Thursday 28 February 2013

Water Electrification, 1974

This public information message was posted on walls around Scarfolk and published as a full-page ad in the local weekly newspaper, The Scarfolk Herald.

Very soon after water electrification began many Scarfolk children started recalling previous lives. Six year old Dominic Flinch could remember the whole of his history through innumerable incarnations.

For example, he was surprised to recall that, two thousand years ago, one of his previous selves had invented Christmas purely to get out of going to school. It quickly became a popular excuse and flourished.

Dominic also recalled being a duck.

Tuesday 26 February 2013

Sex. Sex. Sex. 1978

Nobody forgets school sex education lessons. Here's a page from a 1978 biology textbook taught in Scarfolk schools.

Our biology teacher was called Mr. Poppets. In 1975 he and his wife were involved in some kind of cult-related skiing accident. Tragically, his wife was killed and he lost an eye.

Mr. Poppets made a tiny model of his wife which he installed inside a miniature snow globe. The snow globe was then inserted into his eye socket to replace the lost eye.

During lessons he would stand in front of the mirror, lightly shake his head from side to side, and drunkenly mumble the lyrics of Brotherhood of Man's Eurovision hit "Save Your Kisses for Me."*

*For those of you who may have forgotten this heartrending song here it is again.

Sunday 24 February 2013

Scarfolk tourism poster 1972

Despite the letter spacing typo on the poster, Scarfolk's 1972 tourism campaign was as successful as the mayor had hoped. Seven tourists visited that summer. Oddly, they were all called Timothy, wore identical clothes and appeared to communicate with each other telepathically. Everyone in Scarfolk called them 'The Tim Seven'.

Three days after they arrived in Scarfolk all the birds disappeared and for months after the Tims left whenever Scarfolk residents tried to use their telephones all they could hear on the other end was distant, frantic backward birdsong.

'The Tim Seven' also claimed they could psychically channel a long-dead Scarfolk resident - a fifteenth century plague doctor called Ranlyn Spangles - but they could only pick up his thoughts that referred to wigs or soup spoons.

Saturday 23 February 2013

The 'Inoc-uous' vaccination machine

Scarfolk primary school installed one of these Inoc-uous devices in the basement in 1974. The entire school's pupils queued up for their daily jabs while singing hymns.

The inventors of the Inoc-uous were originally from Berlin but moved to the UK in late 1945 to avoid prosecution and were snapped up by Scarfolk Pharmaceuticals. They also invented a range of air-fresheners and the artificial flavouring that would eventually be marketed as 'prawn cocktail'.

Thursday 21 February 2013

The Children of Scarfolk Primary School - "In the Playground with the Music Room Window Open, May 13, 1975"

Back in 1975 the children of Scarfolk primary school released their own 45rpm record to commemorate their music teacher Mrs Payne who disappeared in mysterious circumstances. Her body was found encased inside one of the thirteen ancient standing stones just outside Scarfolk.

Proceeds from the sale of the single went toward the building of a new coven and affiliated gift shop.

BBC's "We Watch You Watching Us"

This 6 hour programme was made by BBC Scarfolk and only broadcast locally.

Shown on Sunday evenings, it was made by the same production company that made BBC's Song of Praise, Prayer for the Day and other programmes with totalitarian themes.

Wednesday 20 February 2013

Scarfolk Ice-Cream range, 1979

In Scarfolk the ice-cream van man comes between 3 & 4am. You can hear him blaring the haunting Swedish Rhapsody numbers station* from over a mile away.

The ice-cream van man wears a clown mask to disguise the horrific burns on his face because he doesn't want to frighten the children. He uses clothes pegs to hold the mask on because he is missing an ear.

He lives in a nondescript building in an electrical substation and no one knows his name.

*Here's a recording of Scarfolk's ice-cream van playing the Swedish Rhapsody Numbers Station.

