Packet of ten – a word from Dad

WD & HO Wills cigarette cards

I bought a packet of cigarettes today.

It’s a filthy habit, I know. What’s worse, I haven’t smoked for the best part of 30 years.

And I paid over the odds – ten quid for a packet of fags!
So why did I do it?

Well, actually, they’re not for me, they’re for my children.
The plan is for them to take the cigarettes to school.

Not for a crafty one behind the bike shed.
In fact I doubt whether you could smoke the cigarettes in question, even if you wanted to – which I don’t.

They’re the Gold Flake brand, made by the Bristol-based tobacco manufacturers, WD & HO Wills.

They’re the best part of sixty years old. I bought them in an auction in Jersey where they have a special significance.

Towards the end of the Second World War they were part of a Red Cross consignment carried on board the first ship to dock in Jersey after the end of the Occupation by the Germans.

For the Islanders it was the first heady taste of freedom – in one case at least they were presumably just too good to smoke.

My packet of cigarettes will be a fascinating exhibit for my children’s class to discuss at Show & Tell.


This post is the first of what may become a regular contribution from Mike, formerly permitted to appear here only as Blog Fodder.

About Beta Mum

Here you can find the ramblings of a trapeze artist turned journalist who ran away from the circus to join the BBC. Cathy "mine's a Kir Royale" Keir then spent thirteen years working in Jersey, Guernsey and Devon, before downgrading to what you see before you. She has contributed articles to The Guardian, The Stage and Television Today, Junior Magazine and both the BBC and Bad Mothers Club websites. She has two children who think women can’t be prime ministers. She blames herself.
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3 Responses to Packet of ten – a word from Dad

  1. Expatmum says:

    Hi Mike,
    I would love to be a fly-on-the-wall when they start discussing exactly WHY people smoked and WHAT it did to you!

  2. Rosie says:

    You spent ten pounds on something for show and tell??!

  3. Beta Mum says:

    expat – BM here. Mike hasn’t figured out how to respond to messages yet. Ha ha! Hannah refused to take the fags, saying they weren’t interesting enough. She wanted to take a doll or something instead.

    Rosie – and when it’s my birthday he won’t go further than Poundworld. Is that fair?

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