PG Tips –
I remember the annual Brooke Bond PG Tips free event in Totton, Hampshire which was held at the Empire Hall. Hundreds of young children went along and we would all sit crossed legged on the floor facing the front and would be shown a film from a projector whirring at the back. The films were about tea; how it was grown, picked, dried and made into the best tea you could ever buy which of course was Brooke Bond PG Tips! At the end of the story of tea the film then showed the Chimps tea party with the famous Tipps family of chimpanzees which were dressed in clothes and had tea around a table. As kids this was the best bit, little did we know that most of the Chimps were youngsters because they were less aggressive and that they did not have a natural life as they should do, but we would grow up to be a generation that campaigned against animal cruelty. I think there may have been some live chimps at the event but cannot be sure of my memory, I know there were lots of giveaways, colouring papers and pens, coupons off the next packet of tea bought and some lucky kids got a Brooke Bond toy Chimp. I would look forward each year to going and sitting on the floor with all the children who would later grow up and join the growing campaign against cruelty to animals. Around this time chimpanzees were also shown on television smoking cigarettes which the public thought hilarious.
Back in history the anthropomorphising of all kinds of animals became a popular amusement but usually in drawings and paintings. In 1956 Brooke Bond started to use chimpanzees for their advertising campaigns which worked as one of their best ever.
Does anyone else remember this in their childhood or town in the UK?