15th July 2017
First Picture: Pre War GollySecond Picture: Ali Jam Jar
Third Picture: Special Naval edition
Fourth Picture: Golly Watch
Box Tops and Badges
Looking back a lot of our childhood involved collecting things and sending off for items. How many of you collected the plastic bandsmen in the cornflake packets or the plastic trains inside the tubes of toilet rolls? I-Spy badges and feathers and all sorts of things. Most of us I guess.
We all collected the paper golly’s off of Robertson’s Jam and marmalade and then sent them off to swap them for metal pin on badges and there seemed to be an endless variety of them to collect. So, let us look at the history and demise of the Robertson’s Golly.
The origin of Golly is shrouded in mystery and has been accredited to several different sources. Golly is probably best known in England, appearing during the 1920s in the form of pin badges as the advertising logo for the Robertson's Jam and preserves company. The badges became so popular that other items of Golly advertising merchandise became available and each year bought more and more new items to add to your collection.
It is a little-known fact that the Robertson's badges and memorabilia became a great strain on the company as nearly all monies raised from sales were donated to the various charities that the Robertson's Company supported. These charities included Cancer Research, Cystic Fibrosis, The Royal National Lifeboat Institution, Leukaemia Research and the 2001 Children in need Appeal.
Robertsons were way ahead of their time when they decided to use the Golly badges and merchandise to support several other worthwhile causes, these included the Viota Scheme (promoting healthy eating and baking) their own brand of organic mincemeat, road safety (the green cross code) promoting recycling with the Ali Jamja badge and there was even a badge commissioned for HMS Critchton to thank the sailors for their efforts protecting the nation.
When it came to world events Robertsons were no back number here either, creating badges to commemorate the likes of many historical events from 1910 to 1990, The Barcelona Olympics 1992, The World Cup 1998, Euro 2000, and even a special Millenium badge.
Eventually though Golly suffered the fate of the PC brigade as the continual habit of crediting Golly to the word "Golliwog" finally saw him off. This is almost incomprehensible to fathom as anybody who takes the time to examine the history and paperwork of the Golly sensation will soon realise that even as far back as 1920s the word "Golliwog" was not used, Robertsons simply referred to their beloved iconic logo as just Golly.
It is believed that Robertsons were so taken aback that anybody could even think their company brand stood for racist views that they didn’t even attempt to defend themselves and instead chose to retire Golly even though several surveys supported the view that Robertsons should ignore the dissenters and continue to use their Golly logo.
So one of the greatest ever supporters of charities who stood for healthy eating, recycling, our children's safety whilst promoting sport and fitness, was finally seen off because his face was the wrong colour and people continually mispronounced his name as Golliwog.
Golly was as much a victim of racism as any other, he was a large part of most children's childhood and stood for no more than jam and the fun of collecting his many friends and bright coloured collectables, as such he should have been recognised as the pride of his era!
In 1999 a Robertson spokesperson said, "He's still very popular. Each year we get more than 340,000 requests for Golly badges. Since 1910 we have sent out more than 20 million." Serious Robertson's collectors may have thousands of Golly badges in their collections. Nevertheless, Robertson's Golly badges still remain highly collectable, with the very rarest sometimes selling for more than £1,000, and even comparatively common and recent badges being worth £2.00–£3.00.
Other Robertson's Golly memorabilia include such things as clocks, watches, tableware, porcelain figurines, jewellery, aprons, knitting patterns, playing cards, dolls, children's silverware sets, pencils, erasers and, of course, the Golly tokens themselves.
Robertson pendant chains were introduced in 1956, and, soon after, the design of all Robertson Gollies changed from the Old Golly with pop eyes to the present Golly with eyes looking to the left. The words "Golden Shred" were removed from his waistcoat, his eyes were straightened, and his smile was broadened.
How well I remember Golly!
Keep in touch
On this day 15th July 1960-1965
On 15/07/1960 the number one single was Good Timin' - Jimmy Jones and the number one album was South Pacific Soundtrack. The top rated TV show was Rawhide (ITV) and the box office smash was Psycho. A pound of today's money was worth £13.68 and Burnley were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
On 15/07/1961 the number one single was Runaway - Del Shannon and the number one album was South Pacific Soundtrack. The top rated TV show was Harpers West One (ATV) and the box office smash was One Hundred and One Dalmations. A pound of today's money was worth £13.25 and Tottenham Hotspur were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
On 15/07/1962 the number one single was I Can't Stop Loving You - Ray Charles and the number one album was West Side Story Soundtrack. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was Lawrence of Arabia.
On 15/07/1963 the number one single was I Like It - Gerry & the Pacemakers and the number one album was Please Please Me - The Beatles. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was The Great Escape. A pound of today's money was worth £12.64 and Everton were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions. The big news story of the week was UK Ministry of Defence proposed to replace War Office.
15/07/1964 the number one single was It's All Over Now - Rolling Stones and the number one album was Rolling Stones - The Rolling Stones. The top rated TV show was Labour Party Political Broadcast (all channels) and the box office smash was Dr Strangelove. A pound of today's money was worth £12.24 and Liverpool were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
On 15/07/1965 the number one single was Crying in the Chapel - Elvis Presley and the number one album was The Sound of Music Soundtrack. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was The Sound of Music. A pound of today's money was worth £11.69 and Manchester United were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions. The big news story of the week was Mont Blanc Tunnel officially opened.