The other day, I saw a tray that we had in the seventies, but then I remembered that there were matching coasters too. The coasters were taped to the top of a jar of something or other as a free gift, and the tray was probably an offer, that you saved coupons for and sent away. I remember persuading my Mam to buy a jar of Sun Pat peanut butter, and as we'd never had it before she was a bit dubious, but big, round pop star badges were stuck to the lid ... there were 3 David Cassidy ones, and I got them all! Peanut butter lost it's exotic allure for a while though, as I had to eat it until it was gone ...
|Thank you, Google!|
My Mam was the Queen of Special Offers ... avidly collecting coupons from magazines and newspapers, saving wrappers, cutting out tokens, you name it, my Mam did it to get a free gift! Every time we walked into town, we would be urged in a hissed whisper "quick, there's a Twix wrapper, I only need one, then we'll get a Twix-a-skip". The wrapper would be dusted off, then put under the pillow of my baby brother's pram along with the multitude of various other wrappings from the Great British confectionery cupboard.
|Similar to a Twix-a-Skip - Google|
The postman would arrive most days with exciting parcels ... Toys, games, drinking glasses, mugs, bowls ... trial offers of food, washing powder and soap. Every now and then we'd have a Green Shield stamp evening ... Sitting round the kitchen table, licking sheets of stamps collected from Tesco ... because every little helps! The catalogue would be perused, and the order sent off. In those days you allowed 28 days for delivery, so we'd probably forgotten what we sent for, and had a nice surprise when it eventually arrived.
|From Google - many thanks!|
When I went to my Nana's, I would help her count her cigarette coupons, and we'd look through the Embassy catalogue together. Very un-PC, being rewarded for smoking yourself to death! The amount of money my lovely Nana would have saved if she had stopped smoking, she would probably have been able to buy everything in the book ...
|Google with thanks!|
Perhaps I get my thriftiness from my Mam ... she was a great recycler, and armed with her Singer, would turn old towels into bath mats, and on one memorable occasion, night time nappies for my brother, with press stud fastenings ... she was ahead of her time on that one! Old jumpers and woollens would be unpicked and unravelled, the wool soaked and rolled into new balls. Socks, past their best, would be cut up and fashioned into dresses for my Sindy doll, or made into sock puppets.
I broke off from writing this post to go to the Sunday car boot sale at the Cattle Auction Mart, and something very strange happened ... this week I was collecting my sister, who has never been before but is on the hunt for vintage loveliness for her daughter Rosie's wedding (there'll be handbags at dawn, we'll be scrapping in the cattle stalls!).
On the way in the car, I was telling her that I was writing a nostalgic post about our Mam, and told her that the one thing I really wanted to find was a little white pyrex bowl with roses on ... it was another of Mam's free gifts, and I had my cereal in it every morning when I was a child, that was my Holy Grail ... I had been scanning the shelves fruitlessly for ages ... I described it to her, but she couldn't really remember ...
These are the treasures I unearthed, and can you see what Helen found for me at the bottom right? Would I have found it myself and if I hadn't mentioned it to Helen she would definitely not have noticed it ... these are the things we will never know ... thank you, Helen!
Have a lovely Sunday, and hope you have fun treasure hunting too!
PS : Sorry about the font, I don't know what's happened, but I'm always a bit scared in case I delete everything by messing about! I'll just leave it like this for now ...