Time to dig out your card collections

Collecting cards for any kind of album was such fun for children of yesteryear. The drawing of...
Collecting cards for any kind of album was such fun for children of yesteryear. The drawing of the wrybill for this Gregg's Rare and Endangered Birds of New Zealand album is particularly alluring. PHOTOS: RAELEENE MUNRO
What could be more exciting, when we were kids, than collecting cards or badges or stamps - in fact, anything you could put in an album and show off proudly at school or to your family?

In the UK, I remember getting cards of football players whenever we got petrol (some cards were in snazzy 3-D too).

There were plastic bandsmen and women in packets of cereals (there were always dozens of trumpet players and never the trombonist you desperately needed), and also small plastic badges with the insignia of the airlines of the world, which came with chocolate bars, I think.

Go back another generation or two and there were cigarette cards. We've got boxes and albums of these at home somewhere, featuring a lot of 1930s' cricketers. The cards still smell vaguely of tobacco and feel slightly gritty from it.

A couple of readers on this side of the world recall the Gregg's bird cards and albums, which we have photos of today.

Jan Patterson says Nick Loughnan's comments last week on Gregg's cards brought back good memories.

``I worked in the office for W. Gregg & Co in the late 1960s-early 1970s and remember how popular these cards and albums were.

``Kids would write requesting an album and often returned their duplicate cards to exchange for those they were missing.

Another album offering for jelly and pudding lovers around the country.
Another album offering for jelly and pudding lovers around the country.
``The Baker brothers ran a great family business here in Dunedin, with the staff feeling valued. It was a great place to work.

``Aah, the good old days - before massive profits became a priority.''

Raeleene Munro, of South Dunedin, who took today's photos, has been following the Otago bird stories in this column over the past few months.

``I look after three preschoolers, and one (Jacen) is obsessed with birds. This started when he noticed them on the neighbours' roof.

``Coincidentally, I got out the two Gregg's albums that I had as a child and have enclosed a couple of pictures. While Jacen is too young to understand the words, he takes great delight in looking at the pictures.''

The cover of Rare and Endangered Birds of New Zealand. How many of you still have one of these...
The cover of Rare and Endangered Birds of New Zealand. How many of you still have one of these albums buried somewhere among your possessions?
Nasty smell

Ann Aitken has an odoriferous recollection from Oamaru.

``When I was at Waitaki Girls' High in 1960, we had a male teacher who we could smell as he went around the room. It was the smell of old baby vomit on his teacher's gown.

``Some of the girls decided to overcome his sickly smell with some perfume! Something floral and strong smelling was chosen. It worked like magic, much to our relief and amusement.''

Yik. Thank goodness for that.

Mt Cargill

I had a lovely letter from Zella Amalfitano, of Allanton, about my favourite Dunedin landmark.

``Your trip to Mt Cargill brought back memories of 1984,'' she says.

``My dad was in hospital and befriended a Fijian man who was there while his son was having treatment. Dad asked me if I would like to take this man for a tour of our sights.

``I decided to take him up to Mt Cargill to show him the view. My little Hillman car did it hard going up that hill, but it was well worth the effort.

``It blew and it snowed. This big man stood out in the snow, arms outstretched, laughing. It was quite a sight to see. Then I took him to St Kilda beach and home for a feed of fish and chips.

``There was a slight language barrier, but the look on his face said it all.

``My next trip in the same little car was after dad died. I took mum up Mt Cargill. The wind whipped the words out of our mouths before we could form them. It should definitely be a tourist destination.''

Thanks Zella for sharing that heart-warming story.

Central Otago 2050

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