A Thin Slice Of Heaven

132. Thornleigh Christian Hotel

“My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? John 14: 2”
and lo, The Thornleigh: Grange Over Sands, just like Heaven, hath many rooms:
13 Single,
12 Twin-bedded/Double &
6 Family rooms.
All bedrooms are en suite.

thorn 1

thorn 2

This quaint Newbury turned up in a local Charity shop and whilst it gives nothing away in terms of it’s religious persuasion, (wot no Fish symbol!?) the rear elevation is adorned with a fine line drawing of the hotel. We’ve seen similar treatment meted out to PGL, which is in fact our all-time most popular blog post on Mugspotters.
I had half expected the mugs’ innards to perhaps have a deep red tinge to indicate communion usage but it looks like this vessel’s been reserved for hot beverages or in fact just plain old living water, perhaps used by a parched pastor as  he/she delivers a rousing sermon.  But Brothers & Sisters, we have to remember that whilst man looketh on the outside, that is the mug of self righteousness, God looketh on the inside.

I have to say, their website sells the Thornleigh experience to me, especially ‘The Hideaway‘ annex and the promise of home baked scones, cakes & biscuits. However man cannot live by baked products alone so thoughtfully there are a variety of hot beverages available in “The Coffee Stop” situated in the hotel entrance.
In conclusion, I think need to draw this post to a close before my religious pun-slinging becomes tiresome.
And all the Mugspotters said…Amen.

Exit Stage Left

131.  ACC Liverpool

When you think of Liverpool, what springs to mind? A quick Mugspotters HQ poll revealed: The Beatles, Bill Shankly, Echo & The Bunnymen, Kenny Dalglish, The Liver Birds, Boys From The Blackstuff, Teardrop Explodes, The Cavern… We’d all pretty much forgotten that it was somehow voted “Capital Of Culture” at some point. (Rochdale came a close second.) Somehow it didn’t seem right that a city that boasts 2 cathedrals didn’t even have a single top-quality conference centre and so in 2008 the ACC Liverpool was born. Mugspotters has been kindly donated this very black & red commemorative (and much-welcomed) Newbury which marked the launch of this venue. As you can see, BT were heavily involved in its conception but over the intervening years, have faded from view, leaving them free to mug us all off with extortionate line rental and have never-ending sales on their best-ever (honest Guv) broadband. The mug is a very theatrical affair; white dipped in red with a stage & curtain motif but at first glance it’s reminiscent of a certain well-known soup can…

BT 1hienz bt 2Bt 3 There’s lots of ruched curtains, pelmets, starlights and it’s all very dramatic. I know you’re eager to learn more about the background of the ACC, so here is the script off their web-blurb: “Built and launched in time to help Liverpool celebrate its European Capital of Culture title in 2008, ACC Liverpool has already forged an enviable reputation for delivering prestigious events – as its short history will attest. ACC Liverpool opened its doors on 12 January 2008 with the official opening ceremony for Capital of Culture, launching a year-long celebration and signalling the culmination of a decade of regeneration in the city. It cost £164 million to build, financed by Liverpool City Council, English Partnerships (now the Homes and Communities Agency), the Northwest Regional Development Agency and European (ERDF) funding. It is owned by Liverpool City Council and ACC Liverpool Ltd was set up as a management company to run it on the council’s behalf.” We did hear a rumour that originally it was going to be called the “R-A-R-A-RACC”  but for some unknown reason it was shortened to just plain “ACC”.

Can’t think why?

In The Wee Small Hours

119.  Desmotabs (0.2mg)

Here is an old joke from the Seventies (perhaps older) so hope no one is offended because to seems everybody these days under 30 is offended by everything that went on on the 70’s…
Little Johnny is in class and he asks the teacher if he can go as to the loo as he’s bursting.
Teacher to Little Johnny: Before you go recite the alphabet
Little Johnny: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Teacher: Where’s your P?”
Little Johnny:  Half way down my leg Sir.”

Again, I hope you haven’t been offended because I heard this joke in the Seventies and Channel 4 might take offence because they hate the Seventies. This hypocritical broadcaster  who cranks out such innocent & unoffensive efforts like ‘The InBetweeners’, makes cheapo talking-head sensationalist shows telling us such.(Yawn)

But seriously, bladder issues aren’t to be scoffed at. I should know. A combination of me entering my autumn years, a rabid thirst for tea and Greater Manchester, Salford & Bury Councils utterly despicable lack of traffic management means my 10 mile commute takes well over an hour & a half now and my back teeth are floating by the time I get home. Desmotabs (0.2mg) basically helps you produce less wee.  Now for the science bit…
“Desmotabs contain the active ingredient desmopressin, which is a type of medicine called a vasopressin analogue.  It is similar to a hormone produced naturally by the body, called vasopressin or antidiuretic hormone. Antidiuretic hormone (ADH) is produced by the pituitary gland in the brain. It is involved in controlling the
natural balance of water levels in the body. It normally acts on receptors in the kidneys to prevent excessive amounts of water being filtered out of the blood and into the urine. This reduces the production of urine.

