I bought these Tiger Tim Annuals at a jumble sale a little while ago. One dates from 1924 and the other from 1954. It goes to show that giving Annuals as a gift at Christmas is nothing new.
It's amazing to think that over 90 years ago a child unwrapped the 1924 annual on Christmas Day morning. Because I purchased the two Annuals together at the jumble sale, they may have come from the same house. So there's a possibility the 1924 child grew up and maybe had a child of their own. In a bid to instill a love for Tiger Tim, they may have bought the 1954 Annual for their offspring. When you're a collector of vintage items, you often can't be sure of the back story, but I like to think this scenario could have been a possibility. After all, that's how most Christmas traditions are kept alive, by family members passing them down through the generations.
I think getting an Annual as a gift was seen as a special event for most children. You would see and read things in these books that didn't appear in the weekly comic. There was also something lovely about holding a hard backed version of your favourite comic too.
The 1924 Tiger Tim Annual is still bearing up pretty well, despite its age. I particularly like the colour illustrated plates dotted through the book. This endearing image of three children dressed as rabbits on their way to the Bunnies Ball in the snow is really lovely. I would love to have this as a framed print, but I would never tear a page out of this Annual!
Most of the characters who appear in the Tiger Tim Annual are way before my time. But I'm sure children of that era loved "Peter and Olliboo" and the "Brownie Boys" to name just a couple...I'm sure they were the Peppa Pig or Bob the Builder of their day.
The other thing I love about these vintage annuals is the adverts on the back and inside the book. There is one for Green's cake mix and Green's is still going strong today. There is also a Cadburys Car Race for children to play in the back of the Annual.
There is also an advert for the weekly "Playbox" and "Rainbow" comic books. The publisher obviously needed to engage young readers in Tiger Tim's adventures on a more regular basis.
Finally I love the little letter from Tiger Tim to his readers. I believe that Fleetway House on Farringdon Street in London has been a centre for book and magazine publishing for many decades.
Even in our technology saturated world, you can still buy annuals featuring today's generation of favourite characters. A quick search online reveals that most major retailers have Annuals in stock this year. I have seen Annuals for Peppa Pig, Ben and Holly, Match Football and even Strictly Come Dancing. It goes to show that some Christmas Traditions never go out of date...
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