Friday, 28 January 2011

George Mellor - Look Back at Loscoe - Happy Walking International - 1997


Born in 1917, George Mellor was the son of a miner from Loscoe, Derbyshire. He spent six years in the armed forces during World War Two (Somalia) and on his return went into the teaching profession. 

During the period of his retirement he became an accomplished amateur artist, poet and local historian. Sadly, he died during 2010.

This is the story of his childhood  and of growing up in the Heanor/Loscoe area, illustrated with the author`s own sketches.

This warm and often funny account of Derbyshire life and history is rather scarce now, but well worth looking out for.

We currently have one copy on sale, which is at number 3809 in our listings. It should appear online within the next twelve hours.

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Notorious Knits and Kitschy Stitches

The Museum of Kitschy Stitches : A Gallery of Notorious Knits by Stitchy McYarnpants (Debbie Brisson) is a book compiled from "vintage catalogues, patterns and advertisements" by a self-confessed "master of fashion disaster".

I think we can safely assume that the photographic likenesses contained therein date from the `60s to early `70s. I presume the vibrant (is that the right word ?) colours were a reflection of the optimism of the area. The actual styles, however, can only be the symptoms of some kind of  clinical condition.

Did people really look like that ? If so, why ? My best guess is that it was some sort of crime prevention exercise - dressed like that, people would rarely leave home, let alone get involved in any activity that might draw attention to them.

On a personal note, I recall as a child that my mother would occasionally nod towards people passing by and comment jokingly "promise me you`ll never dress like that." At the time her sense of humour  went over my head, but now after all these years, I see what she was getting at !

Anyway, a selection of the relevant fashions is reproduced here for you to savour.

These are just a few of the more tasteful examples - I was worried some of the others could cause nightmares to those of a sensitive disposition !  If you are unwise enough to require a copy of the book, it is number 3802 in our listings and should appear online within the next twelve hours.

Monday, 10 January 2011

Yaffle and Flambo Revisited

Some time ago (30 August 2010 to be exact), I asked if anyone new the true identities of author Yaffle and illustrator Flambo. 

I`ve now had a reply via blogger  from someone using the name Weedking, to tell me that Yaffle was in fact Bernard Boothroyd , a columnist with the sinister-sounding New Leader 1929 - 33, later humour editor for Reynolds News and eventually editor of Peace News. Boothroyd was also apparently the man who discovered the cartoonist Giles.

According to Weedking, Flambo was "almost certainly" Montague Phillip Medoza aka Philip Mendoza aka Mendoza aka `Flam`, an illustrator often associated with pulp-fiction covers, but who actually engaged in a range of illustrative work. Mendoza had apparently illustrated Yaffle/Boothroyd`s New Leader column for a time, and also contributed full-page pieces to the same publication. 

For more on Mendoza, my informant recommends `Philip Mendoza (Montague Phillip Mendoza)` which was posted on Tues 6 March 2007 at .

Weedking has no blog and has not provided me with a way to contact him/her, but I would like to use this chance to express my thanks for this information, and also to share it with others.

Much obliged, Weedking.

The three illustrations here are from Yaffle and Flambo`s Foiling the Reds ( Labour Research Department, 1926)  which you`ll find at 3553 in our listings. As you`ll see, in the top illustration a fiendish-looking individual has stolen a copy of the New Leader from three other characters, possibly lending credence to the suggestion that the artist was the New Leader`s Mendoza.

If considering buying this, please read our description carefully, including the condition details. Cheers.

P.S. Just out of curiosity, what was New Leader ? I`m vaguely aware of an American journal of that title, which began in the `20s and only ceased production a few years ago, but presumably Boothroyd/Mendoza were contributing to a UK publication of the same name ? If anyone knows, that would be interesting. I have an inquiring mind, as you can possibly tell.   

Saturday, 8 January 2011

Andrew Polkey - The Civil War in the Trent Valley - Walk & Write, Darley Dale, Matlock, Derbyshire -

Born and raised in Derby and having worked in both Nottingham and Burton,  teacher Andrew Polkey felt that there should be a book on the English Civil War as it affected the Trent Valley. Like many peple, he eventually concluded that if he wanted it doing, he`d have to do it himself !

Fortunately, Derbyshire-based publisher Walk and Write agreed with him, and the result is this mighty fine paperback book.

This is one of around half a dozen books on the Civil War that we have in stock at present, and I like to think we are currently catering for those who are new to the subject as well as those with some prior knowledge.

It`s at number 3778 in our listings. Any questions, just ask.

As you`ll appreciate, we only post details of a small section from our stock on this blog, but the whole online literary emporium can be found using the links provided. Cheers.

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Jean Grose - Those Seaside Days - Poppyland - 1986

Jean Grose - Those Seaside Days - Poppyland Publishing - 1986

Poppyland Publishers of North Walsham in Norfolk were (are ?) specialists in publications relating to East Anglian life and culture.

Published during the `80s as part of their East Anglian Memories series, this book concerns itself  with memories of East Anglian family holidays in the `40s. Enlightening and enjoyable, educational and entertaining, this worthy tome appears at number 3786 in our listings.

Don`t forget that this blog only comprises a few `edited highlights` from our online emporium. To check out our full range of titles and subjects, use the `Buy Books` links provided.