Category Archives: Puffin Post

Puffin Post Vol.11 no.1

A great one for anniversary fever! This issue included a brief history of the club up till that point as well as Jill McDonalds memories of drawing Fat Puffin (previously posted). Also included was a short birthday story by Elisabeth Beresford, a piece about Ponies by Flambards author Kathleen Peyton and an interview with Jan Pienkowski.

Bundled in with the magazine was the 10th Birthday Exhibition announcement with a special board game called ‘Swoop’ designed by Merlin Southwell printed on the back – not many have survived!

Long time, no blog…

Hello Puffin Bloggers – sorry to have been away for so long, I’m afraid my other work has been taking all of my attention lately. Goodness know what I’ll do if it really takes off!

Anywho, here is a little restoration that I’ve been working on: The Puffin Readers Diary 1979!

This delightful cover was not very good at keeping its Gold and Green foil intact – mine was very worn. I hope that other owners of this little work of art allow me the license of approximating the look of the complete foil image. This is one of my favourite Jill McDonald ephemeral images.

I now have a cache of scans to work through, so I hope to resume normal service.

Puffin Cake?

I admit this isn’t an original Jill McDonald work – it’s mine! My youngest daughter just turned six and requested a Puffin cake! (I don’t know where she gets it from!) My freehand icing isn’t the greatest, but here is my attempt based on the badge design by Jill.*

One nice consequence of doing this was discovering that the parent of one of her friends was also a member of the Puffin Club – now a teacher!

I was also contacted by another founder member who had come across this site – sadly she only had one letter from another member on club stationary as a memento. She also has a polaroid of her as a child in her bedroom with one of the (now very) rare Puffin Bookcases. These were a short run item that could be bought at selected Puffin outlets around the country. As far as I have been able to find out, these are excessively difficult to find as they tended to get thrown out when the Puffin books were outgrown – or didn’t survive moves.

I’m sure there are some still out there in varying states of repair – hold on to them! They are going to increase in value.

After careful consideration (despite asking permission), I have chosen not to post the picture, as I feel it would be inappropriate. I will locate one of the photos that were taken for Puffin Post as this shows it very clearly.

*I have removed my daughters name electronically for her protection!

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!!).

Yet more treats – Puffin Readers Diary 1977

Dear blog readers,
Yet again, I have been contacted by someone with a past connection to the Puffin Club – to be honest this happened last year, but now I have something to share!

The artist and illustrator Jacqueline Atkinson who illustrated the strip ‘Canny Blockhead’ and produced many pieces of artwork for the club, has kindly sent me some selected pieces from her archive. One of the sets of drawings are the original plans for a mural that was realized at the Puffin Exhibition.

The first treat from Jacqueline’s archive is the cover she produced for the 1977 Puffin Readers Diary. I believe that she and Jill McDonald were the only artists to produce covers for these little gems (but I would love to hear if I am horribly wrong).

Look forward to the re-emergence of ‘Canny Blockhead’ in future postings.

Many thanks Jacqui!

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