Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Found In Books ...

I love finding hidden things within the pages of books. Book tokens, certificates, birthday cards, newspaper cuttings, letters and blurred photographs turn up with astonishing regularity. Unsurprisingly bookmarks are another common find;

My favourite from this collection is the green one produced by the Countryside Commission; Follow the country code – enjoy the countryside and respect its life and work. Guard against all risk of fire. Fasten all gates. Keep your dogs under close control. Keep to public paths across farmland. Use gates and stiles to cross fences, hedges and walls.

I'm also rather keen on the one with the picture of a monkey, produced in 1978 and given away at School Book Fairs. The third-down on the left was produced for the London Planetarium and Madame Tussaud's. The design, complete with spaceman and Superman flying over the buildings, was created by Peter Smith in 1988. The woven one with the blue tassel is pretty and has nice words - what you are and what you do make you very special and a wonderful friend. The pink and black one with splotches was a design for Tate Modern. There is also one advertising the Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis and another for Garfield by Jim Davis.

Detail - London Planetarium and Madame Tussaud's

The eagle eyed among you will have spotted the new March House Hare Bookmarks. I'm really pleased with the way these turned out. Oceanprint.co.uk did the printing, and they did a great job.

Next time you place an order with March House Books there will be a hare on the outside and on the inside too!  Speaking of which this email from a customer made me smile -

Barbara, thank you for sending the books so well wrapped up – they arrived today with the local postman on his electric bike! He was intrigued by your logo! He thought I had a rabbit and was ordering something for it!!

I wonder how many other postmen have been confused by the logo. Maybe I should start selling pet food along with vintage books. I've considered selling retro British sweets and/or greetings cards but hadn't thought about pet accessories. Maybe I should – what do you think?

Detail - Tate Modern

Previous 'found in books' posts here bookmarks and inscriptions

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Mabel Lucie Attwell and the Boo-Boos original birthday cards

The Mabel Lucie Attwell cards featured in this post are now sold, thank you for your interest.

I love anything illustrated by Mabel Lucie Attwell so to be offered seven vintage birthday cards was something of a thrill!  There is very little publishing information – just - Valentine’s series printed in Gt. Britain. Six of the seven are now listed on eBay one was a duplicate, so I’m keeping that one.

Three cards feature the Boo-Boos (cheery, chubby, good little pixies, dressed in green suits). Anything featuring the Boo-Boos is usually very popular so it will be interesting to see if they sell better than the others. Or maybe they won’t sell at all – only time will tell. 

Happy You now you're TWO

May your Birthday bring along all that I wish for You -
Lots of lovely things to see and lots of things to do.

Blank unused card

Three little rabbits out to tea. They're telling everyone you are THREE.

The rabbits told a Fairy, and the Fairy has told me about a little somebody who to-day is THREE. So "Happy, Happy Birthday and lots of Love, my Dear - may Fairy gifts surround you to last you all the year!"

Many happy returns! Best wishes for Fiona from Mrs. Grant.
A beautiful card with the added attraction of a Boo-boo sitting atop a mushroom!

Happy Birthday darling!

A little bird tells us that you are three - what a very nice age to be!
"May you be happy" is what we all say, with everything lovely the whole of the day!

Love from Uncle Frank & Auntie Winifred
Lots of Boo-Boos in this very special card not only outside but inside too and just look at those cute toadstool houses!

What's this we hear? You're THREE my Dear!

We wish you happy for many a year - and a real Happy Birthday To-day!
May your Birthday be Lucky and bring you To-day all you could wish for in every way.

With love from Grandpa & Nanna

4 Happy Birthday!

Good morning, little four year old - I'm glad your Birthday's here - I'm sending you a Birthday Kiss to give yourself - you dear!

With love and lots of kisses xxxx from auntie Jessie
I think this is my favourite of all the cards. Boo Boos and birds - perfect!

Four To-day!

I'm hoping you may be ever so jolly in every way. "Many Happy Returns," my dear!
Here is the secret the little bird told - it's the very good news you are FOUR years old.
There isn't a doubt - and we all agree. That Four is a very nice age to be. So I wish you joy, Yes - that I do- for this, and all other Birthdays too.

Lots of love and a big kiss from Auntie Beth

Do you like the little blue birds in the background? Terry found this and several other sheets of old wrapping paper at a vintage fair. I would like to use it for something, but I’m not sure what. It would look lovely lining a bookcase, or in the bottom of a chest of draws, but I don’t particularly want to cut it up. Any ideas?

Friday, 19 July 2013

Children's Hour and Beyond! Happy 65th Birthday Sooty.

