Double Dividends!

I’ve recently been cataloguing a collection of old Green Shield Stamp items, including the booklets used to collect the stamps and a catalogue of gifts redeemable through the scheme.

Green Shield Stamps dating to about the 1970s. TWCMS : 2011.1365

Green Shield Stamps dating to about the 1970s. TWCMS : 2011.1365

The Green Shield Trading Stamp Company was founded in 1958 by entrepreneur Richard Tompkins. The stamps were given to shoppers by participating retailers, encouraging sales and brand loyalty. Tesco was one of the biggest companies to offer its customers Green Shield Stamps (just like Sainsbury’s and Nectar points today), and the Green Shield Stamps scheme proved to be very popular in the 1960s and 1970s. The stamps could be exchanged for a myriad of goods, from kettles and hairdryers to jewellery, soft furnishings and toys.

Saver booklet for Green Shield Stamps, about early 1970s. TWCMS 2000.3030.5

Saver booklet for Green Shield Stamps, about early 1970s. TWCMS : 2000.3030.5

Below are some pages from a Green Shield Stamps catalogue dating to about 1987. I love the picture of the woman on an exercise bike, wearing a red lycra leotard, legwarmers and sweatband – how very 1980s! Only 14 complete books of stamps and the exercise bike could have been yours.

Green Shield Stamps catalogue, about 1987. TWCMS 2011.1370

Green Shield Stamps catalogue, about 1987. TWCMS : 2011.1370

Green Shield Stamps catalogue, about 1987. TWCMS 2011.1370

Green Shield Stamps catalogue, about 1987. TWCMS : 2011.1370

Green Shield Stamps catalogue, about 1987. TWCMS 2011.1370

Green Shield Stamps catalogue, about 1987. TWCMS : 2011.1370

In the late 1970s, Tesco stopped offering Green Shield Stamps, resulting in a decline of the scheme. 1991 was to be the final year of Green Shield Stamps.

I got thinking about other dividend and loyalty schemes of yesteryear, so I decided to have a rummage in the Discovery Museum stores to see what else we have. I discovered a booklet for Sperry and Hutchinson ‘Pink Stamps’, which were offered by one of Tesco’s big rivals, Fine Fare.

S&H 'Pink Stamps' booklet, 1963. TWCMS : 2000.3030.4

S&H 'Pink Stamps' booklet, 1963. TWCMS : 2000.3030.4

 I also found a booklet for Co-op dividend stamps from the 1960s.

Co-op dividend stamps booklet, 1960s. TWCMS : 2000.3030.6

Co-op dividend stamps booklet, 1960s. TWCMS : 2000.3030.6

Incidentally, my grandfather Gary can still remember his own granny’s ‘divi’ number from running errands to the local store in the 1940s (granny’s number was 23853). Perhaps you can remember your mam’s?

My rummage in the museum stores threw up a few dividend schemes with special links to the North East, such as that run by the London and Newcastle Tea Company as well as Ringtons the Newcastle tea merchants.

London and Newcastle Tea Co. dividend stamps, about 1950s to 1960s. TWCMS : 2000.3030.2

London and Newcastle Tea Co. dividend stamps, about 1950s. TWCMS : 2000.3030.2

Ringtons dividend card, about 1950s. TWCMS : 2000.3030.3

Ringtons dividend card, about 1950s. TWCMS : 2000.3030.3

Indeed, many companies of yesteryear once ran their own stamp or coupon based loyalty schemes. The coupons below were given away with Marmite, Rowntree’s Table Jelly and Nestlé products.

Marmite coupon, about 1940. TWCMS : 2009.1494

Marmite coupon, about 1940. TWCMS : 2009.1494

Rowntree's Table Jelly coupon, about 1930s. TWCMS : 2009.1496

Rowntree's Table Jelly coupon, about 1930s. TWCMS : 2009.1496

Nestlé coupon, about 1930s. TWCMS : 2009.1497

Nestlé coupon, about 1930s. TWCMS : 2009.1497

If you managed to save up 130 of the Nestlé coupons you could get a pair of “pure silk stockings” or 100 coupons would get you a “wireless valve”.

Today there are schemes like Airmiles, Nectar, the Tesco Clubcard, the Boots Advantage Card and the Co-op still runs its popular dividend scheme. I wonder if a successor of mine in about 50 years time will be looking lovingly at a Nectar card and cataloguing it as a treasured piece of social history?

7 Responses to Double Dividends!

  1. David Sakho says:

    Hello Adam,

    Do you know where I might be able to get hold of a copy of the 1968 S & H Pink Stamps catalogue?

    I want it for nostalgic reasons, and I’d be prepared to pay a good price for it.

    Thanks,

    David

  2. RALPH CADE says:

    Hi there, I loved looking at the green shield stamps again.
    I am currently writing a book about Mary Quants Daisy Doll that was made by Model Toys in 1974 then Flair Toys from 1975 to 1979. I am trying to determine whether Daisy was sold via these GSS and whether you would have any relevant ‘Doll’ toy pages that feature the doll?
    Credit would be given if used in the book
    kindest regards
    Ralph Cade

  3. Jane Barnett says:

    Does anyone know who would be interested in buying 5 books of co-op savings stamps full to the rim – they are still redeemable but was also advised to enquire as to whether any stamp collectors would be interested as these are from 1950’s through to when they stopped doing the stamps. Historian…

    Please call on 07971969600

  4. Rich Hurst says:

    We have an SOS (Save Our Services) campaign for our rural bus services and run a Pop Up book shop. We have just taken in a full S&H stamp book and would be happy to pass it on for a donation to the cause.

    • admin says:

      Dear Rich, many thanks for your interest in the blog topic. I’m afraid we would not be in a position to purchase such an item, although we are always open to offers of donation if the item(s) in question have a strong link to Tyneside. Best wishes, Adam.

  5. James says:

    Hello. I was just wondering if the catalogue of gifts has a page of electric fans, and if so I would be very grateful if you would be able to send it to me. Thank you.

  6. keryn says:

    anybody want an old greenshield stamp dispenser.dont want to take it to the dump

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