Web Page 2040
5th April 2014
Top Picture: 1950’s flask
Bottom Picture: Ostermilk tin
It is amazing how a quick glimpse of something can bring memories flooding back. Memories we had thought long forgotten. This happened to me when at a Boot Sale recently I saw six old-fashioned medicine bottles, those with the teaspoon and desert spoon marks moulded into the glass on the back. It was not the medicine that I remembered it was what went into the bottle (although I do remember my mothers reliance of kaolin and Morphine and Milk of Magnesia). My father used to take hot tea to work in a yellow Thermos Flask with green stripes on it and to add to this he carried his milk in an old medicine bottle sealed with greaseproof paper and then tightly corked. He also took sugar in an old screw top Colemans mustard pot. This was all put into a black zip topped shopping bag with two handles and then off to work he would go on the bus; all before the days of coffee machines in the workplace. Does anyone else remember things like this? Mind you it was not always a medicine bottle it could sometimes be a National Health Orange Juice bottle with the blue screw top lid!
Whilst thinking about home life I gather that I cannot have been a breast fed baby as in one of our sheds were, what seemed like, dozens of Ostermilk tins all with nuts bolts and screws in them. Ostermilk was a trade name for dried milk for infant feeding. Ostermilk No. 1 being half cream and No. 2 full cream. This product was on the chemists shelves for years but just before Christmas 1985 considerable public concern was aroused when Ostermilk baby foods and some other milk products were withdrawn following an outbreak of salmonella food poisoning. The manufacturer was the Plymouth-based Farley Health Products although the factory where the problem occurred was in Kendal, Cumbria. The detailed account of the outbreak was given in The Lancet and was based on sound personal knowledge. Unfortunately this resulted in the total withdrawal of Ostermilk. Mind you if you were not an Ostermilk baby you were a Cow and Gate one! Which were you?
We must remember that when we grew up it was a totally different age. No convenience foods for the children, mother had to make and puree it all, no baby alarms, our parents had to keep a wary ear out once the child went to bed in case it started to cry. No baby grows, only romper suits and probably worst of all no disposable nappies just the Terry Towelling ones that had to be soaked in a bucket and then boiled!
Things were tight in the average household in the 1950’s/60’s and this is where the Jumble or Rummage Sale came in. My mother was heavily involved with running these things for the local Scout Troop and so I was volunteered to help. It never failed to amaze me what people threw away, bought or in some cases stole off the tables. When sale time came and on opening the door it was always utter chaos as at least two dozen women rushed in, all trying to get through the door at the same time, they then descended on the clothes part of the sale totally ignoring the other tables. I understand these women came from miles away to attend these sales and arguments and fights over some item of clothing were not unknown. It could be terrifying! What was even more amazing was that they all seemed to bring with them enormous bags to put the clothes in, either that or they would tie them all together in Dick Whittington style. After they left the sale it was amusing to look down the road to the bus stop where there would be a queue of women, all with large bundles, waiting to get on the bus. I was glad that I was not the bus conductor!
After the sale came the clearing up, the sale organiser would have arranged for a dealer to come along and clear whatever was left and after a sweep round the hall things at last returned to normal. It was a full days job running one of these sales starting with the setting up in the morning and running to the final clearing up in the late afternoon.
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News and Views:
On this Day 5th April 1960-1965
On 05/04/1960 the number one single was My Old Man's a Dustman - Lonnie Donegan and the number one album was South Pacific Soundtrack. The top rated TV show was The Budget (All Channels) and the box office smash was Psycho. 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 Budget increases price of cigarettes by 2d a pack.
On 05/04/1961 the number one single was Wooden Heart - Elvis Presley and the number one album was South Pacific Soundtrack. 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 05/04/1962 the number one single was Wonderful Land - 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. The big news story of the day was James Hanratty hanged for A6 murder.
On 05/04/1963 the number one single was Summer Holiday - Cliff Richard & the Shadows and the number one album was Summer Holiday - Cliff Richard & the Shadows. The top rated TV show was The Budget (All Channels) 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.
On 05/04/1964 the number one single was Can't Buy Me Love - The Beatles and the number one album was With the Beatles - The 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 Liverpool were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions. The big news story of the day was Video recorder first demonstrated.
On 05/04/1965 the number one single was The Last Time - Rolling Stones 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.