Did I Really Want One of Those? 12. Neck Glass

Jewellery for wine lovers or forgetful drinkers

05 January 2014, 3.30pm: After a hard session on the Slimming Wheel, my partner fancied a 2008 Chardonnay which I won at a raffle in South Milford. It came from a Women’s Institute Beetle Drive, raising much needed cash for MacMillan Nurses. Then I found we were short of glasses. I suggested using one of four from our K-Tel Bottle Cutter. Or a frosted one which Auntie Norah gave me (my uncle won it on a Tombola at a beer festival in New Mills; the second prize was two of them).

In a desperate attempt, I tried the shed. Then I found this curio, whose last airing was in front of Nice Time or Do Not Adjust Your Set. I couldn’t imagine Germaine Greer, Denise Coffey or David Jason being seen with one of them… even in 1969.

The Neck Glass

It is 1971. You are trapped in a Prenwain Developments semi-detached house with a mortgage though aspire to sell it for one like George Best’s abode. Then, a fellow colleague of yours pulls up in a trendy Hillman Imp. You are driven to a palatial house in Prestbury where your trusty chauffeur and yourself are envious at his rich friend’s pad. Motown and Stax soul music could be heard from their music centre. Then they play ABBA’s new single, a wedding influenced number.

Then you see another two items from Scandinavia; the P.A.’s Saab arrives. After wiping your feet, you are greeted by a lanky male with a bottle of Black Tower. He then passes you a strange glass. A wearable one. A neck glass.

The Neck Glass is a Danish invention manufactured by Holmegaard of Copenhagen, designed by Christer Holmgren. It looks like a cross between a police officer’s whistle, a dome from St. Basil’s Cathedral, Moscow, and the flowered part of a thistle. The drinker would wear the glass like a compact camera with the leather strap around one’s neck. He or she would have their hands free for holding a cigar or cigarette, taking pictures with an Instamatic camera, or for raiding the buffet.

Though brilliant in that aspect, highly unrecommended on the dance floor for obvious reasons or any other strenuous movement. How many people mistakenly tried to leave their neck glass unattended without spilling their drink or watching it roll over, thus crashing on the floor? Yet, the tube they came in showed two male/female couples dancing around (they’ll do themselves a mischief, especially the one who looks like Trisha Yates from Grange Hill). I bet none of them had a Hillman Imp.

*                                *                                *

1970 price: Unknown.

2013 price: one example sold for 25 Rand on a South African auction site. Which (on the 29 November 2013 was) a staggering £1.50.

S.V., 12 December 2013.

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