The NigNog Club

7 January 2015 — 15 Comments

My last blog post, the second of the new year, made a couple of detecting forum administrators so disgruntled that one banned me and another suggested that I ‘should leave’ as I clearly ‘wasn’t happy’. Even though I went to great lengths to reassure that it was just a laugh at ourselves, I suspected that my little joke would provoke a knee-jerk reaction. And it did.

However, the post was well-received, understood and enjoyed by the majority of my readers … and there were over 800 that day! Many positive comments were left on here and I thank you all. I sincerely hope that my latest post doesn’t cause any trouble.

When I was a wee lad in the 40’s it seemed to be a golden age for children’s clubs. No electronic games or gadgets then! This post, showing some of the children’s badges found by detectorists has been resurrected at the request of one of my subscribers, who considered it to be a valuable resource. I hope that you think the same.

OvaltineysI remember being a member of the Ovaltineys, a club that had its own show on Radio Luxembourg. This was a time when few people had television. The programme’s signature tune We Are The Ovaltineys was probably the best-known jingle in the country and I can still remember the words. They have been embedded into my consciousness.

Song courtesy of DJK53

The NigNog Badge

The find of a child’s enamel badge in the North East of England by detectorist Rod Hall brought back a few memories. What he found was a NigNog badge.

Now, before you jump to conclusions, the term isn’t politically incorrect in the North East of England. Unlike America, the phrase had no racial dimensions, but was often used when referring to a silly person and didn’t derive from ‘nigger’. Also in County Durham vernacular, Nig and Nog referred to a boy and girl.

Nig Nog

The NigNog Badge found by Detectorist Rod Hall – © RH

The NigNog Ring was a children’s club that first appeared in the Northern Echo newspaper on October 21, 1929. Nig and Nog were two little imps who live in the land of the moon, their chief occupation being to keep the Man in the Moon awake. Every community had its own ‘Ring’ where children gathered to be kind to animals and to raise money for charity. There were other activities, of course.

Chris Lloyd, Deputy Editor of The Northern Echo in 2009 gives a detailed account of what the club was about HERE.

WiseOther newspapers introduced NigNog Rings. In the Bradford Telegraph and Argus’ NigNog Troupe, an Ernest Wiseman made his stage debut. He later found fame as Ernie Wise. Maybe you’ve heard of him!

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UPDATES

AvatarAdam, half of that successful detecting duo Adam and Lisa tells me that he isn’t old enough to remember the NigNog club but he recalls Lisa finding a silver badge, the second signal on her first time out detecting. Full details of the find can be seen by clicking HERE … thanks to Stuart. Briefly. it is was issued by the Nottingham Evening News NigNog Club and is a King George V Silver Jubilee badge (1935). The lady with the King is Queen Mary.
Jubilee

© Adam S

Dave, a moderator on the popular Metal Detecting Forum run by Michael Rixon, has sent me a badge showing the top of a rabbit’s head with the letters WLOG around it. The back has the maker’s name of RODEN, LONDON. I’m not heres to re-invent the wheel, for Stuart’s excellent site gives a full explanation. Please click HERE.
Dave

(WLOG) Wilfredian League of Gugnuncs – children’s club membership badge (c.1930).  Click to Enlarge

Below is the Nottingham Evening News NigNog badge sent in by John Radford (aka Hedgehunter). Here’swhat he says about it :
I found a similar one some years back … mine was apparently the Nottingham Evening News Nig Nog Club, I suppose it was related in some way to the Northern Echo. Researching on the internet, it appears that members were sent a birthday card which read ” We congratulate you upon being a good and true Nig Nog, always ready to help other children and dumb animals, from Uncle Ernest and Uncle Mac”…. Whilst writing this I have a wild vision of hoards of young kids roaming the country looking for dumb animals to help, probably most of the dumb animals didn’t really want any help, but a good thought anyway.  🙂
John's Badge

© John Radford

‘Romulus’ says that he found a similar sort of enamel badge a few years ago … one issued by the now defunct People newspaper. A children’s club that would be DEFINITELY frowned upon today! See Stuart’s site for the full information. Click HERE.
Coons

© Romulus

Harrystix’ of the forum detectorist.co.uk has sent me another NigNog badge that proves to be most interesting. It is clear that newspapers had different designs. This one is from the Bradford Telegraph and Argus. See HERE.
Harrystix

