Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Saving a Stamp

Following on from my previous post, the holiday season brought yet another showing of "On the Buses".  And if it's scheduled, then it's on in our house, being an inter-generational hit.

When Jack and Stan spike the women drivers' tea with something that makes them constantly desperate to spend a penny, we get to see a series of public conveniences.  This is the perfect way to view some of the aforementioned buildings that have been lost.  I took particular notice of this scene because of my recent blogging interest, and caught a glimpse of something else which awakened a whole new set of reminiscence.

The thing that I saw was an advertisement for Green Shield Stamps - an orange and white banded poster declaring that the stamps could be obtained there.  This took me right back to a youth spent sticking strips of stamps into paper books - both Green Shield and Co-op Divi ones.  When your book was full, it could be exchanged for a useful household gift in the precursor to Argos.  Which home set up before 1985 doesn't have a set of glasses or crockery that were an exchange for a wodge of Green Shield books?

The most wonderful thing about these stamp based shopping reward schemes was the lack of need to carry plastic cards around with you everywhere.  My wallet bursts at the seams with shop reward cards.  I feel I must have them because I'm sure that shops factor in the costs of the rewards to their prices - so not to participate is to lose out.  And they're all at it now!  I curse the time I waste in searching for the card for that particular shop, the cuticles ripped and the nail varnish chipped while rooting around in the densely packed corners of my poor strained wallet.  And then there's the junk mail - because the real reason behind modern reward schemes is data collection.  Wasn't it all much simpler when you got a small child to stick stamps into a book to keep them quiet and then selected a gift from a catalogue?  I'm sure Olive would agree.


  1. Remember the Co-op Stamps well! I used my Grandmas(without her knowledge!) as stamps when playing 'Post Offices'!

  2. Oh yes it was very tempting to play with them! I think I might have used the Co-op milk checks (little plastic coins) when playing at shops.