Calling all ex Puffineers!

I am looking for your stories and, if you have them, pictures about your time as members of the Puffin Club from it’s launch in 1967 through to its end in the early 1980’s.

I’m currently pulling everything together for a book to celebrate the Puffin Club in all its glory while us old birds can still remember it all. This is my thank you to the club as 2017 will see its fiftieth anniversary!

16 thoughts on “Calling all ex Puffineers!

  1. hi there – did you ever come up with any more information about the Puffin club secret code (I see it was mentioned in a post years ago – 2010 or thereabouts)

    I seem to remember that it was made up of groups of different lines, vertical or diagonal, to represent the different letters – it might have been based on ogham script, the old Irish runic kind of thing…???

    1. Hi Colin,
      The code that was mentioned was a competition cypher that promised to publish the code in the next issue – which then wasn’t! It’s been a mystery ever since. Codes aren’t my strong point, so it might be worth me posting the competition to see if anyone can help crack it.

      The code you are thinking of was the club code that was created by Jill MacDonalds daughter, Glen. Glen also had a page that ran competitions in Puffin Post. She now lives in New Zealand, working in visual arts.

  2. Hi Colin, I was an enthusiastic member of the Puffin Club from around 1981 onwards, and remember attending a Puffinvite event on the North Norfolk coast.

    I did keep my copies of Puffin Post for years and am not sure how I have only two now: Vol 15 Nos. 1 and 2, the latter of which says that I won Jill Paton Walsh’s Lost Worlds Competition with a picture of the court of King Arthur Puffinland. Gosh, I don’t remember doing that! However I do remember poring over every competition and believing they were worth entering.

    Last time I was in the UK I found lovely copies of “Puffin’s Pleasure” (1976) and “The Puffin Annual 2” (1975) for sale in Cambridge at a market stand and brought those home to the States to share with my younger kids.

    In front of me as I write, and adorning one of my artist pots of supplies, is a 2 3/4-inch sewn felt puffin-in-profile with an embroidered beak and eye, handmade over a sort of jointed clip, that I won all those years ago in one of the Puffin Post competitions. I think it was for a painting of a ‘Marog,’ though might have been a different one. I was marvelling the other day that I still have this after 30+ years and it’s in such great shape! It came with a note saying that a staff member at Puffin had sewn it. I also won a small black and yellow flashlight for a poem in the “Bump in the Night” writing competition. I used that for years. As you can see I was a prolific responder to those competitions!

    I’d be happy to send you other thoughts and a photo of the sewn puffin prize. The Puffin Club helped dig a creative well in my childhood from which I still drink. I’m so glad you want to document all that the club accomplished.

  3. Hi,
    I have the first 6 volumes (4 in each) of Puffin Post in their red folders. I also have a copy of the PUFFIN CODE amongst other things. Let me know if you want any pictures.

  4. Hi, I have some of The Egg and Puffin Post magazines that I no longer have space for.
    Are they of any value or is there a good home for them?

    The Egg:
    Vol 1. No.3
    Vol 1. No.4
    Vol 2. No.1 – 5
    Vol 3 No. 2

    Puffin Post
    Vol 14 No. 4
    Vol 15 No. 1 – 4
    Vol 16 No. 1 – 4
    vol. 17 No. 1-4

    Many thanks

    1. Apologies for not replying sooner, I’ve been out of the country and only just returned. All of the issues have some residual value. You would need to spend the time setting up the sale somewhere like ebay to get the best return. A dealer won’t offer you the best price as they would need to mark it up to make a sale. The later Puffin Posts come on the market quite regularly – The Egg less so. You should be looking at about £3 – £5 per issue. Maybe a bit more if they are in very good condition. If you need any more help, let me know – I might even be interested in some of the Egg issues, which would help with the book I am preparing.

  5. Hi I have a photo of my sister and two of her Puffin club friends from school attending one of the puffin club parties and none other than Spike Milligan is there. No idea what year it was, could be mid to late seventies.

