Toyland Tunes

Back in the early 1970s there was still a music shop in Devizes. It had, by then, migrated from the huge premises known as Handel House into a much smaller shop on Albion Place, next door. Handel House must have been ideal for a shop selling pianos, large cabinet gramophones and the like. But by the ’70s these things were seen as dated and were not stocked.

However, some old stock remained – sheet music from the 1930s – and I was tempted by some of this. I’m not a real musician, but as a collector of old 78 rpm records and I had become familiar with songs from that period. If the music had guitar or ukulele chords I could have a go at playing them. So I did a bit of purchasing. It would have been in 1971 that I bought sheet music like this.


Don’t worry, I’m only showing the rather lovely art work on the front cover.

This little book of songs had been priced at 9d. Thirty five or so years might have elapsed since the shop took it into stock but nine old pence was still the price. Oh – except that we changed our currency in February 1971 so the shop owner had to do a conversion to the new money. 9d didn’t convert well for it came out at three and three quarter new pence. I’d pay 4p – or buy a second set of something similar and Pay 7½p for two such items.

What good fun it all was – but hardly profitable for the shop.


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