Yus! I still have my 1970s vintage Sweep hand-puppet! and it still squeeks!

My brother had a silent Sooty hand puppet and I had the squeaking Sweep. Some alliteration there, kids. anyway, I think our Sooty & Sweep would pretty much just hand wrestle each other. This might be my imagination, but I think Sooty would gang up with my bother's Emu doll and attack Sweep! Nah, probably not.

Midlands Bank Griffin Savers Account Bag

 In the 1980s banks and building societies (but mainly banks) were desperate for the business of youngsters. We just wanted the free stuff. 

Sadly, I never got the Nat West pigs, but I did get a sports bag and other paraphernalia (including folders, & a pencil case) from Midland Bank when I opened up a Griffins Savers Account.  And I still have the bag! I might even have the other stuff somewhere. Am I still with the Midlands/HSBC? Nah, that account got closed years ago. I've had other accounts with them since, but not right now.

Okay, this isn't a great picture of it, it just happens to be one I already had on my phone. I'll dig out the bag sometime and take a better picture. 

Bandai Porsche 928S instructions

To be honest with you, I'd rather have kepy the transforming Prosche than the instructions for it, but like a of my toys from the 1980s they were sold at car boots. Yep, Star Wars and Action Man got sold to buy transforming toys, and the transforming toys were so sold to buy, erm, I dunno. Records probably.

This particular one was pretty cool, though I was hoping for the Autobot Jazz. I'd probably dropped hints about wanting a transforming Porsche and a well-meaning relative picked this bad boy up instead. It wasn't Jazz but I liked it nonetheless.

Bobby Charlton Sports School - TSB Sports Holidays 1988

I find some unusual things amongst my boxed-up childhood. Some things I think, yeah I remember that, other things not so. This comes in to the latter category.

The leaflet refers to the a Sports School and a Soccer (football) School, so I guess Bobby was offering to teach more than just football. Now, for the record, I'm pretty sure I never attended the Bobby Charlton Soccer School, or indeed any other sport on offer. A certain Mr Beckham had done so a couple year earlier - of course with hindsight I would've nagged my parents to let me jump on the bus (probably would've had to get one in Stoke) to live the dream but, hey, hindsight is a wonderfully cruel thing isn't it?

I recall my brother and I going to a Bryan Robson footy school a few years earlier, but I have no proof of this (at least I've not found it yet) so that could just be fantasy.

Getting back to the leaflet/pamphlet/booklet/whatever, I guess it must've been sent out to all kids with a TSB Bank account. I think I had an account with pretty much every UK bank in the 1980s because of all the free stuff they gave on joining! Of course it's possible we got handed them at school. Not sure. It's even possible my Dad picked it up whilst working in the area and thought it would be something we fancied doing. I have no clue, and I guess ultimately it's not important. The important thing is my hoarding turned up something interesting. ๐Ÿ˜⚽

So, here's a couple more photos of the leaflet. As you can see, I kept it in pretty good condition. ๐Ÿ˜Š

 The photo of the booking form below is a bit blurry.

Did you attend a Bobby Charlton Soccer Camp, or perhaps a camp hosted by another footy legend?

As a footnote to this article,  this month it's 40 years since England's finest ever players died tragically in a car accident in Madrid, aged just 33.. Laurie Cunningham was fantastic and of course a pioneer too. Seriously, go on on Youtube and watch. Remember this was back in the 70s/80s when England wasn't exactly known for producing skilful footballers. Different Class.

Football 78 Sticker Album

Not much to say about this really other than it's a complete football sticker album that's over 40 years old. It's the only complete football sticker album I own. 

Wrist Racer Stunt Cars

Spoiler Alert. I don't actually have the stunt car. At least, I haven't found it amongst my boxes of old toys yet. But I do still have the Wrist Racer wrist strap, so here's a couple of pictures for you.

These toys were made by a defunct American company called Knickerbocker Toys.

I found this advert on Youtube.

I totally forgot the ramp comes out. When I get a moment I'll take a picture with the ramp out.๐Ÿ˜Š

Norwich Union's Mirov 2 (II) - The Revolutionary Sports Car from the Soviet Union

Way back in the days before the Spanish-sounding Aviva (formerly CGNU) removed reference to 3 of the UK's largest insurance companies (not to mention subsidiaries like Scottish Insurance and London & Edinburgh), and even before Norwich Union floated on the stock exchange, the insurer Norwich Union came up with a marketing campaign to highlight the companies' strength in investment performance.

The Mirov 2 (II) was born - the centre of a £5 million national advertising campaign that got everyone talking. Indeed, at the time many wondered when the car would be available to buy (or was that just me?)

With the exception of the newspaper cutting, the images below are all of promotional material sent to clients to outline the aims of the marketing campaign. 

Below, a page from the Press Release for the Mirov II commercial.

During my time working at Norwich Union in the early 1990s I had the opportunity to occasionally see the Mirov II, which was stored in a workshop next to a staff car park off All Saints Green. If I recall correctly, part of the car park was once part of Norwich Co-op and was used for stabling and deliveries. The car park was quite rubbly, and some cars parked under cover (the old stables?) There used to be a team of valets working for Norwich Union who would care for seniors staff's vehicles, and it was in their workshop where the Mirov II was stored.

