Spick and Span Extra
In addition to the monthly editions of Spick, Span and Beautiful Britons, fifteen quarterly Extra editions were published, much thicker – and more expensive − books than their monthly counterparts. They are listed under their main titles. But in the summer of 1955, they were joined by a new title, Spick and Span Extra – listed here.
Cataloguing the ToCo Extras is a bit tricky and their numbers can be confusing. As we do not yet have a complete collection of the mags, there will almost certainly be some inaccuracies in this narrative – but we are hoping to rectify this very soon.
In addition to these Extras, there were Holiday Specials, Annuals and a calendar, issued in the early years.
There are three distinct eras of the Spick/Span Extras:
1955-57 − from summer 1955 to winter 1957, the first 10 editions were produced as combined Spick and Span Extras. Summer Extra 55 comprised 68 pages and had a price of two shillings (spelt in full on the cover). By Winter 1955, the mag had grown to 76 pages for the same price – but with the old symbol of 2/- rather than shillings. In Autumn 1956 there were 80 pages, with a corresponding price increase to 2/6 (two shillings and sixpence).
The confusion in numbers may be a ToCo printing error – they made many. This first batch was not numbered on the cover – just the season and the year – but there was a number on the index page. So Spick and Span Extra Spring 1956 proclaims itself as being No.2. Which means, of course that Winter 55 should be No 1. Then what on earth is Summer 55? Until we have full copies of the mags we won’t be able to tell you.
1958-61 − from spring 1958 until autumn 1961, the Extras were published separately as Spick Extra and Span Extra, 15 editions of each and containing 66 pages. Editions were subtitled, like the first batch of combined extras, with the season and the year and not numbered on the cover (but were on the index page) until somewhere between winter 1959 and summer 1960, which was No. 10 for both Spick and Span.
1961-76 – from winter 1961 to winter 1976, they reverted to 68-page combined publications with the original name, but the “and” was replaced with an ampersand (&) so their title became Spick & Span Extra. The year and season were banished to the index page and only the number was given on the front cover. But, just to make life even more difficult for collectors 60 years later, they reset the numbering – with the first edition of the new batch of combined mags being the second No 1. There were 61 editions, with the last entitled Winter 1976, the year all ToCo magazines died the death.