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The Old Button Box. As well as reviving some wonderful memories Jane Coates unearths “Sylvie’s” amazing talent

5 October 2020

One of the ladies who under more normal circumstances attends our Beacon café is also someone I’ve had the pleasure of keeping in touch with right through lockdown.

She is a wonderful, generous and very creative lady and I have built up a strong connection with her. Using the pseudonym Sylvie Jacques this lady writes children’s stories that I type up for her and she is also very artistic. I type and she illustrates.

This week she showed me one of her scrap books and I spotted this poem, the subject of which will I’m sure be familiar to many if not all of us. Indeed in my case the mysteries and delights of the old button box live on as I still have my grandma’s.

The illustrations that sit alongside the poem are also Sylvie’s work; what a talented lady she is and I am so grateful to her for giving permission for us to share them.


The Old Button Box

By Sylvie Jacques

As a treat, Mother used to say,

“I’m sure you’ll find it in the old button box.!”


Whatever was lost, was found.

Whatever we didn’t have……

We found it in the old button box.


Treasures to be found in the old button box.

Sequins, ribbon, thread

Buttons galore…… small ones, large ones….

Round buttons, square buttons,

Coloured buttons, Mother of Pearl buttons,

Glass buttons, wooden buttons.

Bits of lace, bobbins and needles,

Even a pair of angel wings.


Sometimes we’d count the colours.

Sometimes we’d use the buttons as money and buy whatever we liked.

Oh, what a delight… Mother’s old button box.


Now I’m older, I remember why

We loved the box so much.

Mother could remember where every button came from…

every clothes that owned them and every child that wore them and all the stories that went with them.

And that was the treasure in Mother’s old button box.



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