Monday 13 January 2014

What I Don't Miss About the 50s I

BBC Light Programme - always playing Tea for Two, The Scottish Soldier and Wonderful World, or kitsch arrangements of decent music (Sing Something Simple)

barley sugar
beetroot in white sauce, cold mutton, boiled cabbage, boiled potatoes, junket, mince, radishes
“car sweets” in tins
tiny rations of butter (it really had been rationed for about 10 years)
tiny rations of sugar (“It doesn’t need it! It’s sweet already!”)
butter pats, butter curls, butter knives and sugar tongs
hugely elaborate and unnecessarily formal table settings for the tasteless, stodgy, repulsive, dry food
being forbidden ketchup or chutney or anything that might have made the food slightly more bearable
being made to eat the food you didn't like first
not eating the new bread until you’d eaten all the stale bread (so you never ate fresh bread)

fear of “spoiling” children
telling children they were lazy or selfish, instead of dyslexic or shy
boarding schools
bullying and being told to ignore it

dip pens, fountain pens
hard loo paper

nylon nighties
nylon sheets
paraffin, its smell, and the delusion that you could heat a room with a paraffin stove

buff, fawn and camel (colours)
boys and men dressed exclusively in buff, fawn, mustard, grey, forest green, burgundy, charcoal, khaki, airforce blue

sports like walking races, hurdling races and water polo

unfunny jokes
unheated railway waiting rooms
unheated rooms

And then along came the 60s, bringing the Beatles, Instant Whip and Lyons sandwich cake, hurrah!


  1. simultaneously depressing (the memories! the horrors!) and cheering that life is so much nicer now. Couldn't agree with you more. Also: having to eat everything on your plate.

  2. Yes - having to eat everything on your plate! Eeeeuuugggh!!! (Thank heavens for paper dolls.)