Every day until Christmas we will be pointing you in the direction of a London-inspired Christmas gift that (with a bit of luck) you won’t already have on your list. Climb up onto our collective lap and we’ll see what we can move from our sack to your stockings…
If you’re looking for what’s euphemistically called a stocking filler, by which we mean a small, cheap-ish present that you probably wouldn’t give on its own, how about one of these Oyster card holders? It’s certainly something you’ll “get a lot of use out of”, as your Granny might say.
London Transport Museum
As you might expect, the London Transport Museum has a decent range of Oyster wallets for sale but particularly Londony ones include a limited edition Thomas Heatherwick ‘signed’ holder made from the flooring used on the New Bus for London. It’s £25, so tighter budgets might prefer a Chelsea Flower Show design at £4.95, or one of the Tube 150 designs (we like Andreas Neophytou’s moquette design, £6.99).
The British Library shop has 11 Oyster holders to choose from for £3 each; some have a literary theme (Alice in Wonderland and Rudyard Kipling are nice ones), but there’s also an excellent selection of historical maps of London.
The NT has produced some designs specific to itself and productions: this National Theatre design is good value at £2.50 (it’s made from sturdy plastic too, and is currently encasing our own Oyster card), but they’ve also got holders from Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, The Light Princess and Theatre Isn’t Just About Acting (search ‘Oyster’ in the shop).
The V&A has three beautiful designs for sale: one with a design from its Prints and Drawings collection, from A Children’s Nonsense Alphabet by Edward Lear (£3.50) and two more inspired by furnishing fabrics, by Black Sphere, printed by Edinburgh Weavers (1960), and Sven Guggenheim for Sanderson Fabrics (1955). These are £2 each, making them the cheapest we’ve found.
Wooden Oyster Card Holder
As with the Heatherwick holder, at £19.95 this isn’t quite in the stocking filler category, but it’s certainly novel. Made from FSC approved plywood, stained to look like walnut, your Oyster card still works when kept inside. Available from the TfL shop.
London From The Rooftops
JB Raw Images Photography has produced five Oyster wallets with gorgeous photos of London’s skyline, featuring sunsets, skyscrapers and even the Trellick Tower. They’re £4 each or three for £10, plus £1 p&p. You need to order by sending a message on Facebook.
Browse previous gift suggestions.