Many hobbies have come and gone down the years. Writing is obviously my number one pastime at the moment, cricket has been a massive part of my life, but I’ve also been a bit of a collector too: various things ranging from PG Tips cards (The Race into Space 1971... Prehistoric Animals in 1972 etc), via York City football programmes, through to Jean Harlow cigarette cards.
Luckily, Mrs Whiting from the local store saved the tea cards and gave them to my Mum, rather than her and Dad having to drink twenty cups a day in the vain hope of finding that missing dinosaur. She also gave me some plastic figures that fitted on top of each other to make a totem pole... I think they were from boxes of Sugar Smacks. We used to get those little selection boxes where you got a choice of eight different cereals - the Ricicles always got left until last...
During my teenage years, I accumulated a large collection of vinyl 45s from the punk/ new wave era. All were in picture sleeves, quite a few were coloured vinyl and they would probably be worth a fair bit right now, but unfortunately they were traded in many years ago to temporarily delay yet another financial crisis. My ex-sister-in-law Emma still has some of the records. She claims they were a gift, but that’s not how I define the word
The York City programmes are from the 1983/84 campaign when the side won the old 4th Division, becoming the first British club to reach 100 points in a season in the process. I went to virtually all the home games, but the only away trip I made was to Feethams, then home of Darlington, for a 0-0 draw that I don’t remember at all. At the last count, I’m missing five away programmes and with a bit of luck, eBay will come to the rescue at some point.
But now, I spend my pocket money on cigarette (and confectionary) cards from the 1920s and 1930s featuring Jean Harlow and Marie Prevost, two of the Hollywood actresses about whom I’ve written. The cards can cost anything from 99p upwards. The most I’ve ever paid for a single card is £6.99 (or £2.99 if Elaine’s reading this) and I have something like eighty cards now, which are all displayed in a nice little folder.
The thing about hobbies is that whilst some people might find your particular pastime or collection interesting, others just don’t get why anyone would possibly want to just sit and look at... let’s say a cigarette card in an album. That said, I am currently setting up a small web site where you can view the cards for yourself.
The address is www.harlowcard.weebly.com – feel free to have a look and if it’s not completely updated, it’s just because I’m trawling eBay for that elusive Mansfield
All my own work... almost.