Well, what a washout this car-boot season has proved to be! No interesting finds at any of the few that weren’t rained off.

I have come across a couple of other oddities in the last couple of months, though.

The first was a roll of paper discovered by someone walking down a Leicestershire street. He fished it out of a skip and realised that it was an uncut page used to produce an old Ladybird Book. In fact there were 3 rolls – from 3 different books. I’ve always been fascinated by the way the pages were laid out to maximise efficiency in printing – the reason for Ladybird Books success in the early days of paper shortage – so it’s great to have an actual uncut page to see for myself. It’s an added bonus that one of the pages is from an early Well Loved Tales book, one of my favourites.

The other oddity is from the Key Word Reader series. It’s called ‘An Outline Picture Pad’ and is basically a colouring-in book with line drawings from the original Peter and Jane books but where every picture in the whole pad is the same drawing. Presumably it was to be used in schools and from the teacher’s perspective I can imagine it might be of use for those tricky moments at primary school – wet play, last-minute cover for absent staff – but in terms of a contribution to the skills and literacy of our nation in the 1960s it possibly wasn’t the work of Ladybird’s finest hour – and I doubt if the pads were re-issued with the revision of the books in the 1970s. Unless anyone out there knows different …