Sunday, 13 May 2012

A Childhood Memory

A title for a blog post I found online when stuck for an idea. Haven't been a child for some forty years, at least not chronologically speaking, yet recollections of those distant times are not entirely hazy. I did the usual things: hated primary school, almost entirely because of the teachers; quite enjoyed grammar school, acquiring a collection of scars (courtesy of rugby union, a hockey stick, and the school railings); and on reflection, albeit a bit of a loner, probably wasn't the most difficult of children.

One thing I do remember with affection is a particular Sunday morning when, as usual, I awoke to my weekly comic left at the side of my bed the previous evening by my father. This week pater had brought something new and very different. I cannot recall what I read prior to January 1963 but on this particular morning I discovered issue number one of Treasure, which I am told should be referred to as an 'educational magazine for young children' and not a 'comic'. Inside I found the usual comic strip format, featuring characters such as Willie Winkie, who had a ticket enabling him to travel anywhere, and the first part of a story I had never encountered before, Mary Norton's The Borrowers. Later other classic stories were given the same treatment, The Water Babies, Alice in Wonderland, and The Wind in the Willows. Added to this were snippets on wildlife, history, science, etc., a few puzzles and very little colouring (I loathed colouring, drawing, painting, and still do).

A little research revealed this magazine was published for just 8 years and 418 issues, although I stopped reading about 1967 I think. In 1971 Treasure was incorporated into World of Wonder and thereafter into Look and Learn. Difficult to say for certain but I've always thought this publication to have had a big influence on my childhood, perhaps it did stop me grazing knees while participating in games I had no natural ability or enthusiasm for and turned me into a bookworm, or maybe not.

What has always surprised me is how in the forty years since I have mentioned this publication whenever the subject of childrens' comics has been raised and, while everyone recalls Dandy, Beano, Jackie and the rest, nobody ever remembers Treasure. They have no idea what they missed.

No comments:

Post a Comment