Auntie Ivy And Sir Edmund Hillary

Today was another for dozing over a book. This is Thomas Armstrong’s ‘Pilling Always Pays’, which I will review when I have finished it.

When my Auntie Ivy died in 1965 I was honoured that she left me her book collection. She had been a member of the Companion Book Club, a branch of Odham’s Press, which published reasonably priced, well produced, volumes on a monthly basis. These books, from the 1950s and the 1960s, are still sold by many dealers on the internet. The quality of their paper remains far fresher than the very browned pages of Jonathan Cape’s 1987 publication of ‘Einstein’s Monsters’.

Tucked inside the dust jacket of my 1956 copy of ‘Pilling Always Pays’ is the March issue of the organisation’s monthly newsletter, The Companion. One very reluctant announcement inside was that the price of books was rising from 4s 6d (22 1/2p) to 4s 9d (24p).

The Companion

There was also a fuller description of the cover feature.

New Zealander, Sir Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tensing Norgay had been the first to reach the summit of Mount Everest on 29th May 1953, just in time for the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.

I was roused from my stupor by a surprise visit from Mat, Becky, and Poppy. There followed a lovely family time.

Hordle Chinese Take Away is not open on Mondays, so Jackie, Becky, and Poppy bought our evening meal from Oliver’s in Old Milton.


  1. I guess if you are reading Sir Ed’s memoir you’ll be roused from your stupor too! I have often wondered where you got your vast and aged library from – and oh my, yes, the price of books has rather sky rocketed!

  2. High adventure is right. He rose to great heights in his endeavours, and his timing was perfect.
    That was a real treasure your aunt left you.

  3. Sherpa tensing Norgay ( family of ) were mentioned on the news programme quite recently ? But I cannot remember why ?

  4. I also wondered about your book collection. It was a wonderful gift from your aunt, and so interesting to find the old newsletter. Your family time after a doze sounds makes it a perfect day.

  5. Wonderful story of your aunt’s book collection. Also, your family visit sounds great.

  6. No photos of Poppy? I am a child of the ’70s. Those were such simple times, all my favourite comics were priced under Rupee 1.00 (about 14 p). The prices have gone up by 100 times or so since then. I am hit by a twinge of energy at your fortune.

      1. That is certainly an issue, Derrick. (I noticed auto-correct changed envy to energy in my comment above — do read it accordingly).

  7. Books are a wonderful legacy to leave someone who can appreciate them. I grew up with many books of all kinds about the house.

    All went well with your knee surgery? I am slow at catching up again.

    1. Thanks very much, Lavinia. Improving slowly. We had no books at home, but Mum took us to the library once a week. I felt honoured, because, of her many nephews and nieces, Ivy recognised my love of books

  8. When I first saw the heading at the very top, I thought Sir Edmund’s hair was a very poorly drawn yeti. Silly me!
    Well done, Auntie Ivy, by the way. Any older person who can persuade a youngster to read regularly is giving them a life long access ticket to many different worlds.

  9. How lucky you are! Oh what I wouldn’t give to have my books from ‘back in the day’!! I had all kinds of collections, but never thought I’d read them again. [stupid, stupid, stupid!!]

  10. That looks to be a special Book Derrick, and sounds like you have a wonderful extended collection with your Aunt leaving you some of her books..
    Keep putting your feet up Derrick and reading and dozing a good combination in convalescence.
    Take care my friend and enjoy your day..
    Overcast but fine here today Derrick.. πŸ™‚

  11. Hi Derrick, hope you’re resting well. Sounds like Aunty Ivy’s book collection is quite a little treasure trove.

  12. How wonderful to have inherited a book collection! πŸ™‚ I think that is a treasure greater than jewelry or money!

    Glad you are recovering with good dozing, good books, good food and especially good company! All great for healing! πŸ™‚

    HUGS!!! πŸ™‚

  13. Dozing with a book is good way to spend the day.
    Family visit makes it better.
    And once you add a Chinese takeaway there is little to improve it.
    If you have to stay home with a bad knee this is clearly the way to do it.

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