Brian Howes unearths some nostalgic collectables that might be discarded as worthless junk but actually have a value to today’s collectors.


1 Birds on a wire

These colourful flying swallows are made of painted aluminium and date from the 1940s. All types of birds were modelled when these ornaments were fashionable including seagulls, finches and of course those ubiquitous flying ducks. Love them or hate them they are now collectors’ items.


2 Beef in brief

This old OXO double tin is unusual in containing 12 cubes instead of the more common six. 0X0 cubes were introduced to the British public in 1910 and worked out cheaper than the liquid version sold in jars.


3 Family favourites

Made by Barker & Dobson Ltd. of Liverpool, these toffees were clearly aimed at families enjoying a night around the television in the 1950s with dad happily puffing away on his pipe.

44 Make do and mend

Made from speckled Bakelite, this handy little cotton dispenser and needle holder dates from the 1930s. Bakelite was developed by Belgian born chemist Leo Baekeland in New York in 1907.


5 On the rails

Released by Airfix in the late 1950s, this plastic model kit is based on the vehicles designed and built by Park Royal Ltd. Used mainly on country branch lines, these vehicles first entered service with British Railways in August 1958.


6 Coronation tipple

Many breweries throughout Britain produced special ales to commemorate the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth in 1953. This label was used by Hall and Woodhouse Brewery of Blandford Forum in Dorset.


7 Pipe dreams

Dating from the Second World War, this Player’s Airman 1 oz tobacco packet still has its contents intact. Airman was a highly popular tobacco brand during the 1930s and 40s, used mainly by pipe smokers.


8 Using your loaf

Allinson’s used these sturdy bread boards as clever advertising tools during the 1930s.

Founder Thomas Allinson was born in the Hulme district of Manchester in 1858 and used the phrase ‘Bread wi’ nowt taken out’as an advertising slogan.


9 Icin9g on the cake

The icing on Christmas cakes formed the perfect base for these cute Christmas decorations from the 1950s. Early cake decorations were made from Bisque pottery and later versions were made from plastic. These plaster figures were recently discovered inside an old Sharp’s toffee tin.

1010 The swinging sixties

Woman magazine was launched way back in 1937 and during the Second World War provided fashion tips to cope with clothes rationing as well as recipes to deal with food shortages. This copy dates from 1963 when British fashion was undergoing radical changes.

Woman has stood the test of time and is still hugely popular today.

1111 My “goodness, My Guinness

Produced by the Carlton Ware factory in Stoke-on-Trent, this colourful pottery water jug dates from the 1950s and has survived in perfect condition. The idea of using a Toucan to advertise Guinness was the brainchild of artist John Gilroy, then an employee of advertising agency S.H. Benson of London.

1212 Dinky delivery

This old Dinky Toy delivery van, made in the 1950s, is a real collectors’ item with its original box and immaculate paintwork. Introduced to Britain in 1909, Ovaltine was made by A. Wander Ltd. at a specially built factory in Kings Langley, Hertfordshire.