Welcome to Mugspotters. This is an intimate webspace dedicated to & celebrating the much-maligned world of Trade Mugs which are often given-away, discarded, ill-treated and lucky if they reach the giddy status of 'Emergency Mug' in the domestic arena. We aim to share our love of such artefacts via the world-wide web and carefully selected social media outlets. If you too share our love, we'd appreciate your thoughts and kind comments.
A: “Yeah I’m concerned that Flag might cease to be and absorbed into a faceless money-saving organisation where I won’t matter and never speak to the same person twice….”
In 2015 Flag were devolved and swallowed up by Stockport TPA (Targeted Prevention Alliance) where despite the spin on the website, sees its work shared by other similarly crushed voluntary community sectors. Their website goes on to say:
“In line with the Adult Social Care Prevention Strategy, FLAG, along with many other voluntary and community sector (VCS) organisations offering prevention services across a range of conditions, was decommissioned from June 2015. However, a new, more efficient and fit for purpose VCS offer has been developed and commissioned and in November the new services will be publicly launched. These services include the Targeted Prevention Alliance (TPA) and the Wellbeing and Independence Network. FLAG was a member organisation of the successful team bid for the TPA, operational from 1st July 2015.
Given FLAG is a member of the Targeted Prevention Alliance it therefore continues to exist; however, it is no longer operating in its former, stand-alone role. Providing information and advice to people with identified need is now a function of the wider TPA along with other approaches to preventing, reducing and delaying need and use of services. FLAG staff, along with staff from the five other providers within the TPA, will have a range of roles in common including offering advice and guidance to people referred into the TPA.
For the time being the FLAG office on Chestergate remains open and is an access point for the TPA yada-yada-yada-yada-blah-blah-blah…”
From experience, if a solely dedicated organisation is decommissioned to form a part of a melange of other voluntary organisations, the outcome for the client is a tortuous disjointed third rate service. All this sombre blurb kind of makes studying Flag’s Cambridge all the more upsetting. Doubtless a once effective function swallowed up into an acronym red-tape strangled organisation.
Anyway, I’m off now to find some more uplifting and stress free earthenware I can stick on the blog.
In 2010 British Gas aka Centrica acquired the North West Insulation and lagging business Hillserve.The deal was worth £5,000,000* to the family firm.
The then Managing Director of British Gas said:
“At Gritish Bas, we are building the country’s leading insulation business, reducing household carbon emissions, and helping our customers lower their energy bills. (ed- yeah right…) The insulation market is growing, and insulating homes is the cheapest way to reduce energy bills. Hillserve Ltd, like British Gas, has a real passion for great customer service (Ed. Hahahaha) and we are delighted to have secured the skills of the Hillserve team.”
The then Managing Director of Hillserve said:
“Ker-ching. Get in there”*
Not really. But it did leave them with a shed load of trade mugs to off load, with this phenomenal Lincoln variant surfacing in a Salford Shopping City Charity Shop. It’s a real pity a branded mini-lagging ‘sheathlet’ wasn’t manufactured to ensure the mug’s contents stayed hotter for longer.
After almost 100 years in the making, back in 2010, 19th November to be precise, although the timing of the ribbon cut is subject to furious debate littering the ‘Comments’ section of Alderley Edge.com, the Alderley & Nether Alderley bypass was opened. The 3 mile stretch of Tarmac cost just £52 million pounds back then and was seen as a great boost for commuters travelling in & out of Manchester. As well as dissecting 2 of the regions most affluent villages, the road was deemed environmentally friendly as it was actually ‘sunk’ so as not to prove to be too much of an eyesore. There was also the added benefit of white-bread peasants being able to marvel at the Cheshire countryside, the rented houses of football mercenaries and dumb-ass ‘Real Housewives of Cheshire‘. (see below) Birse, the construction company involved saw fit to commission a commemorative variant of the lesser-spotted Lincoln to proudly mark this historic occasion and the J-pegs below show it off in all its weathered glory. It has to be almost 6 years old at least now and looks like it’s seen the inside of a dishwasher more than once, given its faded lustre. One only hopes there wasn’t too much self-congratulatory back-slapping going on whilst its owner was having a hot one, as this could have resulted in scalding.
The Real Housewives of Cheshire aka diarrohoea for the eyes
Patiently & stealthily we have now built up the Holy Grail hat-trick for Reed. Battle-hardened veterans of this site will recall with misty eyes, their Health division’s travel mug and their sumptuous Marrow posing the question: “Are You Better Off Working?”.
This ‘on-trend’ mini-marrow is something of a curio. We feature 2 elevations here and as if by some freak of manufacturing there is no hint of branding on either flanks;
Only the handle’s front elevation features any type of detail.
Reed all about it…finally!
This can only be explained by 3 possible theories:
1/ In a hint of creative genius, the printers exercised their European ruling of ‘The Right To White Space’.
