowie! Somewhere I have the ad I responded to in Sounds music newspaper which my older Brother Eugene bought.
Ellisdons in Liverpool was another favourite place to order stuff from. Dear Ellisdons, can you please rush me a Jivara Shrunken Head and a Restless Skeleton! Paul H. Compton got a lot of letters too when I became obsessed with King Fu and Asian fighting arts. I still have all the books I ordered in the early Seventies.
A few good models came my way as well, all ordered with a letter and a postal order. Samurai and orcs.
I remember a plastic petit typewriter I had and a proper metal one in my parent's home, which I messed around with too and typed a few missifs on, using Basildon Bond watermarked paper, which for some reason makes me think of the word vellum. My Mum and Dad had some personalised stationary too, which was all the rage back in the early Seventies.
True letter writing began when two things happened: I left my home town of Preston and I fell in love. both events occurred roughly at the same time and both required a lot of ink. Many people received letters from me during this period, friends, family members, pen pals and my girlfriend, who later became my wife! We must have written to each other every other day for a few years and being sad romantics we have each kept them all! Its a big stack I can tell you.
I also fired off a few communiques to people I admired like Al Pacino and Spike Milligan. Amazingly, I got a letter back from Spike!
From 1981 to about 1985 I also wrote to my Dad [My Mum had died in 1977]. I lived away and for some years abroad, so saw little of him during those years, just Christmas and when I visited.
We wrote to each other a lot and I can see now in my mind's eye his beautifully formed hand-writing swirling across his letters like waves. My Dad was a clever bloke. He loved reading, he loved words and knew lost arts like Shorthand, which he used to help the smooth running of his Cash 'n' Carry warehouse during the Sixties and Seventies.
Sadly the early Eighties proved to be my old Dad's final years, as he too passed away, all too young, in 1986.
After he died I found my letters too him. They were all in a bundle, neatly tied together with string inside his battered briefcase. I was very moved by this simplest of gestures and together with the letters he sent me, all saved, they formed an almost unbearably special memento between us.
Alas, I have not had the courage to read them again since back then but, one day, I promise to do it for the bond of writing we shared, our mutual passion for words and the love we had for each other expressed best in those letters.
Perhaps in six years when I'll be the same age as him when he passed away, 66.
Did you write letters readers?
I didn't do much when I was a kid. I mean I didn't do much for my Mum and Dad at home. At least I don't remember helping much. My memory is terrible but I really hope that I did a few jobs now and then. I just don't know to be honest and it's something I regret if I didn't as my parents went too soon.
I think my lack of industry at home if that was the case would have been because I had older siblings at home who did stuff. There were always at least two older sibs throughout my life at home.
I do remember my Mum asking me to scratch her back with a backscratcher, which sounds a bit weird now I've written it. She had a bamboo one and a plastic horse headed one I think!
I remember washing up too and my older brothers whipping my bare legs with tea towels. They actually chased me to the top of the road where I hid in a phone box. I actually think I phoned my Dad to come and get me!
I also regret not having a paid job of any kind until I was 17, although I did work full time from that age and apart from studying have worked ever since.
I didn't have a paper round or anything like that. I remember doing a day's sweeping and stacking at my Dad's cash and carry warehouse, for which I was paid £100 and taxed by my Dad £99. I was so chuffed with the pound I ended up with!
Did you do jobs paid or unpaid when you were a kid?
While looking for more information on Honey West I came across this - a fridge magnet, which uses the cover of the Gold Key comic from 1966.
Paul Adams from New Zealand
CHECKLISTS BY BRAND (FOR COUNTRY BY COUNTRY SEE TOP OF BLOG)
PROJECT SWORD SPACEX TIMELINE
- 1968 SPACEX LT10 CONCEPT
- 1966 SPACE GLIDER REAL THING
- 1969 LUNAR CLIMBER & MOONSHIP
- 1968 PROJECT SWORD ANNUAL
- 1968 TV21 #168 PROJECT SWORD PHASE 2
- 1968 PLEASURE CRUISER CONCEPT
- 1968 CENTURY 21 TOY MANUAL
- 1967 SCOUT 1 CONCEPT
- 1967 NUCLEAR FERRY TOY AD
- 1967 SWORD TOY AD
- 1967 SWORD TOY AD
- 1966 SPACE GLIDER CONCEPT
- 1966 HOVERTANK IN COMIC
- 1966 NUKE PULSE NEEDLEPROBE IN COMIC
- 1966 ZERO X FILM DEBUT
- 1966 MOONBUS IN COMIC
- 1966 SPACE PATROL 1
- 1966 P3 HELICOPTER IN COMIC
- 1966 SAND FLEA AND SNOW TRAIN
- 1966 MOBILE LAUNCH PAD IN COMIC
- 1965 SPACEX MOONBASE CONCEPT
- 1965 APOLLO FIRST UK TOY AD
- 1962 NOVA CONCEPT
- 1962 MOONBUS CONCEPT
- 1961 MOON PROSPECTOR CONCEPT
- 1953 MOLAB CONCEPT