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The Collectors Digest.

The Collectors Digest first appeared in November 1946 priced at one shilling plus a penny postage.

Herbert Leckenby published the Collectors Digest every month (plus a Christmas annual) until 1959 when it became apparent that his failing health wouldn't allow him to carry on for much longer. Herbert persuaded Eric Fayne to take over but died just days before the handover leaving Eric to pick up the pieces. Herbert was a real enthusiast of the Old Boys Books but he was no book keeper or administrator!

Eric edited the book for the next 27 years before 'retiring' in 1987 to be succeeded by Mary Cadogan who edited the journal until it ceased publication in 2007, a total lifespan of some 60 years.

Eric was Headmaster of Modern School Surbiton for a number of years. On the anniversary of what would have been his 100th birthday the newsletter of the former pupils association (The Old Modernians) published a tribute to Eric. You can read the newsletter here.

Naveed Haque has published three booklets covering the Collectors Digest and the Collectors Digest Annual. You can find a contents list for the Collectors Digest list here, the Collectors Digest Annual here and Eric Fayne's "lets be controversial" articles here.

All the monthly issues and about half of the annuals have been scanned and saved in a searchable PDF Format. The rest of the annuals will follow in due course.

Individual scans can be downloaded from the table at the foot of this page but if you have the speed and bandwidth you may find the following links a bit quicker.
- To download a ZIP file containing all 665 individual issues of the Collectors Digest Monthly (4gb) then click on the following link-
Collectors Digest Monthly Issues 001-665
- To download a ZIP file containing all individual Collectors Digest annuals and specials that have been scanned to date (1.9gb) click on this link - 
Collectors Digest Annual 1947-1972 and Specials 2001-2006


I thought it may be useful to merge all the monthly issues into one searchable file and the annuals/specials into another. I managed the annuals and specials without difficulty but all the PDF tools I tried seemed to baulk at the idea of combining 24,000 pages into a single file so I had to split them into three separate files.
The Collectors Digest download links are below-
Collectors Digest Monthly 001-216
Collectors Digest Monthly 217-432
Collectors Digest Monthly 433-665
Collectors Digest Annual 1947-1971 and Specials 2001-2006
 

My thanks go to James Keeline for the huge amount of work he put into the Collectors Digest section. James reformatted all the files and and then converted them into a searchable  format.

 

Year 1947 1948 1949 1950 1951 1952 1953 1954 1955 1956 1957 1958 1959 1960 1961 1962 1963 1964 1965 1966 1967 1968 1969 1970 1971 1972 1973
January 001 013 025 037 049 061 073 085 097 109 121 133 145 157 169 181 193 205 217 229 241 253 265 277 289 301 313
February 002 014 026 038 050 062 074 086 098 110 122 134 146 158 170 182 194 206 218 230 242 254 266 278 290 302 314
March 003 015 027 039 051 063 075 087 099 111 123 135 147 159 171 183 195 207 219 231 243 255 267 279 291 303 315
April 004 016 028 040 052 064 076 088 100 112 124 136 148 160 172 184 196 208 220 232 244 256 268 280 292 304 316
May 005 017 029 041 053 065 077 089 101 113 125 137 149 161 173 185 197 209 221 233 245 257 269 281 293 305 317
June 006 018 030 042 054 066 078 090 102 114 126 138 150 162 174 186 198 210 222 234 246 258 270 282 294 306 318
July 007 019 031 043 055 067 079 091 103 115 127 139 151 163 175 187 199 211 223 235 247 259 271 283 295 307 319
August 008 020 032 044 056 068 080 092 104 116 128 140 152 164 176 188 200 212 224 236 248 260 272 284 296 308 320
September 009 021 033 045 057 069 081 093 105 117 129 141 153 165 177 189 201 213 225 237 249 261 273 285 297 309 321
October 010 022 034 046 058 070 082 094 106 118 130 142 154 166 178 190 202 214 226 238 250 262 274 286 298 310 322
November 011 023 035 047 059 071 083 095 107 119 131 143 155 167 179 191 203 215 227 239 251 263 275 287 299 311 323
December 012 024 036 048 060 072 084 096 108 120 132 144 156 168 180 192 204 216 228 240 252 264 276 288 300 312 324
Christmas Annual   1947 1948 1949 1950 1951 1952 1953 1954 1955 1956 1957 1958 1959 1960 1961 1962 1963 1964 1965 1966 1967 1968 1969 1970 1971 1972 1973

 

