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  • In the July issue of Best of British…
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Best of British is the UK’s premier nostalgia magazine covering every aspect of life from the 1930s to today.

Each issue encourages you to:

  • Explore readers’ own recollections and memories in our Yesterday Remembered section
  • Discover more about days gone past with stories on everything from vintage transport to great Britons and from Christmas traditions to great days out
  • Enjoy regular reader favourites such as Treasures in the Attic, 1940s Post, Postcard from… and of course our Puzzle Page and Crossword

We hope you like reading our magazine as much as we love compiling it. In the meantime here is this month’s letter from our Editor, Simon Stabler

A Giant Leap For All

Recently, someone high up in a well-known consumer organisation queried why so many of this year’s beer festivals are themed around the 50th anniversary of the moon landing. “As someone not around when it happened,” he wrote, “I find the choice a little strange as, while it was a ‘great step for mankind’, it was an American achievement.”

While it was certainly a feather in the cap for Nasa and a fitting tribute to slain US president John F Kennedy, who believed his country “should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth,” the moon landings were a truly international effort.

It wasn’t just the British and Commonwealth satellite stations such as Goonhilly in Cornwall and Honeysuckle Creek in Australia that brought us the historic television images of Neil Armstrong setting foot on the moon, but our own engineers who ensured he and his crew made this unprecedented trip safely. This issue, we celebrate some of those space pioneers and look at how our own Post Office commemorated Apollo 8’s Frank Borman’s visit to London. With the exception of the Doubting Thomas at the start of this letter, the moon continues to be a source of fascination.

Although man last got moon dust on his boots in 1972, films and TV programmes show us the possibilities of human colonies rising on the lunar landscape. Among them was Space: 1999, the Gerry Anderson series whose title I’ve shamelessly borrowed for the front cover. Turn to the centre pages for a selection of photographs from the show, provided to us by Gerry’s son Jamie.

As the space race was heating up, some folk believed we’d drawn attention to ourselves and it wouldn’t be long before strange beings from other worlds would show up to meet the upstarts who were causing the fuss. UFO groups were formed across the country and it wasn’t unknown for ufologists to descend en masse at the location of a reported sighting. Our correspondent may not have spotted a flying saucer, but perhaps you did. If so, why not write in to tell us about it?