  6. Hi! I was a founder member, the no 10041 is engraved on my brain. There may be some old Puffin Posts in the loft…I certainly remember winning “consolation” prizes in a couple of competitions although not what they were, and somewhere I have a gold Puffin club badge. It felt like a prize in itself to see my name and membership number printed in bold on the winners’ list. My sister and I joined early because our father ran a North London bookshop (described recently on my own blog) and knew Kaye Webb as well as several authors writing for children. Kaye came to lunch occasionally and was larger than life, always so cheerful and hearty, but I remember her mainly talking with the grown-ups after initial greetings (that was fine, it was all book trade gossip which we were too young to realise the fascination of). We went to one or two Puffin Club meet ups and were always amazed by the names of other members – only in the Puffin Club would you find a Lalage, a Cordelia, or a Septimus (I may have made that up. Actually my own name was pretty precious at the time too, although there’s one in every classroom now.) The star prize for anything was I think a trip to Lundy Island to see the real puffins. Also there was a play, “Winterthing”, which was produced at the Young Vic by Lizza Aiken, daughter of Joan, and her partner, and I think the reason we were in that was because the cast was recruited from Puffineers. I may be wrong on that though. Anyway, lovely to come across you.

  7. I seem to have stumbled on this post while searching for something to do with Puffin Club. Better late than never? Was avid member, still have almost all Puffin Posts from vol 1 onwards, in red or pink folders. And lots of other stuff too. Bookplates, writing paper, code, bookmarks; really should have a clear-out. Got all the badges (sister was a founder member but not interested after year one!). Went on a Colony Holiday…. met many authors at Children’s Book Centre Notting Hill monthly meetings. Helped out at Puffin Exhibitions when I got too old to be a member any more. Happy times.

  8. Hi!
    I won a trip to meet Roald Dahl with the puffin club when I was 10 (1984?) wondering if there’s any archive material on that trip? We were taken by coach from London to Great Missenden on July 15th. There was a picture published in a puffin magazine after the trip showing Roald Dahl with a sausage (we had a bbq) and I’m the little girl laughing my head off next to him! My name then was Kirsty Morrison

  9. I was a founder member, too, and subsequently earned a gold badge – which my much younger sister envied very much. She probably took over my old bound copies of Puffin Post, which weren’t returned to me when my childhood home in Edinburgh was sold a few years ago.

    I remember being unexpectedly invited to a reunion at, I think, the Commonwealth Institute in about the late 1970s and finding a university acquaintance there, also wearing a gold badge.

    Someone posted about the Club on Facebook today. It’ll be fun to see which of my friends reacts to that post and also turns out to have been a Puffineer!

  10. I was a member of the junior puffin Club and then the Puffin Club. Also went to Puffin Exhibitions (enjoyed meeting Fat Puffin!) and Colony Holidays. Loved doing book reviews and using my book plates. There’s a chance I still have my badges somewhere! I was happy to win the children’s fiction section of the quiz I was participating in yesterday! I am still a big fan of children’s literature and spent many years reading books to my children so that they have a love of books too. Thank you Puffin Club!

  11. I wish I had found this earlier!! I was a member for several years as a child. My member # was 37729. I loved being part of it, the magazine, and it really did encourage me to read widely. My most vivid memory is that I contributed a summer scrapbook I had made for a Puffin Club competition and it not only won a prize but was exhibited in London! I went to the exhibition and while I enjoyed it, I think, looking back, I took it too much for granted and nobody in the family took much notice. With the perspective of age, I now realize how special it was! I wish I still had the scrapbook too! My prize was a copy of “The Endless Steppe” by Esther Hautzig, but sadly that too has vanished. Again, I didn’t try hard enough to keep these things and many, many moves have meant that some of my precious things did not always survive. I am thinking of ordering a new copy however!

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