THIS sexily stylised space age view of a Victor nuclear bomber graced the cover of a 1959 brochure that accompanied an open day at RAF Middleton St George. It is one of thousands of interesting items that will be available at the Darlington Book Fair next Saturday (May 12).

The RAF At Home Day was held annually to commemorate the Battle of Britain, to act as a PR exercise to get people onto the base, and to raise funds for the RAF Benevolent Fund.

The day featured a three-hour flying programme featuring Hunters, Javelins and Meteors, plus Vulcan, Valiant and Canberra bombers would be putting on displays.

The 1959 brochure encapsulates the spirit of its age – it was both the nuclear age and the space age. The first four Victor bombers had become operational in April 1958 and carried Britain’s nuclear deterrent – they could be airborne within four minutes, and, of course, the Soviet Union was the target that the pilots had practised attacking.

The adverts in the brochure define the period, with the Daily Express proclaiming that it was “the jet age paper”.

The newly-launched Triumph Herald – “it’s a new experience in motoring!” – featuring heavily. It was sold by the Cleveland Car Company of Grange Road, Darlington.

FW Woolworth’s was celebrating its Golden Jubilee, having been formed in 1909. “When you walk into your local Woolworth’s you have at your service Britain’s most efficient organisation for bringing goods from the manufacturers to the people who want them,” said its advert.

“You have plainly marked prices on everything. You have value that only Woolworth’s can offer.

“When you walk into Woolworth’s you walk into more than a shop.”

But perhaps the most eye-catching advert features a debonair lady with daring white nail varnish who seems to be trying to exercise mind control over a perplexed-looking white cat. Somehow this is advertising Bristol cigarettes.

The brochure will be available for inspection at the Book Fair which runs from 10am to 4pm at the Queen Elizabeth Sixth Form College in Vane Terrace.