The Yellow Pages: the frustrating search for the book, Fly Fishing

THE YELLOW PAGES WAS ONCE the first stop for finding a plumber. We’d flick through the pages to find an insurance broker. J.R. Hartley managed to find a copy of his book, Fly Fishing, by flicking through the Yellow Pages.

The chunky yellow book was packed with loads of contacts providing services. Back in the day, the yellow pages would have a usual place next to the dial telephone. In many homes, both the Telephone Book and Yellow Pages (perched on a table) would greet you when entering the hallway.

The frustration of J.R. Hartley and a winning advert

Sadly J.R. Hartley didn’t have a copy of his own book and ended up trawling from bookshop to bookshop trying to find one. His attempt to find a copy proved to be draining and unsuccessful – the weary look on the well-spoken, elderly gentleman touched millions of hearts.

Luckily his caring daughter comes to the rescue by recommending Yellow Pages and the rest of the story is a lovely piece of heart-warming advertising history.

Big and useful 

The yellow pages was huge and chunky. A massive thud on the doorstep was notice of it’s arrival! The chunky book of contacts and services had other uses too. That ‘just out of reach’ book on top shelf became reachable with the help of the yellow pages. Over the years the yellow pages has also been successfully used a doorstop!

The diet and disappearance

Nowadays the yellow pages is incredibly slim – it’s been on a serious diet for the last 28 years. If we need a plumber, the internet will probably be our first port of call. The yellow pages is useless as a height booster or a doorstop these days. J.R. Hartley may find it a tad tricky finding a bookshop that stocks a copy of Fly Fishing in the trimmed 2018 version. Sadly, 2019 was the final nail in its coffin: the last print run of the helpful yellow book: RIP Yellow Pages, 1966 – 2019.

Watch the advert by clicking the image below:

Remember when Big Daddy and Giant Haystacks threw their weight around the wrestling ring? A time when the Milk Tray Man secretly delivered chocolates. Mr Kipling made exceedingly good cakes but what was your favourite? Fun, straplines and nostalgic photos in the new hardback book, Section N Underpass, a nostalgic trip reliving advertising, leisure and entertainment from the 70s and 80s – fiction with loads of interesting facts. Click any of the images below to get the rundown:

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