Web Page 1190
12th October 2013
Top Picture: Election Van
Bottom Picture: Remember I spy Books?
Looking Back Again
So often when I sit down to write a page I think ‘what ever happened to …………… and today’s page is no exception. It all started off several months ago when there was a round of local and county elections. Nothing unusual you may say but do you remember when we were kids at election time the various candidates would send vans with large horn speakers on the top from which an election agent broadcast to the general public ‘ Today is voting day, have you voted yet?’ And this seemed to go on all day, things certainly have changed this last round of elections we did not even receive leaflets from all the candidates that were standing. Back in the 1950’s the election agents sought the elderly out and if they had not voted they were taken to the Polling Station by car. Quite an experience for some and I know my Grandmother had friends who would always wait to be taken because that was the only time in the year that they had the chance to ride in a car!
Something else that I remember is that we had an ancient gas geyser over the bath, it must have been put in when the house was built in the early 1930’s. This was lit by the means of a pilot light on the side that once alight was carefully swivelled into the boiler over the gas ring. The action of turning the pilot light opened the gas supply and after a loud bang and some rumblings, the boiler started to produce hot water. It was always a nervous time when this was lit and the noise it made when it was working sounded frightful, in fact I remember that I was not allowed into the bathroom until the bath was ready and the geyser had been turned off. It seemed such an old fashioned thing considering that the bathroom suite was a very modern Avocado Green! It is strange to think that this was the only hot water on tap that we had in the house, my mother only had a cold water tap over the kitchen sink, if she wanted hot water she had to boil a kettle on the gas stove, a real chore on washing day. Whilst talking about the kitchen area of the house in the 1950’s we, and I am sure most of you, not only had a dustbin but another smaller bucket sized bin with an attached lid foe waste food which was destined to become pig’s swill, although despite the fact that it must have happened I cannot remember anyone every emptying the bucket!
What else has disappeared? How about Spud Guns? When did they disappear from the toyshops? Although I did notice today that even skipping has been updated as you can now buy a relatively cheap skipping rope with a digital counter on it so you do not even have to keep score any more. Jacks and Five Stones have disappeared but I have noticed that Yo-yo’s have seemed to make a come back in the last few years, as have marbles. Now there is a puzzle, how did we as kids know when one season ended and another began? Who said marbles are out this month, yo-yo’s are in or hula-hoops are out but skipping ropes or hop scotch are in. Although I can categorically state that Mother Nature always determined when the Conker season began and ended.
What prompted us to change comics or magazines? Was it the free gifts that came with them and what ever happened to the Children’s Mirror or the Children’s Newspaper, sunk without trace? But the Beano and Dandy, the Eagle and the Girl all at least lasted through our entire childhood before they too fell by the wayside.
At home mother spent a lot of time bottling fruit in Kilner Jars or pickling eggs and these were placed in large jars on the floor of our larder next to my Ginger Beer Plant (we all had one of those). Whenever he had to do any painting my Dad had to strain his old gloss paint through one of Mothers old stockings to get the lumps out! Ceilings were distempered or white washed, not emulsioned and the paintwork on the wooden surfaces was burnt off with a rather vicious sounding blowlamp.
The air raid siren behind the New Inn was tested every Monday morning at 10.00am as regular as clockwork and we got used to the sound of the siren sounding all around the area. This was to be our warning for a nuclear attack and I suppose they ceased to be tested after the Cold War ended but I do wonder when the last civilian was tested regularly, although I do know that those in military bases are still tested on a regular basis.
This was the period of sales mascots. Tigers were popular, Tony the tiger told us they were ‘Grrrrrrrrrrreat’, Esso wanted us to put a tiger in our tanks, Rice Krispies had Snap, Crackle and Pop and Puffed Wheat was shot from a gun! Cornflakes gave away free cut out masks on the back of their packets, I am sure you can remember many others. Saxa Salt had Sifta Sam, Bisto had Katie and the Bisto Kids, anything to make our Mums and Dads buy a particular product.
There we go again another wander down memory lane, this mus be getting a very well worn lane by now and it really does amaze me how much comes back to mind once I get thinking.
Keep in touch
I did enjoy reading todays article on food and how true it is. We did actually eat curry in the late fifties and my mother made it far too hot. She didn`t like savoury rice so we may have had it with mashed potatoes. Our dog ate leftovers and we rarely seemed to buy dog food. It was years before we had a turkey for Christmas and we usually had a capon which my father plucked and drew. I hated cabbage but we always had meat, potatoes, cabbage and carrots. You had to eat it all up too or you would hear dire tales of children starving in Africa or China. Ah happy days
I have still got my 3 flying ducks all wrapped-up in tissue paper. I inherited these from an Aunt who died many years ago. Do I want to put them up on my wall? Nah! ..... but on second thoughts everything 50's style is coming back into fashion isn't it?
News and Views:
The Revd. Little Richard revealed on Sunday September 29 that he recently suffered a heart attack at home and his doctors say taking a low-dose aspirin after feeling numbness in his arm probably saved his life. The 80 year-old Richard commented, "Jesus had something for me. He brought me through."
On this Day 12/10/1960-65
On 12/10/1960 the number one single was Tell Laura I Love Her - Ricky Valance and the number one album was Tottenham Hotspur. The top rated TV show was Bootsie & Snudge (Granada) and the box office smash was Psycho. A pound of today's money was worth £13.68.The big news story of the day was No Hiding Place (AR).
On 12/10/1961 the number one single was Kon-Tiki - The Shadows and the number one album was The Shadows - Shadows. The top rated TV show was Sunday Night at the London Palladium (ATV) and the box office smash was One Hundred and One Dalmations. A pound of today's money was worth £13.25 and Ipswich Town were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
On 12/10/1962 the number one single was Telstar - The Tornadoes and the number one album was Best of Ball Barber & Bilk. 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 Everton were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
On 12/10/1963 the number one single was Do You Love Me? - Brian Poole & the Tremoloes and the number one album was Please Please Me - The Beatles. 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 Liverpool were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
On 12/10/1964 the number one single was Oh Pretty Woman - Roy Orbison and the number one album was A Hard Day's Night - Beatles. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) 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. The big news story of the day was XVIIIth Olympics in Tokyo.
On 12/10/1965 the number one single was Tears - Ken Dodd and the number one album was Help - The Beatles. 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 Liverpool were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.