Thursday, September 30, 2010

Thursday 13: Sixties Child

What an inventive, thought provoking blogger I am ... not! Life seems to be whizzing past without much time for coherent thought, but I can at least manage to churn out memes.

This week, thirteen things I remember from my 1960s childhood:

1. Long socks. I remember wearing long white socks to school until I was maybe 12 or 13. These days I rarely see them - the younger girls almost all wear short socks in summer, or woolly tights in winter.

2. Black-and-white TV, which is apparently beyond my children's comprehension.

3. Paper bags. Lots of things came in paper bags - sweets, of course, but also fruit and veg, and any smaller items. Large items went directly into a shopping bag. When did plastic carriers come into common use? Early 70s?

4. Brown painted woodwork. Old-fashioned even in the 60s, but older people's houses often had doors, skirting boards and staircases painted brown. Was it war issue paint, or just 1940s style?

5. Ski yoghurt, which was at the cutting edge of culinary adventure. Foreign food!

6. Big pennies, and other pre-decimal coins, like silver sixpences, half-crowns and the multi-sided thruppeny (three-penny) bit. I'm not quite old enough to remember the farthing (quarter-penny). Oh, and doing arithmetic in pounds, shillings and pence - 12 pence to the shilling and 20 shillings to the pound. Children today don't know how lucky they are!

7. Coal fires and coal delivery trucks. We always had a coal fire in the sitting room, and electric fires in the kitchen and bedrooms. I don't remember anyone having central heating in those days.

8. Lino. Particularly the cold lino floor in my unheated bedroom (or at least, unheated until I got out of bed and crossed that freezing floor to turn the fire on.

9. Outside toilets. Most people I knew did have inside bathrooms in the 60s (though we did have a long disused two-seater thunderbox at the bottom of our garden!), but my primary school still had an outside toilet block. In winter it froze. Enough said.

10. Operator connected telephone calls. Some numbers were on a direct dial exchange, but not all. A far cry from todays mobile networks.

11. Record players. I know these were still around in the 70s and 80s, but in the 60s there were only record players - no cassettes or CDs, just records. I remember having a record player with a switch for playing 78s, but I don't think we had any.

12. Ink wells in desks, dip pens to write with, and blotting paper. (When did you last use blotting paper?)

13. Strap on roller skates. Remember those?

I got to the end of this and then had a hunch that I had done a similar Thursday Thirteen before. Sure enough, I had - but it is long enough ago and different enough that I am not going to worry about having the same good(?) idea twice.


Pamela said...

Child of the 60s here as well! Your post took me right back - blotting paper - you only see that in the form of Victorian desk blotters in BBC dramas these days!

Like sunshine in the home said...

I'm a 70's child and remember paper bags, record players, black n' white TV, ink wells, strap on roller-skates - though I did move up to the cooler boot roller-skates later on.

I do remember outside loos because my Grandma had one, but she had an inside one too.