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Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Bring back any memories?

Someone  asked the other day, 'What was your favourite  'fast food' when you were growing  up?'
'We  didn't have fast food when I was growing up,' I  informed him.
'All  the food was slow.'
'C'mon, seriously..  Where did you eat?'
'It  was a place called 'home,'' I explained.  
'Mum  cooked every day and when Dad got home from  work, we sat down together at the dining room  table, and if I didn't like what she put on my  plate, I was allowed to sit there until I did  like it.'

By  this time, the lad was laughing so hard I was  afraid he was going to suffer serious internal  damage, so I didn't tell him the part about how  I had to have permission to leave the  table.

But  here are some other things I would have told him  about my childhood if I'd figured his system  could have handled it:

Some  parents NEVER owned their own house, wore jeans,  set foot on a golf course, travelled out of the  country or had a credit  card.

My  parents never drove me to school. I had a  bicycle that weighed probably 50 pounds, and  only had one speed,  (slow).

We  didn't have a television in our house until I  was 7.
It was, of course, black and white,  and the station went off the air at 10 pm, after  playing the national anthem and epilogue; it  came back on the air at about 6 p.m.

I  never had a telephone in my room. The only phone  was on a party line. Before you could dial, you  had to listen and make sure some people you  didn't know weren't already using the  line.

Pizzas  were not delivered to our home... But milk  was.

All  newspapers were delivered by boys and all boys  delivered newspapers.

Film  stars kissed with their mouths shut. At least,  they did in the films. There were no movie  ratings because all movies were responsibly  produced for everyone to enjoy viewing, without  profanity or violence or almost anything  offensive.

If  you grew up in a generation before there was  fast food, you may want to share some of these  memories with your children or grandchildren.  Just don't blame me if they burst their sides laughing.  
Growing  up isn't what it used to be, is  it?

MEMORIES  from a friend:
My  Dad is cleaning out my grandmother' s house (she  died in December) and he brought me  an old Royal Crown Cola bottle.   In  the bottle top was a stopper with a load of  holes in it...    I knew  immediately what it was, but my daughter had no  idea.   She thought they had tried to  make it a salt shaker or something.    I knew it as the bottle that sat on the end of  the ironing board to 'sprinkle' clothes with  because we didn't have steam irons.    Man, I am old.

How  many do you remember?
Headlight  dip-switches on the floor of the  car.
Ignition  switches on the  dashboard.
Trouser  leg clips for bicycles without chain guards.  
Soldering  irons you heated on a gas burner.
Using  hand signals for cars without turn indicators.  (I failed my first driving test on that one)
No central heating.

Older  Than Dirt Quiz:
Count  all the ones that you remember, not the ones you  were told about.
Ratings  at the bottom.

1. Sweet  cigarettes
2.  Coffee shops with juke   boxes
3. Home milk  delivery in glass bottles
4.  Party lines on the  telephone
5. Newsreels before  the movie
6.  TV test patterns that came on at night after the  last show and were there until TV shows started  again in the afternoon (There were only 2  channels [if you were  fortunate])
7.  Peashooters  
8. 33 rpm  records
9.  45 RPM records
10.78  RPM records
11.  Hi-fi's
12. Metal ice trays with  levers
13.  Blue flashbulb
14.  Cork popguns
15.  Wash  tub wringers

If  you remembered 0-3 = You’re still young
If  you remembered 3-6 = You are getting older
If  you remembered 7-11 = Don't tell your age
If  you remembered 12-15 = You're positively  ancient!

I  must be 'positively ancient' but those memories  are some of the best parts of my  life.


  1. Captain Haddock8 June 2011 at 10:45

    I scored a magnificent 13 .. Lol

    I recall they had Film Classifications in the 1950's .. There were two types of "X" Film ..

    There was the "Horror "X" .. and the "Mucky "X" ..

    My parents didn't get a telephone at home until 1977 .. it was a dark blue Trimphone, decorated with the Queen's Silver Jubilee logo ..

    A couple for the fellers ..

    Who else remembers when every male kid in the street had a "Davy Crockett" hat ?

    Who else remembers when every lad wore a "Snake" belt to hold his short school trousers up with ?

    Oh, and the little, poorly illuminated "arms" which appeared out of the sides of cars, indicating which way the driver intended to turn .. were called "Trafficators" .. ;)

  2. So that's me, positively ancient then.
    Although I didn't know they were called trafficators just that mine didn't work very well so I seemed to have my arm out of the window a lot.
    33 1/3 rpm on my HiFi.
    Had the snake belt but not the Davy Crockett hat. Remember those school caps?

  3. Electrical appliances that plugged in to the light socket because that was the only socket there was? You could buy the plugs and multi-way adaptors that made your light look like a xmas tree.

  4. Captain Haddock8 June 2011 at 11:49

    I certainly do Rob ..

    In fact one of those type caps resulted in me being drummed out of the Cubs, at the tender age of 8 .. for shoving Danny Harkin's Cub cap down the bog & flushing it .. ;)

    Oh, forgot to say earlier .. my favourite "fast food" was Fish & Chips from the local Chippie (and still is) ..

