Wednesday, 30 November 2016


Tomorrow's the first day of December and the
CHRISTMAS Season really begins in earnest.  So,
as you'll all no doubt be counting down the minutes
'til SANTA's arrival, here's a cracking little JIM
REEVES Yuletide number to set the mood.

Tuesday, 29 November 2016


Tell you what - TIA CARRERE may be
a 'looker', but she's not much of a dancer,
is she?  My parrot can dance better than
that - and I don't have a parrot!



Image copyright DC COMICS

Above is the cover to a comic which reminds me of three
other comics at the same time.  "How is such a feat of mighty
memory-mastery possible?" you may be asking.  So, let us now,
by the power of our imaginations, return to October 7th, 1972, and
the Old Village quarter of my home town, where I, resplendent in
my brother's cast-off cord jacket - slightly too big for me and worn
for the first time that Saturday morning - was attending a jumble
sale held in aid of the 8th Scout Troop in the 'old hall' in the
grounds of the Old Parish Church.

This and subsequent images copyright MARVEL COMICS

I'd previously purchased The MIGHTY WORLD Of
MARVEL #2 earlier that morning, and, later, SUPERMAN
#251 en route to the village.  Now, in the kind of hall that spoke
of a long-vanished age - anything from the '20s to the '50s - I was
to add MARVEL SUPER-HEROES #1 and TERRIFIC #1 to my
awesome acquisitions.  The previous owner seemed to have used the
issue of MSH as a dartboard at some point, but it was still readable,
and I think it was the first time I'd owned a complete copy of that
particular Terrific, a U.K. weekly launched five years earlier
which had graced the shelves for a mere 43 issues.

Looking for a place to pore over my comics as I left
the jumble sale, I wandered around to the back of an adjacent,
nigh-derelict building which adjoined the local, centuries old public
house next to the church (and overlooked the graveyard).  It was an
inquisitive boy's delight, and a week or so later, under the dark velvet
canvas of the star-kissed heavens, myself and a friend were crawling
across the roof of the pub, and even using the exterior, cast-iron fire-
escape staircase to gain access to the back 'courtyard' below.  This
location became the source of surreptitious exploration every so
often over a period of two or three years and holds many
happy memories for me.

So, I can't look at any one cover without also thinking
of the other three - or of that jumble sale, my cord jacket, and an
old pub next to the final resting place of long-gone local 'worthies',
who had doubtless quaffed many a flagon of ale centuries before in
the very building over whose slates two teenage boys daringly
    defied death in the airy Autumn moonlight.


Interestingly, I occasionally visit the upstairs lounge bar for a
soft drink and a bag of crisps, and have done for many a year now.
It's an odd sensation to think, while sitting there, that I'm under the
very roof I once crawled over as a 14 year old lad so very long ago.
I sometimes wonder if any modern-day counterparts of me and my
pals have ever retraced our footsteps (and handprints) in the years
since we first braved the slates, but it's unlikely.  The building at
the back of the pub is now residential and access to the roof
   can no longer be obtained through its grounds.


 For an earlier mention of my rooftop adventures, click here.

Monday, 28 November 2016


Continuing the theme of the previous two posts, here's
another earlier one which might add some clarity to the
topic.  (Then again, it might not - so no promises.)


Returning to an oft-repeated theme on this blog which I've
probably battered to death - that of memories and associations.
Take the above EP record as an example.  ("Don't want it!" you
contemptuously reply.)  I got it at an Autumn or Christmas Fayre in
1981/'82, held by the church at the top of the street and across the
road from the house I'd lived in from 1965-'72.  Note I said by and
not in.  That's because the fayre (let's call a spade a spade - jumble
sale) was held in my old primary school at the foot of the street,
primarily (no pun intended) because it had more space to ac-
commodate the aspirations of the event's organisers.

So, to hopefully helpfully reiterate:  I obtained the record
while living in my current home, from my old primary school
in the same street as my former house.  That would explain why,
whenever I look at it, I associate it with the area where I acquired
it, but - so strong is the link, that I also associate it with my old
room and can actually 'see' it there in my mind's eye as plain
as day, in some kind of 'false memory'.  Weird, eh?

"Ah, that's easy to explain!" you proclaim.  "You associate
the record with your old school and you associate your old
school with your old house, so it's only natural that you'd con-
nect the record to the house, too!"  And doubtless you're right.
However, it's still an odd feeling to have what appears to be a
memory of something that was never actually so.  Anyone
have any similar instances they'd care to share?

Go on - we won't laugh.  Promise.


On the same theme as the previous post, here's an earlier
one which perhaps better conveys what I was trying to say.
As always, comments welcome.


