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Pond Life

Pond Life Tea Cards

F. Lamberts is primarily known as British tea merchants, tobacconists and confectioners. We are interested in issues of tea cards. This set was issued with Lambert & Son's tea in 1964. It is an attractive and informative set containing color pictures of all the critters crawling around the pond. It looks at all aspects of life in and around our ponds. The colorful cards were designed to get people studying this environment as the first card explains that "collecting and studying the living organisms which live in fresh water is a fascinating hobby and one which is accessible to most people". There are detailed pictures of different Water Beetles, Dragonflies, Minnows, Sticklebacks including their nest, Frogs including their tadpoles, Pond Snails, Newts, Toads, Crayfish, Coots, Moor-Hens, the Arrowhead water plant, Water Insects, May-Flies and a Water Vole. There are plenty of great facts about the subjects on the numbered backs making this an ideal set for my collection or yours.

The series consisted of 25 cards and was issued in 1964. Card size is 68 x 36mm. Since the product was primarily loose tea, it is not known how the cards were distributed to the customers. Tea tins have survived but I am unaware of any boxes like we would find on the bagged teas. If you know how they distributed the tea cards, please reach out and let me know so we all can know.

Some of Lambert's sets were singular to Lambert while others were shared with other issuers. The "Pond Life" series was also issued by Bishops Stortford Dairy Farmers, Musgrave Brothers, and in Grenada by A.C.W. Francis in 1967.

In other cases we can collect an album, coupons, ads and more. In this case, I have yet to find any of that for this series although albums exist for other Lambert series. If you have pics showing any of the above, please reach out and we will post it here. Until then, we have to assume that all we have to collect are the cards and perhaps an album or maybe a tin.

What do the cards look like?

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Samples of the Pond Life Set

Here are some of the 25 cards from the set. They individually measure 36 x 68 mm. The card number and the name of each scene is indicated on the card back along with the details of what is portayed. At the bottom of the cards it says that it is "Issued with T.V.T.   B.O.P.  Special & Blue Blends  Ceylon & Fen Blends". It finishes with Lamberts Of Norwich, Tea Specialists. The cards are written in English only. You might be curious what "B. O. P." means. Me too. I saw on a wrapper that it stands for Broken, Orange, and Pekoe. Still not resolved in your mind? Mine either.

Do you have a picture of the album?

I'm afraid I have no images of an album but I still believe they exist. Why? Because I have seen Lambert albums for two of the other series. For now, we await someone to grace us with a picture.

I wonder what the box looks like?

We all wonder... because the tea was (mostly) sold loose. I have seen tins, like the one shown below, but no boxes. Make sure you check out the inside lid. You can tell this held the loose stuff.

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Tea Tin
Tea Tin

Pond Life Card Checklist

Need to know the titles of all 25 cards? No problem! Here they are in a neat sortable list. There is a scan of each as well, just click the links to the card pictures. Enjoy!

This set and the rest of the Lamberts are simple to collect in that you go for the cards and maybe an album... and a tin if you wish. There is nothing else that I am aware to collect.

Pond Life - Cards Issued

Card Number Card Description
1 Studying Pond Life  
2 Dragon-Flies  
3 Water Beetles  
4 Dragon-Flies  
5 Great Water Beetle  
6 Caddis-Flies  
7 Damsel-Flies  
8 Minnows  
9 Ten-Spined Stickleback  
10 Three-Spined Stickleback  
11 Sticklebacks & Nest  
12 Frogs  
13 Frog Spawn  
14 Tadpole Into Frog  
15 Pond Snails  
16 Smooth Newt  
17 Warty Newt  
18 Common Toad  
19 Freshwater Crayfish  
20 May-Fly  
21 Coot  
22 Moor-Hen  
23 Arrowhead  
24 Water Insects  
25 Water Vole  

Collect the 25 cards and you have the Pond Life set covered. OK, throw in an album or a tin. The set is an interesting British collectable.

Last modified: May 12, 2023

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