  5. Captain Haddock8 June 2011 at 11:55

    Your mum having a wooden-slatted airing "rack" screwed into the joists of the kitchen ceiling to dry the clothes which had just come off the line ..

    I believe they're now sold in "posh" kitchen shops to hang copper-bottomed pans & bunches of exotic spices from .. and cost a bloody arm & a leg ..

  6. my score was 15 ah but those were the days.

  7. ..when every boy carried a pocket knife...

  8. Do score 16 ? I remember coffee shops without juke boxes... and all shops without music.
    How about carrying gasmasks?

  9. Gasmasks don't count. I was carrying one around with me just on two years ago.

  10. Does the milk arriving in a churn on the horse and cart and measured out with a ladle count for an extra point?
    The next innovation was the wide topped bottles with a cardboard 'insert' well before foil ones arrived.
    The favoured memory is of pubs with mild and bitter and no such thing as lager!

  11. How about: -

    Home & Colonial stores (sorry, shops).
    When Boots the chemist lent books like the library.
    Sitting in the off licence with a lemonade and a bag of crisps (Meredith & Drew) while your folks were in the pub.
    Car radios which had valves in them (luxury).
    Home radio sets with fretwork images of sunsets over the speaker.
    Listening booths in record shops.
    Sweets still on ration. (Ration books in general.)
    Cut-throat razors; I've still got a scar down my face where I tried having a go with one when I was 3. (When my Mum saw the damage I'd done to my chops she fainted; as she was standing at the top of the stairs at the time this was unfortunate, so we both ended up going to casualty.)
    Gas lighting on the market stalls (and in many shops).

    Talking of chippies and school caps, we got a detention if we either (a) were seen not wearing your cap on the way to or from school, or (b) seen outside the local chip shop after school finished. We used to take the micky by buying fruit and standing outside the greengrocers. What's the difference, Sir?

  12. I remember:

    My Dad's car having running boards and a starting handle (for when the battery was flat). And filling up at petrol pumps that were on the pavement - the hoses swung out overhead on metal arms.

    Only two channels on TV. The milk float pulled by a horse.

    Sheep being herded through town on the way to market.

    Our town getting it's first supermarket. (About as big as today's convenience stores.)

    The house windows icing up on the inside.

  13. Captain Haddock8 June 2011 at 17:58

    Some good ones there chaps ..

    I've still got my Ration Book (admittedly, I was only an ankle-biter when it was issued) ..

    The overhead vacuum systems for taking cash from the counter to the till in a small, tubular canister & back, with the change ..

    When Smith's Potato Crisps only came in one flavour (Potato) and the salt came in a little waxed twist of blue paper ..

    When you knew it was Chrimbo .. cos your Dad bought your Mum a bottle of Egg-Nog .. and she got a silly grin on her face, after one glass ..

    When your Bacon & Cheese were sliced in front of you & then wrapped by hand, in paper .. instead of being sold in polythene packets ..

    When the Groger had to put the eggs into a box, containing a light bulb .. to show whether they were fresh, or not .. before your Mum would buy them ..

    When your Dad could safely send you to the Newsagents for a one Ounce tin of his favourite Pipe tobacco .. without there being a Court case over it ..

  14. I've a sneaking feeling that you're all older than me. Just saying like.

  15. My 1st Mini had the floor mounted dipswitch, and ignition on the dashboard (along with the single speed wipers and light switch). The screen washer was a manual plunger pump.

    Trouser clips were also useful for severe diarrhoea...

    Still got my gas iron, and a tick for hand signals and no central heating.

    I scored 14 on the quiz - I can't remember the ice trays? No 11 is a bit new - what about radiograms, or even STEREOgrams?

    The trafficators on Grandad's Austin Big 7 used to stick open, necessitating a thump on the door pillar...

    Buses with a 5 cylinder Gardner engine, and the "clippie" with a hand operated ticket machine on a shoulder strap.

    8 track cartridge players.

    The salt in the blue packets was always damp.

    Our local Co-op had one of the hand operated slicers.

    Woolworth's stocked all those bayonet light socket adaptors.

    When there were NO TV stations transmitting after midnight, and us CB'ers could chat away without risk of causing interference...

    Grandad always had lots of Wrights "Coal Tar" soap, and "Megazones" cough sweets.

  16. 1950's kid8 June 2011 at 20:18

    An army surplus satchel, a lucozade bottle filled with lukewarm orange squash, (mixed by mum) a couple of squashed jam sandwiches wrapped in wax paper, a penknife in my pocket and total freedom to explore the woodland, ponds and farmers fields within a couple of miles radius.

    I feel sorry for the kids today.

    Oh , my score 14, we did not have a fridge when I was a kid, mum shopped every day.

  17. Two television channels? You are a youngster.

    We didn't have a television but the neighbours had only the one channel, BBC. ITV didn't arrive until 1955. Used to have to draw the curtains if you wanted to watch, say the boat race, in the daytime.

  18. Many of the ancient things you all mention were only there for me well after the war.
    So i will offer my shrapnel collection - there wasn't much else you could collect if you were under ten.
    Oh and I should mention cod liver oil (free and sort of compulsory) .

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