Sooty Keeps Shop Published in 1954, is now sold
It is hard to believe that Sooty is 65 years-old today. I vividly remember watching the Sooty show on one of the early black-and-white television sets. Sometime towards the end of 1952 my dad had a win on the football pools. A small win by today’s standards, it was still enough to buy a second-hand car and the television. Back then we were living in a small village in Buckinghamshire where the arrival of a TV was something of an event. With the Queen’s Coronation scheduled for transmission in June 1953, we suddenly found ourselves at the centre of village life! My recollection of The Coronation is hazy, but I do remember the smell of egg sandwiches. Of bunting draped around the house and garden, and a host of unknown people sprawled on every available chair and over every inch of floor space vying for a view of the TV screen.

Mum laid on a ‘spread’ of spam and boiled egg sandwiches together with a plate of ‘fancies’ with jelly and pink blancmange for the children. I seem to recall dad buying a crate of beer, although his favourite tipple was always a Whisky Mac (whisky and ginger wine).

The Queens Coronation TV Picture 1953 via 

Coronation Glitter Book
The Coronation held my attention for only a brief moment. I much preferred Sooty, Andy Pandy and Muffin the Mule.

I wonder how many of you remember the names of these early stars of children’s television;

Left to right - Bill and Ben, Andy Pandy and Muffin the Mule.

It's easy to take “TV tie-ins” for granted in 2013, but they were something of a novelty in the 1950s. Get ready for a wonderful trip down memory lane; Muffin the mule, Prudence Kitten, Charlie Parkin, Colonel Crock and many others lurk within the pages of these gloriously nostalgic books.

My Annette Mills Gift Book published in 1954. First story Muffin and the field fairy. Four other stories about Muffin the Mule, two about Colonel Crock and three each about Charlie Parkin and Prudence Kitten. TV Comic Annual from 1954. features Muffin the Mule, Prudence Kitten and Colonel Crock with added stories and picture strips about Tusker the elephant, Hank and Larry the Lamb among others. TV Comic Annual 1957 (far right of picture). For me, this wonderful annual sums up the 1950s! First story Muffin and the shampooing of old curly by Neville Main. Other stories include Prudence Kitten's pantomime, Larry and Dennis the helpful heroes by S. G. Hulme-Beaman, Mr. Pastry's racing car and Rag-Tag and Bobtail by Louise Cochrane. Also two stories by Enid Blyton Noddy and Father Christmas and A shock for Little Bom. 

Rag, Tag and Bobtail find the sea very scarce picture strip book published in 1954. Bobtail, the rabbit, is very fond of digging. One day, he begins to dig a new sort of hole, one that goes straight down! When Rag, the hedgehog, and Tag, the mouse ask him to play, he replies "No, I'm digging a special hole..." Larry the Lions fun & games book published in 1964. Popular children’s entertainer Terry Hall created Lenny the Lion – whose catchphrase was “Aw don’t embawass me” - in 1954. Lenny made his television début on the variety show Dress Rehearsal, which also featured Eric Sykes. Terry and Lenny then fronted The Lenny the Lion Show, Lenny’s Den and Pops and Lenny, appearing with The Beatles in 1963.They also starred in the United States on the Ed Sullivan Show. Terry died in 2007, at the age of 80. Larry the Lamb has a picnic published by Purnell in 1972. Featuring Larry the Lamb, Danny the Dog and other inhabitants of Toytown.

Champion the Wonder Horse with Rebel, Ricky and Uncle Sandy published in 1958. Roy Rogers Comic Album 1949 with stories and colour picture strips. Fist story Roy Rogers king of the cowboys and the bighorn lode. Other stories include Nester's welcome and Roy rides the danger trail. Walt Disney's Davy Crockett published in 1950.

Sooty Keeps Shop published, 1954.  A Twirly book with a revolving wheel inside, showing 'moving pictures' on the TV on the front cover! Television's Teddy Bear Magician with illustrations by Tony Hart. Bleep and Booster Space Secret illustrated by Tim.  One story - Bleep and Booster's space secret, plus five pages of puzzles and games, including an underground journey, Flicka-movie and save Spinky! Bleep and Booster as seen on the BBC Blue Peter programme. The Basil Brush Cook Book  Published by Kaye and Ward in 1975. Basil Brush cooks up a storm with the help of Kit Broughton and Babette Cole. Lots of recipes, including chocolate crispies, coconut snowballs, fruit crumbly, hurry-up pudding, banger rockets, birthday buns and pic-pacs in the park.

