In the early 1980’s I purchased a badge machine with a one inch die from the London Emblem Co. and our first badge was ‘Don’t Panic’. This was followed by ‘Lend us a quid’, ‘Lend us a fiver,’ then various amounts between 10,000 and 50m.

Customers were asking for age badges other than the usual 18, 21, 30, 40, 50 etc. so we made a badge for every age between 1 and 104. Then we added 0, , 1, and some absurd ages such as 131,152,193, 201, 972 and 1003 .

Over at the Hope & Anchor up and coming musicians started to ask for promotional badges using their own artwork and we made badges for several groups that went on to greater success including Amazulu.

A customer described himself as a ‘Victim of bureaucracy’ and that became a badge. A friend when told by his girlfriend that he had drunk enough replied ‘Enough is not sufficient.’ The next day we presented him with a badge based on this but he had no recollection of having said this. Our best selling badge apart from the age badges is probably ‘Blondes buy more peroxide’ which is from the lyrics of  a C&W song.

Over 30 years later the machine still works and we can still get the pre-metric size components.


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