Down Memory Lane

Three very old friends.
Well used

and well loved.

Yesterday whilst at a rugby match with my parents I bumped into my old junior school headmaster. It was a lovely surprise, he was one of those inspirational teachers you never forget. He still remembers me not because I was a particularly memorable pupil but because my dad regularly bumps into him at rugby matches. And he remembers you Ian and asked after you! Anyway meeting him had me heading down memory lane which was how I came to dig out these old books which date from my junior school years.

I remember doing this one at infant school. The teacher allowed us to choose four colours each. I chose red, pink, black and white. The result was very stylish. We made them into calendars. All very psychedelic, this was the seventies after all.

This was a project my infant school teacher did not attempt with a class of 5-7 year olds. Can you imagine it ever getting into a children's book today? Very effective technique though.

I'm sure this book was owned by many of you. A real Puffin classic. Illustrated by the wonderful Shirley Hughes it takes the reader through the year with games, projects, customs and poems for each month.

I remember making this handkerchief mouse from the January chapter -things to do while you are bedridden with winter ills, not that I ever remember being bedridden.

And this dolls' house made from the ever-dependable Clarks' shoe boxes.

I adored this. Not a book but a folder.

Containing a map and story cards.

How I loved this map of the village. The idea was that you used the story cards to plan a day's visit to this village beginning at the train station.

Click on the pictures for more detail.

Each story card featured something on the map.

What about you? Do you still have books from your childhood that you can't bear to part with? If you regret letting them go you will be amazed at what you can find on sites like Amazon. I have tracked down several second hand copies of old Puffins for pence. 


Ooh I got all excited then when I read a comment from someone who also remembered Willy Mouse -then I realised it was from someone called ME aka My Mother. Yes ME I do still have Willy Mouse and he surely wins the prize for being the oldest -look 3s 6d -pre-decimal.

Here he is collecting ingredients to make his 'Christmouse pudding'.


  1. Oh happy memories, I had the Something to Do book, and still have it, I must dig out my copy!
    Julie xxxxx

  2. Anonymous3:11 pm BST

    I loved A Day in the Country too. Have you still got the Willy Mouse Stories by Alison Jezzard. I loved that book as well.ME

  3. Goodness me what old books. No I don't think I do have any of my choldhood books anymore with the exception of A Mole Family's Christmas which I read every year with daughter. x

  4. Anonymous3:52 pm BST

    I have been reading your blog for a few months now but I'm afraid I've never left a comment ...but oh! seeing your copy of Something To Do has brought back many memories - I loved that book! Thankyou for a lovely blog: I enjoy your writing and photos, and promise to leave more comments! Thankyou!Louise.

  5. Hi yes i admit it i am a book freak..i have books from my grandma that i can't bear to part with..i often get them out of the bookcase and read them..it brings back so many wonderful memories of me and gran sitting in her chintzy parlour(thats what she called it) and reading and sewing,knitting well me attempting to knit...i have my mums old christmas annuals with wonderful things to make in them..i might see if my 2 girls fancy having a go..sounds daft but i love the smell of my old books too...please keep blogging i love it..you seem to have the knack of evoking old memories for lots of us..thank you...

  6. I loved Mrs Pepperpot and the folk of the far away tree

  7. I remember the handkerchief mouse. Was always thrilled to make something that didn't require fancy materials. (Our house was sadly lacking in Blue Peter's stickyback plastic!)
    How lovely to have your old books. My mum was a demon chucker-out and mine must have gone to jumble sales years ago.

  8. I recently discovered your blog and I have enjoyed reading it. I had Something to Do and I loved it but I got rid of it which is sad. I have bought the Ladybird Learn to Crochet book from ebay because I taught myself to crochet using that book.

  9. They really were well loved. As you know I bought the second book only a few months ago because I thought it was so wonderful. When 'I were a lad' I loved The Family from One End Street and the Laura Ingalls Wilder stories. I'm trying to get my girl into them now but she's just that bit too young.