Camberwick Green Annual published in 1975. Stories,  picture strips and games, including Farmer Bell's runaway sheep, Packet's picnic, Soldier-boys to the rescue, Dr. Mopp's party, and tug-of-war at the fete. More Barnaby Stories published in 1974. Written and illustrated by Georgina Hargreaves. Buck Rogers in the 25th Century published in 1981. Contains - the space slavers, Buck Rogers a short history, a race in space game and the missing element.

Pingwings A Flying Bird by Oliver Postage with illustrations by Babette Cole. This copy signed by Babette Cole. Published in 1978. Pingwings are birds so Pingwings can fly! What does it matter if they are made of wool and stuffed with stuffing? All Paul Pingwing needs is a few feathers, a launching-pad, and he is up taking tea with the doves in their elegant house on top of a pole. The Fraggles cooperate a Jim Henson Muppet book first edition published in 1989. Clangers - The Tablecloth published in 1993. The Froglets love their new home but how can they keep warm on such a chilly blue moon? Tiny and Small have some ideas.

Thanks for your visit; I hope you enjoyed this trip down TV's memory lane!

All the featured books are now sold, thank you for your interest.

Update July 2016: March House books closed on my retirement in 2015, but I do still blog here at March of Time Books and always appreciate your visit. 

Monday, 15 July 2013

Book of the week; Houses for very little people - vintage, cloth lined

Houses for very little people published by R.A. Publishing, undated but probably c1940s. I’ve been unable to trace another copy online or in any of my reference books, so I presume this must be quite scarce.


There are lots of stories about little people, Gulliver’s travels by Jonathan Swift, the Borrowers by Mary Norton, the Littles by John Peterson, the wee free men by Terry Pratchett and Tom Thumb being a few that spring to mind. But what about books about houses for very little people?  I think this may be the first of its kind!

Measuring just 4 x 4.5 inches, with 12 pages and staple binding. The story begins…Jack and Teddy and Gollywog live together in – a house – it is built of bricks with a roof of tiles. 

Mr. Bunny Rabbit’s house is called a – hutch - it is built of wood and wirework. 

Spot, Jack’s dog lives in a – Kennel - built of wood with a carpet of straw. 

Lots of other houses are described including those for Mrs. Pussy Cat, Sammy Sparrow, Mr. Fog and Old Mrs. Owl. Considering the fragile nature of this book it’s survived in remarkable condition. There is a little rusting around the staples and one or two brown spot, but it's otherwise unscathed. I guess the fact that its cloth lined has helped, but even so, it’s pretty remarkable.

The story ends with a question…

Our house, like the one in the story is built of bricks with a tiled roof. We moved here four years ago and like it very much but will probably downsize before too long. We enjoy living in the country, with fields close by, but as we get older shops and amenities will probably become more important. We often talk about moving to Australia to be closer to our son and family but there are lots of things to consider. We have family and friends here to think about and there is always the possibility that our Australian family might move to England one day. 
Decisions, decisions!

Several of our friends have found their ‘forever’ homes, but I don’t think we are in that position just yet. How about you – is your home forever?

House for very little people; further details here

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Rene Cloke

Possibly best known as a postcard and greetings card designer Rene Cloke was also an author and illustrator of stories for very young children. She produced illustrations for many annuals, including Uncle Oojah's Big Annual, Blackie's Children's annuals, Tiny Tots, Jack and Jill, Playhour and Harold Hare.

Irene was born in Plymouth, Devon in 1904, the daughter of a bank manager. On leaving school, she began work as an artist for the Edinburgh publishers, W R Chambers, illustrating its educational series The Radiant Way. She soon became well known as a painter of fairy subjects, which were reproduced by a number of publishers, including Medici for their greetings cards and Valentine for their postcards. She also illustrated several books for Enid Blyton. These included the Three Golliwogs, the Amelia Jane books, Brer Rabbit, Mr. Meddle and Mr. Pink Whistle.

Despite her success, was a shy, quiet person, who spent her spare-time walking in the West Country, with her sister, the concert pianist Olive Cloke and her brother, the architect, Douglas Neighbour Cloke. In 1928, she and her sister moved to Wimbledon, where they enjoyed walks on the common, and to Richmond Park. She was a keen cricket fan and regularly attended test matches at The Oval and Lords; she was also keen on crosswords and especially enjoyed those printed in the Daily Telegraph.

During the Second World War, she was employed by the War Office as a tracer, producing maps from photographs for use by the Royal Air Force. After the war, she returned to her fairy illustrations, later gaining an exclusive contract with Award Publications. She continued to work until four months before her death in October 1995. 

Janet and Anne Grahame Johnstone Bibliography

This is intended as a helpful guide for anyone wishing to collect Janet and Anne Grahame Johnstone books.  I make no claims about its completeness. 

