December 8th, 2006

International Kittens of Mystery

Green Shield Stamps

Well, I'm still in 1969 in my time travel - or is it? - novel, Hidden in Time. And during my stay there I've been digging up various period items to arrange tastefully in the scene backgrounds. Here's one I almost forgot - Green Shield Stamps. I suspect you'd have to be well over 30 to remember the phenomenon - and what a phenomenon it was. In the UK it was estimated that 80% of the population collected them. I remember the excitement - we were easily pleased in those days - of rushing back home from the shops to stick the Green Shield Stamps into the book for my mother.

And leaf through the catalogue to work out how many tongues I'd have to go through before we could afford anything reasonable.

I also remember Green Shield Stamp Madness - an era when garages vied with each other to see who could offer the most stamps with their petrol - double stamps, triple stamps, quad and then absurd multiples that left motorists staggering back to their cars with bulging wallets streaming with folds and folds of the stuff.

I remember the pink stamps and I remember the blue Co-op divis, but the green ones were always the best.