We’re all fairly familiar with recycling these days, and for older people it must seem strange to witness this fervour for carefully sorting and dumping different types of material, as it was second nature to most people especially during the war years (and I’m old enough to recall a time when most glass bottles had a deposit value). Yet while I was familiar with the scrap metal and paper drives during the war, I’d not heard of record recycling being actively encouraged. This sticker encouraging people to hand in their unwanted 78s turned up on a very beaten up sleeve recently. It implies that the scheme was funded by the Gramophone Companies to address the shortage of raw materials during the war years and designed to get at the raw shellac and enable new titles to be pressed.
It’s a fab little sticker, seemingly printed by Rushworth’s, one of the best known of Liverpool’s music shops. But similar schemes operated all over, with one Canadian collector owning a sleeve which offers customers between 5 and 8 cents a discs salvage value.
“Future supplies depend on YOU.”
Anyway, I did a bit of hunting around and found this Pathe news short on the subject of recycling records (or record salvage as it was called then), which has some amazing scenes in it. Somehow as we all try and do our bit to keep record shops going it (Record Store Day is April 18th this year) seemed appropriate!