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Biscuit memorabilia? This poses many questions, indeed the mind boggles as to what Alison Russell might have in her collection. Apart from some very nice tins and packaging, what could there be apart from the product itself?
Unless "memorabilia" is a euphamism for biscuit related memories, fondly stored in the deeper recesses of one's mind. As I'm sure I've told you, having worked as a sales rep for McVities in the late sixties (my first job, I'm not that ancient) I do have one or two. And had I had the foresight to realise that one day, physical items would become de rigeur to collect, I could have harboured quite a collection of artefacts, which no doubt would now fetch a fortune on E-bay.
The first item that comes to mind is the bowler hat I was supposed to wear. "Sets a McVities man apart from the rest" I was told (yeah, I know what you're thinking). Then the numerous product promotional offer gifts, where biscuit munchers were invited to enclose tokens from the packets and get a cheap bone china tea service, coffee pot, instamatic camera, etc. I also had a nice Digestive tea caddy once, with oriental decoration - I wonder what happened to it. Plus some interesting display material, enough to account for a large chunk of rain forest. Add to that a Mk 1 Ford Escort with 33,000 miles on the clock after nine months (apparently this was my fault, although I was relief salesman on an area stretching from Luton to the Humber) and you have the makings of a small museum.
I could have used my instamatic to take photos of all the village shops I visited which are no longer there, together with multiples with long forgotten names - International Stores, Liptons, Home and Colonial, Maypole, Key Markets, Cunsumers Tea Co - not to mention the Co-op, which was king. These of course, were gentler days, when you could take your girlfriend to the pictures, have a couple of pints afterwards and fish and chips, and still have change from a shilling (well, a pound note.)
I was sent up to Lincoln a few times, but I don't remember Lincolns selling any better there than anywhere else. There were some local preferences though. Rich Marie sold very well in Bedford because of the Italian community, and Digestives and Chocolate Homewheat in Cambridge because of the undergraduates. Thin Arrowroots sold well in Grimsby, but I never found out why. Perhaps it had something to do with fish.
Does anyone else have memories like mine? Or should I send for the men in white coats?
|Nicey replies: I too had slight boggling, which was a cunning sub-text to my suggestion that she sent a picture of her collection to us.
My Dad always maintained that he could go for a good Friday night out on 50p circa 1970.
Wonder whether you spotted the following report
Keep up the great work!
|Nicey replies: Oh yes that was all duly noted. We often drive past and take the train through Bishops Stortford so obviously it comes as a great relief to us to know that council staff have been trained up in tea making safety. The foreboding that a scalding hot cup of tea might come sailing out of an open council office window has now significantly reduced.|
||Dear Nicey and Wifey|
I just wanted to add my small voice to the pouring out of praise for that wonderful substance, custard. Indeed, there are few puddings better, quicker or more convenient than a sliced banana and plenty of custard made fresh from the tin - Birds of course. And, when it comes to Christmas pudding, why mess around with brandy butter or sweet white sauce? Custard is best, every time.
My husband disagrees. He thinks that cream is the better desert lubricant and even eats bananas and cream! Ugh! He also prefers the kind of custard that is already made up in cartons or yoghurt pot type thingies. This to my view is far too sweet and usually too thick.
I'd also like to add our family ritual for trifle creation. Slices of raspberry jam swiss roll soused in sherry of your choice or sweet wine, fresh or previously frozen raspberries, generous layer of BIrds best, whipped cream and flaked almonds. Heaven in a bowl.
|Nicey replies: Bananas and Custard are a brilliant pudding, frequently deployed here at NCOTAASD HQ when the younger members of staff have polished off all their main course. I have to admit to liking Christmas pudding with mostly custard and a dash of cream.
As for trifle, there simply isn't enough of it around.
||My wife inherits her late fathers hatred of custard. Just before he died, whilst still in hospital having undergone various operations, his surgeon came to him to try and help encourage him to begin eating again. He didn't respond as he was in a coma, but when the surgeon suggested he might try a little custard he awoke temporarily, sat up, waved his hands scornfully and uttered mournfully NOOOOO!|
I have been married for 28 years and only eat the delicious yellow sweety when visiting my old Mum.
|Nicey replies: Glad to see custard can play both the light and dark pudding roles.|
|I come from Lincoln and am very proud of the Lincoln biscuit as it is very distinctive and has a unique flavour. I now live in Scotland and can have a slight problem in getting them locally although the supermarkets do sell them. I am interested in any memorabilia that you would have on the Lincoln Biscuit as I collect this and it would help me to further my collection. I fyou have any information that could help me please e mail|
|Nicey replies: I'm very impressed that you have Lincoln biscuit memorabilia at all, ours doesn't extend further than a few crumbs and the odd empty packet. Perhaps if you could forward a group photo of your collection it would inspire us all to biscuit memorabilia collecting too. Or perhaps some of us have some Lincoln biscuit memorabilia in the family and never realised it, presumably its covered in little bumps and has Lincoln written on it?|