Friday, 24 August 2012

Vintage School Badges


Vintage school badges became a bit of an obsession for me a few years ago when I picked up a battered piano satchel at a flea market and rattling around in the bottom was a well-loved 'Librarian' badge in green. It was an accidental love affair at first sight and I was smitten, it gave me that autumnal back-to-school feeling in spades as well as being pretty apt for a book lover like me. That autumn/winter there were shiny new mass produced versions popping up in Accessorize and Topshop for six or seven pounds apiece; I wasn't even tempted. They didn't ignite my imagination or have me conjuring histories for previous owners the way old ones I had found did, simply because they had no story to tell. Then came misspelled prefect badges emblazoned with 'Perfect' and I wasn't surprised when they were heavily discounted in my neck of the woods, I'm not sure I know anyone with an ego large enough to sport one of those - unless ironically! My librarian badge and I were fairly inseparable until a slightly messy night watching Maximo Park/Arctic Monkeys/We Are Scientists/Mystery Jets at Rock City, I got back to my halls of residence (conveniently just around the corner!) noticed it had disappeared and was gutted. 

To this day I haven't found another librarian badge in green but you can bet I'm keeping my eyes peeled!  The Beautiful Clutter Etsy Shop now has a section purely for vintage school badges and it has felt like Christmas letting my inner magpie run riot collecting them all - I say all - there are six listed at the moment with more waiting in my desk drawer to be photographed, which I'll probably get onto later today. I thoroughly enjoyed channeling Jessica Fletcher typing up record cards for each one on Ethel my Silver Reed typewriter, the only thing missing was the soundtrack and questionable characters with dodgy Irish accents!


33 comments:

  1. Such gorgeous badges...I really do feel very proud of the one you bequested to me on my birthday, particularly given its yellow and therefore in my head I can pretend its cos am in Hufflepuff and have been all kinds of awesome!
    Methinks these will get snapped up quickly!

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    1. So glad you loved the badge, there was a choice between yellow and red, I knew immediately that it would have to be Hufflepuff yellow for you :-)

      xXx

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  2. They're making me think of The Naughtiest Girl stories by Enid Blyton.
    You're very funny Jessica, I mean Jem.
    Which one did you wear when you were at school?

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  3. p.s. I like 'thinks' Dahlink x

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  4. I still have my Prefect badge stashed away somewhere - it's red, and shield-shaped.

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  5. These are so cool! I don't think the states have many schools that have these awesome badges. My friend in London (I've known her since we were little) was telling me about the different houses too. Good thing, I was prepared for Harry Potter. :)

    Sorry you lost your green librarian badge. xx

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  6. they're so lovely Jem! I may well purchase one, or maybe two for a giveaway or something :) My mum still has her "Prefect" one and it's nice to know the history behind it (my mum was quite the goody two shoes). It's a shame you lost the librarian badge but at least it was at a fun event (love all the acts you mentioned <3 ) xxx

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  7. Ah yes Maximo Park gigs I remember fondly, more rough and tumble then I would have taken them for. Love all the sweet little badges you found! I certainly would never have achieved the athletics one!

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  8. I love these badges saw some a while ago very similar :) have a happy weekend sweetie

    Bee happy x

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  9. These badges are so cute. I love the sound of your librarian one. I miss the 'back to school feeling' you speak of. I don't get it with university so much; my favourite part use to be getting a new pencil case for each school year- too cool :)
    Daniella x

    http://daniella-r.blogspot.co.uk/

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  10. Gosh! That brings back memories! Being a girlie swot, I amassed quite a few through my school career, and still have them!

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  11. Stunning pics - you've really out done yourself xxx

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  12. Eep! So many memories have come flooding back. I'm sure my prefect badge is around somewhere *goeshuntingthroughboxes*

    Lovely post Jem!

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  13. I love these, I always wanted a badge at school but I was too naughty!

    madeupoflittlethings.com

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  14. These are gorgeous. We never had these at school. Although it was a bit of a dive!
    :)

    Makeup for Biochemists

    xx

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  15. My heart goes out to you for your green Librarian badge! How gutting! These badges are absolutely gorgeous!! My eye will now be glued to your Etsy shop!! :) xxx

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  16. Vintage! Haha...we had those at school - seeing them took me right back. :) They are pretty nifty though.

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  17. they look great , wonderful gifts

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  18. I love these badges too! I've only ever seen the mass produced ones in Topshop, etc., but these lovely old ones are so much better! Too bad about losing the Librarian one, it sounds like the best! The Athletics & Team Captain are pretty great too though. I wish I got these when I was in high school!

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  19. I still have my prefect badge from school, might have to dig it out to wear now they're mass producing them ;). Love the committee one though, more like a pretty vintage broach than a school badge xoxo

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  20. Hello, great blog you have. I'm a new follower, would you like to follow each other?
    I'm also having a giveaway, feel free to enter.

    http://makeupandlondon.com

    xx
    Monica

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  21. Ahh I love them! I still have my Prefect badge kicking around somewhere. The only reason I wanted to be a Prefect was for the badge and the different coloured tie! Haha xo

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  22. your blog is so lovely! i'll follow you :)

    Lau' from http://holidayfromreal-lau.blogspot.com

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  23. oh my days blast of the past, I used to have hundreds running down my blazer lapels definitely have to have a rummage through all my memory boxes see if I can find you anything! xoxo

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  24. I dont anyone that doesnt love vintage, but you girly, have made a new definition to the term. This is by all means good though; everyone should have a little old fashion in them in some way, shape, or form!
    If interested, check out my blog and let me know what you think!
    octoberiam.blogspot.com

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  25. really like that these are ACTUAL vintage - i.e from the 1970s and NOT those brand spanking new versions with ghastly things like HEN and STAG on! lol x

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  26. These are great. I still have my prefect badge :) it's actually quite old now. How sad. xx

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  27. Pretty! Reminds me of my prefect badge at school that I lost. Clumsy me :) x

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  28. Ooooh I was a librarian at school... I wonder if I still have my badge somewhere!

    Victoria xx

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  29. Jem I'm head over heels in love with your collection! So many lovely badges, spoilt for choice. By the time I hit secondary school they had done away with the Prefect scheme in my school, but it didn't stop me stealing my brothers treasured pin badge he had earned a few years earlier! I also remember those awfully trendy 'PERFECT' badges that came out a few years ago. Nothing beats nostalgia xxx

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  30. I actually own a monitor one just like that. I was awarded it at school.x

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  31. Hello! I have just discovered your blog and I am transfixed! It's also lovely to find so many things on your pages that I grew up with and so make me nostalgic (which you don't get with a lot of blogs from other countries, lovely though they are!). This post also reminded me of an old Tennis Captain badge that came into my possession somehow, somewhere, somewhen. I certainly didn't earn it! I must find a way of making it secure on my bag...

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