Friday, 29 August 2008


My all-consuming hobby when I was twelve and thirteen was, surprisingly, not boys. In those days, children of thirteen were still children, and my hobby was collecting pictures of Hollywood film stars. I had several scrapbooks into which I pasted all the film stars’ photos I could lay my hands on. I used to spend all the money I had on the two magazines that were all about Hollywood and the stars. One was called Picturegoer and the other, Filmgoer. I’d give my eyeteeth for a back edition of one of those magazines now! All the girls in my class were crazy about Hollywood, and we collected and swapped pictures at every opportunity.

One time, I had a picture of a starlet that I didn’t know. Not to be outdone, I duly pasted her into my book and wrote beneath the cutting the word ‘anon’. This happened again, so I followed the same procedure; Mummy had told me years earlier what the word anon. meant. Later, at school, I was showing my collection to a girl in my class. She looked at the photographs of the two ‘unknowns’ and said ‘you’d never guess that they were the same person, they look so different!’
One of the side effects of the war was a paper shortage. Of course, there were a great many shortages, most of which we kids didn’t worry about. The smaller children didn’t remember things like chocolate and bananas, while oranges and lemons was just a nursery rhyme. I was quite aware that clothes and food were rationed, but as a family we never bought great quantities of either. Mum was a good manager and we never seemed to go short of the things that really mattered. But a paper shortage – that was different. That had a serious affect on my film star collection!
I had been unable to continue my hobby in Grange-over-Sands. We didn’t live anywhere near a newsagent, so I didn’t have the opportunity to buy my magazines. Then we moved to Bradford and it was all systems go! I hurried down to the local paper shop, which was a few doors away, all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. The shopkeeper soon informed me that owing to limited availability Picturegoer and Filmgoer were only for regular customers who had always ordered them from him. I cajoled and pleaded, but to no avail.
Back home I sat and thought deeply about this problem. Then I hit on an idea. I would boldly walk up to the counter and, clutching my money, announce that I’d been sent by Mrs. Jones to collect her copy of Picturegoer. If questioned, I would tell the newsagent that Mrs Jones had a headache and couldn’t come out. I don’t think it occurred to me that he probably didn’t have a customer called Mrs. Jones. Or maybe it did, and I decided to live dangerously. Of course it didn’t work, although I tried it on more than one shop. From then on, until the end of the war, film stars were very thin on the ground.
To be continued…


GoldAnne said...

lol Leeta ,I remember those old film stars,I was rather interested in boys as well though :)
re rationing, my sister used to save all her jam and sweets ( I was always a pig) and then eat it in front of me smugly lol
thanklk you love anne xxx

weechuff said...

Leeta, there are lots of Picturegoers at 99p on Ebay, they seem to go back to the early thirties. Have a browse:0)

granny grimble said...


Thank you for that information. I shall look straight away. They have to be 'my era' though XX



What a wicked sister! What did you do in return though :0)

Babs (Beetle) said...

Ha ha! We think we are so clever as kids, and that no-one will see through our little plan!

GoldAnne said...

AS IF :)

granny grimble said...


I can't believe that I ever had the nerve to do that, I was such a timid little thing. How I've changed :0)

Jay said...

LOL! You little devil you!

I don't remember rationing, of course, since I was born in the fifties, but I think my family weathered it all rather well - my Grandmother kept a small shop and would often slip my parents butter and sugar etc that she had going spare because people didn't want to use their coupons on them for some reason.

Apparently my elder brother, then very small, used to announce the appearance of Grandma by shouting 'Here comes beanies!!'

She used to bring him Smarties, bless her. LOL!

Croom said...

Another interesting blog Leeta.

I just get so much enjoyment from reading them (although please forgive me) at the moment I am suffering rather badly with this tooth ache and the antibiotics) so not so quick to read and comment.

Don’t you remember what happened to your collection? What a shame you never kept them safely, (bet they would be worth money now)

Just going to read the next one now :O)

granny grimble said...


In retrospect, it seems that quite a lot of wheeling and dealing went on amongst the ordinary housewives! It would be interesting to find out if vegetarians had to have meat coupons, or if they got something else instead. We never knew any veggies at that time, but I would like to know.

Has your Mum started reading these yet?


I've no idea what happened to my collection, but I certainly would love to see them again. I had about four books I think.