  10. I remember Something to Do. Must now find a copy as mine has gone missing in the mists of time. Recently managed to find Enid Blytons 'book of the year' at a sale which I loved as a child. similar idea. Nostalgia can be an expensive thing can't it?

  11. Anonymous10:30 pm BST

    I had Something To Do and feel very nostalgic about it when ever I see it. The little handkerchief mouse always looked so pretty and mouse-like in the book. Mine never did, it didn't look like a mouse at all! My daughter had many of the same copies of Enid Blyton books that I had (they were really cheap to buy then) and many of my favourite books were also her favourites - My Naughty Little Sister books (also illustrated by Shirley Hughes),Clever Polly and the Stupid Wolf, Topsy and Tim as well as many of the children's classics like Little Women, What Katy Did and Anne of Green Gables. I absolutely love children's books - as did my own mum who used to pinch them to read while my sister and I were in bed. I have re-read all the Little House on the Prairie books as an adult and still love them.I had so many favourites - someone has mentioned The Magic Faraway Tree; the best ever Enid Blyton! I would have loved your Day in the Country and little mouse books but they are new to me.

  12. How wonderful you still have some of your childhood books that bring back fantastic memories. Enjoy your memories.


  13. I have quite a few of my childhood books and have one of my mums that would be over 60 years old. When I was first married I was sent home from work with the flu. I was bed ridden and bored so grabbed all my childhood books and read them, was lovely to revisit the memories.
    Another great post Sue.
    Hugs Sandi xx

  14. What a fab post!!!
    I love your books....
    I collect books like this from op shops and use them as wrapping paper... I know that may sound terrible, but as there is no nostalgia involved (!) it's all good and people LOVE it!!!!
    Funny how your mum left a comment... mine only looks at the pictures on my blog, and that's only because I subscribed her by e-mail myself ha ha

  15. Ooh what memories :-)

    My dad, in a moment of decluttering, chucked all my old childhood books when I got married, somehow he didn't think I'd want them again :-(

    Don't think I've forgiven him yet, some 20 odd years later.

    I've rebought them all over the years, and it's a great pleasure to see my young ones enjoying the books I did.

    I have a passion for old Ladybird books, they always bring a smile to my face, and good old Enid Blyton, and not forgetting the Anne of Green Gable series.

    A x

  16. I adore the old Pullein-Thompson pony books, and my Anne of Green Gables stories (still read them for comfort on a rainy afternoon). Oh and Little Women, and the others. And the Jinny at Finmory books by Patricia Leitch. I gave away a huge pile of pony books before I had my daughter, and I regret it terribly.

  17. I'm so glad to have inspired a nostalgia-fest! Thank you for your memories :o)

    Sue x

  18. I owned and loved Something to Do - and I'm sure 'did' most of the things that were to do. A while ago I suddenly thought about that very same book, wistfully remembered it and thought to myself what a shame it was that I hadn't kept it to give to my daughters. Now how about this for telepathy - three days later a package arrived for me from my closest friend in England....and guess what was in it! Spooky or what? My friend had seen it in a secondhand bookshop and just felt compelled to buy it and send it to me!

  19. I also had Something To Do, along with all the Mallory Towers & St Clares books, and the Chalet School ones, and all the Laura Ingalls Wilder series, and can you guess that my parents were librarians & instilled a love of books in their children?!

  20. I still have a shelf of books from my childhood (which means they are, erm, rather old!)
    Favourites include Tales from Ebony, the Water Babies, Uncle Mac's Children's Hour Book, a very sweet pop up book "Ballet", the magical "Jennifer and the Flower Fairies" by Annette Mills (more famous for Muffin the Mule) and how about this for a wonderful title "Mr. Bumbletoes of Bimbleton".
    I loved reading as a child and still do.

  21. I have always been a bookworm and still have lots of my childhood books, currently residing in my loft. I have also raided my Mum's annuals from her childhood. She has a suitcase full in her loft :D and I have brought some of them home with me. Your post has inspired me to go hunting in our loft and to do a post of my own about my vintage library. Best wishes Pj x


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