Top Picture: The Kilner Jar
Second Picture: The Rock Gardens in 1960.
A new school chum today we welcome Malcolm Merritt.
This is a much used word today, transport preservation, preservation of the past, the preservation of our good looks and many other forms of preservation that are around today. But the preservation I am thinking of is the form of preservation that our Mothers, Grandmothers and Aunties did in the 1950’s and 60’s. That is Food Preservation and legacy from the dark days of wartime.
I can still remember coming home from school and waking into the kitchen and into a wall of heavy onion aroma almost like a gas attack as my mother and grandmother busied themselves around the sink and cooker peeling and preparing such things as pickled shallots and onions in glass Kilner Jars (did you realise that Jeremy Clarkson is directly related to the Kilner family?) These specially made jars had purpose made rubber sealing rings, a flat glass top and a screw to hold the lot together and make it airtight. Once bottled all these products were safely stored away on a shelf in the larder ready for use. I really do not know why they pickled so many as it was only my grandmother that ate them, but I suppose that kept her going all year. I myself hated the things almost as much as the pickled eggs they also prepared and preserved eggs in Isinglass. These two home made products were alays kept in large salt glazed jars with screw lids. Why did they preserve the eggs you may ask? The only explanation I can come up with is that the man next door had a very large chicken run so there was always a ready supply of eggs.
Living in a house with a large if a little unkempt garden meant that we had many sorts of well established trees, apple, pear, cherry, plum, damson and also a lot of soft fruit, gooseberries, black currants and white currants as well as blackberries. Yes you’ve got it all these were either chopped, sliced or preserved whole and bottled again in Kilner Jars. The rest of the produce was consigned to the preserving pan and jars and jars of different flavoured jams were produced. I was eternally grateful that no one in the family ever thought of making relish, chutney or piccalilli! The other sort of trees we had were hazel nut trees but as far as I am aware neither of the two ladies in the house ever attempted to preserved them. Luckily we never spent any time combing the hill for sloes to make Sloe Gin as I can never remember us having any alcohol in the house, only at Christmas!!!
The one bit of our larder that I took complete charge of was the back right hand corner and this is where I stored and made my Ginger beer. How many of you had a Ginger Beer plant at home? I know to get them started was difficult but once underway and fed with sugar and water these plants grew and grew. So much so that every three weeks the ginger beer had to be decanted, the plant split in half and the whole process started again. Now was the problem, you did not want to throw the spare half of the plant away and very some all your friends had one and they were in the same boat. There must have been hundreds of little ginger beer plans flushed away in the 1950’s!
My father never got involved in this orgy of preservation apart from helping to pick the fruit. His contribution was the carrots and potatoes from his vegetable plot. Most of the vegetables he grew we ate fresh from the garden but I do remember that he had an area at the back of the shed which was covered over with old sacks . This is where he kept his lifted potatoes and carrots and the sacking was to stop the light getting at the vegetables and ruining them.
What a difference to where most things come from the supermarket and the only thing most people grow thee days are tomatoes in pots!
Stay in touch,
Re Midwifes fees I have an idea that the fees for a midwife was 7 or 8 guineas. It`s a vague recollection of what mother said. I did hear on breakfast TV last week that a mother wanted a private midwife and it cost her £4000.
News and Views:
Henry Winkler is called the Nicest Man in Hollywood, but now he’s also known as Henry Winkler OBE as he was awarded the honor in recognition of his services to children with dyslexia and special educational needs. He has spent much of the last two years touring the U.K. to educate about dyslexia and other learning difficulties. Henry Winkler, who was diagnosed with dyslexia as an adult, is also the author of 17 children’s books centered on Hank Zipzer, a boy with dyslexia who overcomes his struggles at school and with bullies. It is easy to just think of him as the man who played ‘The Fonz’ in the TV series ‘Happy Days’ which played from 1974 -1984 there is obviously far more to him than most of us realized!
On this day 30th September 1960-1965.
On 30/09/1960the number one single was Tell Laura I Love Her - Ricky Valance and the number one album was Down Drury Lane to Memory Lane - A Hundred and One Strings. The top rated TV show was No Hiding Place and the box office smash was Psycho. Brigitte Bardot leaves hospital in Nice after recovering from a suicide attempt. A pound of today's money was worth £13.68 and Tottenham Hotspur were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
On 30/09/1961the number one single was Johnny Remember Me - John Leyton and the number one album was Ipswich Town. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street and the box office smash was One Hundred and One Dalmatians.A pound of today's money was worth £ 13.25.The big news story of the day was Sunday Night at the London Palladium (ATV)".
On 30/09/1962the number one single was She's Not You - Elvis Presley and the number one album was Best of Ball Barber & Bilk. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street and the box office smash was Lawrence of Arabia. A pound of today's money was worth £12.89 and Everton were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
On 30/09/1963the number one single was She Loves You - The Beatles and the number one album was Please Please Me - The Beatles. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street and the box office smash was The Great Escape. A pound of today's money was worth £12.64 and Liverpool were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
On 30/09/1964the number one single was I'm Into Something Good - Herman's Hermits and the number one album was A Hard Day's Night - Beatles. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street and the box office smash was Dr Strangelove. A pound of today's money was worth £12.24 and Manchester United were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
On 30/09/1965the number one single was Tears - Ken Dodd and the number one album was Help - The Beatles. The top rated TV show was yet again Coronation Street and the box office smash was The Sound of Music. A pound of today's money was worth £11.69 and Liverpool were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.