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Thursday, 28 July 2011

Times past

Yesterday I read a post on projectforty which spoke about Things gone by which made me think of my own list of things.  Who remembers Spangles?  Or sweets being rationed?  I was 8 when I won a prize in a fancy dress competition as "Off the Ration" with my dress covered with sweetie papers!! then there were licquorice comfits at 3d for 2 ounces in a little paper bag twisted at the corners, toffee which the shop keeper broke with a hammer,sherbert dips which had a licquorice straw through which to suck it and which choked you if you sucked too hard.....

Toothpaste coming in a tablet in a tin like this one - horrid taste but there was a choice of blue, green or red tin!!

Liberty bodices with their horrid rubbery buttons - what was their purpose I wonder?  And navy knickers - the add in the photo says that they wear like iron - who'd want knickers that wore like iron - not me!!

Waists - we all had one back then!  Notice how tiny the waists always look in 50's fashion pictures made all the more so by the full skirts which brings me on to full net petticoats (mine was pink!)

Junket - I seem to remember it being a regular dessert and when I discovered some vegetarian rennet in Waitrose  recently I bought a bottle and made some - it was delicious and just as I remember it especially served with a few raspberries!

Then there were milk jellies, spotted Dick, tapioca (glad that died out I must admit!) stewed fruit, treacle tart ........ and so on.

Other things I would add to my list include:

Steam trains with heavy leather straps to open the windows and smuts all over you at the end of the journey!
Fountain pens - no biros permitted at school so if you didn't have a fountain pen it was a dip pen and the inkwell usually filled with blotting paper by some boy to make pellets to be shot with a ruler!
Chilblains - treated with a Snowfire tablet (apparently still available but now in a stick form)
Telephone boxes with buttons A and B
School milk - horrid when tepid during summer and in winter frozen solid
Pixie hoods and scarves tied across the chest and pinned in place - people seemed to be so afraid of children's chests getting cold but never gave a thought to our legs in short socks!
Postal orders for 2/6 for your birthday - that would be 12 and a half pence these days!
Knitted bathing costumes!

I could go on and on but perhaps you've had enough by now!

Sweet peas are doing well though now very short in the stem - no prizes would be won by these little dears but they smell divine.

To those of you who think we are lucky to have badgers to visit our garden this is what we have been greeted with outside our backdoor every morning this week - good job we are not keen on striped lawns eh?!!


  1. Yes yes! I rememebr them all. I wore liberty bodices! You did some real memory jogging this morning!

  2. The rubber buttons on Liberty bodices were for those looped elastic suspenders which connected to black woolly school stockings!
    Must go to Waitrose for some rennet now!
    Thanks for the memories.

  3. I remember Spangles, too young to remember sweet rationing but it was still in when I was born, never wore Liberty bodice but mum described them complete with rubber buttons and I still have some buttons! Remember the rest though. Oh and you can still buy Tapioca! Saw it in a tin in Tescos!
    Julie xxxxx

  4. Yes I do remember some of them though not all - for example I've never heard of liberty bodices ( thank heaven !)and junket YUK!!!The good old days were not all good were they?
    I did manage to see a badger though it was a dead one. The dear little thing looked like it was asleep on the road. Pretty cream fur haven't they?

  5. Never enough, I love hearing these tales. This was before my time but I love listening to stories my parents come out with and I do remember spangles. I've been buying up vintage sewing patterns lately and plan on making a couple, perhaps after the summer although maybe not quite so full as in your picture. Those dresses take around 4+ yards of fabric!

    Thank you for the birthday wishes and the compliment on my loo ! We stencilled the walls and I blogged about it ( if you want to take a look. You were complimentary about it then, too!

