... couldn't help thinking that the condition of the image could be a little improved. I troubled Nigel once more to ask about a new version and he engaged Lieutenant Pigeon Chief Executive, Bill Boswell who provided the lovely copy which is here above for your amusement.
And anyway, you can hear Mouldy Old Dough on The WORLD OF Hits Vol. 7 (SPA 360).
But wait. There’s more. Early in 2021, a year or so after completing the writing of this very chapter and a good few months after the publication of it as the final blog post, there came, from out of nowhere, Mr Tim Harley, with, the latest word on the LP that is known by the catalogue number, SPA 414.
Tim, a member of that fine body, the Collectors of Decca’s WORLD OFs, stumbled across The Cozooks of Brixham whilst searching for a source for replacements of a couple of WORLD OFs that he had in his collection but had become water-damaged during a house move. Serendipity moves in mysterious ways!
So, we engaged in a bit of friendly messaging and the conversation turned, as it sometimes does, to Lieutenant Pigeon with the casual revelation to the effect that, ‘ I think that now would be a suitable occasion to reveal that I have a test pressing pink label of SPA 414!’ and by way of taunting proof, this announcement was accompanied by the image below:
I think that now would be a suitable occasion to let Tim take up the story:
Once upon a time, a young man bought a copy of Decca’s World of Wowie Zowie when it was first issued.
When I was at college in Cheltenham in the 1970s I noticed that I was the only person not selling my records to make money. I was actually increasing the number of records I had and was not wasting money on booze, fags and marijuana. A collector was born!
I noticed that most second-hand record shops had a few World ofs for sale so, in the1990s, I thought,
“What a good idea it would be to collect the complete series. There can only be a couple of hundred. There are plenty around and they are only a pound each. No problem!!!
I bought a notebook and started listing them whilst trawling record and charity shops. Surely, I am not going to have to buy nearly 600!
Then there was the unissued SPA414.
I do not recall how this copy came to my attention or even which year it was in. My guess would the that it popped up as one of my eBay saved search alerts around 2010. I paid £100 plus. The seller was someone called Dave Ashby from Bury St Edmunds.
Inside the sleeve was the note dated 7/11/07 to Dave from Rock Revelations in Surrey (see below).
Also, inside was a print-out of this web-page from a Lieutenant Pigeon news site (selections from which are also below).
http://www.ranwell.co.uk/lt_pigeon/2007_news.htm which is still live.
… and here, as promised, an excerpt from Mr Bill Boswell’s piece:
Regular correspondent Dave Ashby of Bury St Edmunds has unearthed a gem. A copy of "The World of Lieutenant Pigeon" has turned up after all these years. He's managed to purchase said rare item and has been good enough to scan and send us pictures of the sleeve. The boys say they only received a test pressing of the album off Decca back in the mid 1970s, and were not even aware that front and back sleeve designs had been completed. They were given the catalogue number SKA 5226 at the time but then the record was deleted, before even the release date. Dave's copy of the back sleeve clearly shows the catalogue number SPA 414. This confirms that the number the boys were given by Decca all those years ago was false. Has anyone else got a copy of this very rare LP? The emergence of this copy is akin to someone finding a 1933 penny as far as we're concerned!
… and just for completeness:
Thank you very, very much to my new friend, Tim Harley!