Golly Corner: FAQ


Q. What Golly merchandise is still available from Robertson's?

A. No Golly brooches or other merchandise can be obtained from Robertson's. The very last Golly brooch was issued on 11th November 2002.

Q. What other Golly badges are/will be available from other sources?

Q. Will I be able to use any remaining Golly tokens to purchase the new Robertson's Roald Dahl merchandise?

A. Officially, you must collect the new style Roald Dahl tokens. The Roald Dahl badges are 1.25 each with 3 tokens per badge as it used to be for the golly badges. However, it is worth a try!

Q. When is the next set of Golly brooches due to be issued from Robertson's?

A. Robertson's will be issuing no more Golly brooches, nor giving approval for any more to be made by anybody else. The final one to be made with their approval was Sara's Badge which continues to be available through 2004. Robertson's have replaced the Golly scheme with a Roald Dahl scheme and this site will carry News of any issues which are planned.

Q. How do I get hold of brooches no longer issued by Robertson's?

Q. Before August 2001, I saw James Robertson and Sons products outside the UK, but they did not have a Golly token on them. Why was this?

A. James Robertson and Sons only ever used the Golly image in some parts of the world including the U.K. and Australia but not the U.S.A. nor Canada. Hong Kong used the Golly image up until recently, however, since its return to China, the Golly image was removed from the jars. Merchandise was only shipped within the UK from James Robertson & Sons, or within Australia from Riviana, therefore the tokens have no purpose in other countries.(Thanks to Jan Ross for the update on Hong Kong)

Q. I live in Australia – how do I purchase Golly brooches?

A. In August 2002, Riviana confirmed they had no more Golly badges or other merchandise available. Riviana Foods are the Australian distributers of Robertson's jam. Some work has been done in determining which number Gold Farewell and Santa & Rudolph badges were issued in Australia. They now run the Roald Dahl badge scheme in place of the Golly scheme.

(The information regarding the supply of brooches in this section was supplied by Elizabeth Bannister – thanks Lizziebee for keeping us up-to-date right until the end!)

Elizabeth is very happy to answer any Aussie Golly related questions, if you would like to contact her I'll pass on Elizabeth's email address to you.

Being an Australian you may be interested in the Arnott's Scalliwag brooch.

Additionally, Richard Burton has an Australian Golly set (non-Robertson's) that he has produced.

Q. Do Robertson's have a master collection containing all the memorabilia released over the years?

A. They do not. However, the promotions department started a collection from the 1996 Set onwards.

Q. How do you display your brooches?

A. On the Internet! In the light of the real world I have come across the following methods:–

Q. Why did I never receive leaflets from Robertson's promoting limited editions/new releases?

A. With limited editions such as the Silver Millennium brooch, no advertising leaflets were distributed as the brooches were all but sold out before the leaflets would have been printed. Since 1998 Robertson's collated a database to record all their collectors and allocated each collector with a customer number. Robertson's did mailshots from this database, but as with the Gollympic set, this did not guarantee you would receive a leaflet. The mail shots were picked out at random from the database. This site informed collectors of new issues from 1998 onwards and always encouraged the use of your customer number. The only mailshot which was targeted was the one for the Golden Farewell. This was done by analysing the database to find their top 5000 collectors. Only those who consistently quoted their customer number when ordering would have had their purchasing behaviour recorded accurately and stood any chance of making it into the top 5000.

Q. How do I obtain a Robertson's customer number?

A. If you have ordered anything from Robertson's lately you should have had a delivery note document with it. On it there is a box headed 'Customer No'. The number in this box is your customer number and the one you should quote when ordering. It is also printed on the address label of any goods you receive from them. Unless you are intending to collect the new Roald Dahl brooches, it seems likely that the customer number is of little value anymore to the Golly brooch collector.

