Design, ephemera

Beermattery #6


Further foraging in my fathers beermat collection has produced another collection, this time focussing on a drop of the harder stuff…

LESTARET-beermat-51 LESTARET-beermat-52 LESTARET-beermat-53 LESTARET-beermat-54 LESTARET-beermat-55 LESTARET-beermat-56 LESTARET-beermat-57 LESTARET-beermat-58 LESTARET-beermat-59 LESTARET-beermat-61

Darts Legend Jocky Wilson
Darts Legend Jocky Wilson

Pony was a brand of British Cream Sherry that was strangely popular during the 1970’s but like many things from 1970’s Britain, it didn’t survive. It did manage a surreal darts sponsorship though – and this was back in the day when even championship darts was played in working mens clubs by usually non-working men who spent an extraordinary amount of time training their darts/drinking arm and smoking a lot to the traditional cry of “Gud Arrers!’ Those were the days…

LESTARET-beermat-60LESTARET-beermat-62 LESTARET-beermat-63


Unlike many of the  brewers that have featured on these beermats, all of these (except for the sherry of course) are still going strong. Cheers.

More beermattery next time…

Design, ephemera

Beermattery #5


Further foraging in my fathers beermat collection has produced another collection, this time focussing not on drinks, but the places that they’re from (with one exception!)  We’ll start with a single colour one sided mat from the Sheaf View, a place where I’ve spent many lost evenings, long before it became the splendid real ale pub which it is now!  I’m also pleased to say is still going strong!

LESTARET-beermat-42LESTARET-beermat-45 LESTARET-beermat-44 LESTARET-beermat-43


The next one is the real odd one out, because it’s not from a pub (unless I have been mislead!) Its nice to think that one had a coaster to place one’s brown ale during the service!


This one’s my favourite, not least because I remember when it was still called the Fiesta, but because of its many alter egos over the years! But also for the two Sheffield acts on the cabaret – Marti Cain (who won the talent show New Faeces* in 1975, beating Lenny henry and Victoria Wood) along with local funnyman Bobby Knutt (catchphrase “Eyup Knutty!) who is now probably more well known for his acting roles in Emmerdale and Coronation Street. By ‘eck, thi don’t meckum like that numoor!


And I’ll leave you with something a little more exotic than a 1970’s northern nite club…

More beermattery next time…

*New Faces was the forerunner to all this x-factor nonsense, and just like the modern shows, a few winners became famous and the rest didn’t, although I do have a vague recollection of seeing an advertisement at Butlins in Skegness during the summer season in 1982 for someone called Dougie ‘He’s Funny’ Fanshawe (2nd runner-up, New Faces 1977)
Show business; its a funny old game…

Design, ephemera

Beermattery #4

Further foraging in my fathers beermat collection has produced another collection, or rather, a collection of a collection! This time it’s Inde Coope’s Burton Ale in the spotlight. They appeared to have produced a number of different collectors series of beermats over the years, and this is an incomplete set celebrating Traditional Crafts…


LESTARET-beermat-32 LESTARET-beermat-33 LESTARET-beermat-34

LESTARET-beermat-35 LESTARET-beermat-36 LESTARET-beermat-37

LESTARET-beermat-38 LESTARET-beermat-39 LESTARET-beermat-40
My Dad liked collecting different sets of mats and was particularly pleased when he completed them – unfortunately, this one is not quite there,  but there are other sets in his collection and I will definitely be featuring them all at some point!

More beermattery next time…


An Indian Delicacy


My dear friend Nick recently ventured out into India and returned with this very delicate, exquisitely painted leaf from an old book. We know nothing of its origin, but that doesn’t detract from the obvious visual qualities of this small (approx 210x125mm) frail rectangle of paper. The front and back images above are large scans and worth a click. For those whom even that is a click too far, here’s a few select close-ups!


Design, ephemera

Beermattery #3

Further foraging in my fathers beermat collection has produced another collection, this time focussing on just one drink – Babycham, which is remarkably still in business!

LESTARET-beermat-21 LESTARET-beermat-22 LESTARET-beermat-23 LESTARET-beermat-24 LESTARET-beermat-25 LESTARET-beermat-26 LESTARET-beermat-27 LESTARET-beermat-28 LESTARET-beermat-29

There are also a couple of enormous barmats too, like this one that is four times the size of a regular one:


and this one, which is the other side of the one that started off this post, with a regular mat for scale!lestaret-beermats-large-2

More beermattery next time…

Design, ephemera

Beermattery #2

I have been foraging in my fathers beermat collection in what appears to be an unending process of categorising and sub-categorising (I should really get out more!) and thought I would share a few ‘golden oldies’ with you all. These are the old breweries, many of which are no longer with us, or exist only as brands in a multinational corporate portfolio. Alas.


Whitbread’s are still a major business though, but brewers no more. Wilsons, though, originally a Manchester brewery, has gone the way of many others and disappeared after a series of mergers and acquisitions…


Wards, an old Sheffield stalwart finally closed at the end of the twentieth century, but the brand has been relaunched, and whilst it is no longer made in Sheffield by Wards, its branding still retains the legend “Sheaf Brewery Sheffield” which is a bit naughty…


Stones is still available though, but has not retained any of the visual qualities of this single sided beermat from the late 1970’s/early 80’s! Cameron’s is also still brewing, but appears to have slightly higher aspirations than suggested here.


Wm. Younger’s still exists as a brand, but is now part of the Heineken\Carlsberg empire…

LESTARET-beermat-17 LESTARET-beermat-18 LESTARET-beermat-19 LESTARET-beermat-20 More beermattery next time…


Design, ephemera

Beermattery #1


I have spent a little time going through my fathers beermat collection and managed to sort them in to basic categories – beers, lagers, cider, spirits, tobacco etc and thought I would share a few of the drink driving campaigns that are amongst them.


Some of these will be familiar as they featured on national campaigns, but others are regional. These are the ones that are just safety messages – there are lots of other beermats promoting a brewery or drink on one side with a drink driving message on the other.

LESTARET-beermat-3 LESTARET-beermat-4

This next one is is on a similar theme…


This next one is a favourite of mine. It’s funny, but it gets to the point…


This one celebrates 150 years of the South Yorkshire Police, and gives us a snapshot of how our WPC’s were kitted out in the 1970’s – thoughtful to let them have a shiny police handbag!


This last one is a bit weird – I see what they are trying to do here, but I’m unsure whether it was effective or not. Anyway, I’m glad someone is trying!


On a different note, I was surprised to see so many newer mats in the collection – I had no idea that he was still adding them! I am guessing that the earliest mats are from the early 1970’s (possibly earlier – its difficult to put a date on them) and stop about a year or so ago.

There is still much sorting to do. There are lots and lots in the beer and lager categories, both of which can be subdivided in different ways but I haven’t yet decided how best to sort them yet!