Tales from the Arabian Nights. Retold by Enid Blyton Latimer House c1949 
Heidi by Johanna Spyri Heirloom Library c1949 
Struwwelpeter by Heinrich Hoffmann John Gifford 1950 
Gulliver’s travels by Jonathan Swift Heirloom Library undated 
The water babies by Charles Kingsley Heirloom Library undated 
Charlie the cat by H. W. Orchard Adprint undated 
Watch with mother Publicity Products undated 
Your pantomime book by Patrick Barrington Heirloom Library undated 
Bill and Ben the flower-pot men Publicity Products Twirly book No. 4 undated 
Tai Lu’s Birthday Party by S. Fraser and B. Thatcher Publicity Products Twirly Book No. 5. c1951 
Tai Lu Talking by S. Fraser and B. Thatcher Heinemann 1952 
Hans Andersen’s fairy tales Blackie undated 
Tales of Ancient Greece retold by enid Blyton Latimer House 1951 
Ross Salmon and the horse thieves by Ross Salmon Adprint undated 
Ross Salmon’s horse race by Ross Salmon Adprint undated 
Long ago England by Ida Foulis Ranelagh Press undated 
This land of Kings by Ida Foulis Ward Lock 1954 
The hundred and one Dalmations by Dodie Smith Heinemann 1956 
The black whippet by S. Sutton-Vane Viking Press, U.S. 1957 
Minka and Curdy by Antonia White Harvill Press 1957 
Crossing the road by John Pudney Antelope Books 1958
Hilary’s tune by Vivian Ellis Max Parrish 1960 
Eight rainbow tales by Diana Marr-Johnson Dean 1960
Rainbow’s pop-up book by Diana Marr-Johnson Dean 1960 
New tales from Grimm translated from the German Chambers 1960 
The family at home Blue bird picture book No 1. Chambers 1960
Robin’s book Chambers Blue bird picture book No. 2 1960 
Betty’s Book Chambers Blue bird picture book No. 3 1960 
Picture stories chambers Blue bird picture book No. 4 1960 
What are they doing? Chambers Blue bird picture book No. 5 1960 
Our work at school Chambers Blue bird picture book No. 6 1960 
Our little house Chambers Blue bird picture book No. 7 1960 
Find another Chambers Blue bird picture book No. 8 1960 
Playing games Chambers Blue bird main series No. 1 1961 
Toys and pets Chambers Blue bird main series No. 2 1961 
Happy days Chambers Blue bird main series No. 3 1961 
The Children’s story book Chambers Blue bird main series No. 4 1961 
Fun at Merry Ferry Chambers Blue bird main series No. 5 1961 
The hundred and one Dalmatians by Dodi Smith Puffin paperback 1961 
Robin bible stories of the Old Testament by Marcus Morris Longacre Press 1961 
Robin bible stories of the New Testament by Marcus Morris Longacre Press 1961 
Hilary’s holidays by Vivian Ellis Max Parrish 1961 
Dean’s gold medal book of rhymes Dean 1961 
Peter Pipkin edited by Rosemary Garland Young world productions 1962
Sing a song of playtime verses by Rosemary Garland Young world production 1962 
Dean’s gold medal book of rhymes No. 2 Dean 1963 The Arabian nights Ward Lock 1963 
The horse lover’s treasury Souvenir Press 1963 
Tales of brave adventure retold by Enid Blyton Dean 1963 
Tales of the Greeks and Trojans by R. Lancelyn Green Purnell 1963 
The finding out treasury Purnell 1964 
Dean’s gold medal book of fairy tales rewritten by J&AGJ Dean 1964 
Walt Disney’s Mary Poppins picture book Young world productions 1964 
Myths from many lands by R. Lancelyn Green Purnell 1965 
The emperor’s new clothes Nelson 1965
Dean’s gold medal book of fairy tales No. 2 Dean 1965 
Dean’s gift book of nursery rhymes Dean 1965 
Tales of long ago retold by Enid Blyton Dean 1965
The pirates of Penzance by W. S. Gilbert Nelson 1965
The Mikado by W. S. Gilbert Nelson 1965
The man who was magic by Paul Gallico Pan paperback 1966 
ABC of Nature by Anne GJ Dean 1966 
Sir Lancelot of the lake by R. Lancelyn Green Purnell 1966 
Folk tales of the world by R. Lancelyn Green Purnell 1966 
HMS Pinafore by W.S. Gilber Nelson 1966 
Iolanthe by W. S. Gilbert Nelson 1966 
The gondoliers by W. S. Gilbert Nelson 1966 
The yeomen of the guard by W. S. Gilbert Nelson 1966 
Dick Whittington Blackie 1967
Dean’s gift book of fairy tales Dean 1967 
Jack and Jill nursery rhymes Purnell 1967 
Here is a car by June Melser Collins minibook 1967 
Look at me by June Melser Collins minibook 1967 
Here is a bird by June Melser Collins minibook 1967 
The starlight Barking by Dodie Smith Heinemann 1967 
Dean’s gold medal book of rhymes No 3 Dean 1967 
Dean’s gold medal book of rhymes No. 4 Dean 1968 
Jason and the golden fleece by R. Lancelyn Green Purnell 1968 
Merlin’s magic Young world productions 1968 
Ancient Greece MacDonald junior reference library 1968 
Greek myths and legends MacDonald junior reference library 1968 
Little one’s prayers pop-up book Dean 1968 
Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll World Distributors 1968 
A child’s book of prayers Dean 1968 
My treasury book of nursery rhymes Young world productions 1968 
Stories from Hans Christian Andersen retold by Mae Broadley World distributors 1968 
Manxmouse by Paul Gallico Heinemann 1968 
The pied piper of Hamelin by Robert Browning Dean 1969 
My rhyme book of nursery folk Young world productions 1969 
The best cat stories Pan paperback 1969 
Seven rainbow tales Mafia Stevens Dean 1969 
Rainbow the cook pop-up book Mafia Stevens Dean 1969 
Nursery rhymes Young world productions 1969 
A book of children’s names by J&A GJ Dean 1969 
Happy ever after by Magdalene Martin Young world productions 1969

