A couple of years ago ,I was on a roll. I had lots of old comics in boxes and I was using them to teach myself bookbinding techniques. I have already sketched out the actual process I used in an earlier page. . The idea of compiling some of these old comics into a hardback format took hold and I spent some of that Winter’s months turning them into large books. I made about twenty of these books before the creative enthusiasm faded . These are some of the results of that particular project before my spare time was consumed with something else. Boys’ World was a quality weekly comic published in the early 1960’s that was much the same size as the famous original 1950’s Eagle comic of Dan Dare fame.It featured some stunning artwork.There were several strips painted in full colour and much use was made of line- and- wash artwork.
You can see in the bottom corner an advertisement for an issue of the the early “WHAM” comic that would eventually usher in the Power Comics line and introduce Britain and Ireland to the, then, almost underground world of Marvel Comics via its reprints .There were a few of us who had discovered Marvel Comics already , but they were very rare.
The above Express Weekly was yet another quality comic in much the same style , again with lots of beautifully rendered artwork.Seeing this again , I was drawn to the advert for Shreddies breakfast cereal on a back page and remembered the all- but -forgotten free gift that was then current with this ,then relatively new, breakfast feast.This cereal was on sale in April 1960 when I would have been almost eight years of age. All you needed for hours of fun was one of the ubiquitous glass bottles that lemonade was sold in in those far-off days . As boys,until we were teenagers, we scoured old dumping sites for these, because shopkeepers gave three old pence for each one’s return. There were few Health and Safety issues then ,for boys to worry about . Long before talk of re-cycling waste , we were schoolboy eco-warriors. Three old pence was a small fortune in pocket-money terms back then,and a hoard of these old bottles were regarded as treasure trove, as were old brown “Domestos” bleach bottles which were also highly sought-after. I think the brown bottles had a two-pence return fee.Returning these would guarantee extra supplies of crisps, ice-cream , penny chews and more comics.
The lemonade or “pop” bottles, as my English cousins would have it, were stoppered with a hard rubber -sealed bung which was screwed tight .Our local bottler was a firm called Kirkers but there were many independent suppliers. .
The bottle had to be filled with water and the little frogman diver or submarine that came free in the cereal boxes , was made ascend or descend by twisting the bung. I think a small application of bicarbonate of soda may have been involved too in some cases. I think the submarines ascended as the soda dissolved… but maybe someone has that same memory and can clarify this.A toy like that would no longer work since that type of bottle is some fifty years in the past and no longer exists except as a vintage collectible.