After scouring the internet for some time, I have deduced that this is Buzz Aldrin taken by Neil Armstrong (July 1969), rather than the other way around. I could be wrong.

As for space stuff being men’s stuff – Mr. S couldn’t care less, he believes the Moon Landing was a Hollywood set-up. I, on the other hand, am fascinated by Space.

You can see the whole piece here.

I cut the square from a 1984 publication celebrating two hundred years of The Times (Past, Present and Future). Copyright: NASA.





Virile John Wayne


“The guy you see on the screen isn’t really me. I’m Duke Morrison, and I never was and never will be a film personality like John Wayne. I know him well. I’m one of his closest students. I have to be. I make a living out of him.”

You can see the whole piece here.

The photo was taken on the set of The Wings of Eagles in 1956. The photographer isn’t credited. I took it from a flood damaged book called Hollywood Album. Published in 1958 by Sampson Low, Marston and Co. Ltd. Edited by Ivy Crane Wilson.





“They used to say to me that I had to be like a man to do the job, but I had higher aspirations than that.” Sian Griffiths, retired London firefighter. You can read more of her story here, in a Telegraph article by Jaymi McCann.

You can see the whole piece here.

The square was cut from the book Firefighter by Tim Wood. Published in 1988 by Franklin Watts. The photograph is by Chris Fairclough.

The photographs in the book were mainly taken at Beckenham Fire Station, which is local to me. Please see comments below for information about Andy Bell, the young firefighter in the picture.

This year, London is celebrating 150 years of the Fire Brigade. Thank you to the firefighters. I have only had two close dealings with the fire service. Impeccable both times.

This is another battered book given to me by a school librarian, who would prefer to remain anonymous.


AlisonSye4b (2)




“This is a book for every boy – and many fathers too!”

The book in question is, The Story Of The Motor Car by David Carey. Illustrated by the wonderful Robert Ayton (1915 – 1985), and published by Ladybird in 1962.

Robert Ayton started working for Ladybird in 1960, and illustrated fifty titles in total. We had a number of his books in our house when I was a child, my favourite being Tricks and Magic.

According to his nephew, Rupert (who features in some of his illustrations), his ashes were spread over a rose bed, next to a park bench with a fabulous view.

You can see the whole piece here.

The illustration is titled, Massed Start At Silverstone.

When I searched the internet for information on women in this field, I mostly found lists of ‘hot lady racing drivers’. Too upset to continue my search.

The book was given to me by a school librarian. She would prefer to remain anonymous.

AlisonSye3d (2)



City Gent


“To escape jury duty in England, wear a bowler hat and carry a copy of the Daily Telegraph”. John Mortimer.

You can see the whole piece here.

The square was cut from a John Menzies advert from 1984. The photographer is uncredited. Taken from The Times, Past, Present and Future.





“Last year Manchester United footballer, Rio Ferdinand, 31, shocked fans when he decided against jetting off to the Caribbean or Dubai for his annual break and booked his wife and two young sons into a caravan park in Prestatyn, North Wales.” Liz Hull, for MailOnline.

You can see the whole piece here.

The square was cut from a postcard I purchased in a charity shop. I have hundreds of postcards and this is the only one I can recall that does not mention the weather.

It was posted on 3rd June, 1968, by Mary and Tony, to Mr. Wilkes in a hospital in Derby.

“Dear Pop, had a good trip down just 4 hours and 20 minutes. Been on beach all day and been in the boat with John. A lovely change. See you. Love Mary and Tony”.

The caravan park in the picture (Fach Farm in Abersoch) still exists, and looks lovely. The hospital, a former workhouse, closed in 1988 and was demolished in 1992.

The postcard was published by Francis Frith and is numbered ACH608.





Men’s Stuff Patchwork


Made from knackered old books, magazines, postcards and junk mail.

Square 1: Caravans, Square 2: City Gent, Square 3: Silverstone, Square 4: Firefighter, Square 5: Virile John Wayne, Square 6: Astronaut, Square 7: Baldness, Square 8: Fry-Up, Square 9: A Pint, Square 10: Cricket, Square 11: Building Stuff, Square 12: Manly Watches, Square 13: DIY, Square 14: Boats, Square 15: The Tie, Square 16: Pretty Frocks.