Have you heard of the hobby of phillumeny?

It's the collection of matchbox labels and bookmatch covers.

Because all matchboxes are essentially the same, brand-centric advertising on the outsides of these containers has been an important part of the industry since its foundation in the mid-19th century.

And there's an absolute wealth of choices out there available on auction sites for people to add to their collection - including this selection of mostly old pubs from the area that Looking Back has come across.

It would appear as though many public houses and hotels in the Dorset area appeared on matchbox labels.

Here is just a very small selection of some of the colourful matchbox labels we came across showing some beautiful illustrations of Dorset pubs.

The Pickwick Club, Weymouth

Dorset Echo: The Pickwick Club, WeymouthThe Pickwick Club, Weymouth

This lively club was run by Jean Woodward in the 1980s. It was also owned by Paul Joyce. It is remembered as a popular hen night venue and place for night time entertainment.

Lifetime memberships were available!

The Martyr's Inn, Tolpuddle

Dorset Echo: The Martyr's Inn, TolpuddleThe Martyr's Inn, Tolpuddle

Formerly The Crown, the Martyrs Inn in Tolpuddle's main road is closed in the long-term and was on the market.

The former Hall & Woodhouse pub was known for its food and had memorabilia to the Tolpuddle Martyrs dotted throughout.

Prince of Wales Inn, Puddletown

Dorset Echo: Prince of Wales Inn, PuddletownPrince of Wales Inn, Puddletown

This pub, situated at 14 High Street, Puddletown, was a road-house which replaced an earlier thatched hostelry that burnt down in 1930. The building incorporated salvaged fittings including ceiling beams and an oak boss carved with a Tudor rose.

The Prince of Wales closed in April 2001 because landlord Paul Wolfingdale said he could not afford to compete with people selling cheap beer and cigarettes imported from abroad.

Villagers feared the pub was doomed after Hall and Woodhouse brewery knocked down a toilet block and skittle alley at the rear of the property. It was eventually converted into flats.

The Smith's Arms, Godmanstone

Dorset Echo: The Smith's Arms, GodmanstoneThe Smith's Arms, Godmanstone

The notoriety of the Smith's Arms being England's smallest inn meant this matchbox cover was a real collector's item.

This pub is situated on the A352 north of Dorchester.

In its heyday coachloads of tourists would be taken to the Smith's Arms to have a drink at the minute watering hole.

The internal dimensions of the only bar were just 11ft 9ins by 15 feet. The ceiling was low and sloping, being only 6ft 2ins and the highest point. When the pub was open, there were lanterns, horse brasses, an old pair of blacksmith’s bellow outside, and a cosy atmosphere within. There were six tables, seating about 24 people, and tables outside for a delightful drink or meal by the riverside.

The building dates to 1420, and was originally a smithy. Legend has it that the licence was granted by Charles II who asked for refreshment when he stopped to have his horse shod.

Adjoining the pub is a four bedroom house. In the past one room was used as a bar-parlour (and licensed as such), and another as a small village shop.

The shop was a thriving venture in the late 19th and early 20th century, but by the 1960s it was unable to compete with trade from outside the village, and closed. The pub was sold about that time by the Brewery and became a Free House run by John and Linda Foster

It closed its doors for the last time in 2010.

In future editions we'll be featuring more matchbox covers from pubs in this area. Do get in touch if you have your own collection of memorabilia of matchbox covers. We'd love to hear about them!