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.