NESTLED among the countless local items in the Adver archive are relics of a national campaign to change the way we measured everything from weight to weather.

The Metrication Board was a quango set up by Harold Wilson’s Government in 1969 and shut down by Margaret Thatcher’s in 1981.

Headquartered at Kingsway in London, its mission was to consign every trace of old Imperial measurements – feet, inches, pints and so on - to the dustbin of history.

Its success, and perhaps the willingness of many British people to be told what do, can be gauged by, for example, looking at motorway signs, ordering a beer in a pub, asking a person their height or purchasing a ruler.

In pursuit of its mission, the board issued countless press releases, liaised with countless politicians and business people, and in the 1970s issued a series of leaflets demystifying the metric system.

They were distributed to the public and copies were sent to newspapers across the country, which is how four came to be hidden in our files for over 40 years.

Called The litre, The metre, Temperature and The kilogram, they intersperse information with the odd stern demand.

“Measure directly in metric,” orders The metre. “It is a waste of time and effort to measure in inches and then convert.

“Many rules and tape measures already have metric markings.”

Elsewhere in The metre, readers are informed: “A millimetre is very small.”

Although cautioning against wasting time by converting metric to imperial measures, the same leaflet helpfully notes that there are approximately 25 millimetres to an inch, and that a kilometre is roughly five-eighths of a mile.

A metre, meanwhile, is described as being a little over three feet three inches.

In The litre we learn, among other things, that there are a hundred centilitres to a litre, 10 centilitres to a decilitre – and a little over four-and-a-half litres to an Imperial gallon.

The Metrication Board issued another series of four leaflets at the same time. They were The Metric World, Metrication in Britain, Wood and Board and Tins of Paint.

The leaflets in our archive were stored alongside some lists of weights and measures torn from a book issued by the International Wine and Food Society.

Perhaps the reporter was confused by the complicated new system and felt the need to have some examples of the simple old system to compare.

These include there being 16 drachms to an ounce, four poles to a chain, 40 square poles to a rood, four roods to an acre, 100 fathoms to a cable, four pecks to a bushel and 36 bushels to a chaldron.