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.
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
Maths was never my strong suite but this mug is ancient. It’s almost antique!
The Girl Guides have had their 100th Anniversary in the time it’s taken for this mug to surface and make it to our blog.
This actually makes a lovely companion-piece to our earlier posted trinket which was brought to you by the numbers 2, 1 & 0 in various combinations.
In 2014 AD, red-hot off the press, the Brownie/Girl Guide Motto has just been upgraded & remixed to:
I promise that I will do my best,
To be true to myself and develop my beliefs,
To serve the Queen and my community, (stifles yawn)
To help other people
To keep the Brownie Guide Law.
On a personal note, this is not the first time now where Trade Mugs and my personal musical tastes collide. What is endearing about this revealing pronto-Lincoln (more like Abraham Lincoln given it’s primitive etchings) is my mind was drawn to similar drawings for the corporate artwork for LEGENDARY Scottish Record label, Postcard.
One elevation features a Girl Guide in 1910 but then spin it round and without the aid of a TARDIS but simply the magic of illustrative power, you’re transported to 1985. The difference is amazing. You’d never think it was the same girl!
When spotting this Lincoln in a Blackpool Thrift Shop my mind was catapulted back to the TV ads for this feline feast and recall the said moggie scraping into the can (pretty much the same as us here, gouging the bottom of the proverbial barrel looking for mugs) and eating the food off its paw.
Awww. How cute. However when dredging the web looking for further titbits about this long-forgotten brand, what I found was horrifying to say the least. A number of forums and sites posted that (allegedly) prior to filming the TV ad the production company may or may not have forcibly removed the cats teeth, so it would use it’s paw to extract the tasty morsels of food. However there are other sites with entries referencing Arthur himself which seem oblivious to the Molar Conspiracy Theory and instead suggest he was just talon-ted (ahem) with his paws. Here is a brief biography, courtesy of http://www.pawsonline.info/tv_cat.htm
Between 1966 and 1975 in the UK a cat named Arthur was hired by the pet-food company, Spillers. Arthur’s particular skill was that he could scoop food out of a tin with his paw, leading to his appearance in 309 TV commercials. His career blossomed, with his picture appearing on T-shirts, towels (Trade Mugs Anyone?) and in various other advertising campaigns. Sadly, Arthur died in February 1976, just before his 17th birthday. In January 1987 at the Savoy Hotel in London, Spillers launched Arthur II who was discovered at an animal shelter. Like his predecessor, he too could scoop food from a tin with his paw. He could also place his paw on anything near him upon the command ‘paw’. Arthur retired after nine years to make way for a younger cat, who by coincidence also came from the same animal shelter.
Will we ever know the truth?
The mug itself seems almost second-fiddle when placed against the backdrop of such intrigue. It is however a rather tasty hybrid-Lincoln with a tri-colour illustration of Arthur himself cleaning his infamous paw. Whilst I’m here I may as well start another conspiracy theory: As Arthur was posing for the drawing on the mug, the artist force fed him KFC, citing it was only the Colonels secret blend of 11 herbs and spices which would make him groom himself in such a cute manner. (Allegedly)