Recently a friend reported that it is no long possible to buy a Writing Pad.  In this electronic age they appear to have become obsolete.  Sure, you can buy packs of dinky little notelets, in supermarkets and chain stores. You can buy pre-printed invitations to weddings, parties, christenings, and there’s a wildly expensive greeting card for every occasion under the sun. But a pad of ruled writing paper? Nah. Not going to happen.

Croxley Writing pads were a big feature of my school days – back in the Olden Days, when we had zero access to the telephone; cellphones hadn’t even been dreamed of (incredible, I know, but there was a time), and communications were limited to writing a letter. Quaint, but true.  Emergencies were dealt with via telegram. Arrival of a telegram always meant big drama of some sort.

But Croxley writing pads were regular features of life. They  provided a whole world of possibilities: blue or white paper for letters home, to your parents; maybe yellow – or even green – to friends or penfriends; and if you had a boyfriend, then pink or mauve … a whole pastel world of promise.

Your wealthy friends scorned commercial writing pads, and wrote on thick sheets – unlined, of course! – of creamy Basildon Bond, which also came in a sky blue colour, but that was it. No vulgar pinks and greens.

Your overseas relatives used flimsy blue aerogrammes, which offered limited writing  space and un-co-operative gummed flaps to close the letter, which always tore in the wrong place when you tried – no matter how carefully – to open the wretched things.

So: I have to say that texting and e-mailing, while quick, convenient and cheap, offer none of the excitement of opening a real letter, which arrives in a sealed envelope, bearing a stamp. A postage stamp – you’ve seen those, surely?  I learnt the other day, of a young lady in the Ukraine, who collects stamps, but she scans them in, and has a Virtual Collection of postage stamps. Stanley Gibbons must be revolving in his grave like a threshing machine …

P.S. I’ve just spent a fruitless half-hour searching the free Clip Art sites on the web, hoping to find a graphic to illustrate this post – no way José, nada, nix. Writing pads have been well and truly obliterated. 



15 responses to “R.I.P. CROXLEY WRITING PADS

  1. Sue

    Ah yes indeed, Alison. Memories are made of this……..


  2. Its been like that for a long time, and its why, when I had the chance I bought a whole stack of note pads on hand made paper(elephant dung paper) to use for those ‘special’ notes…the special thank you’s etc..


    • I can’t stand that rough paper – it’s full of lumps & bumps, and hell to write on. My writing is bad enough, without added obstacles in the paper! Not for me.


      • No, the stuff I bought is hard and smooth, (yellow colour) almost shiny although it is thick and therefore heavy…I know the kind you are talking about – it is no good also cos it is very absorptive and you can’t use ink pen…I like this stuff too, because I have about three different sizes, and when you write a note, its obvious you didn’t just have nothing to say so you cut the card!!!


  3. I still have a Basildon Bond writing pad. Shall I take a photograph of it? Also i still use aerogrammes/air letter cards to correspond with overseas friends who are not on email. I do agree that there is no modern thrill to compare with ripping open a hand written letter.


  4. bkoellne@bigpond.net.au

    I tried to buy one today – no longer available!!!


  5. John

    Pads of lined writing paper were and maybe still are available in most supermarkets, not the same quality as Croxley or Basildon bond sadly!


  6. Could you allow me to share this on twitter?


    • Hmm – if you think the Twitter generation would be interested? Why not? live dangerously!


      • Sarah

        I’m of the Twitter generation, and I have stumbled across your post while scouring the internet for any trace of where I might be able to find a pad of plain white, unlined writing paper! I’m sad to see that Croxley no longer make these, as I remember my mum using one of theirs, and that is what I have been looking for. Hopefully I can find some substitute somewhere!!


      • Good luck with your search. It is possible to buy fancy notepaper (usually in boxed sets) but these days lined writing paper seems to be confined to Examination pads in foolscap format.


  7. Linda

    I live in South Africa and decided to start letter writing again. I have searched and searched and also cannot find any writing pads. I did manage to get some blue envelopes, but will have to fill it with regular, white, lined paper. I did manage to buy an aerogramme from my post office, so will use that to communicate with my overseas ffriends.


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