Ireland in the Fixties ~ Books & Comics
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Do you remember the '64-pagers'? Small A5 size adventure stories in various 'libraries' - Cowboy, Thriller, Air-Ace, Commando, War, Battle, etc. Come to think of it, why were we so obsessed by war stories? Of course, all these were published in Britain, a country which only a decade earlier, had been at war. It was assumed that every little boy in Britain idolised their military, navy and air-force - and we had no choice but to 'go with the flow'.

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Thursday after school, we would head straight for 'the paper shop' to buy a couple of weekly comics. On Saturdays, we would meet up with some friends and do some swops - four reads for the price of two. Which was your favourite?

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The digest-style, 64-pagers (see top of page) were hugely popular. Here are two more, one for teenagers and one for younger children. My mother would never be allowed to leave Woolworth's without one of the latter, published by Mellifont Press.

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Most of us took car numbers in notebooks or school copies but this series of 'I-Spy' booklets was a step up from that. 48 small pages showing over 100 cars and a place to write in the date and place where you spied it.

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Ah, isn't this what nostalgia is all about? In our teenage years we devoured papers like these ones - Spotlight and Musical Gazette which covered the Irish popular music scene and Jackie, Fabulous, NME and Record Song Book which gave us a more global perspective.

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The local library was a great source of reading for us. Hardback books such as those above were borrowed, read and returned within a week. I think we were allowed three and maybe a fortnight to return them. Below, a selection of magazines from the Fixties.

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Christmas morning? Always an annual or two under the Christmas tree!

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francis k. 2008