First Picture: The Green Shield Stamp Shop
Second Picture: Southsea Woolworths 1951
1950's - Going Shopping
Going to the Shops in the 1950's was an event. I never liked going to the shops especially when my father was abroad and I had to go to Drayton or Cosham with my mother. I could never understand why she took so long to make her mind up in shops. So there were two types of shopping; a walk down to the Village (Drayton) or a bus ride to Cosham for bigger thing's or to Portsmouth or North End for even bigger things like clothes etc.
However some things we did not have to go and buy it came to us by Van to the House. Milk, bread, fish, vegetables, ice cream and paraffin But there were things you would have to go out and buy toilet rolls, meat, medicines and the like, I also remember popping out to the local shop, Mrs Bannisters in Lealand Road, with the Ration Book (I still have mine you never know!!).
Going to 'the big shops' in Cosham was a really good treat because this meant a bus ride! Getting on a Southdown or Corporation bus at South Road and getting off at Spur Road at the top of Cosham High Street was very exciting for a small boy. The Cosham then was pretty much the same set up as it is today, the only exception being that there were no charity shops and no supermarkets until Fine Fare opened
One lasting memory was going into Mary’s Milk Bar at the bottom of the High Street next to the Essoldo; the place later changed its name to The Palm Court, her Mum would have a cup of coffee and me a glass of milk and a cake was always atreat of the day.
When we went to North End and into Melanie’s I was always fascinated by the cash system they used a system of vacuum money tubes. The Cashier Sales Assistant would place your cash in a little steel tube 'thingy' which was then fed into a vacuum pipe which was went around the store through the ceilings at great speed as well, once it reached the other end, a Cashier would write the receipt, sort out the change and whiz it back down to the shop floor. For a youngster this was fantastic to watch and if you were lucky enough to go to Will Browns’ shop you had even more fun as their system was similar but worked on a system of rails and wires and not vacuum.
Cosham had a Timothy Whites & Taylors also a Boots (big competition), a Woolworth where you could buy cheap cover versions of records. I used to like the old style Hardware Stores where they sold everything from a screw to a Kettle and they had draws upon draws of weird shaped 'things' which you didn't have a clue what they were for! The Assistants always wore Brown overalls and you'd NEVER find anyone without a shirt and tie. The same went for the seed merchants Dipman and Malpas.
Another 'smell' which lingers on is that of the Cold Meat counter in David Greigs at the top of the High Street. The combination of Ham, Tongue and Corned Beef all neatly laid out on the Counter with the swooshing noise of the manual slicing machine behind. the counter made your teeth go on edge with fear of the Chap taking off a finger! The same thing happened nearer home in Pinks in Drayton.
The thing about very young kids today saying, after watching some old 50's film', "was it all in black and white then?", couldn't be further from the truth. I remember it in full technicolor. Again, I think an effect of post-war times wanting to be 'new' and 'escape' was rife wherever you looked. Colour was 'in', especially in women’s clothing because it was about this time that they had just started to wear flower patterns.
Needless to say, everyone had a Milkman then, every morning you'd hear the Float pull up and "Milko" being called halfway up the drive. You got to know them very well and on Christmas morning they'd always get a 'wee dram' and a small monetary tip for their kindness through the year.Newspaper Boys were the same, although they were early birds and really were boys. I can't remember any age limit and they would do a good couple of hours biking around before school during sun and snow!
Shops and their Keepers were part of the Community as was the local policeman and the Postman. Everyone knew each other and everyone would say Hello as they past each other by.
Walking along the Shops could take ages because you stopped to chat with so many people.
Shops were then really a Trade and the people in them were often there the whole of their working life's - a far cry from today.
Stay in touch
Jonathan Such Writes:
I have made an enormous effort to get fit following the shocking death of my early mentor to marathon running and great friend Cavin Woodward. He was an enormous inspiration to me back in the 70's. I have decided to go over to the UK in September 2011 and run the Great North Run in memory of Cavin. I hope to raise money for the Royal National Institute for Blind People (RNIB) at the same time.
