Thursday, 31 July 2008

Puffin Post Vol.9 no.4

Here's a jolly cover - Does it get any better than this? Each of these letters is like a little jewel. Each works on its own, but also works as part of the overall composition. My design tutors when I was a student (in the dim mists of time) would have loved this one.

Tuesday, 29 July 2008

Badges, Badges, Badges

I've promised these for a while, so here they are! I found myself sitting next to Kaye Webb at one of the Commonwealth Institute Puffin Exhibitions and was stunned to see her sporting not just one, but three badges! I asked her how I could get them and where they were from.

She told me that the Gold Badge (no.4) was for founder members or those who had done something particularly special.

The Green Badge (no.3) was the members badge in Australia (though Kaye was wearing her Founders Green Badge that looked a bit like her Gold Badge.

The remaining badges are the standard White Badge (no.1) that I have found in different versions - The earlier badges were genuine enamel made by the Davis Badge company of London. Later versions were made with a plastic insert instead of enamel. (You will see a lot of these on ebay).

The last badge is the Black Badge (no.2) that was earned for being a member for four years - these were only ever made in enamel and the quality varied from well finished and ground to rough and distinctly ropey.

The members badge was of course the Puffin Logo designed by Jill McDonald when Kaye Webb became editor of Puffin Books in 1961.

Other classic button badges were made for the various events. I collected a pile of these and some survived better than others. Watch for these in future posts.

As a small addition - I have since learned that there was one solitary badge of gold that was made for club President, Yehudi Menuhin. This was a special gift from Kaye Webb. I assume it is still with the Menuhin family.

Monday, 28 July 2008

Puffin Post Vol.7 no.3

Time for Odway the dog to get the main billing for a change! This issue featured the first episode of the Odway strip 'Ye Great Enigma of ye Golden Fleas' - a perfect example of the surreal humour of Jill McDonald.

This issue featured:

Short Stories:

How the Starling Flew South - by Paul Biegel
The Romance of a plain Princess - by Ursula Moray Williams

Meet your Author - Joan Lingard, The Book that nearly wasn't written
Beginnings by Jane Gardam
Can we save our Wildlife - by Kenneth Mellanby (Another environmental article!)
Brand Rustling - by Ken Ullyat

Saturday, 26 July 2008

Puffin Post Vol.11 no.2

Another lovely sunny cover. A bit trippy, but still one of my favourites.

This issue has a really nice feel about it - even more cheery than usual.
Maybe it's because it has pics from the 10th Birthday show

Friday, 25 July 2008

Puffin Post Vol.8 no.2

Since the summer sun has finally decided to show it's face, I thought this cover would add to the mood.

This issue contained:

Short stories:
The Most Beautiful House - by Paul Biegel
Question Mark and the Wosbos - by Carolyn Sloane


Pictures from the 7th Puffin Show at the Commonwealth Institute
Building a Castle - Penelope Farmer tells how she came to write 'A Castle of Bone'
Witches and Witchdoctors I have met - by Ben Lucien Burman
Volcanoes - by Rupert Furneux
Old Jokes by Bronnie Cunningham
Meet your Author - Ursula Le Guin - by Susan Stanley Wolk

and of course - Norman Hunter's Magic Corner

Something sticky...

Not a cover this time, but a sticker that was handed out at the early 70's events. I'm lucky these survived for me to do the restoration bit on them. Badly yellowed and faded but still with a great deal of charm. I can't tell you what it feels like to bring this one back to life!

Wednesday, 23 July 2008

Puffin Post Vol.9 no.1

This is a work in progress. The copy I have in my collection is badly printed (the magenta isn't in register) This makes the original look very pink. I have been tweaking it on my Mac to realign the magenta part of the image and then retouch the damage of the years. It's nearly there, but I thought I'd share it with you. I wonder if every copy in the print run was printed this badly? Was yours in a better condition?

I got hold of this when the club had a clear out and made them available to members - I sent off my pocket money as fast as I could!! Some of my others were grabbed at the Exhibitions - again with most of my saved up pocket money.

Jill McDonald did a few of these ensemble covers - a mass of puffins all symbolising different personalities, moods or activities. They were a story in their own right.

Tuesday, 22 July 2008

The Most Gigantic Tiny Notebook...

Something a bit different. I got this notebook at one of the Puffin Exhibitions - I can't remember if they were free or not, but I ended up with two or three of them. The print registration was pretty poor on the original, with the orange leaving gaps of white around the left hand edges. I've tidied this up and kept the texture of the card (about 240gsm for the pedants out there).

As an added point of interest, Kaye Webb had a rubber stamp of the same design without the text, that she used to stamp autograph books and fly sheets of autograph hunters.

This is a pretty rare item as many kids ended up throwing them away after filling them with scribble. I remember seeing loads of them being swept up at the end of the exhibition, sans cover or contents. There may be a few out there that were used as impromptu autograph books - if so, I would love to hear from you.

