Tuesday, 10 February 2009


My brother-in-law was clearing the loft at the house where his parents have lived for the past thirty-five years. He wanted to know if C would like some old copies of The Beano that he had found tucked away.

As every pre-teen child must know, The Beano has recently celebrated its 70th birthday. Indeed the actual ‘Gnashiversary’ fell on a family wedding last year and C was disappointed in my blanket ban of ANY celebratory menacing that day.

C loves The Beano. As I did at his age, as his uncles and aunts did at his age and as probably most children in Britain do at his age. Of course I said yes to the treasures from the loft.

They appeared on Sunday evening, delivered by Uncle Richard in person. About thirty comics from the early 80s and three annuals from the mid 70s. C murmured his thanks, but was already straining his head sideways to read the cover of one of the magazines in his uncle’s arms. He carried on reading until bedtime, even as he lugged his precious loot up the stairs to his room. When I went in to wake him for school on Monday, he was reading. When I got home from work on Monday evening as the children were going to bed, he was still reading.

Today was the same.

He has even taken one to school to show his class (carefully protected in a plastic sleeve he raided from my desk).

I asked C if The Beano had changed much in the last thirty years or so. He didn’t look up from his reading, but did at least reply. He told me he was shocked at how much the price has increased – 14p in 1982 to £1.20 today. And he was even more shocked that Dennis The Menace’s father used to whack him with a slipper when he was naughty. Who would have thought that The Beano would reflect more modern parenting techniques?!

C plans to keep these vintage Beanos for a long time. Until he is grown up and can pass them on to his own children he said (“but only if they’re careful with them – not if they’re going to rip them or anything”). So thank you Uncle Richard – you have made a small boy very happy indeed.


For those of you who are Sudoku fans, check out Uncle Richard’s Strictly Sudoku site.


  1. We've a fan here too. In fact, the punishment for serious misbehaviour is removal of one of the carefully collected back issues. I am so mean sometimes.

  2. Damn, why did I click on that link - I'm running 15 mins late for school now! No self control!

  3. sounds like perfect reading for small boys, I obviously need to look out for some for E.

  4. how fab that he is so completely immersed in them and even better to get those old copies !!! my little boy is only 4 but am determined he will be a beano reader soon!
    Lesley x

  5. What a brilliant present for C! We get the Beano at work, for the younger customers, and they love coming in at the weekend whilst their parents are sat with the newspapers spread out, with their own 'paper' to read. Mind you , some of our older customers love it as well.


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