I Spy Men At Work News Chronicle

The title implies that I-Spy envisaged other Men At Work titles would follow (as in the two At The Zoo titles), but they never did.  Nevertheless this is one of the more interesting titles as it includes a number of trades and jobs which have changed or disappeared since the mid-fifties.  Even at the time wooden scaffolding was becoming rare (I did see this in Poland in the mid-80s but didn’t have the book with me!), while the final illustration (in a quick sketchy style) of a night-watchman by his brazier looks positively Dickensian to us today. “What fun you’ll have on the trail of builders!” is perhaps a phrase which many might use with an entirely different emphasis today. “It’s… wizard.” Another good Kingsley Sutton cover painting (he did the second version of Sport) too.  The title survived the loss of the News Chronicle tie-in but was weeded out during the 1963 revamp, probably as too much would have needed redrawing by then.
My copy has one of the standard Education Committee rubber stamps on the cover. I assume these stamps were all made for schools by the same approved supplier as they designs are the same for all schools, with just the name changed. In this case it’s Cardiff. Book purists would probably grumble but to me it’s part of the history of the item.

[1]  News Chronicle – cover in colour. 195-
[2]  Daily Mail / Dickens Press – News Chronicle removed from cover. 1961 [?]


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