Category Archives: Puffin Club

If you ever received a postcard from the Puffin Club…

…You probably got a card with this on the front! This is from the collection shared by Jacqueline Atkinson. This was a really clever response to submissions from members (and everyone else!) The front had this lovely illustration and the back had a tick-box selection also illustrated by Jill McDonald (unless you hadn’t recognised her deft pen and brushwork).

Look out for the typically humorous back of the card in future postings (I’ve got to promise something to get you to come back!!).

A new service!!

I have had several requests to buy items from my collection since I started this blog, and whilst it is tempting during these hard times, it has been hard searched for and acquired.

So I intend listing links to items for sale that I think are worth bidding for, or buying from a dealer.

The first listings are:

Puffin Post Volume 5 Nos 1, 2 , 3 ,4 plus folder – eBay
Looks in good condition. I have noticed that there have been more Vol.5 bundles over the past 18 months than any other, so the bidding for this shouldn’t be too bad.
Well that was a waste of time! No one bid!

Puffin Post Volume 4 Nos 1, 2 , 3 ,4 plus folder – eBay
Again, pretty good. The filled in crosswords etc. shouldn’t put you off. These are getting more scarce. Still shouldn’t get above £10 – 12.
And it didn’t – No one bid again! – You can’t say I didn’t try!!

A set of Volume 3 went for £12.06 a month or so ago, which is about on a par with book dealer prices.

PUFFIN Book Metal Pin Badge – eBay
One of the genuine enamel badges – not bad by the look of the photo, but it does appear to have firing flaws down the left side (quite common). These badges can get up to £15! I just depends who you are up against!
What a bargain!! The winning bidder got it for £4.45! Well done that eBayer!

Hope this helps some of you out.

…and something for the younger audience. The Egg no.28


Sadly this august publication has not (as yet) been resurrected as this is a real favourite of my five year old. The cover, illustrated by Captain Pugwash creator John Ryan, features the mascot of the Junior Puffin Club – Smudge! Fat Puffin was supposed to be the Uncle of Smudge, though I remember this as something I was told at a Puffin event rather than in the pages of Puffin Post itself.

Apropos of the Puffin events, I remember a very nice little play area that had been set aside for the younger Puffineers and a very nice sounding lady inside a Smudge costume wandering around near it. Fat Puffin was of course doing the same elsewhere at the event, but it’s an image that has stuck with me.

I would be very interested if anyone out there has any Junior Puffin Club magazines and members memorabilia, as it is incredibly rare to find in any state of preservation – I only have a few copies and nothing else!!

Something a bit more recent…Puffin Post Number 7 – Autumn 1985!

This is one of the better covers that came with the re-branding in the 80’s – a great cover by Quentin Blake. I’m afraid this cover got some water damage, hence the creases (Too much to restore this time round without messing up the ink-wash artwork).

The inside of these felt a bit disjointed, maybe due to a loss of a house stylist to guide the way. Jill McDonald’s graphics still appear throughout the magazine – old echoes of earlier times.

The other big change – and a big mistake in my opinion – was the change in size from A5 to an awkward A4! Why??

A cheery puffin from the early days


I can’t tell you the year this handsome chap appeared – but he is one of the early exhibition flyer puffins that decorated a Puffin Club Exhibition. There have been quite a few that Jill McDonald designed over the years with a kind of evolution that becomes easier and more stylised with every passing event and exhibition. It makes me wonder what she would have produced if she hadn’t died at such an early age. Something marvelous!

Image from the collection of Ruth – Founder member 1487 – Restored S. Hassan Jan 2009

Something familiar…

Here’s the old members book that remained pretty unchanged for the whole original clubs existence. Two founder membership cards have a similar look to them in blue and pink.

Just as in the new club, it also held a copy of the Puffin Code!

I can’t remember whether I mentioned it in a previous post – Jill McDonalds first big contribution to Puffin was of course the Puffin Logo/Badge itself.

You want badges? OK then…


Yes, it’s a Puffin Explorer badge – one of the old ones. I’ve sadly mislaid one of the fifteen badges in this collection – it’ll probably turn up when I least expect it. Never mind, I’ve still got the rest of them to share with you all.

Again, these are the work of Jill McDonald. One of my earlier posts showed one of the designs used as a rubber stamp. All of these badges were given away at Puffin exhibitions in the late 70’s.

This is an example of the badges that followed Jill’s death – The work is very slick, and obviously follows Jill’s example, but it doesn’t quite reach me in the same way. If you are the illustrator, please don’t take offense! I’m a big fan of Jill’s work, and I may be a bit blinkered.

Happy New Year to all!

It’s a bright sparkly new year – and already I have to start with an apology! I know I said I would try to put some little ‘gifts’ up on the blog over the twelve days (and here we are on day twelve without so much as a Christmas doughnut!).

I do have an excuse. I was laid up with one of the many Christmas lurgi bugs that are doing the rounds at the moment – so I wasn’t full of Christmas cheer; more like Christmas congestion!
Anywho, I’m back for a year of vintage Puffinalia that sees the first new Puffin Post on the doormats of new young puffineers, eagerly ripping those membership boxes open to savour the contents (including their own fuzzy puffin).

Things may seem bleak out there at the moment, but it is warming to remember that the powercuts and financial worries that accompanied the winter of discontent all those years ago also had it’s Puffin Club to give an identity to the avid readers of the 70’s. Maybe not a lot has changed after all!

To make up for not posting the promised goodies over the festive season, please accept this offering:This is the cover to Puffin Post Volume 14 No 3 – Voted the best Jill McDonald cover by Puffineers following her death. It is very lovely!

The second place by only two votes was Volume 8 No 2 – which I have already posted, followed by Volume 3 No 2 (which will follow, I promise, I promise, I promise).

For those that may be interested, Jill painted 219 puffins on the covers of Puffin Post in total (though I hesitate to collate the total for the contents as well (should one include reprints?!).

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas – Puffin Post Volume 1 No. 4

This cover has always been one of my favorites. It has been said to me that Jill McDonalds work has something of the stained glass window about it – and I think this is particularly true of this picture. If I can find some time away from the kids over Christmas, I will post some little bonus pictures to raise a smile.

To all of you who have contacted me this year I would like to offer my thanks for your words of support – It makes it all worthwhile.

A particular thanks must go to Ruth for sharing her collection – it’s been a real treat!

Merry Puffin Christmas!