1. This looks like a ration book or an edict from the war office but it is, in fact, my junior school report from December 1971 when I was 10 years old.
Firstly, I love the oval rubber stamped school details at the top. The beautiful inky timeless handwriting of my teacher, Mr Craine, makes for interesting reading given my subsequent career. Note how he wrongly spells my name with a ‘ph’ and not a ‘v’. This happened a lot in School (and sometimes still does) and used to drive my Mother mad. Mr Craine writes:
“Stephen is a pleasant, imaginative and artistic member of the class who produces work containing many interesting and original ideas. His written composition is particularly good. Mathematics presents problems but after some thought and effort he can overcome most difficulties.”
Mr Williams, the headmaster, has added “He tends to play if not watched,” (which makes me seem likeably mischievious) and that lazy acedemic phrase “Has ability”. I’m amused by the mad way he’s handwritten his comment in red ink but has used a rubber stamp for his signature.
2. A blazer badge from the same school, Craighurst County Primary in Liverpool.
The things I love about it are it’s graphic simplicity. A clean ‘C’ for Craighurst which sets it apart from a traditional school crest, its amber and black colour palette and the fact that it is also the ‘copyright’ symbol. This makes it (still) feel incredibly and beautifully modern. Maybe even post-modern.
3. My future wifes telephone number. Written by me on this scrap of paper in 1981, folded up and kept in my wallet for many years.
4. I found a box of these old unused invitations in my Mothers house.
The 1960s design and wistful beehived teenager are charm personified. I want that table.
5. A spare voucher from my Kop season ticket for the 1989-90 season.
Voucher numbers 1-19 were for the 19 home league games. The spare ones were used for reserve games and to claim cup tickets. If your serial number came up you were allowed to purchase a cup ticket and simply presented the relevant voucher at the ticket office window and paid your money. This was time when you could still stand on the Kop before it was rebuilt as an all seater grandstand in 1994. These days my season ticket is a credit card which I just swipe at the turnstile to get into the ground.
The functional, receipt-like design of the ticket reflects the days when a football club was an actual club with strong community links and not a global brand. So much has changed since 1990.
And, of course, this was the season when Liverpool last won the league title.
6. The oldest purpose built cinema in Liverpool (and my local), is The Woolton Picture House, L25.
It still uses a mechanical device which issues this type of ticket at an actual box-office style kiosk. All cinemas should be made, by law, to use this system. It feels like a proper traditional cinematic experience every time I go there. The seats are certainly the most comfortable I’ve ever sat in to watch a film.
7. This beautiful thing is the pound note of my childhood.
It is a ‘Series C’ £1 note first introduced in March 1960 and withdrawn from circulation in May 1979 just before my 18th birthday. It was replaced by the ‘Series D’ pound note (The one with Isaac Newton on) which lasted until April 1988. The current unlovable pound coin was introduced in 1983.
Hiya mate, you always were a mental hoarder, I still have that photograph of stuff from France 81 laid out on the bed. Sad to hear that there were no cinemas in the Netherley and you had to trawl up to Mason Street to get ‘chocolate stains on your pants’. One thing I love, is banknotes. In Bonnie Jockoland we still have some one pound notes but the examples you have shown is that perfect time when the banknotes reached a size where they didn’t seem like a newspaper but hadn’t yet shrunk to the size of toytown money. The work that goes in to banknotes is unbelievable and the definition of delight still remains the finding of an old fiver in a jacket you haven’t worn for ages. Love your stuff and glad you kept it.
Childwall Valley if you don’t mind!
I have another page with a Scottish pound note on it. From when we were on honeymoon there… Bank notes are indeed beautiful.