Category Archives: Kaye Webb

Bookplates

Another little treat for you. This is the original Puffin Club bookplate design. You would get a sheet of eight of these on pre-gummed paper. I think this has a lovely old school charm about it. It certainly felt like your books were safer when you lent them to friends (didn’t stop them from getting scuffed to hell though – you know who you are!!!!). 

The design was created by the illustrator Roland Ferns, who had worked with Kaye Webb during her time at Lilliput. Some of his work was surreal and heading into more adult imagery, but this one image is probably his most enduring.

The new Puffin Post club has revived this design with a lot of colour and the addition of their puffin mascot – as yet unnamed.

Puffin Club? Puffin Post? What’s the difference?

I have to admit I’m a bit of a pedant when it comes to history – it comes from working in Film restoration and in the media. There’s a lot of revisionist thinking out there (re-writing of history).

So what was the ‘Puffin Club’ (not Puffin Post)? Well here’s a great little explanation by Kaye Webb herself, writing in the Puffin Diary of 1979:

The new club is called ‘Puffin Post’ – not the ‘Puffin Club’. The club is now the schools entity. I suppose this makes it easier to differentiate between the two. I can’t help feeling this may confuse a few of us older members, but I have to remind you – ‘It’s not for us! It’s for our kids!’

Puffin Club? Puffin Post? What’s the difference?

I have to admit I’m a bit of a pedant when it comes to history – it comes from working in Film restoration and in the media. There’s a lot of revisionist thinking out there (re-writing of history).

So what was the ‘Puffin Club’ (not Puffin Post)? Well here’s a great little explanation by Kaye Webb herself, writing in the Puffin Diary of 1979:

The new club is called ‘Puffin Post’ – not the ‘Puffin Club’. The club is now the schools entity. I suppose this makes it easier to differentiate between the two. I can’t help feeling this may confuse a few of us older members, but I have to remind you – ‘It’s not for us! It’s for our kids!’

Another stamp

Yes indeedy, it’s one of the few autographs I have bothered to get in my life – and it’s a good one! This is one of three autographs I got from Kaye Webb – The other ones are in ‘The Puffin Joke Book’ and ‘I Like this Poem’. You can see this image used again in one of my earlier postings used as the cover of the ‘The most gigantic tiny notebook in the world’ (a new version of which will be included in the new club members pack – not by Jill McDonald though!)

Another stamp

Yes indeedy, it’s one of the few autographs I have bothered to get in my life – and it’s a good one! This is one of three autographs I got from Kaye Webb – The other ones are in ‘The Puffin Joke Book’ and ‘I Like this Poem’. You can see this image used again in one of my earlier postings used as the cover of the ‘The most gigantic tiny notebook in the world’ (a new version of which will be included in the new club members pack – not by Jill McDonald though!)

Badges, Badges, Badges

I’ve promised these for a while, so here they are! I found myself sitting next to Kaye Webb at one of the Commonwealth Institute Puffin Exhibitions and was stunned to see her sporting not just one, but three badges! I asked her how I could get them and where they were from.

She told me that the Gold Badge (no.4) was for founder members or those who had done something particularly special.

The Green Badge (no.3) was the members badge in Australia (though Kaye was wearing her Founders Green Badge that looked a bit like her Gold Badge.

The remaining badges are the standard White Badge (no.1) that I have found in different versions – The earlier badges were genuine enamel made by the Davis Badge company of London. Later versions were made with a plastic insert instead of enamel. (You will see a lot of these on ebay).

The last badge is the Black Badge (no.2) that was earned for being a member for four years – these were only ever made in enamel and the quality varied from well finished and ground to rough and distinctly ropey.

The members badge was of course the Puffin Logo designed by Jill McDonald when Kaye Webb became editor of Puffin Books in 1961.

Other classic button badges were made for the various events. I collected a pile of these and some survived better than others. Watch for these in future posts.

As a small addition – I have since learned that there was one solitary badge of gold that was made for club President, Yehudi Menuhin. This was a special gift from Kaye Webb. I assume it is still with the Menuhin family.

Badges, Badges, Badges

I’ve promised these for a while, so here they are! I found myself sitting next to Kaye Webb at one of the Commonwealth Institute Puffin Exhibitions and was stunned to see her sporting not just one, but three badges! I asked her how I could get them and where they were from.

She told me that the Gold Badge (no.4) was for founder members or those who had done something particularly special.

The Green Badge (no.3) was the members badge in Australia (though Kaye was wearing her Founders Green Badge that looked a bit like her Gold Badge.

The remaining badges are the standard White Badge (no.1) that I have found in different versions – The earlier badges were genuine enamel made by the Davis Badge company of London. Later versions were made with a plastic insert instead of enamel. (You will see a lot of these on ebay).

The last badge is the Black Badge (no.2) that was earned for being a member for four years – these were only ever made in enamel and the quality varied from well finished and ground to rough and distinctly ropey.

The members badge was of course the Puffin Logo designed by Jill McDonald when Kaye Webb became editor of Puffin Books in 1961.

Other classic button badges were made for the various events. I collected a pile of these and some survived better than others. Watch for these in future posts.

As a small addition – I have since learned that there was one solitary badge of gold that was made for club President, Yehudi Menuhin. This was a special gift from Kaye Webb. I assume it is still with the Menuhin family.

The Most Gigantic Tiny Notebook…

Something a bit different. I got this notebook at one of the Puffin Exhibitions – I can’t remember if they were free or not, but I ended up with two or three of them. The print registration was pretty poor on the original, with the orange leaving gaps of white around the left hand edges. I’ve tidied this up and kept the texture of the card (about 240gsm for the pedants out there).

As an added point of interest, Kaye Webb had a rubber stamp of the same design without the text, that she used to stamp autograph books and fly sheets of autograph hunters.

This is a pretty rare item as many kids ended up throwing them away after filling them with scribble. I remember seeing loads of them being swept up at the end of the exhibition, sans cover or contents. There may be a few out there that were used as impromptu autograph books – if so, I would love to hear from you.