are several Ladybird titles that are highly sought-after by
collectors and memory-laners alike. The following Ladybird books
are the rarest of the rare and don't surface on the market for
sale too often.
Click on an image for more details
updating . . .
The Computer -
special M.O.D. edition
This book is without doubt the rarest
of Ladyibrd's publications.
The Computer from the How
it Works series 654 is quite a common title in it's
standard trade edition. But this edition was also printed privately
for the Ministry of Defence in 1972.
Up until recently we started to believe this book to be a myth
as we had never come across an edition or heard of anyone owning
one, but after getting in touch with Douglas Keen, long-serving
Editorial Director of Ladybird Books, it's existance was varified.
question 4 in our interview with Mr Keen
This private edition was limited to 80 - 100 copies and was
printed without the usual Ladybird copyright information, and
was produced in plain boards.The plain printing style of these
80 editions was at the request of the M.O.D., as they did not
want their trainee staff to know that they were learning from
a Ladybird book.
Some collectors doubt the existence of this book and although
we have never seen a copy, we have spoken to an ex-employee
of Ladybird who confirmed it's printing and kindly gave us the
In our exhaustive search for this title the M.O.D. did spare
the time to have a look at their library archive but came up
with nothing. Although this was not exactly a state of National
Security, they did say that it is possible that the book still
existed as their archive only included books. They suggested
that 'our title' could have been considered a training pamphlet
which would not belong in their database.
If you have information relating to this absent title then we
would love to hear from you!!
our page on other collectable Ladybird ephemera >
In 1906 William Hepworth became a partner to Henry Wills - the new parnership was called Wills & Hepworth.