My days of the week book Young world productions 1970 
Ormeau Knight & Forster 1970 
My baby Jesus pop-up book by A. E Passmore Dean 1970 
Christmas carols pop-up book Dean 1970 
The Befana’s toyshop by Gianni Rodari Dent 1970 
My picture book of animals by Anne Johnstone Dean 1970 
Pussy cat nursery rhymes Dean 1970 
Puppy dog nursery rhymes Dean 1970 
Nursery rhymes treasury Young world productions 1970 
A book of fairy tales Dean 1970 
Tales from the Brothers Grimm retold by M. Broadley World distributors 1971 
Tales of Ancient Greece retold by M. Broadley World distributors 1971 
The story of Maude Reed by Norah Lofts Transworld Carousel Books 1971 
A child’s garden of verse by R. L. Stevenson Dean 1971 
Dean’s new gift book of nursery rhymes Dean 1971 
Bible stories for children Dean 1971 
Prayers for children Dean 1971 
Another book of fairy tales Dean 1971 
Nursery rhymes new and old by M. Wimbolt-Lewis Dean 1972 
Dean’s gift book of nursery rhymes old and new Dean 1972 
Another book about Jesus by E. Ashley Dean 1972 
Youngster’s prayers Dean 1972 
The white cat by Marie-Catherine D'Aulnoy Dean 1972 
Dean’s gift book of pussy and puppy nursery rhymes Dean 1972
Legends of Olympia (title in Greek) Cleanthis 1972 
My rhyme book of nursery land Young World Productions 1972 
My play book of nursery friends Young World Productions 1972 
Dean’s gold star book of rhymes Dean 1973 
A-Apple pie Dean 1973 
J & A. G. Johnstone’s gift book of fairy tales Dean 1973 
Mulberry bush book of nursery rhymes by A. Blackwood Nelson 1974 
Dean’s book of famous fairy stories after Hans Andersen Dean 1974 
More carols pop-up book Dean 1974 
More prayers for children Dean 1974 
Dean’s gift book of bible stories Dean 1974 
Dean’s gold star book of ride a cock horse nursery rhymes Dean 1975 
Gift book of prayers for children Dean 1975 
Tales from everywhere retold by M. Broadley World distributors 1975
Miracle in the wilderness by Paul Gallico Heinemann 1975 
Miracle in the wilderness Limited Edition linen binding Whittington Press 1975 
Miracle in the wilderness De Luxe edition leather binding Whittington Press 1975 
Tales from animal land retold by M Broadley World distributors 1975 
Gift book of Hans Andersen fairy tales Dean 1975 
Ride a cock horse nursery rhymes Dean 1975 
Happy days stories Dean 1976 
Leisure tales dean 1976 
Young folk tales Dean 1976
Playtime tales Dean 1976 
New little prayers pop-up book dean 1976
Little Jesus pop-up book by J & A. G. J Dean 1976 
Dean’s gold book of cowboys by J & A. G. J Dean 1976 
Dean’s gold star book of Indians by J & A. G. J Dean 1977 
Toytime tales Dean 1977 
Twilight Tales Dean 1977 
Time to play Dean 1977 
Bedtime tales Dean 1977 
Supreme book of bible stories retold by V. Salmon Dean 1977 
Supreme book of children’s prayers Dean 1977 
The midnight kittens by Dodie Smith W. H. Allen 1978 
Bible stories and prayers for children Dean 1976 
A book of children’s rhymes by J & A. G. J Dean 1978 
Dean’s gift book of cowboys and Indians by J & A. G. J 1979 
Little tots’ book of nursery rhymes Dean 1979 
Little one’s book of nursery rhymes Dean 1979
Toddlers book of nursery rhymes Dean 1979 
Tinies book of nursery rhymes Dean 1979 
The wonderful story of Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs Dean 1979 
The wonderful story of Sleeping Beauty Dean 1979 
The wonderful story of Puss in Boots dean 1979 
The wonderful story of Cinderella Dean 1979 
Ten little dogs Brimax books 1979 
The enchanted wood by Enid Blyton Dean 1979 
The enchanted wood De Luxe edition Dean 1979 
Christmas carols Dean 1979 
Santa’s toy shop Dean 1979 
The night before Christmas Dean 1979
Santa Claus is coming to town Dean 1979

