Ruminations and recipes from a small kitchen in a big city.


The Book Detective.

These books were common in the 1950s and early 1960s when they were imported from Britain for the huge Australian baby boomer market, then still in their infancy to early teens.

They were often given as birthday or Christmas gifts; Lego, electronic devices and gift vouchers were yet to be invented. (However, there was Airfix.) Today they are hardly collectors' items but their retro illustration styles are of interest.

I found the above example above in the Melbourne CBD's last second-hand bookstore, a goldmine in a basement off Flinders Street. You could spend a week in there and not get bored.

I got Film Fun Annual 1955 home and opened it. Just before the title page was a feature common to older books. This was the 'This Book Belongs To ...' page, shown below.

I looked closely at the inscribed name.

Now, just a moment. That is not a common name. Could there have been two - or more - Ralph Doubells in Melbourne in 1955? Quite possibly. But somehow I doubt it.

If anyone knows Ralph Doubell, tell him I have his book. He can have it back again if he wants it.


City Basement Books
Basement, 342 Flinders St.,


Ralph Doubell earlier mentioned in this blog here.

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