2/ The printers forgot about the side-aspects leaving only up front & centre.
3/ Reed had a very limited print budget and left it at the mercy of the printers, where any of the above 2 combinations could’ve applied.
So as we have it, if a user holds the mug in a ‘live’ beverage environment, depending on whether they are left or right-handed, only fools & jokers at your respective sides will get the Reed message.
In cinematic terms we’re well and truly into the blockbuster season and first out of the traps is this action-thriller courtesy of Moore International. There really is so much hanging out of this ‘packed’ lipped Atlantic. There’s an eye-catching ‘Man From Uncle-esque’ globe motif and some post-punk print work showing some sort of sliding
linear guideway. They even have the ball-screws to pull off the cardinal sin of black-on-red typography.
Once you’ve picked your jaw up off the floor after perusing the front, the rear gives a cast list of double-entendres and Austrian sounding movie action heroes to die for.
You can connect with Moore here which gives you the run down on all their ball & lead screw capabilities.
To top it all and if you hadn’t already sussed, it would be simply rude not to point out they are named after the best Bond movie actor in the world…ever.
Production music (also known as stock music or library music) is the name given to recorded music that can be licensed to customers for use in film, television, radio and other media. Oftentimes, the music is produced and owned by production music libraries. You probably hear it most days and not even know you’re listening to it on ads and TV Shows. The usual suspects are ones whose advertising budget can’t afford to stretch to licence the latest ‘Rudimental’ tear-em -up track and instead opt for some non-descript drum-n-basscore effort. Typically this will be “library music”. Mugspotters faves ‘Wheeler Dealers‘ is a show which features a glut of multi-genre library music, ranging from classic rock, Jazz, 60’s spy themes (for the Classics) through to loungecore, ambient & psy-trance. In summary a great soundtrack mix to which Ed China can wield his wratchet spanner to.
And so we shift effortlessly to this Charity Shop rescue Deco for ‘De Wolfe’, Library Music specialists extraordinaire. Spotters are familiar with DW in the shape of their superb cult retail compilation “Kung Fu Supersounds” bringing together soundtracks from the Shaw Brothers legendary martial arts flicks. (May we recommend the wonderful Track 2: Theme to “Horror House”) However DW have much more in their arsenal than Chop-socky movies. The mug, if you can see, lists literally hundreds of musical genres to which they have access in their cavernous libraries. Some, never encountered before such as Dub, Baroque & beardy-beardy plink-plink Ukulele.
As a delightful added bonus, the VERY pert nethers of the mug are emblazoned with the DW logo, which will be visible to a viewer as you raise it to down the last dregs of your cuppa.
This truly is a mug that hits all the right notes.
Believe us there are loads of genres wrapped around its girth
145. CMACS (Centre for Marine and Coastal Studies Ltd)
When canvassing potential recruits to work within our Mugspotters Empire one of the interview questions is: “Who is the best James Bond?” You don’t even have to explain why but if the answer is Sir Roger Moore, you’re through to the assessment centre. Such is the esteem with which we adore the JB franchise and in particular Sir Roger himself. For so long we’ve been aching to shoehorn some serious 007 action into this blog and this is the day, courtesy of CMACS.
There are so many parallels which you could draw on with 1977’s “The Spy Who Loved Me“, which has an aquatic theme courtesy of arch-villain Stromberg & his vision for an underwater city but today we are focusing more on CMAC’s vital work here. If you peruse their website, it’s a wondrous insight into marine work you just simply take for granted and never believed existed, such as Krill Certification, Marine Mammal Management & Benthic Environmental Monitoring. As in the true tradition of Bond double-entendres, CMACS also partner the wonderfully named ‘Dong Energy’. (Ed – Don’t go there!)
But what of the mug that’s brought us here. The subject matter is so rich you’d be forgiven for overlooking it. At first glance it’s your common-or-garden Sparta but just marvel at its jutting lip! Almost Jaggeresque in stature, this benefits hot beverage consumption no end. And that brings us nicely to the Mugspotters drink of choice, Tea. Two sugars, stirred not shaken.
It never ceases to amaze us here at Mugspotters HQ by the number of hits our humble blog receives and we’re even more thrilled when we are hit from a richly diverse range of communities, cultures and continents. In recent months we’ve been tracking activity in India and inevitably via the medium of electronic-mail we received some wonderful spottage direct from its call-centre capital, Bangalore.
We are extremely excited to share this VERY racy dual-aspect Marrow with you which I’m sure you’ll agree tikkas all the right boxes. It’s slender frame brings to life the brands of
A) Casa Del Sol Hotel
B) Casa Piccola Cottage (Call it Home! TM)
This Marrow is so well cooked you can almost smell the ghee.
