I’m always on the hunt for new ideas for blog posts so when I was a little stuck today, I thought I’d take a look at my old scrapbooks and see what was in there.
I started making scrapbooks when I was much younger and my prime source was a comic I used to buy, TV21. TV21 was based on the TV shows of Gerry Anderson all of which were set in the world of the 21st Century. In the 21st Century there was a World President, a World Government and many global organisations such as the WASP, the World Aquanaut Security Patrol and WSP, the World Space Patrol.
Those organisations featured in Stingray and Fireball XL5, futuristic puppet series created by Gerry and Sylvia Anderson and the two followed them with series like Captain Scarlet and Joe 90 and perhaps the most famous, Thunderbirds.
TV21 featured all the series above in comic book format and the front page resembled a newspaper style headline featuring the stories that were inside as well as smaller stories and items such as stop press columns, again all relating to items inside the comic.
I couldn’t find my oldest scrapbook but it must be around somewhere. I did find some of my newer ones though. One featured a page similar to the ones in that first book with clippings from TV21 featuring the submarine Stingray.
The first scrapbook I could find was labelled Scrapbook 6 and I can see my interests have moved on a little from TV puppet shows. There was a page featuring Olivia Newton John. Olivia was probably my first celebrity crush back in the early 1970s. One item was dated 1973 and says ‘Olivia to sing for Britain.’ She was chosen to sing for Britain in the Eurovision song contest. I didn’t care for her song though, Long Live Love. I bought many of her albums and records when I was younger and her poster adorned my old bedroom wall. Sadly, she died in 2022.
A more personal item in the scrapbooks was my ticket and programme from seeing Paul McCartney and Wings in 1973 in concert in Manchester together with a review from the Manchester Evening News.
I’ve always loved magazine covers and among the ones in my scrapbook is a cover featuring Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor. I wrote a post about the duo some time ago; it was about famous couples like Burton and Taylor, Douglas Fairbanks Jr and so on. On holiday I hope to take along my new copy of Richard Burton’s diaries with me to read which I hope will be interesting. Burton was a frustrated writer so I think his diaries might be a cut above some other diaries I have read.
The first season of F1 motor racing I followed was back in 1970. In those days a lot of races were not televised and I had to look to magazines and newspapers to find out the race results. I have scrapbook entries about Jackie Stewart, my all time favourite driver and lots of other newspaper cuttings about motor racing. Back then or so it seems to me, the only time the big newspapers were interested in motor sport was when a driver was killed and there are cuttings from the deaths of Jochen Rindt and Peter Revson to name but two. One more positive newspaper headline was when James Hunt won a dramatic world championship at the very wet Japanese Grand Prix of 1976.
Ronald Reagan went on to win a second term as President by beating the Democratic candidate Walter Mondale in 1984. ‘You ain’t seen nothing yet’ ran the newspaper headline in what might have been the Daily Express.
Reagan had previously defeated Jimmy Carter in 1979 and served two terms as President. Reagan also had various summits with Gorbachev, the head of the USSR and another news cutting is from August 1991 with the headline ‘Gorby arrest: Soviet Chief Toppled’ which as we all know was the beginning of the end for Gorbachev and the Soviet Union.
A lot of my interests are showcased in the scrapbooks. I do love modern mysteries and there is a cutting about Lord Lucan who disappeared in 1974 after the murder of his children’s nanny and others about the JFK assassination in 1963. On the cover of the Sunday express Magazine is the so called ‘magic bullet’, the bullet that the Warren Commission said passed through John Kennedy and inflicted various wounds on John Connally in Dallas in 1963.
Could a pristine bullet like the one in the picture have really passed through two bodies?
While I’m on the subject of JFK, things must have been hard for his widow, Jackie. How she carried on after seeing her husband shot to death while only inches away from her, I don’t know. I saw a documentary about her today which asserted that she wanted to commit suicide afterwards but carried on, kept afloat only by her love for her children. In the scrapbook there is a clipping of her winning a trophy for some kind of horse event but horses may have helped her keep sane as she had loved and ridden horses since childhood.
Just like today I was a big Doctor Who fan back in my scrapbooking days. The first episode of Doctor Who was broadcast on UK TV the day after the JFK assassination in 1963 and as no one was interested in anything other than the JFK assignation that day, it was rebroadcast the following week. In January 1982 Peter Davison had just become the new Doctor Who, replacing the hugely popular Tom Baker. Tom Baker was probably my favourite Doctor and I was sorry to see him go.
One interesting news item I spotted was about John McCarthy and Jill Morrell. They were in the news back in the late 1980s when McCarthy, a journalist, was kidnapped in Lebanon and his then partner Jill was actively campaigning for his release back in the UK. McCarthy was finally released in 1991. He and Jill wrote a book together but they parted four years later. That was all pretty interesting but I’m pretty certain I stuck the item in my scrapbook because I actually rather liked Jill.
In my last scrapbook from the 1990s there are many empty pages but there are also a stack of cuttings that have yet to be stuck in. There are some F1 items and some from the news. One interesting one is about writer Patricia Cornwell who writes the Kay Scarpetta series of crime thrillers. According to the article, Patricia wanted Jodie Foster to play her character Scarpetta in the film version. Jodie had already played an FBI agent in The Silence of the Lambs and apparently wasn’t keen to be involved in another gruesome murder film. That was in 1997 and as far as I know, Scarpetta hasn’t made it into the cinema yet although I did read an item only today which suggested Nicole Kidman might be soon playing Scarpetta on the small screen.
I spent quite a while last week relaxing and skimming through my scrapbooks and I think I’ll finish with my favourite item. It’s a small clipping which was on a page of smaller funny items.
Do you have a scrapbook? If so, what sort of things do you keep in it?