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Robertson Jam Badges

late 20th Century

A set of badges, collected with tokens from jars of Robertson jam and marmalade.

The badges were produced for James Robertson & Sons Ltd, Droylsden. They were collected by a man from Droylsden who used to pop into the factory shop to exchange his tokens for goods. During the 1980s and 1990s he collected hundreds of items of Robertson merchandise.

These badges represent the social history of company loyalty schemes; everyone remembers collecting tokens from one product or another and sending off for the linked merchandise. This was one of the earliest such schemes, launching in 1928, and went on to become the longest running in history.

Over twenty million Gollies were sent out to customers who saved up the tokens from the back of the jam jars. The scheme ended in 2001 when the Golly trademark was dropped. The Golly failed to appeal to a new generation of children and was considered by some to be racist.