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. WP_20150314_008. 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. WP_20150314_006Boys’ 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.


WP_20150314_014The 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.WP_20150314_015


You will notice how prominent the free gift was in the advert compared to the actual cereal packet.WP_20150314_001




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