Saturday 20th January 1962
1. I think my Mum and Dad subscribed to the large-format (10¼" by 13½", 26 x 35cm), colour-illustrated children’s educational magazine Look and Learn, for our Steve and me, right from its very first issue, dated 20th January 1962. By “subscribed”, I mean that they got the local newsagent to deliver the weekly magazine along with the Daily Mail newspaper. The first delivery may have occurred on the following Monday — 22nd January 1962 — for on the front cover, it says, “Every Monday — Price One Shilling”. It may be that Look and Learn replaced the earlier comics The Dandy and The Beano, delivered on Tuesdays and Thursdays respectively, which by now may have been considered too childish for us. We continued to get Look and Learn into the late 1960s when it became obvious to Mum and Dad that we were no longer interested in having it.
“When Rome Burned”, Saturday 11th January 1964
2. For a long time after they ceased to be given house-room, the Look and Learn magazines were kept in a mouldering pile in the small lean-to shed situated beneath the outside toilet at the back of the house — except for one: “No. 104, 11th January 1964”, which I extracted.
All that remains of this now is a fragment from the front page—
—but at the time, under the caption “When Rome Burned” there was a painting of a very shapely woman in a figure-defining dress, clutching the hand of her just pre-teen looking daughter to her right, and urging on her somewhat younger son to her left, fleeing the conflagration.
3. Consider my adolescent age at the time, and the reason for my extraction of this page becomes obvious: for “•-material”. In fact, evidence of the occurrence of this activity could possibly still be detected by a forensic scientist. For each time it happened I made a dot in ballpoint ink on one of the black printed letters on the page.
4. Later, I cut out the female figures and kept them in a book. After my conversion to Christian faith in 1965, though, I felt “convicted” about having such material and destroyed it. So I thought that this image was lost forever till in 2006 I found it again on a newly created Look and Learn website.
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