A gift book of enchanting fairy tales Dean 1980 
Breaking a Horse to Harness: Step-by-step Guide by Sallie Walrond Pelham Books 1981 
My pop-up book ABC Dean 1982 
My pop-up book of baby animals by Anne Grahame Johnstone Dean 1982 
My pop-up book of nursery rhymes Dean 1982 
My pop-up book of fairy tales Dean 1982 
Hey diddle Diddle Readers Digest/Mothercare 1982 
My pop up book of Snow White & the seven dwarfs Dean 1983 
My pop-up book of Sleeping Beauty Dean 1983 
My best book of rhymes Award 1984 
My best book of rhymes (small format edition) Award 1984 
Ride a cock horse (Small format edition) Dean 1984 
Mein marchen buch (my fairy tale book) by the Brothers Grimm Pestalozzi Verlag, 1985 
A year of poems Dean 1986 
When your child comes into hospital Royal Alexandra Hospital, Brighton 1986 
The water babies by Charles Kingsley Award 1986 
Peter Pan and Wendy by J. M Barrie Award 1988 
Bible stories and prayers for children Treasure Press 1989 

Come away/neverland/the redskins/the pirates trap/the end of Hook/home again 6 miniatures in slipcase Award 1990 
My Christmas book of stories and carols by Linda Jennings Award 1990 
Christmas scenes with 30 detachable postcards Grange Books 1990s 
A country childhood with 30 detachable postcards Grange Books 1990s 
Driving a harness horse step by step guide by Sallie Walrond J A Allan 1992 
The Allen horse & pony frieze by A. G. Johnstone 1994 
Piebald is lucky by Mary May Manor Acre 1995 
The will to win by Mary May Manor Acre 1995 
Deep water at Dereen by Mary May Manor Acre 1995 
A patchwork of ponies by Mary May Manor Acre 1995 
The water babies (small format edition) Award 1996 
A year of poetry Award publications 1997 
Dancing peel by Lorna Hill Award publications 1997 
Dancer’s luck by Lorna Hill Award publications 1997 
The little dancer by Lorna Hill Award publications 1997 
Dancer in the wings by Lorna Hill Award publications 1997 
One for silver two for gold by Mary May Manor Acre 1998

The work of twins Anne and Janet Grahame Johnstone is widely collected and greatly admired. The twins were born on 1 June 1928 to the painter and stage designer, Doris Zinkeisen, and her husband, Grahame Johnstone, a director of Johnnie Walker whisky and a captain in the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve. Janet was the elder by Twenty minutes. When their father died in 1946, the twins continued to live with their mother first in London and then in Suffolk.

Anne and Janet were educated at Heathfield School, Ascot and then studied in London, at St. Martin’s school of Art. They established themselves as illustrators in the early 1950s and went on to illustrate over 200 children’s books. They also provided a large amount of artwork for Andy Pandy and Bill and Ben, contributing to the golden age of children’s television.

Anne and Janet worked together on their pictures, each adding a touch in turn until they agreed the picture was finished. Each sister, however, developed her own speciality, with Anne completing human figures and buildings while Janet depicted the birds and animals. Following the death of Janet, in 1979, as the result of an accident, Anne found herself suddenly and unexpectedly responsible for the continuation of the work. With admirable determination, she fulfilled outstanding commissions and taught herself the skills once employed by her sister. Anne went on to produce a great deal of work, and in May 1988 was elected to the Society of Equestrian Artists. She exhibited her work at Framlingham and Orford, and also in Cambridge and London, and continued to work until two days before her death on 25th May, 1998.  

