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Published December 12, 2023 Updated March 25, 2024

Sally Ferries playing cards

Sally Ferries Euro playing cards and phrase pack, United Kingdom, c.1990s.

1990 Europe United Kingdom Berliner Spielkarten Sally Line UK Education Shipping Add to Collection

Sally Line UK (sometimes referred to as Sally Ferries UK) was a British ferry operator on the English Channel and North Sea. Founded in 1981 and operating from Ramsgate, the company ceased operations in 1998.

Each of the 52 cards displays an English phrase which is then translated into French, German, Spanish and Italian. The suits are devoted to a specific area of conversation: spades – travel; hearts – eating and drinking; diamonds – shopping; clubs – general. The two jokers provide contact details for Sally Ferries. See the box

Sally Ferries playing cards and phrase pack, United Kingdom Sally Ferries playing cards and phrase pack, United Kingdom Sally Ferries playing cards and phrase pack, United Kingdom

Above: Sally Ferries playing cards and phrase pack, United Kingdom (1990).

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By Peter Burnett

Member since July 27, 2022

I graduated in Russian and East European Studies from Birmingham University in 1969. It was as an undergraduate in Moscow in 1968 that I stumbled upon my first 3 packs of “unusual” playing cards which fired my curiosity and thence my life-long interest. I began researching and collecting cards in the early 1970s, since when I’ve acquired over 3,330 packs of non-standard cards, mainly from North America, UK and Western Europe, and of course from Russia and the former communist countries.

Russian Playing Cards

Following my retirement from the Bodleian Library in Dec. 2007 I took up a new role as Head of Library Development at the International Network for the Availability of Scientific Publications (INASP) to support library development in low-income countries. This work necessitated regular training visits to many sub-Saharan African countries and also further afield, to Vietnam, Nepal and Bangladesh – all of which provided rich opportunities to further expand my playing card collection.

Since 2019 I’ve been working part-time in the Bodleian Library where I’ve been cataloguing the bequest of the late Donald Welsh, founder of the English Playing Card Society.


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