Q. What is the best way of expanding/starting my own Robertson's Golly brooch collection?

A. My recommendations are: –

  1. Colin Dodds' books and CD guide are excellent reads and will give you a great insight into what is available to collect – variations and all! It will also help you spot genuine Robertson's brooches.
  2. If it is important to you that your badges retain their value, always try and ensure you buy genuine Robertson's badges in the best condition that you can find and/or afford.
  3. eBay is accessible and easy to use. It is a great source of Golly Badges. Make sure you study the going price for the badges you are after before you start bidding for badges. There is a helpful link to eBay from the Related Sites section which focus' on Golly Badges. Make sure you know what you're buying and remember that convenience can come at a price! Also make sure you study the rating of the seller before you buy from them.
  4. To look for second hand Golly brooches join the Badge Collectors Circle. They have lots of second hand brooches. Also there is a very good swapmeet they hold at Quorn in October each year which is a great opportunity to see badges in the metal rather than just seeing them on-line.
  5. There is a very successful on-line Yahoo! Group called GollyBCII which is well worth joining – it's free! As well as trading between members via the Internet, there are opportunities to meet your fellow members and swap in person via the Sunday Lunch Club.
  6. If you are just starting a collection I would recommend starting with the cheaper/more common badges e.g. the later sets that Robertson's issued. It will give you a chance to practise the points above before going for the rarer badges. It is less costly to make a mistake on the cheaper badges!

Q. How do I know what is a fair price to expect to pay for/sell a brooch?

A. Pricing second hand brooches is not that simple – they do not have a fixed price. People are prepared to pay different prices depending on how much they want a brooch. I try not to discuss prices as brooches are far too expensive and dealers are the only ones that benefit from setting price expectations. Once a price is declared – no one is going to sell one for less. However, one thing I can tell you from monitoring auctions is that there can be a 100% variation from one month to the next – who says what price is right? The only reasonable route is to monitor prices (via postal auctions if necessary or ebay) yourself and pay what a badge is worth to you.

Q. How do Centura and RHM relate to Robertson's?

A. Robertson's were owned by Tomkins up until August 2000. The Tomkins Group wished to concentrate on their engineering interests and so formed Doughty Hanson & Co in August 2000. RHM Europe is divided into several sections of which Centura foods is one. It is Centura foods that Robertson's belong to and appear on their compliments slips.
(Thanks to Ruth Doyle for spotting the sale of RHM Europe to Doughty Hanson & Co)

Q. I own some Jelly Baby badges. Are they a full set and how do they relate to Robertson's.

A. The Jelly Babies were issued by Robertson's in conjunction with Trebor Bassett in 1993. The badges had to be ordered from Robertson's. Basset made a jam called, "Bassett's Jelly Babies Baby Bigheart's Blackcurrant Pure Fruit Seedless Jam".

The characters are called:-

  • Baby Brilliant (brown with a B on the chest)
  • Baby Bigheart (green, both fists clenched against the chest)
  • Baby Bubbles (yellow)
  • Baby Boofuls (green, sitting with legs apart and crying!)
  • Baby Bumper (orange)
  • Baby Bonny (pink/brown, crawling on all fours with bonnet on)

Q. I have a "Sweet Nell" badge. Was this issued by Robertson's?

A. No, it was issued by a competitor. Several other producers of jam and marmalades issued enamel brooches. 'Sweet Nell' was used by Nell Gwynne Marmalade in an attempt to compete with Robertson's Golden Shred, which reportedly had more than 50% of the marmalade market at that time. The Owners of Nell Gwynne, Crosbies Preserving Company, were bought out by Robertson's in 1965.

Additional GollyBC Discussions

There are also some additional discussions from GollyBC members which are worth reading.

Q. Should Golly brooches be left in their bags?
GollyBC discussion.

Q. Should Golly brooches be cleaned?
GollyBC discussion.

Q. How can I get insurance for my collection?
GollyBC discussion.

Offer Application Address (U.K.)

Golly Postman Usual Address
Golly Promotions Unit
James Robertson & Sons
Fitzroy Street
M43 6DR

S I T E    M A P
Golly Corner: F.A.Q. / revised May 2012
Photographs & Text Copyright Liz Prigg © 1998–2012