Monday, 21 July 2008

Puffin Post Vol.8 no.3

One of Jill McDonalds more surreal covers (this one was a bind to restore!). This features TOMCAT with one of his more unusual thought processes!

This issue contained:

Short Stories:
Treacle Tart - by Robert Graves

Space Oddities by Patrick Moore
A Single Clue - Mollie Hunter explains why she writes historical novels
Making a Corn Dolly
Susan Cooper tells us about Secret Places
Soldier and Me - about the adaptation of 'Run for your Life' on Granada TV

... and Norman Hunters Magic Corner

Sunday, 20 July 2008

Puffin Post Vol.6 No.2

A cover with a rare opportunity to see a 'real' puffin alongside Fat Puffin.

Contents include:

Coverage of the Great Puffin 5th Birthday Exhibition.
A call to all Puffineers (members) from Kaye Webb to help raise £3000 to buy a stretch of coastline as a Puffin reserve. I add that this was achieved and is still there! If you want to visit, it is part of the RSPB reserve on Bempton Cliffs.

Short Stories:
The Changeling Dragon - by Modwena Sedgwick (illustrated by Ronald Searle)
Maddened by Mystery or The Defective Detective - by Stephen Leacock

Interview with Pauline Baynes - illustrator of the Narnia books
Interview with Arthur C. Clarke

Norman Hunter's Magic Corner
David Swift talks about his Role as Napoleon in the BBC adaptation of War and Peace (1972)

Friday, 18 July 2008

Who is Fat Puffin?

Here's a nice little article that Jill McDonald wrote about the creation of Fat Puffin - it's a shame that there aren't similar articles for Odway and TOMCAT.


More soon... promise!

I hope this first taste of the past has whetted your appetite for more.
I will endeavor to post something of interest once a week - look out for the forthcoming set of badges with a key to what they are.

"Badges? You know I'm a fool for badges!"
The Goodies - 'Scoutrageous' episode

Puffin Post Vol.4 No.4

Another blinder from Jill McDonald. I really take my hat off to this lady. I still kick myself that I missed meeting her at the Puffin Exhibitions I attended. Ah my misspent youth chasing after authors!!

Anywho... the contents of this issue included:

Short stories:
My friend the Snake Charmer - by Ben Lucien Burman
The Picketty Ghost - by Ursula Moray Williams

Singular Disaster Strikes Survivor Z&!!5 - This looks like a collaboration by Jill McDonald and Norman Hunter - I'll have to look into this!
Meet Your Author - Francis Hodgson Burnett - by Ann Thwaite
Museum Mania - A guide to five museums of interest to puffineers

...and pictures from the Hallowe'en party held on October 31st 1970 in Middlesex

Puffin Post Vol.5 no.3

Isn't this fantastic?! Jill was on form that day. This took a bit of cleaning up - several creases and wear to the edges, not to mention yellowing due to age! It's cleaned up nicely.
This issue included:

Short stories:
The Day I didn't have my photograph taken - by Janet Hitchman
Cosmic George - by Scoular Anderson
The Buffalo - by Beatrice Tanaka

An article by Gerald Leach about being eco-friendly with the worlds resources (not such a new concept then!)
Peter Dickinson explaining about Heartsease
Micheal Bond introduces Olga da Polga

Pictures from the Colony Holiday in Chichester, August 1971 and various other events...

And a reminder to order the new 1972 Puffin Diary!

Fat Puffin loves you...

This is the graphic designed by Jill McDonald for a Puffin Mug that was given away as prizes and sold at various Puffin Exhibitions in the late 70's.

I had my mug safely stored away and then my eldest daughter managed to smash it!

After sticking it back together, I photographed it and then reconstructed a clean image. A bit of a labour of love, but I loved the translation of the plimsol line on the side of Fat Puffins tum.

I may get round to getting it put on a new mug and let you see how it looks.

I suppose I'd better get started...

After much 'putting it off' and not really doing anything about it, I've decided to put some of my thoughts and memories online about the wondrous entity that was the Puffin Club of the late 60's , 70's and 80's. This is partly a love of the old club and partly a continuing admiration of the work of the late Jill McDonald and Kaye Webb.

I was a member of the club from the mid seventies till the mid eighties,
alongside my younger brother, and being the bookish obsessive type, I took a keen interest in the early history and culture of the club.

I would love to hear from previous members of the Puffin Club - particularly founder members - with their memories, stories, anecdotes and photo's.

Those of you with school age kids will probably be aware of the current school club that is the surviving face of the old club. Things are going to change - but I'm not going to be the one to spread spoilers!! If you want to know more, register on for more information.

I will be posting cleaned up images from my collection of Puffin Post, leaflets, badges , stickers and other ephemera. Please respect the copyright of these items - they are for fun, not profit!!

I must add that Puffin Post is copyright Penguin books and that no copyright infringement or financial gain is intended or inferred. (Glad I got that out of the way!!)

I hasten to add that I am not affiliated with Penguin, Puffin or any other group attached to the old club (other than being an old member).