One tends to think of memory's magical kingdom as having
fixed boundaries.  Only shadows of the past are allowed residence and
interlopers are strictly forbidden.  However, the sentries can be fooled
and intruders may sneak in under the cloak of familiarity if they bear a
close enough resemblance to a recognised inhabitant.

"Okay, Gordie, you've
lost the plot.  What are
you blathering on about
now?" you may well be
thinking.  Simply this.  If
you're around the same
age as me, you may well
remember the CAPTAIN
SCARLET merchandise
that was available back in
the '60s, particularly the
DINKY diecast vehicles
like the SPVMSV, and
SPC.  (Although, now-
adays, it's usually re-
ferred to as the SSC.)

I had all of them - and still retain the set I acquired many years ago
as replacements for my originals.  I've had them for far longer than I ever
owned their predecessors, although it doesn't actually feel like it.  It's almost
as if there's never been a period in my life when I was without them, and that
the ones I have today are the very ones I had as a kid;  hidden in a cupboard
somewhere for all those years 'til I rediscovered them after a long period
of neglect.  That's not the case of course, it just seems that way.

However, there are other ways to fool the mind, and here's what I
hope is an interesting example of such an instance.  Back in the early
'90s, THUNDERBIRDS enjoyed a huge resurgence in popularity when
the BBC broadcast all 32 episodes on network TV for the very first time.
Previously, back in the '60s (and with most subsequent repeats), they were
shown in various TV regions on different days and times.  Amazingly, the
'90s screenings were a huge success, spawning a level of merchandise
to rival that which was available during the show's heyday.

The BBC tried again with STINGRAY and CAPTAIN SCARLET, but
met with a more muted response from viewers.  However, having anticipated
the same kind of enthusiastic reaction that INTERNATIONAL RESCUE
had enjoyed, toy manufacturers launched all sorts of items to tie-in with
the expected demand for all things GERRY ANDERSON.

Such an item was the SPV 'play
pictured in this post.  Now, here's
the thing:  I obviously bought this
as a collector's piece, not to play
with - and I purchased it while
living in my present abode, with
where one would naturally assume
I would associate it.  But no, when-
ever I cast eyes on it, I seem to see
myself, as a kid, sitting on the
doorstep in the back garden of my
old house, playing with this exact
same vehicle - even though this
specific toy didn't exist at the time
and wasn't made until around a
 quarter of a century later.

So vivid is the image that it does indeed seem like an actual memory -
as opposed to what is obviously merely my imagination, facilitated by
the fact that I associate the familiar design of the vehicle with a particular
period from my past.  In short, it's a perfect fit - and seems more at home
in my memories of 1968 than of when I actually obtained it.

Funny how the mind can play such tricks, isn't it?  I believe it's called
'false memory syndrome', which is perhaps where 'deja vu'-type
feelings spring from.  Anyone got any similar experiences they'd care to
share?  Feel free to let loose in the comments section.


As someone who's all too aware of the seeming immutability of memory and association, I'm often surprised when I experience instances that fly in the face of the principle.  What do I mean?  Well, if I got an item in, say, the '60s, I'm usually always reminded of the period and place in which I lived when I purchased it whenever I look at the thing, be it comic or toy.

But, sometimes, there are exceptions.  A case in point is this set of WADE porcelain figures, which I've shown on the blog before.  The YOGI BEAR figure was bought in 1970 or '71 and, naturally enough, I associate it in memory with where I was then living, which was the previous house to the one I now reside in.

Around 40 years passed before I decided to track down and acquire the remaining two HANNA-BARBERA figures in the set, HUCKLEBERRY HOUND and Mr. JINKS.  Having bought them only in relatively recent years, you'd think I'd associate them with now, rather than the '70s, but surprisingly, such is not the case.

When I look at Huck and Jinks, I can't help but 'see' them in my old room of my former house, sitting alongside Yogi as if I owned all three pieces back then.  They fit so well into that period that it's hard to separate them from it, and link them to the contemporary times in which they were purchased.

Another of life's little mysteries which I thought I'd share with you all here.  After all, why should I be the only person who has to ponder such perplexities?  Now you can all wrestle with it - and if you feel like commenting on the matter, be my guest. 

Sunday, 27 November 2016


The DALEKS copyright BBC TV & The Estate of TERRY NATION

Most people who bought TV CENTURY 21 in 1965 will recall the back
page DALEKS strip and, in particular, the golden Emperor and the hover-
bouts.  However, that's not where they first appeared!  The Emperor and the
Daleks' mode of sky transportation made their debut in the 1964 DALEK
BOOK, today a rare collectors' item.  So, for all you panting Criv-ites, I
now present the first-ever comic strip to feature the metal-clad scions
of SKARO, as illustrated by RICHARD JENNINGS.  Enjoy!

