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Monday, 27 September 2021
FIREBALL XL5 ANNUALS COVER GALLERY (UPDATED)...
I think it's fairly safe to say I never owned a brand-new Fireball XL5 Annual when I was a kid, instead acquiring them in jumble sales up to a couple or so (or more) years after they first came out. If I recall correctly, I remember seeing the second one (1964 for '65) on the way to school one morning with my brother and some of his friends, one of them showing it to the rest of us. The two of us hadn't long moved to another domicile five minutes down the road in the same neighbourhood, but we'd ventured up to our old street so my brother could reunite with a few of his pals from the area for our trek to school.
That's why I associate one of the Annuals with a house and street we no longer lived in, though obviously you're not interested in such a triviality. I mention it, however, because it later sometimes seemed that all four Annuals must've belonged to the period I was in those two houses and attended my first primary school, though I also remember them from our third house (and my next primary) because that's when I acquired second-hand copies for myself - usually from the church across the road when it had one of their Summer or Christmas Fayres.
Looking back, I'm kind of surprised to be reminded the initial Annual went on sale in 1963 when I yet lived in our first house, the second in '64 when I was in our second home, the third in '65 just before we flitted once again - and was still selling as a new book (being for the coming year - '66) when my family was freshly ensconced in our third abode. The fourth and final Annual hit the shops after I'd been in our new home for around ten months, but due to me obtaining it second-hand a year or two after it came out, I assumed it was older than it was. (I've absolutely no memory of seeing any of them in the shops.)
I likely had all four books in that third house (though probably not at the same time), obtained 'pre-owned' (as they say these days), so I now connect them with there, but at the time, I supposed all four predated my tenure and belonged to an earlier period. (When you're between 7 and 10, a handful of years seems greater than it is.) "What's all that got to do with the price of cheese?" you may be asking; nothing really, apart from the fact the fourth book was contemporary, and properly 'belonged' to the third house, being published while we lived there, though I didn't know it at the time.
The foregoing preamble is just my usual long-winded way of saying I'm surprised by that, and it also fills a space on the blog while at the same time giving you four nice images to look at. I especially love the fourth one by Mike Noble - which is your favourite?
Incidentally, I typed all this while suffering from 'brain fog', so don't be surprised to see some revisions somewhere down the line if I can think of a clearer and more concise way to express myself.
(Update:) Incidentally, some chancer is currently asking £99 for the fourth book on ebay - even though it has nearly a third of the spine missing. I just acquired a complete second copy of the same Annual today (Saturday 2nd October) for a mere £10.99.
Posted by Kid at Monday, September 27, 2021