Flexi-discs and auto records

I haven’t anything especially profound to say about flexi-discs and auto recordings except that they’re interesting and in their ways quite beautiful on occasion…

ButlinsThe heyday of Butlins is wonderfully recalled in the book ‘Our true intent is all for your delight: The John Hinde Butlins Photographs‘.  It seems to me that this neon flexi, with its friendly, summery type face places Blazing Billy and the Butlins Boogie Band firmly in the tradition of the motto

Our-True-Intent-Is-All-for-Your-Delight-9780954281304When I googled Nestle records I turned up terrible images and reports of the shame of the firms activities in developing nations.  But Nestles New Stars records seem to belong to an altogether more innocent (or naive) age…


Nestles2I have the envelope in which these records (originally a square of thick card from which the disc was cut) were delivered.  Its dated 1957 and the woman who gave me the records told me she remembered the excitement when her Nestle New Stars records arrived at the house on Duke Street in Fenton she shared with her then new husband

The magic, the mystery, The Readers Digest…

Lucky dayThe Auto Records are perhaps my favourites…

CaliberI’ve only got a couple of these acetates and I find them terribly poignant.  Auto Record booths were commonplace in the 50’s and ’60’s at railway stations, ports, seaside resorts and in department stores.  They worked like a photo-me booth.  You put a shilling in the slot and recorded your message-a song, a poem, an audio post card, an appeal to a sweetheart, and a record of your 90 seconds or so dropped out of a hole outside.  Of the two I have, one features a little girl with a North East accent singing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and the other a couple of Potters on a seaside holiday telling friends back home in Stoke what they’ve been up to that day.

There’s a nice piece to be found on a blog called After You’ve Gone http://colinville.blogspot.co.uk/2013_09_01_archive.html


One thought on “Flexi-discs and auto records

  1. I remember about 1967, John Burston, a then neighbour of mine on the Coalville Estate at Weston Coyney, bringing home one of the Calibre Auto Recordings discs from the seaside, on which he had recorded his renditions of “I’m Henry the Eighth, I Am” and Tommy Steele’s “Flash, Bang, Wallop!” It was a great novelty at the time. I wonder if he still has that disc. I also have the Reader’s Digest flexi with Brian Matthew.

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