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Page last updated at 14:37 GMT, Monday, 27 September 2010 15:37 UK
Were you in The Hartlepool Mail's Chipper Club?
Chipper Club badge, with it's owner Sheila O'Driscoll
Chipper Club badge, with it's owner Sheila O'Driscoll

In the early 1970s, the Hartlepool Mail set up The Chipper Club for younger readers.

The club encouraged the younger readers to engage with the newspaper by contributing to the Chipper Club page.

The club ended, but many Hartlepudlians hold it in their hearts, including Sheila O'Driscoll who brought along her Chipper Club badge to a BBC Tees event.

And now the club lives on, thanks to A History of the World.


The club as named after Chipper the dog, who encouraged kids to write in, send in pictures they'd drawn, and share their date of birth with the reward of a mention on their birthday.

Neil Green
BBC Tees' Neil Green is Hartlepool born and bred!

BBC Tees' Neil Green was in the Chipper Club in the mid 1980s:

"It was a great feeling see your name in the Hartlepool Mail and would mean you would get a free swim at Mill House Leisure Centre.

"One day I went down to the centre at the age of seven and showed them the article... Only to find there was another seven-year-old Neil Green in the town and it was his turn!"

"When you joined you got a free paper hat, I remember that.

"I loved it - I miss Chipper the dog even nearly 30 years later."

Your comments

Sarah Challis: I was a member of the Chipper Club, even though we lived in Stockton.

I can remember how excited I was when I had a letter printed in the paper...it started along the lines of "I don't live in Hartlepool, but my Nana does..." If memory serves, my letter wasn't the only one that began in a similar fashion!

Antony Isgate: I was in the Chipper Club but only sent in one letter but I was proud to see something that I had written was in my local paper.

Garry Winn: My daughters born in 1973 and 1976 were both members of the Chipper club and along with friends from Grange Infant School regularly featured in the Mail on a Friday.

They still have photos in their scrap books which were out when they were home recently. We moved to Guisborough in 1981.

Linda Robinson: I joined the Chipper Club in the mid 1960s when it was first launched in the Northern Daily Mail. The Northern Daily Mail became the Hartlepool Mail and my original green, black and white Chipper Club badge became the more modern badge as seen in your photograph. In fact, at the age of 51, I still have my original Chipper Club badge.

I loved being in the Chipper Club and especially enjoyed the colouring in competitions where I was often lucky enough to win tickets to go to the local cinema to see new films coming out with my younger brother.

When my children where younger, I told them about the Chipper Club and we named our family dog Chipper.

Were you in the Chipper Club? Share your memories with us:

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