Worried Sick

151. Flag (Stockport)

Q: “Got any worries?

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.

Flag1 Flag2

Put Some Colour Into Your Mug Already

143. Arrow Chemicals

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.

1. Arrow
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

Choisy: Unofficial Odour Control Partners of Mugspotters

Würth It’s Weight In Gold

141. Würth

It’s common knowledge that most of the mugs featured on this blog are Charity Shop salvage or gifted / spotted by our followers but recently the magic of the Internet happened. Following a visit to our humble blog we were contacted by one of the very kind people at Würth in Glasgow who said they’d love to send us one of their mugs  to feature on our site.
The mug was dispatched forthwith & despite the packaging stating ‘fragile’, it was pulverised by the Royal Mail.
As it arrived at Mugspotters HQ the postie sheepishly handed over the package to a soundtrack of clinking porcelain and then slunk off into the late Manchester afternoon sunset. We knew this was not a good omen.
What followed was much wailing and gnashing of teeth as the precious fragments were emptied onto the desk. A nerve-wracking yet primitive time-teamesque reconstruction involving Kragle (see The Lego Movie) ensued and the ‘North face’ of the mug was just about salvageable but the back sadly could not be saved.
Once glued fingertips were rent asunder I took to email and thanked our contact at Würth. A second mug was promised but we can only assume the Royal Mail this time took a shine to it and it’s never made it to our door. A Director-level decision by the Mugspotters board unanimously decided we should go to e-press and publish this entry.

Please forgive the hairline cracks and retouching work. We did the best we could.

Please forgive the hairline cracks and retouching work. We did the best we could.

In reality it’s a lustrously svelte & glossy black Cambridge with Germanic styling and an intriguing motif. Our contact pointed out the ‘W’ in the logo comprises of 2 screw head / tips that they sell. The rear aspect of the mug showed all the critical contact details but these sadly could not be photographed.
According to their website The Würth Group is world market leader in its core business, the trade in assembly and fastening materials. It currently consists of more than 400 companies in over 80 countries with more than 66,000 employees on its payroll. Approximately 30,000 of these are permanently employed sales  representatives. In the business year 2014, the Würth Group generated total sales in excess of EUR 10 billion.
Its site boasts a myriad of products under categories such as (but not limited to:)
Automotive small components & spares
Brazing, soldering & welding
Building materials
Hand tools
Kitchens, bedroom & bathroom equipment
Plumbing & sanitation
Power tools
Vehicle diagnostic systems
Wall fixings
Working equipment

It’s vast but stylishly designed site and anyone with a passing interest in DIY and vehicular maintenance is bound to find it fascinating and you could maybe even become a customer.

Not many mugs we’ve come across have had such a tortuous journey to make it onto this site and this one even paid the ultimate sacrifice & lost its life in the process but I’m sure you’ll all agree the effort has been Würth it.

The glue that binds us together

The glue that binds us together

Trade Mugs Have Rights Too

135. Equality & Human Rights Commission

Never has a mug arrived at our door from such a lofty and prominent organisation. Always one to shy from controversy I’m going to side-step the usual japery of light-heartedly sending up such an institution. Let’s face it, under-represented humankind has many wishing to speak up to fight their corner and raise awareness of even the most niche cultures and communities.
What concerns me are the Rights of Trade Mugs?
Avid followers of Mugspotters will know how we have sought to raise awareness of the general neglect, lack of respect and abuse of Trade earthenware and you could say us bringing such artifacts onto the world-wide web would help consumers and beverage partakers to be more informed and appreciate such humble and frowned upon vessels. Our Mission statement & web-blurb bear testament to this:
Mission statement

Sadly even in Trade Mug circles, those who shout loudest are pandered to. The landscape is awash with White-bread Sparta’s & Vanilla Cambridge’s but wherever possible we love to champion those under-represented mugs sitting on the fringes: the Bell; the Stein & the Tankard. Hardly any of these get a look in!.

It’s a pity then that the E&HRC chose the most glaringly obvious, safe and quite frankly bland Cambridge to promote their cause. This is pretty much sat on the earthenware fence. I’d have much more respect for them if they’d had plumped for something like the Brave Bell.
Maybe rather than offend the majority by being brave, they pandered to the masses?
You have to remember: All trade mug designs are equal but some are more equal than others.

