What did you collect when you were growing up? Children back in the day collected autographs, stamps, football cards and so much more. Here’s a list of the Top 5 favourite things to collect, according to the memories of the Spring Chicken Community.
Many Spring Chicken Facebook followers remember owning an autograph book. Stars of the day were more accessible and would often sign autographs on their way in and out of gigs.
I got autographs from Paul and Linda McCartney at Heathrow.
“Nikki Pilic autographed my hand at Wimbledon years ago. I wanted Arthur Ashe’s, but he said no!”
“My most prized autographs were from Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick and Tich when they played at Bognor Butlins in the early 60s – before they had their first hit.”
Sending letters to stars was another popular way of getting an autograph or a signed photo, but not all big names of the day were willing to share their fame for free:
“I sent a letter to James Mason who asked for 1 shilling and 6 pence. Blimey, that was at least a week’s pocket money! l didn’t write back, but I did have a whole album of others… wonder what happened to it?”
“I used to write to film stars and received signed photos of Jerry Lewis, Brian Rix, Ken Dodd and Patrick McGoohan.”
Collecting stamps was a popular hobby back in the day and filling up book after book kept children entertained for hours.
Many of those books are stored in attics to this day – or in the case of John Lennon’s boyhood collection, in the Smithsonian Postal Museum!
“I always bought mixed packets from the local shop and had hours of fun sorting them all out. I used special folded stickers so as not to ruin the stamps.”
I still have my stamps. I collected the pretty ones, especially the ones from Hungary – Magyar Posta.
Scraps were small, colourful paper cut-outs that came in a wide range of decorative designs.
Children liked to collect them and arrange them in books, but swapping scraps with friends was also a popular playground pastime.
I collected scraps and spent endless amounts of time swapping them. Good old days!
“I loved scraps. The angel and cherub ones were the best.”
According to many in the Spring Chicken Community, record collections often took over where stamp or scrap collections left off, and alongside the autograph, stamp, and scrapbook collections languishing in lofts across the nation, there are many dusty boxes filled with old 33s and 45s.
“I collected records for the player I got at Christmas. I could stack several on it and it’d play them one after the other.”
“I collected stamps and records. I don’t have the stamps, but I still have over 500 vinyl LPs and singles dating all the way back to Tommy Steele.
Did you have a portable record player in your room?
Everything and Anything!
Children in the ’50s and ’60s didn’t have TVs and computers, so they collected things for fun. Memories of treasured collections include Dinky toys, matchboxes, chewing gum cards, bird’s eggs, paper cut-out dolls, golliwog brooches, beer mats, postcards, and even paper orange wrappers, but the last word on the fun of collecting goes to this Facebook comment:
“I used to get a privet branch in the shape of a V, strip the skin off it, and collect cobwebs off the hedgerows with it on the way to school in the winter. What a fantastic childhood!”