Year 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000
January 325 337 349 361 373 385 397 409 421 433 445 457 469 481 493 505 517 529 541 553 565 577 589 601 613 625 637
February 326 338 350 362 374 386 398 410 422 434 446 458 470 482 494 506 518 530 542 554 566 578 590 602 614 626 638
March 327 339 351 363 375 387 399 411 423 435 447 459 471 483 495 507 519 531 543 555 567 579 591 603 615 627/8 639
April 328 340 352 364 376 388 400 412 424 436 448 460 472 484 496 508 520 532 544 556 568 580 592 604 616 640
May 329 341 353 365 377 389 401 413 425 437 449 461 473 485 497 509 521 533 545 557 569 581 593 605 617 629 641
June 330 342 354 366 378 390 402 414 426 438 450 462 474 486 498 510 522 534 546 558 570 582 594 606 618 630 642
July 331 343 355 367 379 391 403 415 427 439 451 463 475 487 499 511 523 535 547 559 571 583 595 607 619 631 643
August 332 344 356 368 380 392 404 416 428 440 452 464 476 488 500 512 524 536 548 560 572 584 596 608 620 632 644
September 333 345 357 369 381 393 405 417 429 441 453 465 477 489 501 513 525 537 549 561 573 585 597 609 621 633 645
October 334 346 358 370 382 394 406 418 430 442 454 466 478 490 502 514 526 538 550 562 574 586 598 610 622 634 646
November 335 347 359 371 383 395 407 419 431 443 455 467 479 491 503 515 527 539 551 563 575 587 599 611 623 635 647
December 336 348 360 372 384 396 408 420 432 444 456 468 480 492 504 516 528 540 552 564 576 588 600 612 624 636 648
Christmas Annual 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000

Note- There was a special 'Emergency' issue 3A released in March 1947 to warn collectors of someone responding to newspaper adverts offering non existent goods for sale. You can read it here.

From 2001 onwards the Collector's Digest changed from a monthly to quarterly format.

Q1 649 653 657 661 665 Spring 2006 Spring/Summer 2007
Q2 650 654 658 662 xxx xxx xxx
Q3 651 655 659 663 xxx xxx xxx
Q4 652 656 660 664 xxx xxx xxx
Specials xxx Christmas Special 2002 Christmas Special 2003 Christmas Special 2004 Autumn/Winter 2005 Autumn/Winter 2006 Autumn/Winter 2007

Collectors' Digest Articles

There are a number of articles from the Collectors Digest scattered throughout the site. Most of them can be found in the story paper sections but the articles which don't fit into any particular story paper category are listed below.

Funeral of Frank Richards. A moving account of the funeral of Frank Richards by Eric Fayne. This article appeared in a Collectors Digest supplement from January 1962.

Highcliffe in the Boys' Friend Library. Frank Richards only wrote two stories centred around Highcliffe but they were both 'Jewels'.

Charles Hamilton Tag list. Have you ever wondered where the Charles Hamilton quotes come from? This tag list by Tom Hopperton and Gerry Allison should provide the answers. Worth a Guinea a box!

Fleetway House is no More. Amalgamated Press occupied Fleetway house from 1912 until the early seventies. In an article from the Collectors Digest in 1978 Bill Lofts describes his many visits.

Memories of the Magnet office by GR Samways. Samways is perhaps best known as a Hamilton sub writer but his output for the Companion papers often rivalled that of Hamilton himself. In this article he describes life in Fleetway house.

Frank Richards Christmas Greeting. In 1940 Charles Hamilton broadcasted a Christmas message on the BBC world service. A transcript was later published in the Collectors Digest.

The Mystery of Jack Nobody. Three Jack of all trades books appeared in the 1950's then there was no more! In this Collectors Digest article Derek Adley look at the the three books and wonders if the other manuscripts will ever see the light of day.

Appreciation of Eric Fayne. Eric Fayne inherited the role of Editor of the Collectors Digestfollowing the sudden death of Herbert Leckenby. He held this post for 27 years before 'retiring'. Roger Jenkins published an appreciation of Eric's work in the Collectors Digest.

Do Your Remember. Roger Jenkins started his famous column in Collector's Digest issue 91 (1954) and ran to over 250 articles. Roger discussed characters, relationships and events at Greyfriars, St Jim's, Rookwood, Cedar Creek and other Hamilton schools. This extract from the Museum Press book contains the first 28 'Do you remember' articles.

Lets be Controversial. The 'lets be controversial' column ran in the Collectors Digest for over 40 years. In his column Eric Fayne would write an article and invite replies with the invitation' It's just my point of view - What's yours?' The replies would be published the following month in under the heading 'Controversial echoes'. This link points to a number of LBC articles.