Friday, 2 December 2016

Attic Foray No.2

Somewhere around six weeks ago I published the first in an occasional series about stuff from my attic. I knew from that first adventure up through the Trapdoor of Wonderment (thank Heavens it didn't turn out to be the half-feared Trapdoor of Wasps' Nest...) that there was enough rubbish - whoops, sorry - enough memorabilia up there to warrant many more articles and much more excitement. So here is the long (well... six weeks...) anticipated second foray! This time I came back down the loft ladder with a couple of folders of ephemera and scrap books and many magazine pages torn from the likes of TV magazines, photography magazines and other assorted geeky stuff...

These days we all have digital cameras - either lumped in with a phone (why do we still call them that because it seems to be the least thing we use them for...?) or a digital SLR or anything in-between. It costs absolutely nothing, once the camera is in our possession, to take photos and the resulting lack of discipline or selective photography has flooded the world with images. My first item in this article is a film envelope from York Photo Labs. Dating only from around 1996-1998 it's purpose was for mailing your exposed film (i.e. one that you had already run through your camera) to the laboratory that would process the film and then print the photos from it. You would eventually receive back 24 or 36 photos which probably would take a couple of weeks.

The cost of standard prints which were six inches by four inches in size was £2.55 for a 24 exposure film or £3.55 for a 36 exposure film. So roughly 10 pence per photo subject to 20 years of inflation. It doesn't sound an awful lot, but I know at least one person who takes a couple of thousand during a week's holiday and a few others who take lots of photos every single day. If your photography was to add a cost of an extra £200 to your holiday (should we double that for 20 years' inflation?) I bet you would start to think a bit harder about shooting everything you saw!

During the 1980s I was a regular contributor to The Lancashire Magazine and during research for one article had visited the factory of TVR the sports car manufacturers whose factory was a mere ten minutes walk from my home. In 1994 they sent me a brochure of their cars, presumably coming across my name in a random sort through of their contacts lists. This is the 1994 TVR Chimaera.

This rather spiffing form of transport came with a choice of three different engines from four to five litres, but I feel it would be stingy to go for anything less that the top of the range so the 5.0 litre version rolled out of the factory with your name on it for just £32,995.00. Given the price of cars these days it sounds a bargain... It's the details of the specifications that remind us how car manufacturing has advanced since those days. Although they came as standard equipment, the company thought these sufficiently drool-worthy to mention specifically: alloy wheels, electric windows (!! when did you last have to wind down a car window with a little lever winder on the door?), removeable radio cassette, central locking and alarm system. Both power assisted steering and air conditioning were optional extras for extra cost at this point. I'd still have liked one though...

Theatre programs, flyers and souvenirs rarely include the year and this is no exception. Trevor Payne's wonderful show That'll Be The Day had started out in 1987 and had been going for over ten years by the time of this programme which I guess dates from 1998 or 1999. We started going to see this show every opportunity we got from the early days in the late 1980s and it was refreshed with new songs and every now and then some new personnel so that it was never too predictable or familiar. With comedy routines and lots of costume changes it was an absolute joy to watch.

Well, look at that! An issue of Film Review from outside my main buying period of 1977 to 1980. I had a bit of a crush on Barbara Carrera if truth be known and this could be why I bought this particular issue. One of only two issues outside the four years collection. The other earlier one features Ingrid Pitt...!

The official 114 page souvenir of Episode 1 of Star Wars, The Phantom Menace. It has photos galore, interviews with the stars, adverts for enough promotional tie-in toys, garments and gizmos to fill your entire mansion (a mere house would not be big enough...) On the downside of course is Jar Jar Binks...

The Complete James Bond Poster Collection. Well... it's complete up to and including Tomorrow Never Dies. So dating from 1997/98 at a guess - as does pretty much most of the things in the folder. It's probably been almost that long since they saw the light of day to be honest... Measuring a generous 12 x 9 inches this presumably came free with a magazine, possibly Empire but I stand ready to be corrected. Each poster has an inset photo of the relevant film's main Bond Girl.

A souvenir booklet for Manchester Museum. This particular establishment was just up the road from my college, the John Dalton College in Manchester, then part of Manchester Polytechnic. I'd tell you all about my course, but I dropped out, like... man...

The Borgias. This was a BBC production from 1981 and is the first of a whole heap of cuttings from TV magazines. It dates from 1981 - the series starred Adolfo Celi in the lead role of Rodrigo Borgia and his heavy accent caused the BBC to be inundated with complaints. The series was never repeated hence, this was chopped from the Radio Times in 1981, 35 years ago! Adolfo Celi is perhaps more fondly remembered as the villain in the fourth James Bond outing: Thunderball.

Mary Stavin was crowned Miss World in 1977. Later linked with the irrepressible George Best and appeared in a few films too.

Lastly for this time, I'm not sure when this dates from, but it probably came from a TV magazine again and as far as I remember it's a long time since Cliff Richard with Richard O'Sullivan and Melvyn Hayes were on TV in the film Wonderful Life.

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