Saturday, 26 November 2016


The sultry DANA GILLESPIE has long legs,
sure enough.  However, her right leg looks almost
like a left leg to me.  Which probably means that
she can't dance 'cos she has two left feet.

Friday, 25 November 2016


Look at the LONE STAR (I think) MAN From
U.N.C.L.E. attache case I had as a kid, given to me by a
paternal aunt and uncle for Christmas in the late '60s.  There
were at least a couple of versions, of which this one was the
cheapest as the case was only cardboard.  Not that I cared
one whit about that, 'cos, to me, it was brilliant.
The case and contents eventually faded into the limbo
that claims most childhood toys, but I still possess one of
the bullets from the gun.  At least, it's a bullet I associate with
the gun, which, in my memory, didn't fire caps as one would
expect, but actual plastic bullets.  Perhaps my recollection is
confused, not that it matters much, as whenever I look at
that bullet, the above case is what comes to mind.

Ah, happy days.  What fun it was to be an agent of
U.N.C.L.E. back in the '60s.  Do kids today have any-
thing similar to such a great toy, or is it all computer
games, mobiles, and iPads they go for now?

Their loss.


Images copyright DC COMICS
Let's travel back in
time and space to a dark
winter's eve in Glasgow in
1967 or '68.  The precise
location is under a bridge
(now gone) in Stockwell
Street, where I'm gazing
through a shop window at
the cover of a BATMAN
colouring book which was
simply crying out to me.
The shop was shut, so my
mother promised to buy
the book at a later date for
my fast-approaching birth-
day.  And she did, though
I've no idea whether she
obtained it from another
source or had to return
to that particular shop
to obtain it.

I recall once taking it
to school and colouring
various bits in during the
break, and letting ROSS
CAMPBELL colour-in
one of the pages in return
for allowing me to do the
same in his different Bat-
man colouring book.  His
book may well have been
the other one featured here
- but then again, may well
not have been - so don't
go betting your house on
it.  You wouldn't want to
have to live in a cave,
would you?  (Unless it
was the BATCAVE
of course.)

 Ah, many happy hours of innocent fun, to be had from the mere
application of some coloured pencils or wax crayons - why aren't
kids today so easily pleased?

Wednesday, 23 November 2016


Okay, JANE... I can take a hint.  I'll give
you some money for new clothes.  After all, we
can't have you going about in your underwear.
(Though, now that I think about it...)

Tuesday, 22 November 2016



While my computer's in for repair (I'm using a pal's
spare one at the moment) I'm rather limited in my choice
of images for use on the blog, but I figure you can stand a little
repetition for a couple or so days 'til things are back to normal.
So until then, here are the front and back covers of the first
two BATMAN! World Adventure Libraries from the
swinging '60s.  Bring back any memories at all?


As it's getting near to Christmas, here's
a relaxing Yuletide-themed song to start the
ball rolling.  This'll take you back to your old
school hall when you and your classmates
sang such hymns at Christmas.

Monday, 21 November 2016


Brrrrr!  It's freezing today, so here's a
pic of the ravishing RAQUEL WELCH
to warm the cockles of your heart.  Any
other parts affected are a bonus.

Saturday, 19 November 2016


Images copyright MARVEL COMICS

Not long now 'til Christmas, so if you're looking for an idea
for a prezzie for a loved one (in my case that's me), you could
always buy this zing-zang-zowie AVENGERS EPIC COLLEC-
TION Volume Two.  Who cares if your girlfriend or wife doesn't
read comics - it kills two birds with the one stone by fulfilling your
spousal duty to give a gift, while at the same time providing you
with something to read.  Result!  So rush around to your local
comicbook store and buy your very own copy today.  (No
reading it 'til Christmas Day mind - when she flings it
back at you 'cos it isn't chocolates or jewellery.)

Friday, 18 November 2016


Images copyright D.C. THOMSON & Co., Ltd

By all rights I shouldn't have bought WARLORD.  I wasn't
into war stories, and it must purely have been the fact that it was a
new comic I could collect from number one which appealed to me,
rather than the theme of the comic itself.  (It was the same with foot-
ball;  I was never into it, yet I bought SHOOT, SCORCHER, and
SCORE when they first came out as well.)  Launched in 1974, it 
survived until 1986, and inspired IPC to publish their own
version, called BATTLE PICTURE WEEKLY.

Warlord was first though, so for all of you who bought it
at the time, here's a little pictorial reminder of the debut ish to
whisk you back to the days of your childhood faster than you
can say "Hey, where did my life go?"  Feel free to share any
reminiscences in our ever-lovin' comments section.

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