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Younger readers comics, or nursery comics? 
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matrix wrote:
That was my original intention, maybe you misread my thoughts?
No I didn't misread anything. I merely changed my mind.
matrix wrote:
Well thank you Phoenix, for your loyal support.
And my perception was sharp enough to spot the sarcasm here. Probably justified, to be fair.


Sat Jun 15, 2013 10:54 am
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Thankyou Phoenix, fair play by all!

Moving on, can you add anything to the subject matter, did you read any when you were young? How important were they, are they, to a childs education?


Sat Jun 15, 2013 11:38 am
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matrix wrote:
Moving on, can you add anything to the subject matter, did you read any when you were young? How important were they, are they, to a childs education?
Well now, that's quite a wide-ranging raft of questions there, matrix.

I'm not sure I have much of value to say on the first question, so I'm happy to leave that to the experts.

On the second, I used to read The Dandy, The Beano, Radio Fun, Film Fun and The Knockout as a child, by which I mean under the age of nine, but only rarely, by which I mean when one or other of my friends had an issue or two, because I didn't get pocket money, and my father flatly refused to buy me any copies of what he referred to as penny dreadfuls. I probably read more adventures about Rupert than anything else, because the mother of a friend living five doors down the road got the Daily Express every day, and I was allowed to read the double-panelled strip regularly. As Father Christmas always brought Allan the Rupert Annual, I got to read that as well, and make the origami-type paper models. My father bought the Communist paper The Daily Worker, so obviously the Daily Express would never have been allowed across the threshold of our house. My mother was a Liberal, at a time when that was perfectly respectable, and bought the News Chronicle, where I was able to follow the activities of the Arkubs, and was allowed to become a club member. I've still got the badge and associated membership paperwork. When I was nine I graduated to The Wizard, Adventure, The Hotspur and The Rover, which cost twopence each. I was given sixpence a week pocket money, so obviously I couldn't buy all four in any one week, but I bought enough, probably two a week at best because I did enjoy two ounces of sweets or an ice lolly from time to time, to keep on top of the serials. Another friend used to get The Champion, delivered no less, and his elder sister had Girls' Crystal, so I also read those. When his younger sister started to get School Friend, I read that as well. Whenever I got more money, for example when I went to the Giant Axe to watch one of Lancaster City's Lancashire Combination matches, or to Lune Road in the summer for Lancaster's cricket matches, I usually managed to siphon a few pennies off for the following week's story papers. In fact, I've now got most of them from 1921 onwards, and a very large number of Thomsons' girls' papers from 1958 to 2001, and I still get enormous pleasure from reading them over and over again.

As far as your third question is concerned, they were extremely important to me. I believe they were very important to all children. I was a voracious reader anyway, but a full week's worth of Thomsons' papers amounted to an extra 75,000 words a week roughly, which had to help with spelling and the awareness of what language can actually do. From a personal point of view, I also learned some life skills, like becoming secretive because I had to find safe places to hide my story papers, otherwise my father would have put them on the back of the fire, and how to tell lies, which certainly didn't come naturally, and went very much against the grain. I still feel guilty about it all these years later, and this despite the fact that my parents have passed away.

I am a lot less impressed with the current output for children.


Sat Jun 15, 2013 6:14 pm
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I don't have a lot to say on this subject, apart from the fact that I do not remember reading the titles mentioned above but I did read and love Rupert. Still do. My dad bought The Daily Express most days and later I became a fan of The Gambols.
But, once again, and I find this a bit worrying, I enjoyed the personal history and agreed with the comments made by Phoenix in the post above.
My parents weren't keen on my having comics and it was a treat when I had to go for a haircut and the barber had a box of old comics. I always hoped for a long queue.


Sat Jun 15, 2013 6:43 pm
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Mr Valeera
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paw broon wrote:
I don't have a lot to say on this subject, apart from the fact that I do not remember reading the titles mentioned above but I did read and love Rupert. Still do. My dad bought The Daily Express most days and later I became a fan of The Gambols.
But, once again, and I find this a bit worrying, I enjoyed the personal history and agreed with the comments made by Phoenix in the post above.
My parents weren't keen on my having comics and it was a treat when I had to go for a haircut and the barber had a box of old comics. I always hoped for a long queue.
My barber always had old Victors or Commandos in the reading material. I always hoped for a long queue as well!

