I am assuming that most readers will know what Blue Peter is but if not, it was and still is a children's tv program. More information can be found here.
I liked the format of the program, I liked the presenters, I liked the competitions although I never ever won anything, and I liked the theme tune.
Looking back on it I think I also liked the sense of history that came with the program. The sense that I was watching a program that my parents had enjoyed when they were younger.
I was a fan in a big way. When I started watching, the internet was around but not in the way it was now. Fun facts about the program could be found in the annuals rather than on the web. I started collecting. My Dad gave me his old Blue Peter annuals and I filled in the gaps by buying them second hand. I'm still quite proud of the fact that I have the 2nd Blue Peter annual right through to the 36th when I stopped watching.
And I didn't just collect them, I read them too. I liked to name the past presenters and compare the stunts and features with the ones on the program at the time.
The big thing for me though, the thing that made this show different, special even, were the badges.
Age nine I could recite them to you. What each badge was and how you could earn them. From simply writing a letter and getting the blue badge right up to saving someones life and getting a gold.
It was inevitable really that before long I wrote my letter, trying to get my badge.
It was whilst we were living in the Falkland Islands. A photo of one of the presenters had reached our local paper when she flew in a helicopter on the island.
I cut it out and typed up a letter about what life was like as a child on the island.
I expected to get a nicely worded letter in return.
I was one of the lucky ones.
I was read out on the program. No lie, my letter was read out in the "mailbag" feature.
If this wasn't excitement enough a month or so later (post was slow in the Falklands) I received my badge and the booklet of places I was entitled to get into free whilst wearing it.
I was so proud of that badge.
I was so proud to go out wearing it.
I watched Blue Peter, I was dedicated enough to have earned my badge.
Here was the deal with Blue Peter though. If you wrote a second letter you were entitled to the next level badge. The Silver badge.
I duly wrote another letter and waited expectantly.
The nicely worded letter came but with it, not a silver badge, but another blue one. We had moved house by this point and naturally they assumed I was a new "Abi Beach" not the same one who had written from the Falklands.
I remember feeling sad about this for a while but also a bit special. The other children could keep their silver badges. I had two blue ones and I don't think many people can say they have that!
Today I am joining in with the lovely Sian and her Storytelling Sunday- pick your precious. Do pop over to visit other bloggers and read about their precious things.