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Back to the ‘70s…

A friend posted on my Facebook timeline the other day, “First you believe in Father Christmas; then you are Father Christmas; then you look like Father Christmas.” I am currently entering that third phase, even if I’m not as hirsute as the big man himself. But I am certainly getting older. I know this because people keep reminding me that this is the case – and because I tend to reminisce more than I used to do.

In the United Kingdom, we are able to ascertain each other’s age through reminiscence about childhood, rather than asking directly. Each mini-generation has its own unique shared memories that place it pretty much precisely.

Here are mine – and just thinking about them have transported me back to the 1970s…

  • Watch with Mother. Andy Pandy (first in black and white, then in colour); The Herbs; Trumpton. Moving on to Blue Peter – specifically with John, Peter and Val. Moving on to John Pertwee playing The Doctor. Moving on to Starsky and Hutch.
  • Brian Cant. Johnny Ball. John Craven.
  • The dying days of Saturday morning cinema.
  • Spangles.
  • Sherbet lemons; Pear drops; Kola cubes.
  • Curly Wurlies.
  • The three day week. Power cuts during lessons.
  • Mousetrap.
  • Cluedo.
  • Mastermind. (The board game, not the TV show)
  • My school cap; the itchiness of long socks held up by elastic garters; the ubiquitous gabardine raincoat, later replaced by a ‘parka’ with a rabbit fur trim to the hood that got wet and rather smelly; chapped knees in the winter.
  • T-bar sandals; Clarks Commando lace up shoes; Black elasticated daps. (Not pumps or plimsolls, note…)
  • Gloopers. (They were collectible anthropomorphic plastic vegetables and fruits that sat on the top of your pencil)
  • Balsa wood gliders in the summer; Airfix models in the winter – to be painted using those tiny, tiny pots of paint.
  • Peter Powell stunt kites.
  • Chopper bikes.
  • The Beano; Whizzer and Chips; The Dandy.
  • The tiger who came to tea; Paddington Bear; The Secret Seven; Jennings and Darbyshire; The 101 Dalmatians; Smith; Emil and the Detectives; The Silver Sword; Stig of the Dump; The Cricket in Times Square; Watership Down.
  • Commando war comics.
  • My first Scout uniform – crimplene long trousers, green shirt, maroon scarf, beret. Not a good look, but I was very proud of it – and the badges I earned. (Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose, as I never said when I was eleven.)
  • Chitty Chitty Bang Bang; Captain Nemo and the underwater city; The Railway Children; Herbie rides again; Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory; Swallows and Amazons; Escape to Witch Mountain.
  • The Christmas lights in London’s Regent Street and Oxford Street – and later, Cheltenham.
  • Waiting (and hoping) to be chosen to sing the first verse solo of ‘Once in Royal David’s City’… It happened once.
  • My mum’s cooking: Drop scones with Golden Syrup. Spaghetti Bolognese; Curry served with bits of fruit and desiccated coconut; Cottage pie; Lamb chops, mashed potato and frozen peas.
  • Angel Delight. Butterscotch, chocolate, but never strawberry.
  • The Sodastream.
  • A bedroom with no central heating, but a cozy hot water bottle with which to go to bed.


  1. Julie Barzel Julie Barzel

    Wow! You took me back in time with all the TV programmes (though you didn’t mention Thunderbirds). As for the games, I still have Cluedo and mini Mastermind

  2. I love it! Your data allows me to estimate that my age is slightly less than yours because, although I recall many of those things, Tom Baker was my Doctor!!

  3. Sian Callaghan Sian Callaghan

    Rob wants to add Action Man, marbles and Champion the Wonder Horse on TV.I remember dodgy anoraks that let in the cold and rain, excitement at visiting the Isle of Wight on holiday (it seemed exotic at the time), Kerplunk, oh and hot endless summers, or so it seemed.

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