© Harrystix

‘Alloverover’ from the MDF writes to say:

Nothing to do with NigNogs John but I know these are quite a common detector find. They are from the Daily Mail’s Teddy Tail cartoon who started the Teddy Tail League in 1936. The kids who joined the club were known as Teddy Tailers. Read all the information HERE, on Stuart’s Flickr page.
Tedxdy Tail

© Alloverover

‘Muckyluck’, also from the MDF, writes:

Interesting thread. Although not a NigNog badge I found the one below. Clifton is a famous district of Bristol and I am almost certain it’s the area the badge is referring to. The item was found in the locality of Wells, about 20 mlies from Clifton, and I assume was lost on a club day trip. I think it’s from the same era we are talking about here 1930′s – 50s. I contacted the makers W O Lewis (Badges) Ltd B’ham, they are still a famous badge makers but their records I was told don’t go back far enough to be of any help to me. Still it’s one of my favourite badges.
badge_001

© Muckyluck

Randy Dee has sent me three badges and all of them were found found near Bridlington in Yorkshire, but at different times. He suggests that  they must have been lost by farmer’s children or potato pickers.

The Northern Echo Nig Nog Badges (4)

© Randy Dee

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More of Stuart’s club badges can be seen HERE

This has been a resurrected blog post

Thanks to those detectorists on the following forums who helped with this post
MRIX

MLO

 

John

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15 responses to The NigNog Club

  1. “Even though I went to great lengths to reassure that it was just a laugh at ourselves, I suspected that my little joke would provoke a knee-jerk reaction. And it did.”

    Amazing but not surprising! You gotta love MD’ing forums….

  2. It’s all in interpretation ,and peaples perception ,but In those days there were no held racial connotations to badges from Scouts and Brownies they,would be suspect now,and rightly so, oh golly and golly gosh ,I don’t believe I said that .

  3. From the parks around Birmingham I got Ovaltineys, Nignog and Teddy Tail badges. My all time favourite though was while working one summer at Filey I got a badge for the Butlins Beaver Club.

    • I’m not sure about political correctness any more … but then, I never was!
      It’s a minefield. Perhaps that’s why some of my blog posts can cause offence.

      The Butlin’s badge sounds fun.

  4. Another cracking report of our childhood antics.
    Sent you another bit of information.

  5. …onward and upwards John, there will always be those that fall by the wayside. It is their loss, although they will probably never be aware of losing it. They are most likely so self absorbed with their own importance that they recognise nothing from which they cannot directly profit!

  6. In our country. ..saying nignog is the same as calling black people the N word… I too was shocked at the title

  7. I can remember as a little lad going on a primary school trip to the Ovaltine factory. The smell of malt filled the air. I was amazed to see thousands of tins of the beverage rolling down the production line. As far as the song goes I can remember changing the words so that it had a completely different context!
    The badge although seemingly innocent at the time, inevitably will upset some people today! The P.C. brigade now have become the masters over free expression!

  8. Upon first reading the heading, I thought “oh ho”, man enters minefield wearing blindfold and ear muffs.

    We live in a world of political correctness and double standards. Some years ago, whilst on duty at an international airport security area, I heard a male voice behind ma say ” You ok nigger? ” I turned quickly to apprehend the speaker and asked him what he had said. The guy, who was a black male, said “I was talking to him” and pointed to an other black male standing along side him.

    On an other occasion, whilst searching a bag belonging to a dark skinned couple, I came across a small gollywog and expressed mock surprise whilst asking what they were doing with the little fellah in their bag. The reply was…..”Because WE can!”

    I am not a racist and never use language that would offend members of other religions, races, or creeds.

    I actually refrained from posting pictures of a recent Robertson’s Jam badge that I found!

  9. Not the Ovaltine badge John, but the N.. N.. badge!

  10. Hi My farther play the piano age 5 at the Nottingham empire theatre
    has anyone got any archives this was the nignog matinee this was talented youngsters
    december 1934 – Lewis Hallam

Trackbacks and Pingbacks:

  1. The NigNog Badge - 7 January 2015

    […] of England by detectorist Rod Hall brought back a few memories. What he found was a NigNog badge. The NigNog Club | John Winter http://www.johnwinter.net Reply With […]

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    […] forums.  It was on the money, and the aftermath or follow-up was true to form with John being banned from two of them, despite his comments being light-hearted and humorous.  Gotta love social […]

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