Essentially though the reason we are here is the mug.
Desmotabs 0.2mg

This lipped Newbury gives me the warm & fuzzies. (In a dry way) It gives a pretty awful complaint a wonderful child-like gloss. You just know you’ll be OK with a Desmotab or two in you, all snuggled up in bed all cosy and warm and dry. I’ve fallen for this mug like a blind roofer. Even if I never drink from it I could keep it in my car in case of emergencies on those l-o-n-g drives home from work. (Only kidding)

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


97. http://www.Cho-Cha.com:
Manchester’s Sexiest Student Night

Don’t even bother checking the website out. It’s dead. In the name of research only, I did try.
Mugspotters slithers into the sleazy world of the Erotic with this lusty-red promo Newbury for http://www.Cho-Cha.com: Manchester’s Sexiest Student Night Every Tuesday @ The Bar Cafe. (You can only imagine….)
Don’t even try searching for ‘The Bar Cafe Manchester’ either. It too is no more.
Seriously, I’m glad really as this sort of degenerate behaviour and Crow-magnon attitude has no place in modern Manchester.
It deeply saddens me to see Mugs being degraded and exploited in such a fashion.

Cho Cha 1

cho cha 2

Let You Entertain Me

95. Pontins

This busy Newbury reads like a movie poster, bristling with super-heroes and mutant-ninjas coming on like a crappy Avengers Assemble / Watchmen / Guardians Of The Galaxy et al. The dark blue print on mid-blue is a faux pas akin to ‘double denim’ and it does make it a bit tricky to read, especially with so much going on.
What we can see though is the roll call of super characters orbiting around what remains of the Pontins Holiday Camp chain:

Safari Sam – Florence Ostrich – Action Pack Jack – Monkey –
Mega Mix Mick – Zena Zebra

Pontins 3

Pontins 2

Pontins 1

I can speak with some authority as I’m a veteran of camps such as these (although not Pontins but they’re all much of a muchness) when the kids were little. One ‘highlight’ of such holidays was the nightly evening entertainment. In times past as a family we have turned up and partaken, primarily because we’d paid for it as part of the exorbitant cost of a weeks caravan vacation.
For those unacquainted with such an experience, I’ll try and paint pictures with words….
Doors: 6pm.
The very hardcore (aka alcoholics or those with no life) armed with grand-kids, will be queuing outside the doors at 5.30pm, hell-bent on securing a premium location table in close proximity to the stage. Once inside & before you know it, these tribes swarm on all the good tables and then begin to annex others in the vicinity, dragging them together to form whole banks of tables, reserving them for further members of their extended litter who will arrive fashionably later.
I always liked to make an entrance between 7 – 7.30pm, as I love watching the Regional News and to be lied to by local weather presenters. The trouble is then you’re left scouring round the place looking for an empty table, which if there is one, you can bet will be next to the bogs with only 1 or 2 chairs maximum, being used as a dumping ground for the detritus from surrounding tribes.
Once said detritus has been cleared and extra chairs scavenged, you’re ready to be entertained.

The Mini-Disco.
Comprising of Black Laces Greatest Hits, The Ovaltinies and novelty tuneage, usually one of the band of stuffed Sponge-Avengers is wheeled out onstage which makes the very young cry & have nightmares and slightly older kids gasp in wonderment.

The kids are then carted off to go mad in a side room with padded walls. They should neither be seen or heard for this next part of the evening. This is Serious. Deodorant can size dobber pens are wielded out and set precision-style on the table alongside a  myriad bingo ticket books. Amateurs, like myself, scrat around the wife’s handbag hoping to find a crummy biro, or anything to cross off those precious numbers..Eyes down.
45 mins later you’re a fiver light and still cursing your luck when the brats, coiled spring-like, re-emerge, hyper-excited & pestering  you for a slush puppy and money to spend at the Tat Shop, whose delights include stuff that glows, (which will doubtless break within the half-hour) key-rings, caps etc etc.

The Main Attraction.
It’s usually now that the centrepiece of the evening takes places, taking the form of either:
– The red or blue coats acting out a mock-buster rendition of a film, complete with supporting roles for our stuffed super heroes;
– A contortionist / juggler / magician or;
– Cruise-ship standard singer(s).
If it’s your lucky week, you just may experience a visit from the local parrot sanctuary who rock up for over-priced photo opportunities.

