I've been sorting my 'playroom' out where I do my music, photography and occasionally art work. There are folders full of paintings and drawings going back thirty years plus, to be honest not much I'm particularly fond of nowadays. I also have books, boxes and drawers full of memorabilia, or as some people may call it … junk. I'm not including the drawers full of cables, cassettes and old computer CDs just yet. I reckon it may take at least six months to sort it out properly.

I'm trying to make some sense of all this and have decided to scan documents and photographs etc and gradually force them upon my Facebook friends! A book is also planned with 'memorabilia' from the sixties and seventies.

One of the books I came across, in very good condition (for any collectors out there) was The Park Drive Book of FOOTBALL 1968/69. I wasn't particularly sporty but I did have an appreciation for Manchester United at the time!

Sports sponsorship in all things by tobacco manufacturers was the norm until quite recent times, so a book like this, coveted especially by youngsters, was not out of the ordinary.  It has photographs in colour and black and white, it has league tables and results for the season. It has interviews about teams and players, some of them sporting a large cigar or cigarette. Of course this was also in the days when footballers were paid 'normal' salaries and were often 'just one of the lads'.

How did I happen to own such a tome? A piece of social history? Did I smoke a zillion Park Drive unfiltered cigarettes at the age of ten and send off the packet fronts? Well … no actually. What we did as kids was scour the streets, healthily riding around on our bikes to find as many discarded packets as we could, no matter how grubby or how wet. Thank goodness for the lack of recycling bins in the '60's!

These would then be dried and brushed, put in an envelope and sent off with the anticipation of the book arriving in a few weeks.

I did start smoking in my teens, everybody I knew smoked.
Twenty cigarettes were about twenty pence if you bought king size.
I stopped smoking in 2006.

'Remember, if you smoke after sex then you're doing it too fast.'  Woody Allen

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