Monday 18 February 2013

"Medium-sized illness" State healthcare in early 1970s Scarfolk

The state healthcare system - the SHS (Scarfolk Health Service) - fiercely encourages people not to be sick.

In 1974 there is a total budget of 29 pounds 102 pence per person. The SHS is very reluctant to help you.

To receive tolerable healthcare, residents are encouraged to give each other medical gift-tokens, which can be spent at any clinic, pharmacy, hardware shop or oil refinery.

This poster was on the walls of most hospitals and clinics.

Sunday 17 February 2013

Sing-A-Long I.R.A Telephone Bomb Threats (BBC cassette,1976)

Here in early 1970s Scarfolk, children's TV was on right before the evening news, so fun and games were constantly juxtaposed with 'the troubles' in Northern Ireland and bombings in the UK.

Somehow it all got mixed up in our young, troubled little heads and left us feeling very unsettled.

Here's a tape distributed by Scarfolk Media in 1976.

Saturday 16 February 2013

"Let's Sing The Unspeakable Together" (1970)

This is a page from a 1200 page book aimed at 4 to 6 year olds called "Let's Sing The Unspeakable Together."

The aim of the book was to familiarise young children with the town of Scarfolk, and some of its residents, through a series of infamous local unpleasantnesses.

It was first published by Scarfolk Books in 1970 but was reprinted and expanded in 1979 to include more impactful scenarios, crimes, and sheet music for recorder.

Friday 15 February 2013

"Learn to Swim. Don't become extinct" A public information poster from Scarfolk Council

This 1972 poster was on my doctor's waiting room wall as well as the Scarfolk infant school noticeboard next to a poster about the dangers of gonorrhoea and nose picking.

The 'Learn to Swim' campaign came about because of a genuine, tragic case: In March of 1971 ten year old Darren Quetzalcoatl drowned in a reservoir after jumping in after his toy Micropachycephalosaurus. However, Micropachycephalosaurus wouldn't fit on the poster.

In honour of Darren, his actual arm was used during the photo shoot for the poster.

Thursday 14 February 2013

Children's weekly magazine "Look-In" from 1978

Even children's magazines in Scarfolk left the reader uneasy and disquieted. All my copies of Look-In were hidden after 5pm so that I could calm down before bedtime.

Wednesday 13 February 2013

"Dormin Slowly Died with the Radio On" (Scarfolk Records 1974)

From Scarfolk Records 1974.
The debut ambient album from 'Ragle' called "Dormin Slowly Died With The Radio On. Parts 1-82"
This is part 71.
It won 2nd prize at the Scarfolk harvest festival, having lost out to Gary Butters from Scarfolk primary school, class 5, who came 1st with his song "Eagle Eye Action Man."
Ragle was the stage name of Eddie Rumpburn who was the manager of Twazzle's Hardware shop on East Twazzle Parade between 1970 and 1978. 

Oh Golly...

Here's a rare "Golly" design that didn't make the cut, unfortunately. Scarfolk Board of Art & Design decided that it wasn't degrading enough, so they went with the other design.

Tuesday 12 February 2013

Strangers in Parks public information billboard/poster

Scarfolk public information says: 

"If you are accosted by a stranger in the park always negotiate and clearly state your terms upfront."

"A Day at the Seaside" (Scarfolk Music & Audio Library Vol. 1)

Scarfolk Council is proud to announce its musical debut!

Here's "A Day at the Seaside" from the "Scarfolk Music & Audio Library Vol. 1" released in 1973.

Click below on the soundcloud two-channel stereophonic music-centre. No batteries or cables needed. No home taping.

Monday 11 February 2013

Rabies public information poster from 1972

A  poster frequently seen around Scarfolk in the early 70s, especially in schools, libraries and hospitals.

Saturday 9 February 2013

Scarfolk's tourism highlights

A page from Scarfolk's 1970 tourism literature.

