please empty your brain below

I learned to read with Ladybird books.
Now my kids are learning to read with Ladybird books - at home, at least. The current school alternative offerings are vastly inferior, IMHO.
If you have a network Gold card (or any other railcard) the Bexhill return fare is about £20
Ah, Ladybird. A British cultural icon. The evolution of the images in the Peter and Jane books is a lesson in social history by itself. We got to about book 8 with our children before they branched off to reading other things.

Is there anyone selling short, cheap non-fiction books of this sort any more? There are a few choices for fiction - Beastquest and colour fairies and the like - but not for history or science etc like Ladybird used to do.
Hadn't heard about the DaySave ticket before today - thanks DG!
Fantastic - I feel a day trip coming on. Thanks DG! x
I have long been an admirer of the De La Warr pavilion and now I have a good reason to go there again. Thanks,DG. Btw,being old means that my travelling costs are kept down by the freedom pass and senior railcard. I am so lucky! 😊 now to have a rummage in the bookshelves,I think I still have a Ladybird that entertained my sons.
I still have my copy of 'Bridges' published in 1974. I used it many years later when teaching scientists and engineers to write their technical reports in a more appropriate and understandable language.
Not just adults over 40! I'm in my 20s and grew up reading Ladybird books too - my parents still had all theirs and they were (and indeed still are) cheap to pick up from charity shops for parents on a budget who want to give their kids educational things to read.
Ah yes, the Tricks and Magic one! I recall matches and matchboxes featured in many of the tricks, such as making one stand up on the back of your hand. Our parents let us have free reign with boxes of matches - to think of the havoc we could have caused!

I'll have to look them out when I next visit my dad where I think (hope!) all the old Ladybirds are still in storage.
Rather bad demand planning that the catalogue is sold out already! The shop manager must be either kicking themself, organising a reprint or both, pronto!
There's a list by the till for anyone interested in a reprint of the £20 Ladybird book book.
Will nip over and have a look. We usually go to the De La Warr for a coffee every couple of weeks or so anyway.

Must confess that although being well over 40 and coming from a very bookish family, I'm vaguely aware of Ladybird books but have never knowingly seen inside one. Perhaps my parents thought they were too childish and might distract me from my assigned reading of War and Peace.
The gallery website should absolutely link to your report DG, it makes the perfect case for going. And thank you for giving such a lovely word-picture of the books for those of us who can't make it down from the frozen North.
By coincidence I happen to be in Bexhill today. I saw a sign to the exhibition and thought it sounded interesting. Having read your review I shall definitely go next time I'm here.
Aaah Ladybird books! Such memories of sitting at my bedroom window with my well thumbed copy of Garden Birds in hand, and of sniggering with my friends at the picture of the stark naked family in the back of Your Body!
Is there smell-o-vision? I recall Ladybird books had a particular 'smell' - quite pleasant but also very distinctive. A library I worked at briefly had a set - all retained their 'smell' despite being loaned to small people with sticky hands etc. I could never work out why the pictures had to be 'painted' when a photo would have sufficed. (Dorling Kindersley clearly didn't have to think too hard to create their 'brand' after all.)
Oooh, one of today's De La Warr photos has gone hyper-popular on Flickr.

De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill
I would not have known what a Ladybird book was until I was 10. I was given a Rupert Bear book when I was 4 and learned to read from that. My grandma (they lived with you then) read to me and she suddenly realised I was reading the long bits underneath, with her, instead of the rhyme couplets.
Yes! Found it! One last book tucked away- The Lifeboatmen!👍
Where has the Italian Job coach, that was balancing on the roof of the DeLaWarr Pavillion gone ?

I know we've had some strong winds of late, but that could have done some real damage blowing through the streets of Bexhill like tumble weed.

Seriously, though, does anybody know what happened to it afterwards ?
Like commenter Jo W @ 9.52am, I just had to rummage through my books. Found three Ladybirds – Nursery Rhymes; Rocks & Minerals; Handwriting – from the 1960s, price 2/6d, roughly £5 in today’s money. The nursery rhyme illustrations by Frank Hampson are superb.
The Ladybird 'How it works: The Computer' was reputably handed out to company directors who hadn't a clue (i.e. they came from sales) in the 60-70's. I have a copy, and it's spot on the money when dealing with mainframes.
And then I found this, about a special printing for the MoD:
Martin, many thanks for your link to The Wee Web. What a great little website. I laughed out loud at the information that "The plain printing style of these 80 editions was at the request of the M.O.D., as they did not want their trainee staff to know that they were learning from a Ladybird book."

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