Top Picture: Hand made chocolates from the 1960’s
Second Picture: They still sell these! The spud gun.
The Tuck Shop
When you were in Junior School did you have a local Tuck Shop? I know that we did. Ours was on the corner of Solent Road and Highlands Road in Drayton and opposite Solent Road School. It was run by a couple, Mr & Mrs Shaw and it was situated in the back room and conservatory of their home. It was actually a typical corner shop which sold almost everything rather like Arkwrights in ‘Open All Hours’ and it sold everything from toilet cleaner to potatoes! But it had a small counter off to one side for all those pocket money type of items. The shop was run by Old Man Shaw and his wife, well at least we called him Old Man Shaw he was probably in his mid 50’s when we were 7 or 8 so he seemed very old to us.
A trip into this Aladdin’s Cave before or after school was a necessity for most of us. Here we would buy our Jamboree Bags, Penny Chews, Fruit Salad Sweets and various other unhealthy but enjoyable sweets. One of the products that were popular were the chewing gum packets that contained collector cards in them, I remember collecting scenes from ‘Quo Vadis’ and portraits of film stars and there was quite a thriving black market going on in swapping and exchanging these cards so you could collect the whole set.
Mr Shaw seemed to run the shop on a seasonable basis making various things at the back of the counter as the year progressed. In summer he would make penny ice lollies in various flavours which we had to finish off either before we got home or went into school. Also in the summer he made his own fizzy drinks and I can remember a large red metal contraption behind the counter which added the fizz to the fizzy drinks. As the year progressed other things appeared on the counter the main one that I remember, and never liked, were home made toffee apples.
When the marble season was declared open, (who ever decided that?) Shaw’s always had a big selection of either individual or packet marbles and, of course, large glass Alleys. When the marble season was over then came Yoyo’s and stamp collecting. Yoyo’s came in various sorts and colours. The heavy wooden ones being the best and stamps came in little packets and of course you then needed the album to put them in and the hinges to stick them down. Come November it was the firework season and of course we were far too young to be sold fireworks but the law did state that we could be sold coloured matches and I remember that these came in two colours red or green and gave off a terrible smell when they burnt.
Some time during the year the Swanee Whistle would become popular and it seemed that practically every child had one of these instruments and would play them, if that is the right word, on their way home from school, all bought from Shaw’s. Christmas saw an influx of tiny presents on the counter all of which a child’s pocket money could afford, maybe as a gift for a favourite aunt or a teacher!
But there was more than food for the youngster whose 6d piece was burning a hole in his pocket. Toys were also a side line and I remember buying a spud gun, (you can see from the illustration above that they are still around,) and one potato as ammunition. I also bought Lone Star cap guns, cap bombs and of course the caps to go with them.
One other item that used to sell well were goggles. These were modelled on the RAF pattern and we all fondly believed that they were the actual ones worn by fighter pilots in the Battle of Britain, it never crossed our minds that they were far too small to fit an adult head, but we were happy we were wearing fighter pilots goggles. On one side of the counter the keen lad could always find cheap balsa wood gliders, these planes came in paper packets and consisted of a fuselage, wings and a tail which were slotted in plus a weight for the nose and many an air battle was waged with these packet planes but, of course, we had to wear the right googles to fly these fighters!!!!
Well these are just some of the things that I remember from my local tuck shop, I am sure you will be able to remember other things from your own. If so send me an Email and we can share your memories with everyone.
Stay in touch,
I'd like to talk a bit more about Court Lane School of which I enjoyed more than Manor Court. Although, I quickly add that I have happy memories of both. There was a very special teacher at Court Lane by the name of Mr Butler who not only the children liked a lot, but also the Parents liked very much too. To him controlling a class was second nature and he did it all with such kindness and encouragement. I can imagine my fellow pupils wherever they are now, still remember him with the same fondness as I do. It was in his class that I met Susan Jones and got smitten. See what just one old photograph has stirred in me. Crazy isn't it.
Hi Pete, enjoying being reminded of the good years we had. Listen to Gold all day when in the car and the music does not really seem like 30 - 50 years old. We've had mini-skirts and hot pants make a come back, but what about cheese-cloth shirts?? I really loved wearing them, really felt the cat's whiskers strutting down Cosham High Street, complete with flared trousers and platform heels!! The previous update mentioned the Savoy, Southsea and I can clearly remember going there to see The Nashville Teens, when Tobacco Road was in the charts. The place was packed out, had real trouble getting to the bar (this was before ID was needed!!).
Hello, I read last weeks blog with great interest as always. Behind Widley church is a small military cemetary. Most people do not realise this. Last week it was mentioned that Frankie Vaughan appeared in Portsmouth to support a youth club. I`m not surprised as he had a life long interest in Boys Clubs. He grew up in a deprived area under very difficult circumstances. His grandfather deserted his young wife and large family of very small children to live in America. For a long time the family thought the grandfather was dead. Frankie soon knew the value of a club to keep young lads out of trouble hence his interest. On a personal note about the only thing that my mother and mother in law agreed on was a mutual love of Frankie Vaughan. Both adored him. My mother had an artificial limb but that didn`t prevent her from singing "Give me the moonlight, give me the girl etc" followed by a high kick".
One advert I remember was for Mr Clean it went - Mr Clean gets rid of dirt and grim and grease in just a minute - Mr Clean will clean your whole house and everything that's in it. Sad aren't I - I have just never forgotten that one.
News and Views:
Sad to see the death of Basil D’oliveira, a real gentleman of cricket. I used to know him when I and his family when I lived in Worcester in the mid 1960’s.
On this day 26th November 1960-1965.
26/11/1960the number one single was It's Now Or Never - Elvis Presley and the number one album was South Pacific Soundtrack. The top rated TV show was Labour Party Political Broadcast (all channels) and the box office smash was Psycho. 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.
26/11/1961the number one single was Little Sister/His Latest Flame - Elvis Presley 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 Dalmations. 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)".
26/11/1962the number one single was Lovesick Blues - Frank Ifield and the number one album was Out of the Shadows - Shadows. 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.
26/11/1963the 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.
26/11/1964the number one single was Baby Love - Supremes 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.
26/11/1965the number one single was The Carnival is Over - Seekers and the number one album was The Sound of Music Soundtrack. The top rated TV show was 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. The big news of the day Mrs Mary Whitehouse had just formed the National Viewers Association