EHR final

I Spy With My Little Eye

133. The Cotswold Group

Mugspotters gets down & dirty with the seedy underbelly of Insurance Fraud: Cash for Crash; L.S.I.  (No,  not “Love Sex Intelligence” as once performed by The Shamen)  Low Speed Impacts;  Slam-Ons;  Slips & Trips; Staged Accidents; Over-Inflated Contents Claims…. Let this post be a lesson the any of our readers who are thinking of committing that most innocent of crimes, insurance fraud. The Cotswold Group are watching. And as they do, they sip their hot beverages housed in their glacial promo Cambridge, noted for its elongated handle, which incidentally is trending in kilns everywhere in 2015. We especially approve of its ‘Roving Eye’ graphic. It’s a bit like Big Brother, which come the think of it is probably the intention. It seems to follow you round the room. I wager there may even a tracking device or micro-camera embedded in the earthenware. cotswold1 Big brother Cotswold Eye
For those interested, here is some background on TCG:
“With 25 years of experience we are the UK and Europe’s leading Investigation  company providing exceptional results through our specialist investigation and intelligence services. In April 2011 the company was acquired by G4S plc as G4S Investigation Solutions (UK) Ltd but we continue to trade as The Cotswold Group.  (Good job really, given G4S’s reputation.) We specialise in intelligence led fraud and liability investigations across the public and private sector, working for a range of industries, including some of the world’s largest insurance companies, corporate businesses and local authorities”.

So, the next time you’re thinking of submitting that dodgy insurance claim, go on punks, make their day!

Phoenix From The Flames

129. The Phoenix Abrasive Wheel Company

There are a couple of great things going on with this smokin’ Cambridge.
First off, it’s marvellous to be once again featuring a mug from the Industrial sector. (The more obscure the better!) Obscure Industries are the cornserstone of this blog. Who could remember err, not forget Malcolms ElectroplatingJayline Ltd from back in the day when we were taking our tentative first steps on this blog?

The mug features a striking red teutonic-style Phoenix graphic which, in isolation, is worthy of its own fashion range. As far as mythical mugspots go, it’s not as intricate & exotic as Zips Dragon but it’s a very bold & striking piece of imagery nonetheless.
Phoenix 2

Secondly, when you delve into the company itself and their services, it’s always a joy to see their range of services which add a dash of double entendre “sauce” into the entry. For Phoenix we have:
Roll Grinding Rubber – Nut Inserted Segments – Centreless Grinding – Fine Gaits – Rail Grinding. (Ooh err Mugspotters..)
The South face gives you a plethora of contact details and so this pretty much ticks all the boxes.

Phoenix 1

Their ‘About Us’ web-bumf states: The Phoenix Abrasive Wheel Company was formed and incorporated in 1968 and still remains a private limited company totally focused on providing technical  abrasive solutions with the best of customer care. As a manufacturer of quality abrasive products all are designed, manufactured and tested in accordance.  With the European standard E.N.12413 (safety requirements for bonded abrasives) and Quality Management System ISO 9001-2008.  Phoenix Abrasives is a member of The British Abrasive Federation who can provide technical and safety publications.

Thanks go to our Peak District Mugspotters branch for salvaging this wonderful specimen and enabling us to grind out another quality Mugspot.



Caught In Possession*

127. Co-operative Insurance

It’s hard to know where to start with the sorry tale of the Co-Op. (pronounced Cworrrp) The once ethical right-on bank has to a degree been battered and tarnished by ill conceived take-overs, allegations of financial corruption and a crystal methodist chairman.*
Damage limitation is taking place as they look to annex Manchester’s Norther Quarter under the guise of their NOMA project but I’d rather look back to the time when the brand once had a shred of credibility and they were involved in the beautiful game of football.
Our weathered Cambridge celebrates Cworrps Insurance arm as being an “Official Partner of the Premier League”, plus sponsors of a Cup competition North of the Border.
Blackburn shirt
One upon a time, CIS Insurance once sponsored Blackburn Rovers. Famously in 1995 Kenny Dalglish, bank-rolled by Chairman Jack Walkers millions, won the Premier League for this under achieveing Lancashire Club. They had a great squad back then but spearheading the attack and grabbing all the headlines were the SAS: (Chris) Sutton & (Alan) Shearer. What a pairing they were! A total goal machine. In fact, I’d go on record to say Alan Shearer is my all time favorite footballer and will be proud to tell my great grandchildren that I was around to see him play in his prime. A true legend.

Can the same be said about this all-action Cambridge?
It’s borderline ‘Promo’ but goal line technology has confirmed there are enough Trade elements plastered around its periphery to make it a…. G-O-A-L.    The Mugsupporters are going wild.
They think it’s all over. It is now.




It’s Not Who You Know, It’s What You Know

123. Exotic Car Collection

This Cool & deadly lustrous black Cambridge is licensed to thrill courtesy of Enterprise. They are veterans of Mugspotters who’ve graced our blog before with their cheap & cheerful Bell, but now they’re back & this time it’s serious.
As far as Bond analogies go, if the Bell was Timothy Dalton, this Cambridge is Daniel Craig.


There doesn’t seem to be a UK website but their (U.S.) variant boasts
“There’s a kind of luxury that doesn’t need to scream and shout. One that’s as much about service as it is style. Luxury that doesn’t just mean exotic cars for any occasion, but giving you personalized white-glove service to meet your needs. Experience exotic car rentals from the brand known for award-winning customer service. Experience Exotic Car Collection by Enterprise.

