Sunday 28 February 2021

Let's Celebrate St.David's Day

 March 1st is St.David's Day, celebrated throughout Wales (and possibly Patagonia). As we lived there for a number of years during our childrens primary school years I remember our daughter dressing up in her lille Welsh Lady costume along with the rest of her friends in order to go to school dressed like that. A pity that England doesn't celebrate St.George's Day in that way, but we don't seem to have a national costume, and I seem to find it difficult to imagine one (flat cap vs bowler, anyone). However, in order not to let the day go unremarked I append the little cartoon strip below.

This is from the old newspaper strip 'The Perishers' that appeared in the Daily Mirror way back in the 1960s and was one of my favourites. Not that my father took the Mirror, he was an Express man, but every Saturday I had to ride my bike to the outskirts of town where a family friend (and honorary gramnparent) had a smallholding, there I picked up 3 dozen eggs carefully wrapped in newspaper, no cartons in them days! and cycled home with them in my saddlebag. Rarely did I get home without at least one breakage. The paper they were wrapped in was the Mirror, and I read all the bits once I got back home.

The Perishers were a British equivalent of Peanuts, and to my mind were far superior. The drawings were far more detailed, often,like tis one, travelling over a panoramic background, and sometimes the storyline would last for a couple of weeks. Who can forget Wellington, an orphan living in an old railway station and making a living (?) selling go-karts (buggies, karties, ) to unsuspecting children; along with his dog Boot, an Old English Sheepdog with delusions of grandeur. He believed himself to be an 18th century aristocrat under a gypsy curse. Then of course there were the supporting cast. Marlon, who never had a thought in his head and a pechant for ketchup sandwiches, Maisie who pursued Marlon with vigour, much to his distress, and could win any argument even if it meant resorting to violence; Maisie's little brother Baby Grumplin, who was famous for his worm sandwiches and general misdeeds.

Other characters popped in from time to time. B.H.Calcutta (failed) the Indian Bloodhound who'd lost his sense of smell, Tatty Oldbit the sailor's friend,  a beagle with a disreputable liking for sailors (or any male, come to that), Adolf the Teutonic tortoise with dreams of world domination, and many others. 

Selections of their strips were published in annual collections, and I understand that some are being reprinted in the Mirror nowadays.

Thanks for sharing this little bit of nostalgia. Have a good day and stay safe.