This week my eldest son found two objects of interest in a Star Wars book he had recently bought in a charity shop in Newport (Shropshire, not South Wales).
This first one interested me more than it interested him as it is a receipt from that much-loved shop that died a few years ago: Woolworths. A shop loved by a number of generations of children, one which I belonged to, and the most recent of which out of all my children only my eldest can have a claim to belong in, just.
I like the Christmas message along the bottom of the receipt. I wonder at what point in December this message was added to the receipts. The receipt is dated 23rd December 1997. I imagine that it belonged to a boy who was probably around the age of my eldest son now, ten years old. A boy who loved football (and Star Wars). Someone spending his weekly pocket money on football stickers, eager to get home to stick them in his book. He’d probably had to do some persuading to get his parents to take him to town two days before Christmas. That boy is in his late twenties now. The stickers are most likely long gone. The receipt isn’t.
My son also found a ticket for a football match. I’m sure this will have belonged to the same boy. I wonder why he kept these two things inside the book. What was it about the Woolworths receipt particularly that he felt the need to keep it?
This boy was two years older by the time he went to the football match so I’m guessing about twelve. I’m sure going to see this match was a huge deal for him. It was the day after New Year’s Day 1999. The ticket cost £7. According to the Internet that is the equivalent of £10.76 now (not a bad price for a FA Cup match I’m sure). The Internet is an amazing source of information. Apparently the final score was 3-0 to Aston Villa. I wonder if that boy remembers this match. Perhaps he went to a lot of football matches and this was just one of many. Maybe it was a special Christmas treat. Does he remember it now?
I also wonder how long the Star Wars book in which these items had been hidden had been languishing in a charity shop in Newport. Had the boy, now a man, or his mum, recently had a clear out? Or maybe the book had been there for a few years.
I’ll never find out.