    Enjoy this fabulous weather x

  6. Brilliant post Jane!
    I remember quite a few of those things and some I'd rather forget!
    What was the obsession with chests, horrible liberty bodices!
    I loved Spangles and as for tapioca, yuck!!!
    Vivienne x
    P.S. I still think I'd take my chances with the badgers. :)

  7. Jane,
    Why is it all the best memories are food related? I remember Spangles. The black one that tasted of aniseed was my favourite and I used to love the taste of Gibbs Dentifrice too.I came acoss one of my old National Savings book the other day and remember buying the stamps at primary school. They had pictures of a young Prince Charles or Princess Anne on them and we used to buy the stamps from our teacher. I've never had junket but I saw something about it on the tv the other day. Now I'm racking my brains to remember where. Can't say I fancied it much! Great post. I always love a trip down memory lane. Lesley x

  8. Remember all those things - even liberty bodices (my mother was old-fashioned and I was a late last child). Spangles were lovely, navy knickers were compulsory for school - horrid fleecy inside, net petticoats were scratchy. If you were given a 10 shilling note (50p)you were seriously rich. Husband will only use a fountain pen even now.
    My sweetpeas have gone very short stemmed too.

  9. Wow, that brought some memories flooding back!

    Spangles, yes. Vile school milk, yes (and the manky stinky mats that if you were the milk mat monitor you were 'allowed' to give out, ugh). Navy blue knickers, yes (mine were stolen from the swimming baths changing room, and they had my name in them. I had to wear a 'spare' pair, yeuch). How about party line on telephones? And, hold onto your hats kids, no VIDEO RECORDERS?!


  10. Wow that was a real trip down memory lane... brought to mind another one - Green Sheild Stamps. Remember those?

  11. Hello:
    Gosh, what a trip down memory lane this was and what fun we have had reading your list and reliving our own memories of the past.

    Spangles, most definitely, we were only talking [or was it reminiscing]about them only the other day. And, pretty much everything else in your list we can bring to mind.

    We remember as if it were yesterday our names on Cash's name tapes, sewed into EVERY item of school clothing in order that nothing would be lost. And, just how did anyone think that the navy, interlocked knickers would go missing!!!!

  12. Spangles - what a treat they were. I was only remembering Daz and Omo soap powders the other day and the plastic flowers that used to be given away with them.

  13. Many of these items I've only read about. But I remember tapioca pudding - made me gag when I was a child and still does.

    It's fun to look back and see how much has changed.

    Your sweet peas are pretty and smell good. That's what's most important.

  14. I loved spangles - and good old proper sweet shops with all the jars lined up. I remember navy knickers and school milk - ugh! I can still conjure up the smell of the ink for our Fountain pens - but they were lovely to write with and I still prefer a fountain pen to a biro.

    Remember when they bought in decimalisation and all the furore that caused!

    I always love a good trip down memory lane.


  15. Good grief, I can remember all of those and whilst I managed to avoid junket, Tapioca was a frequent dessert at school dinners. Horrid stuff, we used to call it frog spawn.

    I was born in Wales and our shampoo used to be a powder named Evan Davies which was mixed with warm water and turned into a gloopy mess to be soread over one's head. Horrid stuff. Out of interest, what book is it that you have shown?

    With you on badgers.

  16. Love all the memories! I remember having fruit gums in a box bought for a treat on a train journey to the countryside. I also remember blancmange with a horrible skin on it and having a wash in the kitchen sink with the 'ascot' above!

  17. Orange juice in glass bottles with blue metal screw caps, Jubblies frozen and sucked dry of all the juice, penny arrows, thick smogs in London where I couldn't see my hand in front of my face and all the buildings black and grimy, running away all day to the park up the road and Mum not having to worry and Patsie, my hard headed jointed doll who had eyes that could shut and open! (I still have her!) Thank you for such a lovely post, made me sit and remember such a lot!

  18. Great memories! I love the toothpaste in a tin! :) x

  19. What a beautiful nostalgic post - especially for a war baby like me!

    I'm in New Zealand, so some things you've mentioned are not familiar to me.
    However I always wore a Liberty bodice!!
    I would love to know the title of that book too - it looks intriguing!

    Yes, in the fifties we all had tiny waists - can't say the same today!!!
    I still remember how exciting it was when I got my first pair of nylons!

