Comics’ Day -Treasure, World of Wonder, etc

We had comics delivered with the paper on Monday. Well they weren’t really comics, they were ‘children’s educational magazines’ which mum and dad had chosen for us. The first one we had was called Treasure and as we grew out of it we changed over to World of Wonder. This was a bit better than Treasure because, apart from the Blue Peter-true-lives type feature about characters like Kasper Hauser: The Boy with the Wooden Horse, there was a small Science Fiction adventure comic strip called Trigan Empire. That was cool.

At one time we had a huge pile of about two hundred back-issues of Treasure and World of Wonder. We only threw them out when we were clearing the attic a couple of years ago. I think mum would have liked to keep them, for sentimental reasons and for her grandchildren to read. Dad put his foot down:

‘No, there’s no point hoarding old junk.’ And out they went.

Friday was our most exciting day, not just because we had ravioli for tea but also because it was pocket money day. The day we went to The Visitor Office newsagents (where Whiteside’s is now) to buy our comics. We loved reading the comics we’d chosen and paid for ourselves. Dandy and Beano will go on for ever (I hope), but a lot of the 60s children’s comics are no longer with us.

Whatever happened to Topper, Beazer, Whizzer and Chips? They were peopled with characters like Pete’s Pocket Grandpa, Sid’s Snake and Cedric the Detective.

My sister, Siân, had her favourite comics too. She started with Twinkle, grew up with Bunty and Judy and entered her teenage years with Jackie. This one had some quite risqué content and we lads tried to steal it on the school bus and make all the girls blush by reading aloud the letters from Cathy and Claire’s problem page.

I had an unexpected trip down memory lane last month when I was in London. I was walking down Shaftsbury Avenue when I noticed a shop selling ‘vintage comics’. In the basement, cosseted in cellophane, were individual copies of Treasure and World of Wonder. The price? £4.50 each.

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