Please have a look at the attached web page and consider a contribution. http://www.justgiving.com/Jonathan-Such If you would be so kind as to pass this e-mail on to some folk you know who have an interest in running....please do.
Another Occasional School Report from my site 9 years ago:
There must be very many amongst our number who still literally go quite cold with fear or maybe terror, when inadvertently they hear the far off the distant strains of ‘Wheels Cha Cha’. Me for one! What is even sadder, is that I still remember that it was performed by Max Harris and the Stringalongs, and was recorded on the Fontana label. In those far off days if you really wanted to put in extra dancing practice the record could be bought from RA Fraser Ltd on the Havant Road in Drayton for 3/4d. How do I all know this? I worked in the store part time after school, in the holidays and on Saturdays and I actually sold the record to some of our number, no names after all these years, who sheepishly came in to buy a copy. Steve Carter also worked there for a time and I am sure Steve will relate the same story. But what was the purpose of those dancing lessons? And who went? Was it an attempt to give us teenagers some form of social grace? Despite careful teaching there were some of our number whose feet seemed to have a mind of their own and one or other, and occasionally both partners, ended up on the floor in a very undignified scramble. Griff tells me this happened to him and Ros and it certainly happened to myself and Carol Page. Who were the instructors and where did they come from? I do not remember them being from among the normal school staff, and was there ever a School Dance when we could show off our newfound skills? Here my memory fails me but hopefully someone out there will remember and remind me of a prestigious school event that I have somehow forgotten. All this before the glamour days of the School Proms which are held now! Is it my imagination or during those lessons did we change partners for each different tempo of dance, I tend to think so, I remember tackling the Quickstep with Jenny Taylor but other dances I think I was partnered by other girls, but I cannot remember who they all were. How quickly one forgets events, but the steps that I learnt all those years ago are still emblazoned in the back of the mind, I can still ballroom dance when required, although I was never very happy with the Foxtrot and I would still rather not tackle that particular dance unless I was actually pushed. And the Cha Cha Cha, well the less said about that particular Latin American dance the better. What do you remember about those dancing lessons? Who went ? Would you care to share your memories with the rest of us? If so send me an E Mail so we can all relive your experiences, both good and bad. It was probably a very good thing that photographs were not so plentiful in the early 1960’s as they are now, otherwise I am sure we would have had some very interesting pictures to show.
News and Views:
Donovan was presented with a lifetime achievement distinction at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards on Monday February 7th.
On this day 13th February 1960-1965
On 13/02/1960 the number one single was Why - Anthony Newley and the number one album was South Pacific Soundtrack. The top rated TV show was not listed and the box office smash was Some Like It Hot. A pound of today's money was worth £13.68 and Burnley were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions. The big news story of the day was French test first atomic bomb in Sahara desert
On 13/02/1961 the number one single was Are you Lonesome Tonight? - Elvis Presley and the number one album was GI Blues - Elvis Presley. The top rated TV show was No Hiding Place (AR) and the box office smash was One Hundred and One Dalmations. A pound of today's money was worth £13.25 and Tottenham Hotspur were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
On 13/02/1962 the number one single was The Young Ones - Cliff Richard & the Shadows and the number one album was Blue Hawaii - Elvis Presley. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was Lawrence of Arabia. A pound of today's money was worth £12.89 and Ipswich Town were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
On 13/02/1963 the number one single was Diamonds - Jet Harris & Tony Meehan and the number one album was Summer Holiday - Cliff Richard & the Shadows. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was The Great Escape. A pound of today's money was worth £12.64 and Everton were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.The big news story of the day was Liz Taylor films Cleopatra.
On 13/02/1964 the number one single was Needles & Pins - Searchers and the number one album was With the Beatles - The Beatles. The top rated TV show was Steptoe & Son (BBC) and the box office smash was Dr Strangelove. A pound of today's money was worth £12.24 and Liverpool were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions
On 13/02/1965 the number one single was You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin' - Righteous Brothers and the number one album was Rolling Stones Number 2 - The Rolling Stones. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was The Sound of Music. A pound of today's money was worth £11.69 and Manchester United were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.