    School milk left out in the sun, put me off milk for life!!
    Junket flavoured with vanilla essence and the top sprinkled with nutmeg was a favourite pudding.

    The memories are flooding back, things were simpler then and without a lot of money we had enormous fun!!

  20. Oh yes, school milk and Spangles - by far my favourite childhood sweet. I think they made a revival many moon ago, but obviously didn't sell well so came back off the shelves. Wagon Wheels are far smaller now than in my day. Remember Germolene in round tins? Those were the days!

  21. Yes!
    and 'trainer bras', a lovely idea, to be able to train one's bosom, my own sadly never passed the test

  22. Lovely to hear your entertaining memories! I do remember spangles, I was thinking of them only recently for some reason - I liked the acid drop ones best and also those pink and white minty candy ones! I didn't like the Old English flavour which my father loved though! Thanks for sharing the memories.
    Helen x

  23. I remember all of this ('cept the rationing). Loved junket - the way your spoon slurped when you took a spoonful. What about fish paste sandwiches? Glad I don't have to eat them any more. And what about those cylindrical blocks of ice cream that got pushed down into a small cone, but usually fell out before you could give them half a dozen licks?
    Great post Jane.

  24. I knew 'liberty' meant 'freedom' - and was really confused, till I discovered that they were named for Liberty's store in London. Loved junket, and spangles. We had Gibbs dentifrice [I remember seeing toothpaste in TUBES in the bathroom of a rich friend's house, and tasting a tiny bit on my finger, just to see what it was like] My first nylons and first bra came from woolworths.
    I still use a REAL fountain pen, to the fascination of my pupils
    Sweet memories - thanks for reminding us!
    blessings x

  25. Hi, loved all your trip photos, gorgeous places to look at! Thanks for sharing, nothing like that here in NZ. Although I must say I did take just a wee trip down memory lane! LOL

  26. Hey Jane, what's a few brown patches on the lawn :) I would love the badgers....

    Tku for the sweet memories.....I so enjoyed going back in time on this Sunday morning.

  27. Child of the late 60's/early 70's here so only remember some of the above ... but Spangles and Sherbert Fountains were favourites. My sister and I used to love being asked to stick the Green Shield Stamps in the little Green Shield Stamp book. School knickers were brown, school milk was utterly vile, and fountain pens and leather satchels were compulsory. My father drove a Vauxhall Viva and always had a tube of Opal Mints in the glove compartment. Old Jamaica chocolate bars were his favourite though. Happy memories :D

  28. I always loved the sound of the word 'Junket'...
    Maybe because I love junk...
    I will have to try some next trip over :)
    At last JUNKET!!

  29. This post brought back many memories for me. I remember those horrid bodices, with the rubber buttons!
    Sweetpeas will always delight my eye, and my sense of scent!

  30. An interesting blog about the past! Lovely Sweetpeas, I bet they smell wonderful!
    I did not realise that Badgers could make a mess in gardens!
    Lucy xxxxxx

  31. I certainly remembered Spangles.....they were always in the selection box at Christmas. Ooh and I can remember their taste too!

  32. I remeber most things on your list. Do you remember aquamarine Spangles? Nobody else I have asked remembers them. Did I dream them up? Thanks for all those memories.

  33. I enjoyed your trip down memory lane...and recognize some of the things you mention from novels I have read by British authors. I personally don't recall any of the things you mention except those small waisted, full skirted dresses and petticoats! I was born in 1950 in California so not sure where I fit in on your time line.

    I would have loved to see your prize winning costume with the sweetie papers! And I've no idea what junket is, but it does look quite delicious!

    Thank you for the interesting post. Your sweet peas are so pretty and I can almost smell their lovely of my favorites.

  34. I love your sweetpeas.

    Great post and lovely blog


  35. Very interesting list! I remember some but not all. I discovered junket myself when I was grown up in an old recipe book. I always preferred blancmange (another thing you don't see often these days!)

    I was fascinated by Spangles. I loved the way the packets were in so many different colour combinations and varieties. That red and yellow one makes me think of a circus. Paynes Poppets are still going - and in various combinations.


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