It’s fair to say that 2017 didn’t end up the way I imagined it would when I sat here a year ago. As a result several things slid, and one of those was Ladybird Tuesday.
New year, new start though and Ladybird Tuesday is back and I have some pretty big plans for it over the next twelve months. It’s most likely that when I sit down and write the first Ladybird Tuesday post of 2019 it will probably be on a different blog, but I’m putting my positive head on and seeing change as an opportunity rather than a threat, and I’m very excited about lots of new plans that I’ve been thinking about, talking about and developing over the Christmas and New Year break.
My Ladybird collection has moved house with me in the last six months and rather than being all beautifully organised in series it’s now somewhat scattered around a rather cramped flat, squeezed on some Ikea CD racks so that it doesn’t have to sit in a damp garage until we move again. One of my aims for this year though is to get it sorted again and also finally type up a comprehensive list of what I actually have in the collection. My last list was written about three years ago and my collection has grown significantly since then, and my understanding of the series and different variations of titles has grown too.
I’m also in a position now where I don’t actually know what I’ve got in my collection. A recent opportunity to buy a large number of book from another collector fell down because I wasn’t easily able to see what I had and what I didn’t have in what he was offering to sell.
So, as well as getting super organised and managing a whole 52 Ladybird Tuesday posts in the year, I also want to produce a full listing for my collection and also add to it where I can. Particularly with some of the foreign language versions that I keep seeing online.
But, back to this week’s Ladybird Tuesday. I’m taking a bit of a sideways step as I’m not actually going to feature an individual Ladybird book. Instead I’m going to look at something that I was reminded of in a recent trip to the Postal Museum (another blog post and more coming up on that soon). Back in September 2017 Royal Mail produced a set of utterly gorgeous Ladybird books stamps. I saw them in passing at the time they were released and was meaning to buy a set from the post office, but life got in the way and I forgot all about them until my trip to the Postal Museum where they were on display somewhere. A quick hunt on eBay and soon a Presentation Pack was on its way to me.
There are a total of eight stamps in the set – two each of 2nd class, 1st class, £1,40 and £1.57. Each features on it three vintage Ladybird book covers arranged in a fan shape. The titles are as follows:
Stamp 1 – History
Stamp 2 – Well-loved Tales
- The Gingerbread Boy
- The Elves and The Shoemaker
Stamp 1 – Key Words Reading Scheme
- 2a We have fun
- 1b Look at this
- 4a Things we do
Stamp 2 – Early Tales and Rhymes
- Piggly Plays Truant
- Tootles the Taxi
- Smoke and Fluff
Stamp 1 – Hobbies and How It Works
Stamp 2 – People at Work
- The Nurse
- The Postman
- The Fireman
Stamp 1 – Nature and Conservation
- British Wild Flowers
- Wild Life in Britain
- Garden Flowers
Stamp 2 – Achievements
- The Story of Ships
- The Story of the Motor Car
- The Story of Metals
The set of stamps that I purchased was the presentation pack, giving me all eight stamps, presented on a fold out card which contains an A to Z of Ladybird Books. Also on there is a evolution of the Ladybird logo timeline. Something that I’ve become very familiar with, but I’m guessing new to many people. One little touch that I liked was that the stamps are presented with a background of the spines of different Ladybird titles. They are such iconic little books, and it was also lovely to see a credit to fellow collector (and in fact the Queen collector as far as I’m concerned) Helen Day for providing the books in the photograph. According to the Royal Mail website Helen also wrote the A to Z guide which doesn’t surprise me in the slightest. No one knows their Ladybird books quite like she does.
Also included was a card containing a history of Ladybird books. It’s. history which I have learnt much about over the years, but one which I never tire of hearing. Just last night my boyfriend and I were catching up with James May: My Sister’s Top Toys on iPlayer. The show may have originally been broadcast 10 years ago, but I had not seen it before. In the programme there is a section on Ladybird books and it was then that I realised that not everyone is familiar with where they came form and why they are the way they are. I could simply talk all day about Ladybird Books and with Ladybird Tuesday that’s exactly what I plan to continue doing!
You can go online and purchase the Ladybird Books stamps from the Royal Mail website here.
If you, like me, have a fascination for old Ladybird books then please take a look at all the books I have featured here on Ladybird Tuesday over the years. There’s a list of the titles I have and links to when I covered them on Ladybird Tuesday here, but I will warn you that it’s rather in need of an update. If you have any old Ladybird books that you no longer want, photos of books in your collection that you want to share, or are trying to track down a title that you remember from childhood then please don’t hesitate to get in touch. I’m nearly always on social media as BeingMrsC, or you can find my email address on my Working with Mrs C page.