Saturday, 26 December 2015

KID CLASSICS - OLD BALLS, PLEASE...



Here's a strange little story for you concerning the item in the above ad.  I bought my one and only TONIBELL MINIBALL back around 1967 or '68.  (Hard to believe it was over 45 years ago.)  When I moved house in 1972, I was sure I'd brought it with me to my new home, but, mysteriously, I couldn't find it.  I'd kept it behind the water tank up in the attic, and I was sure I'd retrieved it the night before moving, but - search as I might in our new abode - it was nowhere to be found.

Over the years, I'd regularly have dreams in which I'd find myself back in my old house, searching for my trusty pal from childhood.  Anyway, to cut a long story short, 19 years later I decided to determine its fate once and for all, and managed to gain access to my old house and attic - and was overjoyed (if flabbergasted) to discover my little yellow Miniball exactly where I'd left it so many years before - completely untouched.  So, not only was I the last person to see it back in 1972, but also the first to clap eyes on it again in 1991.  Strangely, the 24 years that have elapsed since I retrieved it don't seem a fraction of the time it lay undiscovered and neglected behind the water tank.

And guess what?  I've never had those dreams again since that day I finally solved the mystery of the disappearing little yellow ball.

Photo taken on June 9th 1991, before I removed the ball from where
it had lain ever since I'd flitted from the house on June 14th 1972

15 comments:

baab said...

Brilliant.
I never had one of these.but I did see remnants of them at the side of the kerb.

Kid said...

I still can't wrap my head around the fact that I've had it back for longer than it was 'missing', Baab. Astounding.

Colin Jones said...

That's a great story but I've never heard of a Tonibell Miniball - perhaps they'd stopped selling them by 1973/74 ? Did you watch Doctor Who yesterday, Kid ? I haven't seen any of this year's episodes but it's Christmas so I decided to watch the Xmas special. I much preferred it to last year's Xmas episode mainly because this one was set completely on alien planets. But they still managed (groan) to get in the now obligatory Christmas theme even though the episode opened on an alien planet in the year 5343. By the way, at 2 pm today on Radio 4 there's a documentary about the 50th anniversary of the Magic Roundabout.

Kid said...

Don't think they survived too far into the '70s, CJ, if at all. I did watch Dr. Who, but thought it was merely okay, nothing great. Capaldi isn't the problem, it's the scripts. Heard a programme on Radio 4 a couple of weeks or so ago about the Magic Roundabout, so I wonder if it's a repeat?

Graham said...

I had the same thing happen when my family moved to a new house. I had one of those rubber Gumby figures that I forgot, but I knew exactly where I left it. Unfortunately, I never had the chance to go back and get it. Now the house we lived in is gone. For a long time, I would have dreams like you're talking about.

Kid said...

The house we moved to (the current one), we lived in for 11 years, then we moved to another house in which we lived for 4 years, then we moved back here again. It was after our return to this house that I gained access to the one we'd lived in before (the first time) and got my Miniball. (This making any sense to you?) However, I've a nagging thought that I may have left something in the loft of the house we were in for 4 years (the one in which we lived in between our 2 stays in this house) that I may have to go and reclaim (if it's there). When you've worked that out, explain it to me, willya?

Merry Christmas Graham.

Colin Jones said...

You're right, Kid - that Magic Roundabout programme was a repeat, I hadn't noticed the (R) after the listing in the Radio Times. I listened to it then fell asleep for the last ten minutes - thanks, no doubt, to the whiskey I had with my lunch. Never mind, I got all the info about the Magic Roundabout from that BBC 4 programme about the history of children's TV.

Phil said...

Anything else hiding in your attic
Mr. Bates? Is your mother home?

Kid said...

I listened to it again anyway, CJ - just to hear the theme tune.

******

She's kept in the cellar, Phil. On a rocking chair.

Graham said...

Merry Christmas, Kid. Over time, I noticed a few other things that didn't make the trip to the new house and I wondered if some of them might have been discarded by my parents during the move, thinking I'd never miss them. Apparently, it worked because some of them I didn't think about again for several months. I eventually did get a new Gumby, so that might have eased my worry a bit, too.

I still live in the town where I was raised, so several years ago, one of my daughters and I walked over to the site of my old house and looked around one day. The house has been gone for nearly 20 years, but the whole area seems much smaller now. It was huge when I was growing up.

Kid said...

Yeah, I touched on that in a post once, about how my childhood environs and neighbourhood seemed far larger than they do now. It's not just to do with us being larger, it's something to do with our imaginations and sense of wonder being smaller, hence our perceptions are affected by that. (I think.)

Paul McScotty- Muir said...

Nice story indeed Kid , I remember these very well indeed. I had an orange and green one. I think kids thought you could play with the ball (like me) after you ate the ice cream but that wasn't possible - I remember trying to head it when my pal through it at me (in my mind scoring the winning gaol for Scotland)and it nearly gave me double vision. You also couldn't really kick it as the lid kept falling off but it seemed so exotic to me at the time.

Kid said...

That was the only one I ever bought, McS - perhaps they disappeared from shops not too long after. I can't recall ever seeing anyone playing with one either, probably because, as you say, its usefulness as a ball was severely limited.

Phil said...

Holy crap. Now I remember. The ice cream! I bounced the ball on the ground the lid came off then I threw it out. What genius invented this.

Kid said...

I'm surprised, because the lid on mine is quite secure. However, it was really only fit for kids throwing it between themselves at a short distance, as it had no weight to carry it very far.

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