Mrs Thatcher in Downing Street; Black Monday on Wall Street; undaunted, at Collie Books in Tooting we started writing the first Postscript catalogue of academic tomes. No colours, no pictures, but it worked ...
The end of the Cold War - and amid the optimism, Postscript launched into colour - at least on the outside - but still no pictures. Collie Books had the picture books and titles like Learned Pigs and Fireproof Women. How could we compete?
Postscript and Collie Books joined forces in a double, illustrated catalogue - with the likes of The Fireside Book of Deadly Diseases in Part One and The Hieroglyphics of Horapolla in the Academic Part Two.
Postscript sneaked on to the internet and almost nobody noticed.
At last - Postscript number 77 appears in glorious colour, the cover doing justice to John Hassle’s 1911 poster for the GNR (from Bon Voyage! Travel Posters of the Edwardian Era).
We celebrated the 100th catalogue with a portrait of a rather ferocious Sir Richard Burton in Arab attire. We also launched our first website: www.psbooks.co.uk (Mk 1).
Another milestone, another free book: The Continuum Encyclopedia of Symbols in a paperback edition specially printed for Postscript. The gigantic cedar on the 150th cover was from Thomas Pakenham’s Meetings with Remarkable Trees.
Having survived the financial crisis, we posted Catalogue number 200 in September, with our own reprint of The Penguin Book of Classical Myths to give away.
In October 2011, Postscript and Sandpiper (our parent company), a decades’ worth of paperwork and a lorry load of computers left downtown Tooting and moved to Heathfield in Devon.
This sprightly couple marched across catalogue 206 and the home page of a new, improved www.psbooks.co.uk. The image, originally a Southern Railway’s poster, was reproduced in A Day in the Sun: Outdoor Pursuits in Art in the 1930s.
Our 25th anniversary cover was a detail from Colonel James Todd Travelling by Elephant which featured on the jacket of our birthday present to customers: Niall Ferguson’s Empire. We didn’t notice that the elephant had five legs until 2013.
In August we found another fat man cavorting on the beach (from a 1933 LNER poster in It’s Quicker by Rail) for the cover of the first smaller format, 68-page catalogue. Proof that less really is more.
The 250th Postscript! To celebrate we reprinted John Betjeman’s Collected Poems as our give-away book and everyone was happy, even customers in Slough.
Three decades! For Postscript’s 30th year we had magnificent Arabian horses on cover number 285 and our own reprint of Brewer’s Famous Quotations to give away. Amazingly, we still have three of the original team from 1987: the managing director, the buyer and the copywriter.
The January catalogue was number 300, with free copies of our latest reprint, Philip Parker’s splendid History of Britain in Maps; and in August, after an heroic pursuit of biodegradable labels and sticky tape, Postscript went GREEN.