About Vintage Stuff

The aim of Vintage Stuff is to display some of the ephemera that I have collected, often inadvertently, over the years. I am now deliberately seeking out interesting old adverts, screen shots, leaflets, obscure record covers, picture postcards and illustrations; anything that catches my eye, in fact. They will be mainly, but not exclusively of UK origin (so many vintage blogs appear to be American) and almost always a scan from something that I actually have in my collection, rather than off the net. If you do re-blog, please acknowledge the source. Further stuff, mainly photographs, can be found on my Flickr pages, via the Benny Hill record cover.

Friday, 30 August 2013

The Singing Postman

Allan Smethurst, The Singing Postman, earned recording success in the 1960s with a series of folk songs sang in his native Norfolk dialect, which he wrote himself. The most remembered was Hev Yew Gotta Loight Bor? which won an Ivor Novello Award in 1966, but never made the charts.I am not sure how popular he was outside of East Anglia, but I knew his songs whilst growing up as, living in Bedfordshire, we received local Anglia regional TV programmes. Well after his retirement from music industry in 1970, he would be used as a sort of cultural touchstone "You've heard of the Singing Postman, well here's the yodelling greengrocer", sort of thing.

After the 1960s he appeared to return to obscurity, apparently having spent all his money. He died in 2000, aged 73.

This blog was prompted by the purchase of a couple of his albums in a local charity shop (actually they give away their records for a small donation - as much as you can carry!). They seem to hold up a decent price on eBay, all on vinyl too; were they not released on CD?

Here is a documentary about him from 1967.....


Retribution & Mercy

Scanned from the Cheltenham Chronicle and Gloucestershire Graphic, issue dated 10 October 1914; I assume that the Prince of Wales' (Relief) Fund was to assist families of men at war.

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Playmates of '64

A review of the previous year's Playmates, as featured in Playboy magazine, January 1965.

Friday, 23 August 2013


Agilux Ltd was formed just after the war by Aeronautical & General Instruments Co. (AGI) of Croydon in order to manufacturer cameras for the home market, imports being restricted at that time. AGI had been making instruments for the military since 1915 and although cameras ceased to be made in the early 1960s, the company is still in business, operating from Poole, in Dorset.

This advert appeared in Popular Photography magazine, issue dated September 1957. The cameras were unusual in that all components were made by Agilux themselves.

Thursday, 22 August 2013

The London Coal Exchange

This engraving originally appeared in volume II of Old and New London, published in the 1870s, although I scanned it from Victorian Taste, by John Gloag (1962).

The London Coal Exchange, Lower Thames Street, was built 1847-49 to the design of the City Corporation's architect, one James Bunstone Bunning (1802-63). Damaged during the war and effectively made redundant with the nationalisation of the coal industry in 1947, it survived as offices during the 1950s. Although grade II listed in 1958 due to it's cast iron construction, it was demolished in 1962 to allow widening of Lower Thames Street, this despite a campaign for it's preservation headed by John Betjeman. The loss of this building, along with the Euston Arch the year before, were not total failures however, as they brought conservation to the public's notice and kick-started a movement that went on to save St Pancras station and many others. Ironically, the site of the building was to remain unused as the road plans were changed.

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Charles Atlas

The legendary body builder challenges puny British blokes to become "new men". From Blighty magazine, 15th October, 1955.

Friday, 16 August 2013

Morecambe & Wise & Friends

Fellow blogger and wife, Dunstabelle, and I, are planning a short break to Bournemouth, a town that I have been visiting since the early 1960s, when various relations on my mothers side decided to retire down there. A trip to the theatre was always undertaken, that in 1966 taking us to see Morecambe & Wise at the Winter Gardens. Of the performers that season, only singer Susan Maughan appears to be still with us. Whist I do remember bits of the show some forty-seven years later, particularly ventriloquist Arthur Worsley, I sadly have no recollection of "Marvo (The World's Greatest Illusionist), assisted by Dolores (The Sex Symbol)!"

Although others appearing in the town that summer included Harry Worth and Frankie Vaughan, I suspect that Morecambe & Wise were a natural choice for us (good clean fun), although Ivor Emmanuel would have clinched it for my mother.

Here are a few pages from the programme;

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Frank's Girl

Nancy Sinatra was born to Frank and Nancy Barbato on 8 June 1940. I knew of her pop songs, These Boots are made for Walkin' being the most famous, along with Somethin' Stupid, which she performed with her father, both records reaching number 1 in the UK in February 1966 and April 1967 respectively. The first song was a favourite of my dad, although the vision of Nancy wearing go-go boots and a mini skirt may have had something to do with it.....

She also did some modelling in the 1960s, this little selection being from the pages of King magazine, issue dated September 1967. King ran from 1964 until taken over by Mayfair in 1968.

My dad was right!

Nearly thirty years later, Nancy appeared in Playboy, still lookin' good........

Sunday, 11 August 2013

Lufftwaffe Beware!

Continuing the aviation theme, this advert appeared in Look magazine, 25 August 1944, one of a number in this publication to promote US industry in wartime guise. The P-51 Mustang had been in combat since 1942, their success seeing them in use with the USAF until the mid-1950s, and elsewhere until the 1980s. Of over 15,000 built, some 200 remain airworthy in the USA today.

Saturday, 10 August 2013

Cutaways by Fisher

I used to love seeing these cutaway drawings as a youngster; they would appear in 'boys books', showing the inner workings of machines such as a steam engine, an ocean liner or hovercraft. The Eagle comic famously spread one across it's middle pages each week.

I came across loads in a book titled Britain's Wonderful Fighting Forces, published early in the war in 1940, the British war machine apparently explained in 400 pages. These are a few representatives of those aircraft flown by Britain, France and Germany during the early months of war, expertly drawn by J Walkden Fisher, who later did some of those that appeared in colour in the Eagle.I love his distinctive signature, fashioned into the form of a fish.

Thursday, 8 August 2013

Inn Signs

Two useful little books published by The Raleigh Press (in association with David & Charles) in 1966 and 1967. Their author was E R Delderfield, more famous for such novels as God is an Englishman and To Serve Them All My Days.

Sunday, 4 August 2013

Let's look at lathes

A few pages of lathes from a machine tools catalogue published by Richard Melhuish & Sons, Holborn Circus, London EC., dated 1898.