Tuesday, October 13, 2015

50 Year Flashback: Daily Mirror strips October 13th 1965

Several years ago I bought a bunch of old newspapers from the first Birmingham Memorabilia Show, back before the show became dominated by more recent nostalgia items. Here are the strips and cartoons that appeared in the Daily Mirror exactly half a century ago today.

The Andy Capp strip that day (above) is of course typical of the character; boozy and in debt, but creator Reg Smythe always managed to make the gags feel fresh and, more importantly, funny. 

The main strip page, regularly shared with Live Letters, featured Garth by John Allard and Steve Dowling, The Larks by Jack Dunkley, and The Flutters by Len Gamblin. We had the Daily Mirror every day when I was a kid so I have a particular fondness for these strips. 
Like Andy Capp, The Perishers (by Maurice Dodd and Dennis Collins) was on a different page back then, and a larger size strip than the others.
As well as five daily strips, the Mirror had a good selection of cartoons 50 years ago too. The Laughter column always carried work by some of Britain's top gag cartoonists.
There were also two regular 'pocket' cartoons. Useless Eustace by Jack Greenall...
...and Playboy! by David Rowe...
Plus the political cartoon by Stanley Franklin...
Strips and cartoons were considered an important part of the paper back then, and served as light relief to the serious news of the day. Sadly, the news of 50 years ago was very grim indeed, with the cover story revealing the re-opening of the tragic case that would be referred to as the Moors Murders. At this point it seems the press had not been informed of the arrests a few days earlier of the vile serial child-killers Myra Hindley and Ian Brady.
To end this blog post on a lighter note, here are the TV listings for this day 50 years ago. Only three channels, but at least there was a repeat of Hancock's Half Hour to watch, and a new Dennis Potter play... 
I hope you'll find these pages of historical interest. Click images to see them much larger and more readable. As for the weather forecast on 13th October 1965: "Mainly dry with some sunshine after early fog". Pretty much like today then!

17 comments:

Peter Gray said...

On the radio listings its got the pirate radio -radio Luxembourg its funny its showing whats on...

I know you are not a Daily Mail fan But there is quite a few cartoons still...though Sunday Mail is not so good very squashed in a corner..

The Perishers probably needed the space as the artwork was detailed..

I agree the visual cartoon is very important in a paper..

Lew Stringer said...

Sadly all newspapers give less space to strips and cartoons these days. Plus the poorer printing and paper stock do them no favours now. I can't see the situation changing, unfortunately. Britain has less respect for cartoons than it used to.

keepsakes said...

Radio Luxembourg wasn't a pirate radio station, Peter, though it served a similar function for pop music fans poorly served by the BBC.

Lew Stringer said...

The thing I remember most about Radio Luxembourg was how the reception would drift in and out. Or at least it did on our old radio.

benpeter johnson said...

I only buy the Mirror very occasionly, usually if im in need of scrap to light a fire with or to line the base of the beer box the cat has decided to sleep in. And this is in no way a slur on the Mirror, I just dont buy national newspapers much anyway. But! This has created an odd and wonderful relationship between me and 'Garth', because I read it so occasionly and because it's already a time spanning, pan dimensional work of science fiction, I never have the slightest clue of what's going on. One minute he's in outer space, the next in 15 century Belize or somewhere, talking to topless space witches or whatever. I love it! I look forward to each instalment, none of which makes the slightest bit of sense to me. If ever I start reading it regularly, I will miss this whole feeling of desperate comfusion.

Anton Binder said...

There's a weird synchronicity here with your previous post about Doctor Who Magazine. The final panel of the Flutters strip has a character saying
"If you're quite finished it looks like Doctor Who's after you!"
Sadly, in the Moors Murders cover article the date given for John Kilbride's disappearance is November 23 1963, the date of the first ever episode of Doctor Who.
And the actress playing Alice in the Denis Potter play is none other than Deborah Watling who played the second Doctor Patrick Troughton's companion Victoria.
Spooky.

Lew Stringer said...

I'd noticed the others after I uploaded the post, but not the date of the abduction. Life can be strange.

John Pitt said...

And, apart from page 1, these were exactly the only bits of my Grandparents' Mirrors that I used to read. Once I had gone through those I had "read the paper"!

Lew Stringer said...

I used to read quite a bit of the paper, apart from the sports pages. (Although the racing names of the horses used to amuse me.) The Mirror had a distinctively concise writing style, (and still does on the important stories).

Nutty Big D said...

Useless Eustace stirred a memory from the early 1960s, which I googled and found this on the East London memories forum:
"Anyone remember these tickets? Don't know why, but they jumped into my head on the bus this afternoon.
I remember my granddad had bundles of them on the mantlepiece, done up with rubber bands. He must have been selling them.
You tore off the crimped edges and got two letters inside. If the letters matched the first and last letters of the Useless Eustace cartoon caption you won a cash prize."
I wonder if these were officially sanctioned by the Mirror though?

Phil Boyce said...

See now this is why I love your blog so much. Proper scans of classic comics (and in this case newspapers) that you own, not just ripped from a CD, married up with proper information and interesting writing.

These are great little strips. My parents used to buy The Sun (don't judge them, they don't anymore) and The Daily Record when I was younger. I used to love Hagar the Horrible in particular and had some collected volumes of his strips from that rag too. Can't remember what the strips in the Record were but they were invariably Scottish-themed and very funny.

Lew Stringer said...

I don't think I've heard of that before, Nutty D. It's possible it was unofficial.

Thanks Phil! Yes, I can't see the point of nicking images that are available elsewhere just to increase the hit count. Although I've probably just answered my own question there.

I used to browse through a colleague's edition of The Sun when I worked in an office in the mid to late seventies. Hugh Morren's 'Wack' strip was often funny.

Anton Binder said...

Nutty Big D. I have a vague memory of a school friend examining the reference numbers on the Andy Capp strips and saying something about trying to win a prize. I wonder if this was the same scheme as the one you mention? I remember wondering at the time if the Mirror knew about it. In my mind there was a faint air of illicit dodgyness to it which intrigued me.

Can I also reiterate Phil Boyce's comment. I love your blog Lew. It's always well informed, interesting and unpretentious with a good mix of nostalgic and contemporary items.

Lew Stringer said...

Thanks Anton! That's good to hear. I hope it continues to entertain, however long the blog lasts.

This is intriguing about those numbers. Too bad the Mirror's Live !etters isn't still going, or we could have written to the Old Codgers and asked them about it.

Colin Jones said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nutty Big D said...

Anton
Sounds like it could have been similar. The only reference to these 6d tickets I found was on the East London forum, and back in the early sixties I lived on a council estate in the extreme south east of London, a stone's throw from the border with Bromley (which prior to the GLC was part of Kent). I'm wondering if this scheme was geographically restricted to London - is that where you went to school?

Anton Binder said...

Nutty
Yeah but in my case North London. Friern Barnet. This is turning into a bit of a mystery.

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