Personally I’ve had my fill by about 10pm, well before the “Adult” Disco kicks in.
The kids, who’ve been up since 6am are kranky and so am I.
More desperate seat-less families are stealthily circling your table, sensing your departure is imminent…
The final insult arrives as you’re trying to make a dignified exit when you and your offspring are seized at the door and made to pose with a girl in an over-sized hippo suit for photos you just know you’ll end up having to buy on the last night of your stay.    Wish You Were Here.
Wish I wasn’t!

Sponge Avengers

Sponge Avengers

Pontins 5 Pontins 4




81.  G4S: Investigation Solutions


Not for one minute do I suspect visitors to our humble web-space are all fraudulent crooks but let me reassure you, we have G4S looking out for us.
Just picture the scene. The intrepid investigator has been on an all-night stake out, their senses dulled and jaded, just waiting for the perp/fraudster to make their move..they reach out to their receptacle housing a refreshing hot beverage which invigorates and stimulates their…….. (err: enough Ed.)
Before this blog post starts turning into an Elmore Leonard novel, take time to ponder on this Newbury variant, with it’s tasteful logo including the ‘4’ ghosted out. I rather like this entry. The logo is of a good size and makes best use of the white space it operates in. The Newbury too is a classy mug, slightly thin in girth so ensure you partake of its contents before they go cold.
Anyway, onto the company themselves. Their web-blurb states:
G4S Investigation Solutions specialises in the investigation of fraud across the public and private sector, working for some of world’s largest insurance companies, retailers and local authorities. Our expertise allows us to help our clients combat the many and changing faces of fraud.

So, if you’re thinking of committing any type of fraud, think twice.
You could go from Mugspot to Mugshot!


If You Go Down In The Woods Today…

…You Get A Strange Sense Of Deja Vu…

66. Forrest Recruitment

No your eyes do not deceive you.
Nor will we be likened to the BBC by keep on filling our blogdule with repeat spottage!

Yes, we have been here before in recent times celebrating Forrests Silver anniversary mug but that flawed Racing Green number hasn’t got a patch on this much cleaner 2 colour-on-white variant. It’s almost a ‘lift & shift’ from it’s sister vessel but this looks more like a strain of Newbury, as opposed to the earlier Atlantic. The strap is white reversed out of the green slug running across it base and the branch list makes for a clear & gripping read.
This is altogether much more pleasing to the eye and a lot more legible all round. I make no apologies for this post and I think provides a wonderful opportunity to compare and contrast the 2 mugs.

Which is best?….In my mind there’s only one winner.

Forrest 2 - 1

Forrest 2 - 2

Forrest 2 - 3

No contest I’m afraid…

Alpha Omuga

43.   The Alphabet Store aka The A – Z Shop

Here we have a trade mug advertising a gift shop found in a charity shop….go figure.
This a solid, stocky little Newbury courtesy of on-line nick-nack & objet d’art peddlers, The Alphabet Store. Their website offers “The A-Z of every gift you need, but can never find” plus it’s own mug section featuring a set of ‘men-hating’ earthenware. However moving on, they also sell a fine line in Text Speak Mugs, my favourite being OMG which all Spotters know stands for Oh Mugs, Great!

Ironically despite them selling the A-Z of Everything, what I couldn’t see for sale was an “A-Z Alphabet Store Mug”! You have to rummage round Tewkesburys  finest Charity Shops for those.

A- Z Shop

Digging the Monty Pythonesque Logo.

PS.  If anyone can come up with any more ‘hilarious’  (& clean) Mug-related’ Text Speak acronyms, please post them in the comments. I’d love to hear from you.

Axon, Waxoff

37. Axon Online

As we enter this Season of Goodwill we bring you the next thrilling installment of our new Aerospace Collection.
This Newbury variant (with slightly protruding rim) has a nice opaque veneer and whilst the print & logo are not the most inspiring, what I love about it is the one solitary droplet of beverage stain, magically stopped dead in it’s tracks just under the rim.
When we are given/donated mugs to shoot we invariably give them a bit of a valet, removing obvious exterior staining and even chive remnants from larger vessels but this mug was shot on location – ‘Keepin’ it real’ – and it brings a very honest quality to this hard-working mug, which doubtless delivers drink-upon-satisfying-drink to it’s owner.
As for Axon themselves their… “ mission is to work with customers to develop and create innovative and quality electrical systems that enhance their work environment today and in the future.
…and if we turn out an half-decent mug in the process, then that’s a bonus.

Axon Online  1
Behold the droplet, like a solitary tear down
its cheek…..