Wednesday, 5 December 2007

Cardboard Dreams

A rainy morning, big water drops spattering against the window, blurring my view of sheep huddled-up under the trees. So I start rummaging about in cupboards and staring at bookshelves in the hope of finding something inspiring. Normally the spine of a book tells its message quite clearly, and one moves on. But books without a traditional spine can all too often get neglected, presenting just a few leaves of faded cardboard and the odd rusty staple to the outer world. And so it is this morning as I prise open a gap between volumes and pull out the Pop-Up Train Book. Published by Purnell circa 1950, a line of type advocates the use of a paper clip to keep the book open. I used a bulldog clip so that I could share this 3D railway station with you. Just to give you the back story, John and Mary are sitting next to their luggage by the Booking Office, on their way to visit Granny 'who lives far away in the North of England'. I particularly like the book stall, with its ranks of colourful magazine covers. When publisher Victor Gollancz launched a cheap paperback imprint in the Thirties he spent an afternoon going round all the station bookstalls in London to discover the predominant colour used in print. So was born the classic yellow Gollancz covers. Goodbye John and Mary! Have a happy holiday!

17 comments:

Toby Savage said...

Have you seen the pop up book of impotence?

Peter Ashley said...

No I haven't Toby, perhaps I'll try and sell the idea to Everyman. Don't hold out much luck, they're prevaricating at present about publishing my book on English Folly Towers which Biff has thoughtfully titled Preposterous Erections.

Toby Savage said...

Bollocks to Alton Towers is a best seller. It worked for them. Caused a titter in revues.

Diplomat said...

B to AT is a bit of tear jerker - how much more fun those early September days spent soaked in North Cornish drizzle/sea mist at Daymer (my brother-in-law met Douglas Hurd in the bogs at Daymer once) thermos of luke warm cocoa and a soggy pasti from the Swiss Bakery at Rock - often accompanied by the sound of dogs scrapping enthusiasticly to the death on the compacted sodden sand ...... all of this of course taking place before the first Range Rover, Merc or Porsch hove into view around '72.

Toby Savage said...

Yeah. We were just down the road at Boscastle. Pre M5 it took about a year to get there in Dad's Morris 1000. Always a bottle neck at Bath. One particuraly wet day we went to see The Lost World at Bude Cinema. I was so terrified I ran out screaming. I've never been the same since.

Philip Wilkinson said...

Even coming from North Gloucestershire, which is virtually in the West Country, it took an age to get to Cornwall in those days, it being a toss-up between a snarl-up in Bath and a balls-up in Bristol, followed by the traditional jam (without the cream tea) in Okehampton. And all in the cause of pasties, piskies, and precipitation in Polperro. (And NO Joan the Wad. Not on any account. An abomination, her.)

Diplomat said...

We did indeed travel pre M5, but via the 43,34,303and 30 mostly. Memorable nasty incident with the DS Safari (TBD 100G)c/w trailer (i will find a picture) - roadside brew-up near Oakhampton, pulled away in a must-press-on fashion, running over the Pascals marshmallow tin (lovely pink and white stripes)containing a very sturdy fruit cake and less sturdy Minton (Haddon Hall pattern) plate.

Ron Combo said...

Of course, being a Devonshire boy and living reasonably close to the pre-M5 A38, we used to dread the Summer and the arrival of you ghastly, foul-mouthed Grockles in your Ford Zephyrs and Hillman Minxes. The local tourist board used to pay us £15 a day to stand by the side of said main road wearing a dirty smock and with bits off straw in our hair and gaze longingly with our crossed eyes at a sheep tied to a lamp post (known locally as a Leisure Centre). How you laughed at our simple country ways.
Nice post Shag, by the way.

Peter Ashley said...

I keep looking at Philip's comment and wondering who Joan the Wad is. Is there a vital part of my education missing? I think I should be told.

Diplomat said...

Ron - the A38 is of course a top road. Good selection of pubs and, even more important, transport cafe type eateries. I often drift off the M'way and run the parallel course for a break from the monotony - I can report that the traditional roadside village idiot still exists, I ran one over in Cullompton November '91, I was of course able to convince him it was all his fault, but it was deamed polite to exchange personal details incase of further action. I was very pleased to find, on getting home, that I had a piece of paper in my pocket with my own name and address on it, poor chap's been taking himself to court ever since.

Philip Wilkinson said...

Not heard of Joan the Wad, eh? A lucky pisky-type charm you could send away for (c/o Joan's Cottage, Lanivet, Bodmin). Guides to Cornwall (not your Shell Guides, newsprinty downmarket things) had an ad on the back with testimonials from alleged satisfied customers saying things like, "I bought Joan six weeks ago and have won the football pools, fallen in love, and attained nirvana. Please send three more."

Ron Combo said...

Well done Mr Wilkinson; now I remember Joan the Wad. Great scam run by some Cornish pikey (aren't they all?). I remember buying one once and when I didn't win Spot-the-Ball, I wanted to shoot my Wad. Oh dear, I've done it again.

Justin Savage said...

Please, please, please; behave. If, like me, you live in the capital where the beer is £58.00 a pint and you've been in the attractively care-worn wine bar downstairs all night and you come back upstairs to warm some gruel (with added peas) the last thing you want to read about is Ron Combo being disgusting with a pixie. I get all that at home.

harold of cardboard said...

hello

seems we are sort of related!!!!

harold of cardboard


http://cardboard-dreams.blogspot.com

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