Vintage Books Newly Catalogued

The suitcases are unpacked, the washing and ironing done and cataloguing has resumed! I’ve found lots of interesting and pretty vintage books over the last few weeks so it’s time for another quick preview. If you would like more information about any of the featured books, please email me by clicking on the link in the right-hand column.

As readers of this blog know I enjoy finding inscriptions in books, especially when they tell a story or lead to discoveries about people or places. 'The Water Babies' and 'On the Wings of the Wind' (pictured left) were given as prizes by the (then) Reverend John Hartford Jaques Rector of St. Nicholas Church and Sunday School. On the Wings of the Wind was presented to Sydney on February 11th, 1934 and The Water Babies to Doreen on February 24th, 1935. 

I was puzzled as to how two books given to different people ended up in the same auction lot, but then I realised Sydney and Doreen had the same surname. From that I assume they are brother and sister, and presumably the books remained within the family until the time of their parent's death. 

I’ve been unable to find out anything about the family but there is a wealth of information about Studland and its church. Studland is a village on the Isle of Purbeck in the English county of Dorset. Although a coastal village, the houses are mostly sited a few hundred metres inland. At the start of the twentieth-century  Sir Frederick Treves described the village as "a medley of country lanes, lost among trees, with a few thatch-roofed cottages dotted about in a wild garden of brambles, ferns, and gorse." He noted that Studland had "no pretence to a quay", but rather "turns its face from the sea to bury it among its myrtles and fuchsia bushes." He lamented the arrival of tourists and the construction of villas in the village however, commenting that "The red-brick  epidemic ... has seized upon it mercilessly."  

St. Nicholas Church, Studland, Dorset. 

For anyone interested in churches St. Nicholas, is a grade one listed building with a wealth of history easily available online. Much is written about its stone carvings depicting images of carnal sin! The carvings are supposed to warn against lust, luxury and licentiousness, and it’s assumed they were put there to teach biblical concepts to the masses. If you are interested in finding out more pay a visit to The Sheela Na Gig Project

Now you understand why the listing of books takes me such a long time. I’m never content to ‘just' list, I want to know the people and places the books originate from. It must be something to do with my nosy nature! 

Alice B Woodward illustration from The Water Babies by Charles Kingsley
On the wings of the wind and The Water Babies are now sold, thank you for your interest.

Black Beauty by Anna Sewell published by A & C Black in 1933; the pretty dust jacket design is by J. H. Hartley. The vintage soldiers were found in a bargain box at the Hungerford Arcade. Not being able to resist a bargain (or a man in a kilt) I treated myself to two and a spare!

The Walt Disney Peter Pan & Wendy (now sold, thank you for your interest) published in 1953 by Brockhampton Press is beautifully illustrated in full colour. Pingwings a flying bird (now sold, thank you for your interest) written by Oliver Postage and illustrated by Babette Cole is a first edition published in 1978 and signed by the illustrator. Little Trulsa's Tea-Party 1st UK edition translated from the Swedish by Anna Berg. First published in Sweden as Lilla Trulsas kalas. Hardback book and dust jacket published in 1966. The Otterbury incident (now sold, thank you for your interest) written by C. Day Lewis with illustrations by Edward Ardizzone published by Puffin Books. Next in line are three Little Grey Rabbit books - Little Grey Rabbit's Washing Day, Little Grey Rabbit's Valentine and Little Grey Rabbit Makes Lace. I always buy these little books whenever I see them as they are incredibly popular and sell very quickly. 

Walt Disney's Peter Pan and Wendy is now sold, thank you for your interest.
Peter Pan the boy who never grew up

Never Never Land

Wendy and the lost boys

The hand-crafted dog in the following picture was a gift from a dear friend. Thank you Nicole, I love him! Nicole is an illustrator and author; see an earlier post about one of her books here  