The old buildings were knocked down (with the exception of one, which fronts on to All Saints Green opposite the old BBC offices) and there is now a YMCA there.

It was great to pop in and take a peak - Yes, nice to get close to Jaguars and other top-end vehicles, but for me it was always about seeing the red "Soviet Union supercar". Okay, it wasn't a real car that you could go out and buy but it looked cool. In my mind I had plans to buy it and make it work but of course that never happened. I always wondered what happened to it, and it turns out some bloke bought it from Aviva. Gutting because a) I wanted it b) it should've been kept and put on display somewhere on the Norwich office's island site). A bit of googling suggests there was actually 2 built, and the same chap owns them both.

Motorbikes sticker album

I don't really know why I had this in the first place, and I'm not sure why I kept it either. Hoarder?  Moi?

But I have, and it takes its place amongst many other incomplete sticker albums including many football seasonal albums, E.T the extra-terrestrial, Mask, The Simpsons, and Star Wars ROTJ amongst others.
MOTORBIKES ALBUM (sorry for the blurry image!)

This Motorbikes sticker album was released in 1982 and was by Flash Collection. I guess I probably got it free with a comic; Possibly Shoot!, Match, Beano, Dandy, Whizzer & Chips, Buster..... could've been any of them really. Another possibility is a well-meaning relative got them (my brother had one too) knowing we liked sticker collections. Maybe. I seriously can't remember. All I know is motorbikes weren't our cup of tea and I don't think any of our friends had these albums either. Our sole focus was on completing our football albums, which we never succeeded in doing anyway! ๐Ÿ˜ณ

As you can see from the photo below, I didn't collect many. I suspect I only added the stickers that came in the free packs that came with the book.

Shrunken Crisp Packet

Erm. How do I explain this? This was a thing we did in the 1980s. Possibly people might've done it before and since. I only ever did it once. With a pack of Hula Hoops and a pack of Monster Munch. I don't know what happened to the Monster Munch packet but it looked cooler than this one below.

Sorry about the quality of photo. It was quite small and in hindsight I would've chosen a better background than a light brown carpet!

Anyway, I think the idea was to make keyring fobs from crisp packets by sticking them in the oven. It might not work today because most packets now have some kind of foil for preserving the contents, so I guess the results might be different.

Suffice to say, I never made this in to a key ring. It has just sat in a drawer for many many years.

If you want to give it a go with your kids (supervised!) a quick google and you'll find some instructions. 

The Donkey And The Carrot board-game

This was one of my favourite board-games, and I have recently played it with my own kids who enjoyed it too.

The aim of the game was to get your little donkey to the stable by rolling a dice (with straights, curves or carrots) to build a path or to move the donkey along the path.

There are some available on ebay, but I'm keeping mine for now because, well, it's kind of like a family heirloom or summat. Ok, I like it and I can win at it too!


Who'd a Tho't It? Pub Memorabilia Courage Brewery Nostalgia

Dating back to the 1990s, this diddy little pub sign took my fancy so, like many things, I bought it and it sat on a shelf for years and years, biding its time until it could be used. I guess I liked the Starship Enterprise in the background and "Ye Olde English" traditional pub on the moon flying the Union Jack.

To date it hasn't been used, though at some point down the line I removed the cellophane wrapper to perhaps spur me in to putting it up somewhere.

But where would to go? No, I'm not asking for suggestions. I already know where I wanted it to go. It was supposed to go on the wall of my home bar. I don't have a home bar, and to be honest I don't envision there ever being one.

So, here it is, removed from the shelf for a quick photo and now it's in a box of other retro stuff.

Do you have aspirations of having your own bar, or perhaps you do already? May be someone you know enjoys a drink and you would like to buy them a gift. Well, this pub paraphernalia below might be what you're looking for!

Have you met Spikey? (Mistar PIGOG)

Ydych chi wedi cwrdd รข Mistar PIGOG? No, I haven't got crumbs stuck in my keyboard again. That is the welsh language and it's from a pamphlet from the 70s/80s a distant time before this dying language was part of education in Welsh schools.

Why we had to pay 3p for this pamphlet (made by the Brecon Beacons National Park Committee and written by Meg Stevens) I've no idea, and probably more baffling is why we bought it. But we did. I guess as souvenirs go it was a bit different. And I cared for Mistar Pigog by the end of the story, litter-collecting Hedgehog with a lust for life. To this day I'm not sure why PIGOG is in capitals on the cover.   I haven't photographed the story pages as I don't want to spoil the ending for you!
Fact: This pamphlet was first published in 1978 and continued to be available until 1993. I got my copy in the mid 1980s.

Stencil Map of Europe .... from History!

How times have changed. Germany wasn't united. Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia had not split apart.

At first I thought this might date back to the very early 1990s, just before the declaration of independence of Croatia and Slovenia and Yugoslav war. The reason for that thinking was the presence of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania on the map. These countries declared independence from from the Soviet Union in 1990 (Lithuania) and 1991 (Estonia and Latvia). However, I can't say for sure.

Let's just leave it as late 1980's/early 1990s. This stencil was from Boots, and it was used a bit so isn't pristine. Still, I'd say it's decent condition and it's a nice keepsake with a bit of history.