WILLIAM'S EPHEMERA PAGE
 

On this page you can find lots of items relating to William besides the books.

Before and just after the war after there wasn't the commercialisation regarding poular fictional charactors like there is today, so William material relating to this period is quite limited.

During this time there was a number of jigsaws (including one from the 1949 film, Just William's Luck) and a toy theatre with a play script and cardboard figures. The Radio series of the 1940's produced some sheet music with pictures of William and his mother on the front.

Also in the 1940's the Just William Fan Club issued a badge from their base in Cavandish Square, London.

Macdonald & Young published a play in three acts called Just William based on William by Richmal Crompton and written by Alick Hayes. Another play ( one act this time) was produced called William and the Artist Model. There was also a comedy in three acts written by Ireland Wood called "Charity Begins---" from a story by Richmal Crompton.

Pixyland Kew produced a lead figure of William. In my humble opinion it looks hideous! I dont know when it was made.

In the 1950's, 60's and 70's, there was considerably more, especially with William's appearances on the T.V. with quite a few spin offs.

Pepys, the card game manufacturers, produced a card game with illustrations by Thomas Henry, There was also a 3D board game, a Whirlo game, A William Wigwam, 4 jigsaws (based on the TV series), a Box of Tricks, William Toffee's, four different William figurines, of which I have three. Two are unsigned and pretty rough. The other two were manufactured by Coleport. The first was called Just William and the other was called William the Gangster. There were also three magic painting books, Two by Thomas Henry and one by Lunt Roberts ( illustrator of the 'Jimmy' Books). There were also two 'dress up' books, - one called Dress William & Ginger and the other Dress William and Violet Elizabeth.( not particularly popular - far too sissy' ish for William!!) I have also seen a small bucket - as in bucket and spade for the sea-side!!

Do you think William would make a good educationalist?? I think not, but obviously someone did! In 1963 a French company called Hatier published a book with three William stories to be used as a teaching aid. The stories were in one half, with comprehension exercises on the other. Comprehension ----- William ???? -- the mind boggles! Whilst were talking about education, in 1977 the BBC published a booklet starring William in their Listening and Reading series - BBC Radio for Schools.

William has also put in appearance on 'cigarette cards'.

In 1951 Junior Pastimes produced a set of cards called 'Star Pix'. One of the cards featured William Graham who played William in Just William's Luck

In 1953 ABC Cimemas (Minors) produced a set of cards called 'Scenes from the Films'.

One of the cards shows a scene from Just Williams Luck.

Macmillan, who were publishing the books at the time, ran a promotion in the 1980's, where you could join the 'Outlaws Club'. After joining, you were issued with a plastic wallet, notebook and a yellow badge. Later 'Outlaws' got a bit more - a larger wallet, notebook, a pencil, more 'blurb' and a red badge.

The Just William Society has produced some items of their own including a Lledo model truck, various stickers, their own sweets, book-marks, a CD with an interview with Richmal Crompton & also an interview with Martin Jarvis and various radio plays.

In Richmal Crompton's Centenary year the Society produced a mug, sweets and stickers. In 1993, moves were afoot to produce some William related dinner plates for the Society. However, although Richmal Ashbee was quite keen, the project was shelved and only a few sample plates were produced.

During Richmal Cromptons Centenary year Bury Council produced a booklet about her and a giveaway 'gonk'. Not to be outdone, during St Elphins centenary they produced one or two Crompton items themselves like bookmarks etc

Talking of book-marks, in the 1990's a firm of booksellers produced a set of book-marks using the front covers of the William books.

William hasn't got off scott free in regards to blatent copyright theft, with his image being used unofficially on paper bags, and his image being used to sell beer!!! Even financial institutions like Price Waterhouse have got in on the act ( not known if officially or unofficially!!) Best of all though is an advert I saw in a country pub advertising a Conker Championship - now THAT William would have appreciated !!!!

On the subject of alchohol I have also seen a Thomas Henry illustration from a William book on a bottle of wine!

There is also a William's Restaurant in Westcliffe-on-Sea. I dont know if it still there, what the meals are like or if it was officially sanctioned!! There was also a Just William Wine bar in London, no longer trading.

A William map has been produced which 'shows' the position of William house , the barn, his school - all based on the books. A bit tongue in cheek but great fun nevertheless.

In 1993, The Post Office brought out a set of childrens stamps, one of which featured William. A postcard was also produced in conjunction with them.

Benham's have also issued 2gorgeous limited edition 1st day covers with the envelopes embossed with a full colour silk panel framed in gilt with artwork.

One featuring William brandishing a frog, with the special William 1st class stamp issued by The Royal Mail as well as two rare greetings stamps [featuring a spider and GOSH!] that were included in stamp books at the time. The cover has a special pictorial cancel from London, dated 2nd Feb 1993.

The other commemorated 50 years of Children Television. It features Dennis Waterman when he played William in the TV series from the 1960's. This one has a special pictorial cancel from Bury, Lancashire dated 3rd September 1996.

On a more modern note the BBC produced an audio CD greetings card, with a picture of William on the front and a CD inside with extracts from a William story read by Martin Jarvis. I do not think this was ever issued, but as always would be glad of clarification.

Also on a more modern note, in 1995 Macmillan produced a diary and in 1996 Macmillan produced a calendar, which had a full page black & white illustration and a colour pictures of the fronts of some books, Happy Mags and the Tit-bits Summer Annual.

William has also been featured as a specialist subject on the Mastermind TV Quiz show, and on the programme Collectors Lot in 2000, with Sarah Green as the presenter.

In 2003 a soft covers book was produced entitled Pensions for Boys. Originally, it was a story from the book Sweet William ( published in 1936).Printed inside the front cover is the following 'blurb':- "THIS FACSIMILE LIMITED EDITION IS ISSUED FOLLOWING THE PUBLICATION OF A DISCUSSION DOCUMENT BY THE DEPARTMENT OF TRADE AND INDUSTRY PREPARATORY TO A SERIES OF REGULATIONS OUTLAWING NOT ONLY SEX DISCRIMINATION BUT ALSO DISCRIMINATION ON THE GROUNDS OF BELIEF,SEXUAL ORIENTATION,RACE,DISABILITY AND AGE. IT IS PUBLISHED TOGETHER WITH A SHORT INTRODUCTION SPECIALLY WRITTEN FOR THIS EDITION, TO COINCIDE WITH THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF PENSION FUNDS ANNUAL CONFERENCE IN GLASGOW IN MAY 2003."

It was suppose to be a limited edition of 500 copies with the copy number space left blank (presumably to be filled in when issued). However I understand that it was, in fact,never issued. (More details please!)

In 2007, a student wrote a Just William musical as part of his master's degree in Musical Theatre Writing at Goldsmiths College at the University of London.

Also in 2007 Bury council entered the RHS National Flower Bed Competition and achieved 'silver gilt', which was their highest ever award from the Royal Horticultural Society.

The theme was “Just Fyne William” a floral tribute to the creator of Just William, Bury born Richmal Crompton

 

I understand there is an American Rock Group called Just William!! Mostly female, with a male drummer.Before you ask, NO I haven't heard them, but would jump at the chance, if somebody gave me a free airline ticket!!

On a personal note, and as a dyed in the wool, William 'purist', I suppose my most prized possessions are a quantity of metal printing blocks used for the illustrations in the original Newnes books and some proof copies of the books.

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