From left to right; Tiny Tots Annual 1955 stories and pictures for little people, including Father Christmas lucky escape by Phyllis Pearce, Algernon the pink sugar pig by Christine Smith and ballet school babes in the wood by Joan Morris. Picture strips, including happy holiday games and the comical kittens drawn by L. Church. The Secret Seven Adventure by Enid Blyton 3rd impression, 1952 with nice dust jacket. Mice & Mendelson written by Joan Aiken with illustrations by Babette Cole. Far to the North of England lived an old Orkney pony whose name was Mr. Mendelson. He belonged to the Lord of Midnight Park, who had kindly given him a piano because Mr. Mendelson liked to think about tunes. Everyone knows ponies can't play the piano, but Mr. Mendelson's close friends, Bertha and Gertrude the field mice, played beautifully and each evening they dashed to and fro over the black-and-white  keys, producing the loveliest mazurkas and minuets. Life would have been perfect it hadn't been for Dan Sligo the gipsy! This copy signed by the illustrator.  The pretty fairy illustration is from The treasure hunt and other stories by Olive Duhy with illustration by Rene Cloke. A nice copy of Dimsie goes to school by Dorita Fairlie Bruce published by Humphrey Milford in 1936. The Jack and Jill Book, 1955 colour and two-tone picture strip stories, including Harold Hare, Rip, Pip and Tip the puppy pets, Dinky and Binky the playful kittens, Jerry, Don and Snooker, Bibby and Bobby, fun in Toyland, and Freddie Frog.  The Secret Seven Adventure, Mice and Mendelson, Dimsie goes to school and The Jack and Jill book from 1955 are now sold, thank you for your interest.

Thanks for calling in I hope you enjoyed this round-up of recent stock. Now I really must get on with listing some more pretty things!

Update July 2016: March House books closed on my retirement in 2015, but I do still blog here at March of Time Books and always appreciate your visit. 

Friday, 5 July 2013

From 'Crikey it's Vintage' in Exeter to Canterbury Cathedral via Belgium!

Please indulge me for a minute or two while a share a few holiday snaps.  

Our trip started at the 'Crikey its Vintage' fair held at Killerton House, a National Trust property in Exeter. With fashion shows, sixty stalls of vintage and retro fashion, classic car displays, food, drink and music it was a real festival for nostalgia.

Crikey! it's Vintage. Visit the website

Books, flowers, pretty lamp shades – I love vintage fairs!

Then it was on to Buscot Park in Oxfordshire the home of Lord Faringdon now owned by the National Trust. 
The Gardens at Buscot Park. Visit the website

Next stop Hungerford in Berkshire to visit the Best Antiques Centre in the U.K (according to the BBC Homes & Antiques Magazine). We also visited Freeman’s Marsh home to many wild birds, plants and animals.

Hungerford Arcade. Visit the website

Hungerford Arcade

A mummy duck and her well camouflaged brood at Freeman's Marsh. Visit the website

From Hungerford, it was on to Chartwell the family home of Britain's wartime Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill. Much of Chartwell remains as it was during Winston Churchill’s life, with pictures, books and personal mementoes evoking the wide-ranging interests of a great statesman. The gardens reflect his love of the landscape and are a testament to the creativity of Lady Churchill.

Chartwell - home to Sir Winston Chruchill. Visit the website

One of my favourite pictures from the gardens at Chartwell

Next stop Ashford and a quick trip by Eurostar to Belgium where Terry and I celebrated our 43rd wedding anniversary. 

Celebrating in Brussels! Rather an odd angel but I think it sort of works. 
Note the spotty handbag in the left hand corner, I’ve been coveting a Kath Kidston bag for ages but didn’t want to pay £65 so was delighted to find this ‘look-alike’ in a small shop in Hungerford priced at £28.

La Grand-Place, Brussels a Unesco World Heritage Centre. Visit the website

I couldn't resist this photograph of four friends enjoying a chat amidst the splendour of La Grand-Place.

Just one of the many flea and antique's markets held in Brussels. I’m sure there are treasures to be found here if you know what you are looking for.

Another day and another train trip. This time to Bruges where it’s Christmas all year round.  

Bruges was damp and cold but still beautiful. Can you spot the little dog? He spent the entire day inside the carriage drivers handbag!

We spent five days in Belgium before returning to Ashford and then on to Canterbury for one last night before returning home.
A view of Canterbury with the cathedral in the background.

A pretty jug on a table in the garden of The Old Weaver's Restaurant. Old Weaver's House is situated on the banks of the River Stour with a view of the boats and a ducking stool!

Apparently, the original ducking stool (long since replaced) was used extensively during the middle ages. Nagging wives were given a quick dip paid for by long suffering husbands. Cheating businessmen were ducked into the water in front of a baying crowd and then forced to leave the city. Most famously it was used to determine if the person in the chair was a witch. Any woman accused of witchcraft would be placed in the chair and submerged in the river for 2-3 minutes. If she survived this lengthy ducking, then clearly she was a witch and would be burned at the stake. If she died after being submerged, her family would receive an apology from the Church, and she would be given a Christian burial. The second scenario was obviously the best outcome, but it was death either way for anyone accused of witchcraft! 

Thanks for taking the time to look at my holiday snaps. I hope to catch up with all my favourite blogs in the next few days.
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