Friday 4 December 2009

Kitty Cotton's Diary

During 1955 Coats Cotton took half 
of the inside back page of Girl magazine,
for an 'advertiser's announcement'. 
They created a character called  Kitty Cotton 
who wrote about life at school in a blue ruled diary.
 She describes her teachers: 
Miss Trill, Miss Pumpkin, Miss Moosey, Miss Tinny, Miss Harty, Mamselle,
chemistry, singing, maths, hockey, French, poetry, sewing (of course)
 and friends: 
Maribel Wiggins, Brenda, Tilly Tomkins, Mop, Olivia Pushcat, Fuffs .
The writing is looped and blotchy,
the spelling is dretful and full of crossings out.

There's a lot of trouble and strife:
 people are furious, sarky, ratty, jellous, foul, snooty, cross, silly, 
idiortic, stark staring mad,
but also prone to the giggles and full of cream buns and scrummy cake.

She is often nonplussed by the work that is set,
gets ticked off for not understanding decimals 
and in one rather poignant piece is told that her poem is all wrong 
and that she must try to be more sensitive to natural beauty.
'Still don't know what she means.'

In a separate box, readers are invited to enter the 
Coats Couplet competition 
on the theme of sewing with Coats threads.
Every fortnight a guinea was paid to the winning writer and the couplet illustrated.
That's nearly £20 in modern currency.

I've made some of the illustrations into badges for posterity because the comics are falling apart. 
They cost 5s 9d in old money.


  1. What a wonderful idea to resurrect decrepit, useless old magazines pages and enlighten a stilted mass media generation.

  2. Fabulous - I love your take on things!

  3. These are marvelous. Fun!

    Your art inspires, as do your words.

    Etsy store? :)

  4. The badges are great. Look super on the tags too.