Web Page No 2350
4th March 2017
Top Picture: Tweed
Second Picture: Gibbs Dentifrice
Third Picture: 4711
Forth Picture: ‘Bucket and chuckit’
Have you ever noticed how particular smells can wind your memory back not only years but also decades? For example I was walking in a crowd the other day and smelt a perfume that I had not come across for years. I think it was called ‘Tweed’ and it immediately took me back to a teenage girlfriend who used it well over 50 years ago!
That was a pleasant aroma but some smells are memorable but not so pleasant. Remember Wintergreen Ointment? This was an ointment made from a plant from North Africa and it was used to cure all sorts of aches and pains and strains and it stunk to high heaven. You could tell if anyone’s mother had applied it to their offspring from yards and yards away!
Now lets look at life at home. The gas oven actually still smelt heavily of gas and then there was the paraffin heater that sent out a heavy paraffin smell especially if the wick had not been trimmed correctly. Whilst at home there was the smell of Brobat, Jeyes Fluid, Carbolic and Sunlight soaps. Moving upstairs the predominant smell in the bedrooms was moth balls followed by old newspapers that were used for lining drawers or cupboards, lavender bags placed amongst the woollens, lavender furniture polish and possibly Old Spice in the bathroom or maybe Gibbs Dentifrice or Lifebuoys soap . Granny always smelt of Ashes of Roses! Throughout the whole house was the smell of burning coal and smoke for that was the main source of heating and if you happened to have a solid full boiler or fire in the kitchen the smell would be worse, it was coke! Much of the furniture we knew as youngsters were relics from either pre-war days or second hand and this sometimes involved treating it for woodworm and the fluid woodworm killer was another very distinctive smell. Bear in mind that it was not only the furniture that suffered from woodworm because most of the radios or radiograms and speakers in the houses at that time were encased in wooden cases and these were also vulnerable to the dreaded woodworm.
Most adults in the 1950s smoked and so the whole house was invaded with cigarette smoke and it was even worse if father or a male relative was given a cigar for Christmas, this smell seemed to linger around for days.
The fragrances and toilet waters of the 1950s and 60s were very distinctive apart from the above-mentioned Tweed who remembers 4711, Moonlight Mist, Chanel No 5, Tabu, Charlie, Miss Dior and the range from Max Factor including Hypnotique and Primitif. But for the man the list was rather limited Cedarwood, Imperial Leather, Old Spice, Bay Rum, Tabac then Hi Karate, Brut and Aramis.
D-I-Y had started to become popular and the smell of wet wallpaper and paste was common in some homes as was the smell of distemper and whitewash, whilst outside in the garden fences and boundary areas were often treated with creosote, another powerful smell! But this was not a patch on the unusual smell that appeared in the garden of my godmother’s home in Essex. Her father was squire of the village and his house on the hill was the first in the village to have electric light, but this was only downstairs, upstairs was still lit by paraffin lamps and her cooker was a paraffin one. But back to smells, the house was large but had no main drainage and so the toilet was a ‘bucket and chuck it’ system. This her brother saw to once a week and believe me when he did that there was some special smell!
The local ironmonger had a wonderful smell all its own, a combination of many different items as did the chemist, although this smell was far pleasanter. The butcher a combination of sawdust and blood, the sweet shop and tobacconist and strange mixture of unsmoked tobacco and mint humbugs, fresh bread in Campions of Smith and Vospers and starch in Chapmans laundry!
Has this brought back memories for you? I certainly hope so, it really is amazing how the memory goes reeling back at the introduction of just a simple smell and I am not talking about school dinners!!!!!!
Keep in touch
David Remembers:- the ATC Camp at St Athen because I remember my bed being next to Phillip Wards, also a flight in a 2 seater plane( with parachute), a sports day event and a long trek looking for a crashed WW2 bomber. I also remember my friend Alan Clarkson being taken to hospital with concussion having somehow fallen out of bed!!
On this Day 4th March 1960-1965
On 04/03/1960 the number one single was Why - Anthony Newley and the number one album was South Pacific Soundtrack. The top rated TV show was not listed and the box office smash was Some Like It Hot. A pound of today's money was worth £13.68 and Burnley were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
On 04/03/1961 the number one single was Walk Right Back/Ebony Eyes - Everly Brothers and the number one album was Tottenham Hotspur. The top rated TV show was The Army Game (Granada) and the box office smash was One Hundred and One Dalmations. A pound of today's money was worth £13.25 were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.The big news story of the day was Bootsie & Snudge (Granada).
On 04/03/1962 the number one single was Rock-a-Hula Baby/Can't Help Falling In Love - Elvis Presley 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.
On 04/03/1963 the number one single was The Wayward Wind - Frank Ifield and the number one album was Summer Holiday - Cliff Richard & the Shadows. The top rated TV show was Labour Party Political Broadcast (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 04/03/1964 the number one single was Anyone Who Had a Heart -Cilla Black 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.
On 04/03/1965 the number one single was I'll Never Find Another You - Seekers and the number one album was Beatles For Sale - 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 Manchester United were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.