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Sat Jun 15, 2013 8:00 pm
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colcool007 wrote:
My barber always had old Victors or Commandos in the reading material. I always hoped for a long queue as well!
I would have been happy enough with The Victor, but when that started I was at University where, to be fair, I was still reading voraciously, but mainly in Spanish or French. I would not have been anything like as happy with Commando, partly because, like Warlord and Romeo, there is no variety, but fundamentally because I hate war stories. I would have wanted an extremely short queue. However, fortunately I never needed to go to a barber's because in his teens my father had served his time (did an apprenticeship) as a hairdresser with an uncle of his in Blackpool, after which he worked in Chorley, where he lived at that time, before he got a better job in Lancaster, and a few years later opened a shop of his own in Market Gate. A good many years later, I don't recall exactly when, but every so many weeks my younger brother and I had to take turns sitting on a step ladder in the bathroom while my father put his qualifications into practice. It was actually quite a reasonable experience because while he was snipping away he used to test us on the laws of football. One example. For how many infringements can a penalty kick be awarded? I think the correct answer was nine, but that was only the preamble. He would then inevitably say, What are they?, and we had to recite them. We had learned them off by heart from the Sunday Chronicle Football Annual. Mind you, my father was a qualified referee, although he only worked up to Lancashire Combination standard, so there was no getting away with any fudging. Apparently he was well respected by his peers. I remember him telling me about a trick question he was asked in his final referees exam in the late Thirties. It was, The right winger puts in a high cross passing just under the bar, and it gets impaled on a nail sticking out at the top of the far post. What's your decision? My father's answer was, It just can't happen because before I am prepared to blow the whistle for the kick-off, I follow your regulations and check that the woodwork and the nets are correctly positioned and in a safe condition. He passed. It was only part-time work, of course, because of his hairdresser's shop, which was burnt down at the beginning of the war. Obviously I hadn't been born at that time, so I gleaned the information above from conversations with him. I only remember him working at English Electric in Preston.


Sat Jun 15, 2013 9:34 pm
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Thankyou Phoenix, for the in depth and interesting reply.

A lot of social history there, one comment I find very interesting is the way in which your father had compared a lot of your comics to penny dreadfuls, was that a general attitude taken by a lot of people then? There must have been an overlapping period before mainstream comics were more acceptable?

You did'nt tell us your hiding places or is that still a secret? Also did you always wear a hat after you had finished on the step ladder?


Sun Jun 16, 2013 7:04 am
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matrix wrote:
one comment I find very interesting is the way in which your father had compared a lot of your comics to penny dreadfuls, was that a general attitude taken by a lot of people then? There must have been an overlapping period before mainstream comics were more acceptable?
No, it was a personal thing. My father had been made redundant a couple of times before he got married, and always blamed his lack of qualifications. He made up his mind that if he ever had children, he would make sure they would never end up in a similarly vulnerable position. For him, knowledge was in books. Comics were worse than merely an irrelevance, as they would get in the way of his grand plan. Therefore they would be banned. Presumably he used the expression penny dreadfuls because it was the generic term for the type of children's fiction his own father and uncles will have known, in the same way that the word comics is for us today. I doubt whether he ever read any. He did also value experience. He often used the rhyming aphorism Experience is the college where you get the best of knowledge, but books were far more important. Not that he ever applied his principles to himself. I never saw him read a single book, and I can only remember him buying one, a secondhand copy of Grimmett On Cricket, a guide to spin bowling written by the great Australian who was active in the inter-war years. He did, of course, consult regularly the Sporting Chronicle Form Books, but that can't really be classed as reading.

I really became aware of his obsession while I was still in the primary school, about nine I think, when he got annoyed over the book I had borrowed that day from the Lancaster Junior Library. I don't now remember what it was, but it will probably have been a novel about the Hardy Boys or Billy Bunter. He ordered me to take it straight back, and get something more educational. I had to wait till the following day because the library didn't allow you to return a book the same day you had borrowed it. I remember this so well. I selected a long story about Captain Cook's voyage to Australia. My father was delighted. I didn't read it though, as I had no interest whatsoever in Captain Cook, but I did move my bookmark along about twenty or so pages a day. Fortunately, he never questioned me about the content, or I'd have got a good hiding. Perhaps he was too busy reading the reports of the Scottish matches in the Sunday Post to get an angle on the form of the various teams prior to filling in his Littlewoods Pools coupon, or upstairs making something on his lathe in his workroom.

Moving forward twelve or thirteen years, I had booked him, my mother and my brother into a Birmingham hotel the night before my Degree Congregation, and before I took them all out for a meal my father said, An Honours degree, eh. Are you happy now, son? I said, Well I'm certainly happy for you, Dad.

I have nothing more to say on this issue, matrix.


Sun Jun 16, 2013 12:00 pm
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I should think so too Phoenix, Nuff said

Thanks.


Mon Jun 17, 2013 3:18 am
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Your story Phoenix reminded me a lot of my father as well who was anti-comics too & my parents were academics from working-class backgrounds obsessed with my academia. Is a long story.

Think I was allowed some comics - only 1 a week - as it could keep me out of trouble when they were too busy (while maintaining my sheltered life).

Learnt a bit from comics on a bit of cunning and more about slang which most kids from my schools used anyway - such as "grub" or "nosh" (my dad disapproved of that word in a Smiffy strip). He'd rather I'd talk Queen's English posh (and tried to convert me to Dandy).

When I did my degree as a mature student I did it under forced circumstances (long story again). I didn't go to the graduation & when my parents said it must've meant something to you I'd say it meant nothing - only useful in getting me my great present job over 10 years after graduation.

I'd dismay them by saying the only thing I learned at Comp school was how to swear - no need for Viz to teach me.


Sat Jun 22, 2013 12:16 pm
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Just getting back to the original topc at the start, I have been jotting ideas for more subjects on nursery comics ie articles on other titles not yet discussed (as far as I know).

Up to yous as what you want to do.


Fri Jul 26, 2013 11:14 am
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