Souvenir pin badges have been popular since the turn of the twentieth century, with their low price and bright colours making them ideal as souvenirs and promotional items. By the 1970s technology allowed small scale amateur production to be undertaken for special events, as seen by the proliferation of Rag week badges at universities at this point. The military also recognised the power of simple pin badges. They were cheap enough to give away or sell for pocket money prices, they were hugely popular amongst children who would then wear them and walk around advertising the services to potential recruits and so they were a great marketing ploy for boosting interest.
Today we are looking at three different pin badges that I believe date from the late 1980s or early 1990s. All have a Royal Navy connection and were bought at the same time so were probably collected by the same person at the time. First off we have a generic Royal Navy badge, with the white ensign and the initials ‘RN’ in the particular font style popular in the late 1980s and early 1990s:
The next badge is a little earlier and I think dates from the 1970s as the aircraft carrier shown seems to be the old HMS Ark Royal without a ski ramp at one end, this is from the popular Portsmouth Navy Days when the base and fleet were opened to the public:
The final badge in this trio depicts the ship’s badge of the Type 42 destroyer, HMS Exeter:
This ship served from 1981 until 2008, but again I suspect the badge is more likely to date from the mid 80s to the mid 90s. I have now picked up seven or eight different badges relating to the RN of this style and they make a fun and cheap little area of collecitng to get into.