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Chandy ashtrays

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mmsc ash

The small orange triangular ashtray in the centre of this picture and in the pictures below is the earliest and rarest of the five different ashtrays. It carries the slogan, “The family drink – all the family drink”, which we believe dates it to around 1966 when Chandy were using that slogan.


We weren’t aware of the existence of this ashtray until October 2014 when (because we ended up buying it as part of a job lot of various promotional ashtrays) it effectively became the Chandy Museum’s most expensive acquisition to date.


We now know that Chandy produced at least five different promotional ashtrays in the 1960s and 1970s, examples of all of which we now have in our collection. All these are plastic or melamine as opposed to ceramic ashtrays.



The reverse of the ‘Family drink’ ashtray apparently credits three companies with its creation with the words “Ornamin by Cosmocord Ltd for Symonds Dist. Ltd”.  Ornamin is a well-known name in the production of plastic products familiar to us from the 1970s Chandy ashtrays (see below). Cosmocord Ltd was a company based in Waltham Cross, Hertfordshire in the 1960s, manufacturing microphones, pick-up arms for record players, test instruments and the like. They also it seems dabbled in ashtrays. About Symonds Distribution Ltd we can find nothing.

© 2014-2024 Lewis Williams

The two ashtrays pictured on the left date from, we believe, around 1969. Both adopt Chandy's controversial "Drink and drive/Drink Chandy drive" slogan (more about that here). These two ashtrays are similar to each other, but the one shown on the right does not include the Chandy lion in the centre of the design. Neither of these two ashtrays carry a manufacturer's mark.


The other two ashtrays pictured below, which are the same size and shape as each other, date from, we believe, the early-1970s and are both marked “Ornamin Great Brtiain 7571". Ornamin 7571 pattern ashtrays were also produced in the early-1970s to promote the likes of Mackeson stout and Whitbread Trophy bitter. Ornamin, a German company, is still around today, but no longer manufacturing in Britain and, we suspect, no longer doing a roaring trade in pub ashtrays.

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