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Gloy gum

There are few things in life more satisfying that painstakingly peeling a dried bit of glue off the side of the bottle and rolling it between your fingers. Such was the excitement of using Gloy, the clear glue that managed to enjoy 99.9 percent penetration of Britain’s classrooms. With memorable lower case ‘gloy gum’ logo, the product came in plastic squeezy bottles with a nubbly dispenser on the top which, inevitably, would get good and gummed up after a few squeezes onto crêpe paper and therefore require stabbing with a pair of scissors before you continued. Eventually the rise and rise of Pritt Stick saw Gloy fall out of favour, not helped by the fact that some kid would always make a right mess with it and stick everything to the table. The same was true of its less transparent ‘rival’, Marvin, meaning those essential little green spatulas soon fell into disuse.

10 Comments

10 Comments

  1. helen

    February 13, 2011 at 2:47 pm

    I’m trying to remember the name of another paste we used at school in the 70s. It was opaque white and almost as solid as pritt stick but came in a red tub. The tub had a little compartment inside to house the spatula. Any ideas?

  2. Andy

    May 22, 2011 at 2:10 am

    How bizarre! I was just thinking about Gloy Gum yesterday for the first time in many many years and I also came across this website for the first time yesterday, but didn’t spot the Gloy Gum article till just now!

  3. Bears Travel

    June 17, 2011 at 2:20 pm


    Andy:

    How bizarre! I was just thinking about Gloy Gum yesterday for the first time in many many years and I also came across this website for the first time yesterday, but didn’t spot the Gloy Gum article till just now!


    helen:

    I’m trying to remember the name of another paste we used at school in the 70s. It was opaque white and almost as solid as pritt stick but came in a red tub. The tub had a little compartment inside to house the spatula. Any ideas?

    The White paste in a White tub with Red lid was and might still be Copydex

  4. Richard16378

    June 17, 2011 at 5:50 pm

    Copydex also came in a tube, I remember it smelt like a mix of fish & chemicals, so had to hold my breath when using it.

  5. Mike2013

    March 15, 2013 at 10:57 am

    I remember the white school paste very well, though sadly not the name. It was NOT Copydex, which is a different product altogether and is still available. Copydex is latex based.

    The school paste was thick, white and starchy stuff with a very pleasant smell. I think it was made of corn starch and in Australia they used a similar product called Perkins Paste. You could spread it quite thinly with the spatula.

    All the collages, Christmas cards and montage posters in school were made with this paste – magical stuff.

  6. joan

    June 1, 2013 at 2:39 pm

    What is it with glue? I remember Gloy which was gloopey and white and Copydex.

    I, too, am trying to remember the white paste in a tub which smelt of almonds, and also the bottled one, sort of brown in colour, which had a rubber top specially made to be the glue spreader and which you had to stab with a knife, upend and push down to get the glue to ooze out.

    I’m sure there must be some seniors out there like me who know – grandparents, anyone?

    (I haven’t submitted a comment before!)

  7. big chief itchy snitch

    August 5, 2014 at 1:45 pm

    the brown one was “golden gum” and one kid in my class used to get told off for eating it

  8. Allan Haynes

    January 12, 2016 at 2:50 pm

    A bit late to this – but will add a bit in case anyone wants to read it.
    Gloy was made by Associated Adhesives Ltd. in Manor park, east London, where two of my aunts worked. The company was disolved in 2006.There was a white (clearish) version which came in conical glass jars with a cork stopper, as well as the plastic squeezy bottles of brown stuff with the rubber “gripspreader” tops.
    I have in front of me a 2oz. one of these, mint and unopened. And also a 5oz. one in blue plastic by Stephens, the ink people, then in Highbury N.5. This one actually carries the word gripspreader so this might have been invented by Stephens.
    There was also a white dextrin paste called Dex which had a slightly musty almond smell. A bit like today’s Pritt, except that it actually worked. Came in a round aluminium tub possibly with a blue label. It had a tube down the middle which held a very nicely made brush with an aluminium handle. I may still have the brush somewhere. I seem to remember having plenty of this stuff a about so maybe that also came from Manor Park via the aunties.

    Anyone want to talk about Seccotine, Croid, Durofix, LePages’ …?
    Can contact me at dogwood@supanet.com.

  9. Steve Crooke

    August 17, 2016 at 7:42 pm

    We used to sell Gloy in the bottles with a rubber top. It would be around 1959-1960. I wasn’t allowed to pierce the rubber applicator which was the ‘lid’ of the bottle. It was used in the Infant and Primary schools I attended in both Fulham and Camden town. The smell fascinated me.

  10. Joanne Gray

    May 7, 2017 at 6:41 pm

    My school used the white paste (couldn’t have been Copydex as this smelled rather … well, not nice exactly but not fishy either) that was applied with little green plastic spatulas. Most of our craft lessons were spent coating our finger tips with the paste, waiting for it to dry before peeling it off to reveal cleaner skin underneath (you could see the dirt that came off your grubby fingers from playing with muddy tennis and foot balls).

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