I literally couldn’t sum it up better! Marques featured include everyday cloggers such as Audi, BMW, Jaguar & Porsche through to high-end Maserati’s & Ferrari’s.
I’m not much of a petrol head, other than I’ll admit to liking Top Gear and Wheeler Dealers,** but I do like mugs and this is one 4.2 litre supercharged, V8 charged beauty.
It’s for those who know, y’ know.

** Check out those Wheeler Dealers Mugs……

Just Another (Mug On A) Brick In The Wall

121. Tarragon:    A CBT Company

Post-NYE Mugspotters HQ looks like Godzilla has just trampled through it. However some of us like to be kept on our toes and so go first-footing into 2015 with some Alfresco action courtesy of our Bury-Based branch, in the form of this lilting Cambridge for “Tarragon”. Not for one minute do I think it’s expounding the virtues of the popular and versatile herb from whose slender stem sprouts narrow, tapering and slightly floppy leaves which have an intense flavour that’s a unique blend of sweet aniseed and a mild vanilla. Not on your Nelly.!

Note what appears to be bird muck under the base

Note what appears to be bird muck under the base

So what of Tarragon, the brand? They appear to be a U.S. firm specialising in CBTs – or Computer-Based Training with some tentative link back into the UK via http://www.insightgroup.co.uk/.  Having looked at their swanky website I’m struggling to (a.k.a losing the will to) make a connection. If BBC’s Sherlock creators & writers Stephen Moffat & Mark Gatiss are running short of ideas maybe they can form this teasing puzzle into an Episode for Sherlock: Season 4?

I hate to temper the mood here but it is with sadness I can also reveal the mug itself never survived the photo-shoot. Such are the risks of outdoor photography. Neither was it insured. The vessel was somehow dislodged and smashed, so this is the last-known photo of this doomed Cambridge.

Finally may I take this opportunity wish all our Spotters, readers, followers, fellow bloggers & fans a very Happy New Year!


Now! That’s What I Call A Trade Mug

120. A1 D2B

Tis the festive season and this year more than any the pressure around getting everything sorted for what is essentially a 2 day break is reaching fever pitch. Trying to find a free day of the week is almost impossible: The Daily Hate & the BBC have invented an alternate calender week: We now have: Black Friday; Green Saturday; (Yes, Walmart made that one up & believe in it – honest!); Cyber Monday; Mayhem Monday; Panic Saturday. (Zzzzz)
It’s only left me with a handful of days to devote to this blog:
Sabbath Sunday;  That’s a rest day supposedly!
Crap Tuesday;  The worst day of the week – official.
Dreary Wednesday;
Quite Chilled Thursday;

Anyway. In the annals of Mugspotters we tend to get single branded mugs. Very occasionally we get dual-branded effort (Unison/Britannia)  but this very week we took delivery of a Cambridge that is one of the most spectacular pieces of Trade earthenware ever.
caril 1  caril 2 caril   3

caril 3

I don’t know where to start. Gasps of awe and amazement were heard in Mugspotters HQ. No whoops or hollers just a solemn & respectful silence. Minds everywhere trying to compute the information contained thereon. It was almost
a Rosetta Stone moment. Slowly we began to pick our way round the vessel. Building was my first guess. There are some heavy weight construction giants on there: Highways Agency – Carillion – Morgan Sindall – Work Safe Home Safe – Atkins (diet?) – AECOM. But what of the Target Zero   2,750,000 Hours Target Zero & A1 D2B algebraic inscriptions? Thanks to the pwoer of the Internet a quick search on A1D2B unearths a PDF presentation which is ripe with Project Management jargon & low-hanging buzz-word Bingo. It’s headed CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT SUSTAINED APPROACH MORE FOR LESS. There’s 16 cliche packed pages to peruse stuffed with such gems as ‘Get the forecast right & deliver under budget’, ‘Top Down Bottom Up’ (ooh err Mugspotters) ‘Lean’, ‘Driving Flow’, ‘Blacktop Efficiency’, ‘Critical Success Factors’.etc etc.
We have been here before with Warrior Project Management. More searches were commissioned & it seems the purpose of the A1D2B ECI team is to upgrade the A1 between Dishforth and Leeming Bar in North Yorkshire, with all the aforementioned companies signing up to the project.  On Twitter you can follow #neverendingroadworks  in which there is a mention of a sighting of a banners stating 2,750,000 safe hours have been worked on the nations roads. However this thread also enables you to take to social media and make your feelings known about the state of the nations roads & its roadworks.
All in all it’s been quite a journey getting to the bottom of this wonderful specimen but thanks for sticking  with us. It feels like its taken me 2,750,000 to write & edit this entry!
All that remains for me to say is everyone here at Mugspotters wishes you all a safe and Happy Christmas.