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  • In the December 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.

Every issue is packed with features that celebrate classic entertainment, transport, food and drink, and the great British countryside. Our readers are at the heart of what we do. As well as taking their suggestions on board, their voices are heard through our Yesterday Remembered memoir section, along with the Postbag and Question Time pages.

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

Back on Track

They say that Christmas comes earlier each year and don’t I know it. I’m not just talking about working on this issue, which began in early October, but being presented with the first draft of my children’s Christmas lists at the start of the summer.

Their lists are perhaps no more demanding than generations of children over the years, just reflecting the current fads and technological advances. Their requests for computer games and other things that go bleep are no different to my youthful desire for a BMX bike, a
personal stereo, and Action Man and Star Wars toys.

In fact, it’s amazing how many classic toys from the 1970s and 80s have featured on their lists as well as in Christmas catalogues; with the Rubik’s cube, Girl’s World, and even the 8-bit Commodore 64 computer all making comebacks in recent years.

The various lockdowns over the last couple of years have also seen an increase in traditional hobbies; in 2020, book sales passed the 200 million mark for the first time in eight years, sales of plants and gardening products boomed (or should that be bloomed?), while model railway manufacturer Hornby saw sales increase by 28%, returning the company to profit.

Not only have those with fond memories of Hornby’s 1970s advertisements starring the great Bernard Cribbins returned to railway modelling, their children are now building layouts of their own, giving great hope for the future of the hobby.

Had I the space, I too would be dusting off my (limited) model making skills. But for the time being, whenever my wife asks what I’d like for Christmas, I give a reply I could never have imagined saying 40 years ago: “Socks would be nice.”

Merry Christmas everybody.