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

Those Aren’t Sprinkles!!!

118. Xamiol

The hot beverage industry is big business these days. Here at Mugspotters HQ we’re not in the habit of giving props to humungous tax-avoiding high street chains but for the right price a humble cup of coffee can be transformed into an all-sing-all-dancing taste extravaganza via the inclusion of syrups, creams, confectionery and sprinkles.
On the subject of sprinkles, they haven’t quite caught on in tea yet. In fact as the pic below illustrates, sprinkles in your tea may be the first sign of something more sinister such as poor personal hygiene, sloppy dairy product management (aka your milk’s gone off) or at worst, psoriasis of the scalp!

Those aren't sprinkles....arghhhhh

Those aren’t sprinkles….arghhhhh

Fear not however as help is at hand in the form of Xamiol, a treatment for that very ailment. Xamiol® is used as topical treatment of scalp psoriasis in adults. Psoriasis is caused by your skin cells being produced too quickly. This causes redness, scaling and thickness of your skin.
Luckily it’s makers commissioned this busy Cambridge as a promo item. It features 4 folically blessed models all merrily waving hats  & rejoicing in the fact they have crust-free bonces.  To further rub it in, this motif is repeated ad-finitum around its girth. The vessel itself also boasts a Sanguine interior although sadly the handle has a “hairline” (ahem) crack. So as not to flout stringent health & safety regulations in the workplace this model has been decommissioned from kitchenette use and now lives out its days as an exhibition piece.
Mugspotters would like to place on record our thanks to our newly opened Bolton branch and for plucking this artefact out of obscurity into life eternal on our humble blog.

Hats off to Xamiol!

Hats off to Xamiol!

Fifty Shades Of Blue

114. Actonel

It’s always a challenge trying to put a wry spin on brands which deal with serious issues and ailments and this revealing Mugmos comes courtesy of Actonel (Risedronate Sodium) tablets. The medication is a treatment for Osteoporosis, which in layman’s terms is a condition whoch causes your bones to become brittle and fragile from loss of tissue, typically as result of hormonal changes or deficiency of calcium or Vitamin C.  If you are a female Mugspotter over 50 (and I know we have a few such followers) you might want to exit this blog now…
The Actonel site reveals the worrying stat that one in every two women aged over 50  will have an osteoporosis related-fracture in her lifetime.
If you have been brave enough to continue reading, sit down, take it easy and have a nice hot cup of sweet tea. Now where can I get a mug?…..

It seems only fair that after dropping this bombshell Actonel produce something to help take the sting out bearing such grim news…and what a stunner it is.

Actonel 3

Actonel 4 Actonel 6

The Mugmos can be stripped into 4 separate components and our all-action photo gallery above shows it in various states of undress as well as all its constituent parts laid bare.
The yearning body of the mug is a translucent blue into which the handle effortlessly glides. The metallic innards slip into and caress the top of its yielding body. Once firmly in place you can then masterfully pop on the lid, which comes complete with its own sip-slot. It’s adorned with a spongy felt-like undercarriage which acts as coaster to prevent both slippage & ringage*
*The phenomenon of leaving beverage circles on a given surface, which is a common trait of sip-slots, where seepage doth commonly occur.

Single entendres aside, it’s a beauty and on the practical side its size is much more bladder-friendly compared to it’s larger cousin the Travel Thermos, as illustrated in our classic posts for Cuprinol & Reed Health.

Actonel 1


Intensive Care

111. Manchester Royal Infirmary 1752 – 2002

Mugspotters is honoured to bring you this well-proportioned Commemorative Newbury for the Manchester Royal Infirmary. (MRI) It was formed in 1752 with just 12 beds in a small house in the city centre. The stippled Sepia Illustration on the mug looks like it was etched in about 1783 judging by the jutting beard of the carer as this was all the rage approaching the 1800’s.

Royal Manc 1
Of course this is a far cry from the gargantuan beast that is the MRI today, whose PR tells us ….”they are a large teaching hospital for Manchester University’s Medical School, and a specialist regional centre for kidney and pancreas transplants, haematology and sickle cell disease. Their Heart Centre is a major provider of cardiac services in the region, specialising in cardiothoracic surgery  and cardiology. The Accident & Emergency Department sees around 145,000 patients each year.  (I wonder how many of these were degenerate drunks?)

The MRI go on to boast of many medical breakthroughs, the most recent being the first in the UK  to carry out urology surgery using a handheld robotic device and fully 3D system.  They have also celebrated becoming the first centre to implant 1,000 cochlear implants and carry out 4,000 renal transplants.
The Manchester Diabetes Centre was established in April 1988 and was the first of its kind in the UK and our Heart Centre boasts a Rapid Access Blackout clinic, believed to be the first in the world. The MRI, together with Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital are the only hospitals in the region which undertake kidney transplantation and in 2008 the MRI celebrated 4000 transplants over 40 years of service.

That is some calling card. Of course, Mancs have a great sense of humour and below is a poster of perennial crock, Owen Hargreaves, who was famed for spending most of his unfortunate football career at both Manchester United & Manchester City injured. He was given the honour of adorning this quite funny billboard. When Owen finally retired, the MRI were quite sad to see him go but need not have worried too much  as Robin Van Persie took no time in taking up the offer of filling his comfy hospital bed.

Manc royal 2

Fight The Good Fight

108. DakoCytomation

On first sight, apart from not having the faintest idea what this brand is, it took me a few attempts to actually pronounce it!
This plunging red-on-white marrow features a pleasing reverse teardrop/eliptical logo atop the  brand. The Dako Company are an an Agilent Technologies Company. Hospitals and research laboratories worldwide using Agilent’s Dako reagents, instruments, software and expertise to make accurate tissue-based diagnoses and determine the most effective treatment for cancer patients. Their website says “Our mission is to fight cancer!”

There’s not much more to add than to say this is utterly vital and critical work which is worth raising a mug to.



Gettin’ Jiggy With It

35. Jigsaw Health


We are hounoured to present a third confirmed Charity Shop mug-spot in the shape of this elegant 2-Colour Lincoln.  The Old Rock in Bury is awash with such outlets and it was in the Cancer Research Shop where I rescued this gift-aided trinket for 30p.
It’s an odd little mug and the printwork seems decidedly lopsided which can only add to it’s quaint charm. (I’ve included its 2 two most interesting elevations below. The other side of the mug is as near as dammit blank!)
If you search for Jigsaw Health on the Interweb, there’s not much there except for a few contact entries on Directory page sites.
For you’re enlightenment they are based at Jigsaw House, Northwich, CW9 7DP. 01606 44436
More astute Spotters will recall a similar Jigsaw logo on our recent NES Recruitment entry, in fact there’s an additional shot below showing some mug-on-mug action comparing the 2 artefacts.
What I’d love to know is why do companies, who like producing trade mugs (which seem to end up in Charity shops), think it’s clever to use a jigsaw piece as part of their corporate identity?

It’s a puzzle to me.

I’m here all week. Try the mutton gravy.

Jigsaw Health

Jigsaw vs. N E S