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Bric-a-Brac: G is for...

Green Shield Stamps

About 1/10th of a decantersworth hereSo many artifacts evocative of the 1960s and 70s turn out to hail from antiquity, but the corner-shop-and-petrol-station-oriented phenomenon of Green Shield stamps only started up in 1958, despite the venerable glue-backed perforated dividend tokens looking like they hailed from some Edwardian printing press. This was, of course, partly the point. The resolutely old-fashioned ethos of saving up ‘points’, symbolised by each small stamp spewed out by a little metal machine by the side of the till and diligently stuck into a special booklet (there were bigger ones that counted for ten points or more, to save on your saliva) preached hard graft and patience. But then, when enough had been accumulated, it was off to the catalogue for – yippee! – toasters, glassware, Kenwood Chefettes and even, should you fill a comically enormous stack of booklets, a colour telly! Its was consumerism gone mad, though it worked, its only serious rival being the pale blue Co-op Dividend stamps scheme. Whatever the colour, mile-long reams of perforated paper being awkwardly stuffed into bulging purses were one of the all-time most evocative signifiers of grocery shopping.



  1. JQW

    August 10, 2009 at 12:51 pm

    An amusement arcade in Redcar had several fruit machines which paid out Green Shield stamps instead of money. I remember once my dad taking some elderly friends there for the day to visit friends, and my dad winning heaps of these stamps from one machine.

  2. Adrian

    August 11, 2009 at 9:34 am

    The Greenshield catalogue company was renamed ‘Argos’ and soldiers on in the high street to the present day..

  3. Adz

    August 17, 2009 at 10:32 pm

    I seem to remember red versions as well…

  4. Paul

    October 5, 2009 at 3:28 pm

    I still remember my mam’s co-op divi number: 66894.

  5. Richard Davies

    August 9, 2010 at 8:53 pm

    I remember the late 1980s revival, my parents managed to get a book more or less filled but I can’t never remember any way of redeming them.

    My parents had a fwe orginal Green Shield stamp books in a shoebox, along with some books Co-op 5 & 40 stamps.

    These went in a clearout in the early 1990s.

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