Tuesday, 10 January 2017


My original Microtee T-square bought in 1985

You've no doubt read me wittering on before about
the passage of time and how the quickness of it surprises
me.  32 years ago, I sat in a Portsmouth cafe with one of my
pals, Dougie, and examined a Microtee non-drawing board
T-square I'd newly bought from a bookshop and stationers just
around the corner.  I was at the start of my freelance career and
staying in Southsea, and Dougie had accompanied me for the
first week of my few months' stay to try and take his mind
off the then-recent break up of his first marriage.

My 'new' Microtee T-square bought in 2017

The Microtee slid down the side of a sheet of paper,
helping the user draw parallel guidelines without the need
for a drawing board and T-square, and was quite a neat idea,
although I never fully exploited its potential and merely used it
as a standard ruler.  I suppose I was more interested in the nov-
elty of the design than its actual usefulness.  I still have it to this
day, although it's showing its age after 32 years.  One look at it
and I'm back in that Portsmouth cafe in 1985.  (I recently ac-
quired a slightly 'fresher' one from eBay, as my original
one has a couple of hairline cracks that could curtail
its lifespan if I'm not moderately careful with it.)

Anyway, seeing as how I'm thinking about Southsea
and Portsmouth, I decided to show some photos of myself
and Dougie from our time in Pompey.  And no need to worry
about the bold Dougie - he 'copped off' with a gal he met while
I was seeing him off at Victoria Coach Station, thereby restoring
his waning confidence in his ability to pull the 'burds'.  He's now
been happily married (to a different lady) for the last 27 or so
years, and, whenever we happen to meet up (as we did just
last month), we enjoy reminiscing about our time in the
home of HMS VICTORY back in the mid-'80s.

Now, if you're like me and enjoy poking about in
other people's photo albums, then you might find this post
interesting.  If not, there must be some wet paint somewhere
that you can watch dry and thereby pass a bit of time.  (Hey,
where'd everybody go?  Fair weather friends indeed!)  But I
digress.  Did anyone else ever have a Microtee T-square
and do you know if they're still made today?

And, in case you were wondering, this is how
 Dougie and myself looked about a month ago.


Colin Jones said...

Ah, yes...your "Alan Moore tribute" period. And I've never heard of a Microtee T-Square.

Kid said...

Hey, he was copying me, CJ, 'cos I'd had my beard for longer.

Phil S said...

Alas no. On the other hand I was mortified to find out zipatone is out of production.

Kid said...

I hear the British version, Letratone (and Letraset) are also no longer around. I've yet to confirm it 'though.

Paul McScotty Muir said...

I have so many memories of Letraset when I was putting together my short lived fanzine back in 1975 (2 issues) very rare as it was barely distributed (I sent it out to 11 people whose names I got off the pages of UK Marvel letter pages lol) I have seen Letraset sheets in the art shops in Glasgow so maybe it's still being produced (although it could of course just be old stock,if so expect it in "Poundland" soon)

Kid said...

I asked if they had any Letraset in Millers (no apostrophe apparently) a few months back, PM, and seem to remember that I was told it wasn't made any more, but it could be I'm mixing that up with what someone else told me. Anyway, whatever the reason, they didn't have any. I'd imagine that some shops still have old stock 'though.

Brian J F Poole said...

Re the Microtee: yes I still have one, complete with its "click-in case! This one was originally given out as a marketing gift by Sauer Sundstrand. I was trying to find more info about it when I discovered your blog. The exhortation, "Keep buttons pressed while sliding T-square." made me wonder if there was a piece missing.


Brian Poole


Kid said...

As I'm sure you know by now, BP, there isn't a piece missing - the 'buttons' are the indentations on the bit that slides down the side of the paper. If pressure wasn't maintained, the Microtee would slide over the paper's edge. The one I got off eBay has its click-in case, but the one I bought in Portsmouth wasn't sold with one - it just came on a card backing with clear cellophane wrapper.

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