I was delighted to be sent this picture this week. Does it jog any memories?

The picture was posed for one of the illustations of classic Ladybird Book ‘Toys and Games to Make’ (first published in 1966). The child in the picture is the newphew of the artist, Robert Ayton.

Here’s the picture he was posing for:

If you look closely in the black and white picture, behind young Rupert you’ll see his little sister, Robert’s niece. She also posed for this book – a picture of bubble-blowing innocence.

This book has very deep-rooted memories for me. I don’t think there was a toy or game in there that we (my brother and I) didn’t make, or try to make at some time in the late 1960s/early 70s. Life is full of disappointments; I don’t think any of our finished products looked anything like Robert Ayton’s enticing illustrations.

You could never be certain whether you were actually hearing your companion’s voice via the string/cocoa tin or simply hearing it because he was 8 feet away from you. But I don’t remember resenting the book for that.