Story: Marion Graham
A little while ago we were asked by one of our local schools if we could talk to a class of 7-8 year olds about our lives when we were their age. Three of our group were faced with about 30 children bursting with questions about what it was like to live 50 years ago!
We spent a really enjoyable afternoon talking about all kinds of things, from the type of clothes we wore to what we did to fill our time “when there was no TV or computer”. They really found it hard to understand how we could manage without these and how could we keep in touch with our friends when there was not a phone in every house, let alone a mobile phone. But they were all very interested and they did in fact stir up a few memories for us. Here are some of the things we remembered – perhaps they might stir a few memories for you too.
Listening to the radio
which we called the wireless, because none of us had TV until about the 50s. There were music programmes; variety shows; quizzes; children’s hour.
that played records which would break if you dropped them and where you had to put a new “needle” into the playing arm very often. Later we had radiograms which combined radio and record playing. The theatres were mostly visited only at Christmastime when pantomimes were put on although the Theatre Royal did admit 2 for the price of 1 for Monday night dress rehearsals!
Saturday morning picture shows
for children were provided at many of the cinemas. We would pay a few pence to go into the cinema for a couple of hours and we would see cartoons, cowboy films with Roy Rogers or Gene Autrey,etc, and early sci-fi serials like Flash Gorden and Buck Rodgers which kept us guessing what would happen next for a whole week until the following episode. We had Tarzan played by Johnny Weismuller always accompanied by Jane and his pet chimp called Cheetah who, with hindsight, was probably a much better actor than many of the rest of the cast! There were lots more things we had for entertainment – mostly not costing very much and quite a few that we just made up amongst ourselves. We managed very well without the assistance of computers, telephones or television and looking back we feel that we had a good time growing up with our family and friends.