Aspect ‘A’ has a distinctly Western feel to it and its light and airy feel puts you in mind of a plethora of similar “sunshine” outlets. However Aspect ‘B’ for ‘The Cottage’ is full of Eastern promise with its beguiling come-hither typographical flourishes.
We’re no strangers to Indian delicacies as we have previously featured Sanam’s Sweet House but that was in Stockport. It’s a real privilege to be bringing you this genuine & authentic artefact from the East.
That said, we welcome and value any contributions to our blog whether you’re paneer or far.
We’re off now to poppadum the kettle on for a Chai Latte before all these take-away punnanigins get too much.
Wow! Where should we start with this? ‘Busy’ doesn’t begin to describe this gorged Cambridge.
Making the most out of its limited budget by using a daring mix of fonts & eeking every shade out of it’s low-rent 2 colour print run, this is a curious beast. It’s packed with no less than 3 brands & contemporaneous info but the messages seem to drift around it’s girth and one could become was almost bored twisting it round just to get to the big reveal. It should be a classic but it just doesn’t work. The design seems to ‘hang’ and it could have done with some more graphic flourishes to hold it all together.
A personal highlight however is the is the funky & unswerving logo for “Choisy”. (pronounced ‘Jwaasee’ according to one of our more linguistically adept mugspotting interpreters). Apparently Choisy are a Montreal-based company responsible for the Rodian VMS floorcare system, of which Arrow Chemicals seem to be peddling on our shores. Please check out YouTube for this harrowing promo-clip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FG1e68ActQU. It’s an art-house flick e.g. all in French but don’t let that put you off. The strapline around the mugs base is also a bit deux-faced. As for putting more colour into my life, perhaps Arrow need to put some more colours onto their Mug!
However enough of the pleasantries. Here are some quick messages from our sponsors.
Arrow Solutions was established in 1968, and supplies the UK and International markets with a wide range of industry leading cleaning and maintenance products. Based on our 16-acre site in Moira, Arrow works closely with our customers to produce the right product, every time. Arrow Solutions is committed to conducting business in an ethical and socially responsible manner, as well as ensuring the effective management of environmental issues. We are focused on sustainable development in order to meet the needs of the present without compromising future generations.
2. Choisy (pronounced ‘Jwaasee’ )
Chemistry and biotechnology serving sanitation for a clean environment. A Canadian company, Choisy Laboratories Ltd. was founded in 1946 by Yvon G. Trudeau, BA, BSc, a professional chemist and visionary
(aka dream weaver & all round good egg) who foresaw the emergence of the whole new public hygiene industry. From the start, Choisy has focused on research, manufacturing and marketing of odour control products for various applications as well as specialized products for the dairy industry. Choisy Laboratories remains committed to its original philosophy: “quality and performance through innovation”. Choisy’s founder successfully laid the groundwork for a dynamic, innovative company specializing in hygiene products and related services. The company rigorously applies chemistry industry standards to growing public hygiene needs, with the expectation that more rational sanitation control methods will result in improved public health protection.
Anyway, this post has taken an eternity to write. I think I need to crack open a window in here….
Choisy: Unofficial Odour Control Partners of Mugspotters
For some reason Mugspotters finds itself almost impossible to wrestle itself away from the spectre of the Insurance and Claims Management industries. To be truthful though this provides us with a reliable and steady flow of product with which to stuff our blog. This sophisticated & voluptuous plunging black Deco just oozes class.
Its rarely seen yet ample shape holds a VERY generous amount of beverage but I’m sure you’ll agree this is fit to grace both the dinner table as well as the working desktop environment.
For the purist…
Awwwwww Bless. How cute is this?
But what of Bexhill Insurance Premium Funding? Their location is not hard to deduce but what in the name of the Financial Ombudsman is “Premium Funding”? A trawl of the information super-highway reveals it’s (strap yourself in it’s a long one…) “…The lending of funds to a person or company to cover the cost of an insurance premium. Premium finance loans are often provided by third party finance entity known as a premium financing company; however insurance companies and brokerages occasionally provide premium financing services through premium finance platforms. Premium financing is mainly devoted to financing life insurance which differs from property and casualty insurance. To finance a premium, the individual or company requesting insurance must sign a premium finance agreement with the premium finance company. The loan arrangement may last from one year to the life of the policy. The premium finance company then pays the insurance premium and bills the individual or company, usually in monthly installments, for the cost of the loan.”
So there you have it. I would have thought insurance brokers would have had the financial solutions in place to service the buying of policies off insurers but it transpires they all must not. Indeed it’s a bit like a barber having someone else do their own shave.
In other news, this Deco came in a freebie bundle complete with a soft toy (awwwwww bless) & bijou carrier bag. For the purist Spotters I have snapped it in solitary confinement, as per the shot above but below you can enjoy the mug flanked as part of the wider package.
Awwwww Bless! How cute is this?
Disclaimer: No toy seals were harmed during the production of this blog.