Thursday 3 March 2016

Memories in the Button Tin

One of the items on Eileen  and Joy's Winter Photography Scavenger Hunt is No. 12 A Fancy Button. Quite early on in the hunt I stopped at a Haberdashery stall in Bath Guildhall Covered Market. What an amazing selection of buttons they had in all shades, shapes and sizes. There were stripes, spots, sparkles and stars. I was spoilt for choice. I opted for the pinks to snap on my IPhone.

Still not totally satisfied I asked my mum to see her button tin. It was not in the drawer she suggested. No it was not there although I found several old Players cigarette tins full of buttons that were my Gran's. Nothing fancy there though, just hundreds of plain everyday white (now mainly cream) buttons. A little more searching unearthed what we were looking for. A slightly battered octagonal tin decorated with red roses. I'm just wondering whether my sister can visualise it. I didn't think to take a photo. Then inside..... A little bit of history......
Like these.

I could remember these but just couldn't visualise what they were on. I had in mind a cardigan but of course not! Mum reminded me that they were from a dressing gown. Of course! A fluffy item made by ladybird clothes. Do you remember Ladybird clothing?
What about one of these?

Surely we all had toggles on our Duffle Coat?
Then there were some I didn't recall. Perhaps my sister remembers these.

These look pretty fancy too. I can just see these on an M&S navy cardigan back in the days when M&S specialised in every day clothing and all the cardigans were in one place and not scattered all over the stall.

Then there was this. Not technically a button but actually a stud worn by a member of the ARP (Air Raid Precautions). Certainly a little bit of history from World War 2 but no explanation as to how got in the button box.

All I have to do now is choose one for the photo hunt and I think I know which one it will be. Which would you choose?


  1. Oh so many choices - I'd pick several - some pink - some lady bugs and the shiny ones.

  2. I love family button boxes as memory stores - I do love a proper wooden toggle (and agree with you about preferring a shop where all the cardigans are together etc)

  3. All fit the bill but I'd probably choose the pig and dog - or the brassy ones from M&S.

  4. As soon as I saw that you were focusing on buttons I had a mental picture of Mum's button tin and the ladybird buttons inside! Next time I am home Imust have a look again, such a treasure box. At one time Mum also had Gran's box. I don't recognize the character buttons - one suitable for St Patrick's Day though ! I think there are some white glass ones in there from a cardigan with a yellow poodle? And it is a great tin. I have a button box myself mostly featuring large and dodgy looking designs from 1990's outfits!!!

  5. Choose one that has personal attachment for you. If I was choosing of course something from the pink tray - of course the pink cat for me (col).

  6. Have you seen the book that came out recently and is already a best seller? It's called "The Button Box" and the author uses her button box to tell stories about social history and her own life. I keep meaning to order a copy. You have a fascinating collection