Web Page No 2326
10th December 2016
Top Picture: Cardinal Red polish
Second Picture: Soot Devil
Third Picture: BL Light & Sons
Forth Picture: Mansion Polish
Cleaning and washing and polishing these days are so much easier today than they were just after the war when our mothers did not have the luxury of powerful vacuum cleaners, floor polishers washing machines and tumble dryers.
Cleaning was just hard graft with tins of Mansion Polish for the furniture, Cardinal Red for the fireplace and grate (we also had a porch with red tiles so that had to be polished as well) and if you had a stone front step this involved rubbing with a Holy Stone.
No packet washing powder or softener. To wash before the proprietary brands of washing powder involved manually grating sunlight soap into the hot washing water and waiting for it to dissolve. Although if the housewife had some delicates or soft woollen goods Lux soap flakes were available.
These were the days of coal fires with all the ash and dirt that this entailed. One thing that had to be done to these fires was to have the chimney swept regularly and I expect we all remember the sweep coming and being told to run outside and tell him when the brush came out of the chimney. One year my father discovered, in the local ironmongers shop a thing called the Red Devil Soot clearer. This was a chemical compound that was placed in the grate, then lit and the resultant chemical reaction drifted up the chimney and supposedly loosened the soot. Well this did happen my father placed the Devil in the fire basket of the front room lit it and went out to the kitchen. All of a sudden there was an almighty woosh and on returning to the front room he discovered the grate was full of soot and so was the room. He had not thought to cover the furniture but I do not think that covering the furniture would have helped much as the soot had covered the sideboard. the chairs, the TV, the carpet and rugs and the curtains. Mother was not well pleased! It took them hours to clear up and clean the room. My father never used the Soot Devil again.
I Drayton we had two ironmongers Nappers and BL Light & Sons. Nappers was a small, intimate shop which stocked almost everything any householder could require. But the major store was Lights. Outside on the forecourt he always displayed a myriad of things, lawnmowers, bulbs, incinerators, bags of bone meal, forks, rakes, spades, flower pots, fireguards, replacement grates, firewood and garden sieves. Unfortunately I have not managed to find any pictures of this outside market but inside was a wonderland for any child who entered into the shop.
Inside almost every household item was on sale. These items included kitchen ware, kitchen knives and icing tubes, wellington boots and socks, bathroom and kitchen scales, crockery, glasses and crockery, dustbins, garden tools and Pyrex dishes. You could find other items hidden around corners pickling onions, paraffin, methylated spirits, pie funnels, gold fish food, bone meal, peat fertilizer and in fact anything for the household.
The other vital thing that was available here was individual quantities. One could buy a yard of roofing felt or five screws, one wick for a paraffin stove or 4ozs of nails or tacks. The place was a real Aladins cave.
All this was watched over from behind the counter by a large wall mounted pendulum clock which marked the seconds with a loud and continuous deep tick.
The whole emporium was owned and overseen by Mr Light himself who was a wealth of knowledge and worked in the shop for many years past retirement age.
One thing that cannot be described is the unique smell of the mixture of products.
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On this Day 10th December 1960-1965
The 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 Armchair Theatre (ABC) 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.
10/12/1961 the number one single was Tower of Strength - Frankie Vaughan The top rated TV show was "Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was One Hundred and One Dalmatians. 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.The big news story of the day was Sunday Night at the London Palladium.
10/12/1962 the number one single was Lovesick Blues - Frank Ifield and the number one album was On Stage with the Black & White Minstrels - George Mitchell Minstrels. 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 10/12/1963 the number one single was She Loves You - 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 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 10/12/1964 the number one single was Little Red Rooster - Rolling Stones 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 Poet Edith Sitwell dies
On 10/12/1965 the 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 (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.