"Scarfolk is more than its famous sewage treatment works, it's more than its high security mental facilities; it's more than its world renowned covens; it's more than its fine reputation which it rebuilt after a spate of grizzly serial killings..." 

Pop-Up Factory Related Injuries & Deaths (1975)

"Factory Related Injuries and Deaths" was a children's Pop-Up book published by Scarfolk Books as part of their Local Tragedies series in 1975.

Written by local historian Bill 'thumbless' Chunt, the book was soon withdrawn because the free 'cotton mill and severed fingers' playset contained small parts that some children choked on, and the carboard was sharp enough to cause painful paper cuts.

Thursday 7 February 2013

Self-help 1974

Scarfolk has a department of mental health but no one works there. Instead they have a series of 'help cards' designed to promote a feeling of well-being.

Wednesday 6 February 2013

Radio Scarfolk's 10th anniversary annual

"Radio Scarfolk - the station of the nation on 66.6 FM. 
Entertainment - Laminated!" 

I was very lucky to get a copy of Radio Scarfolk's 10th anniversary annual. They are quite rare because only 8 copies were printed and 5 sold very quickly within a year or two of publication .

I met Barry Jellytots in person and he signed my prosthetic foot. Radio Scarfolk stopped broadcasting in December 1979 when the building was deemed unsafe.

Radio Times 1977 "ITV viewers dirty?"

Here's a copy of the Radio Times from 1977. The award-winning Horizon documentary about ITV viewers being backwards was based on a study conducted by Scarfolk College.

Tuesday 5 February 2013

Scarfolk Primary School maths book

Here is a page from Scarfolk Primary School's maths book for 6 to 7 year olds. It was taken out of the curriculum in 1979.

We Watch You While You Sleep: A Scarfolk Public Information poster

I remember this Scarfolk public information poster on the wall of my doctor's waiting room, which was in the basement of a Victorian mental asylum.

Granada / Grandad

Spookily, on the night my grandfather died in Scarfolk in 1978, there was a glitch in Granada's TV station ident.

Monday 4 February 2013

The pagan man who lives in the soil

Something a bit haunty/pagan from a children's book that was never published because it was banned by Scarfolk Council. Apparently, it wasn't eerie enough for the under 5s.

British Board of Film Classification - "Herbie Goes Fundamentalist"

Ice creams during the intermission. Smoking on one side of the cinema only (because smoke doesn't drift).

Christmas can kill. Public Information

Seasonal public information from Scarfolk Council. Even the simple act of giving gifts is fraught with danger.

Scarfolk Studios sexploitation documentaries

Title screens from early 70s low-budget British 'sex-ploitation' documentaries by the short-lived Scarfolk Studios. To avoid an 'X' rating from the film censors they could only show nudity for more than five seconds if there was also clown holding a balloon in shot.

Eating Children

Scarecrow Biology

A course in scarecrow (and wicker man) biology at Scarfolk Technical College from the 1972-73 prospectus.

BBC line up

When you were a little kid you'd wake up after a nightmare and go downstairs to your parents, and there would always be something grim and scary on TV....

Ladybird Books

Ladybird easy-reading books published in 1972.

ITV schools and colleges

For those who remember schools and colleges programming when you were at home sick from school with a fever. And was mine the only school that subjected children to slide shows of burns victims before bonfire night?


Foreigners & How to Spot Them

Foreigners & How to Spot Them: Safe Methods of Approach, Penguin, 1973.

Children & Hallucinogens

Children and Hallucinogens: The Future of Discipline was published by Penguin Books in 1971. The book assessed the amount of lysergic acid diethylamide that can be safely ingested by a child without him shape-shifting into furniture, reducing his mental capacity to that of a forgetful trout, or transforming into an identical replica of himself, which could cost the state thousands of pounds in new passports and other personal documentation.

Practical Witchcraft Today

I spent the 1970s feeling haunted and a little bit uneasy. Four witches lived in Scarfolk in the 1970s and they all worked in newsagents.