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Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Web Page  No 2416

20th   October 2017

First Picture: Harold McMillan

Second Picture: Laurence Olivier arriving at the Royal Court Theatre in 1957 shows there's little traffic on the roads of London in stark contrast to the city today 







Third Picture: A Polio Victim enjoys an evening out

1957 the Happiest Year!

Recently the Daily Mail declared that 1957 was the happiest year of the last century. Well it was the year I took my 11+ and the year I started at Court Lane. Now more from that year:-

Homes costing £2,000, a yo-yo for Christmas was a great present and there were no traffic jams!

One in five homes had a washing machine and only one in 20 had a fridge. Many homes had outdoor toilets and central heating was not very common either. The post war increase in happiness peaked in 1957 according to these researchers and levels of happiness in Britain have never returned to the levels seen in 1957 

When Prime Minister Harold Macmillan famously declared in 1957 that 'we have never had it so good', it turns out that maybe he was right.
The article claims that people were happier, even though they were struck down by illnesses such as polio. 
The researchers put their findings down to more realistic expectations about a happy life, despite a six-day working week and lack of foreign holidays. After living through two world wars, it is believed people had learned to count their blessings.
The analysis is taken from eight million books used to track contentment from 1776 to 2009, based on positive words such as 'peaceful', 'enjoyment' and 'happiness' compared to negative words such as 'stress' and 'unhappy'. It shows a rise in joy after 1945, peaking in 1957, a fall through the nationwide strikes and inflation of 1978's Winter of Discontent, and then a recovery, but never to the happiness levels of the 1950s.
One of the co-authors said that 'In 1957, memories of the Second World War and the period of austerity that followed were still fresh in the mind of the nation, perhaps helping people to appreciate what they had.
He added: 'It may be that people in the 1950s had a greater sense of realism about happiness.'
Rationing was over by 1957, and the modern age was being ushered in with the space race beginning, Elvis Presley on the radio and technology starting to make domestic life easier.
Men could expect to live to 66 on average, and women to 71, with paid holiday half what it is now, but Mr Macmillan still seemed to capture the mood of a nation when, in a speech at Bedford Town's football ground, he said: 'Let us be frank about it – most of our people have never had it so good.'
While there is much more individualism now, in the 1950s people were more likely to feel as if they had a common goal, so could for example leave their door open when they went out because they trusted their neighbours. Now we are more aware of what is happening in the world than people were then, but could this be making us unhappier as people now have to face pressures put upon them, such as work stress, which might have increased.'
 In 1957, the year of the Queen's first televised Christmas message, there were just two TV Channels.
Traffic jams barely existed, with only 4 million cars on the road compared to 37 million today.
Women made up a third of the workforce – that figure is now 46%.
A first home cost five times the average annual wage in the 1950s, with earnings typically at £7.50 a week and houses priced at £2,000. Now, getting on the property ladder costs about eight times your salary.
There were just 22,000 divorces – a number which had leapt to 111,000 by 2014 – and women got married at 25 on average, but now wait until they're 34.
The Soviet Union launched Sputnik I, a satellite the size of a beach ball – 15 years before astronaut Tim Peake was born.
The most popular gifts for children were yo-yos and I-Spy books.
Around the World in 80 Days, starring David Niven and Shirley MacLaine, won the Oscar for best film.
Paul Anka's Diana was the best-selling single of 1957.
Ah well it is good to look back!!!!


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Peter


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On this day 20th October 1960-1965
On 20/10/1960 the number one single was Tell Laura I Love Her - Ricky Valance and the number one album was South Pacific Soundtrack. The top rated TV show was No Hiding Place (AR) and the box office smash was Psycho. A pound of today's money was worth £13.68 and Tottenham Hotspur were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.


On 20/10/1961 the number one single was Michael - The Highwaymen and the number one album was The Shadows - Shadows. The top rated TV show was Sunday Night at the London Palladium (ATV) and the box office smash was One Hundred and One Dalmations. A pound of today's money was worth £13.25 and Ipswich Town were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.


On 20/10/1962 the number one single was Telstar - The Tornadoes and the number one album was Best of Ball Barber & Bilk. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was Lawrence of Arabia. A pound of today's money was worth £12.89 and Everton were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions. The big news story of the day was Hyde Park Underpass opens.

On 20/10/1963 the number one single was Do You Love Me? - Brian Poole & the Tremoloes and the number one album was Please Please Me - The Beatles. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was The Great Escape. A pound of today's money was worth £12.64 and Liverpool were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions. The big news story of the day was Macmillan resigns as Prime Minister.

On 20/10/1964 the number one single was Oh Pretty Woman - Roy Orbison and the number one album was A Hard Day's Night - Beatles. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was Dr Strangelove. A pound of today's money was worth £12.24 and Manchester United were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions. The big news story of the day was Brezhnev replaces Krushchev.

On 20/10/1965 the number one single was Tears - Ken Dodd and the number one album was The Sound of Music Soundtrack. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was The Sound of Music. A pound of today's money was worth £11.69 and Liverpool were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions. The big news story of the day was Lesley Ann Downey's body found on Pennines.



Thursday, 12 October 2017

Web Page  No 2414

13th  October 2017

The last book in the Drayton Series is now available

First Picture: Smiths Crisp Packet





Second Picture: Camp Coffee Jar
Third Picture: Darning a sock
Forth Picture: Morris Minor 1,000,000 for a time this lived in Lealand Road.


Eating, Drinking, Clothing and Life in the 1950’s
More from the past!!!!!

Pasta had not been invented.
Curry was still a surname.
A takeaway was a mathematical problem.
A pizza was something to do with a leaning tower somewhere abroad.
Bananas, dates and oranges only appeared at Christmas time.
All crisps were plain; the only choice we had was whether to put the salt on or not.
A Chinese chippy was a foreign carpenter.
Rice was a milk pudding and never, ever part of our main course at dinner time.
A Big Mac was what we wore when it was raining.
Brown bread was something only poor people ate.
Oil was for lubricating locks and bicycles, fat was for cooking
Tea was made in a teapot using tea leaves and was never green or in little bags.
Coffee was Camp - and came in a bottle with a master and servant on the label.
Cubed sugar was regarded as posh.
Only Heinz made beans.
Fish didn't have fingers in those days.
Eating raw fish was called poverty, not sushi.
None of us had ever heard of yoghurt.
Healthy food consisted of anything edible and normally starchy.
People who didn't peel potatoes were regarded as lazy.
Indian restaurants were only found in India.
Cooking outside was called camping.
“Camping” was something you did not talk about.
Seaweed was not a recognised food.
"Kebab" was not even a word never mind a food.
Sugar enjoyed a good press in those days and was regarded as being white gold.
Prunes were medicinal and taken once a week, if we needed it or not.
Surprisingly muesli was readily available, but then it was called cattle feed.
Pineapples came in chunks or slices in a tin; we had only ever seen a picture of a real one.
What was Rock Salmon anyway?
Water came out of the tap, if someone had suggested bottling it and charging more than petrol for it they would have become a laughing stock.
And the one thing that we never, ever had on our table in the fifties .. …was our elbows!
Coffee came mixed with chicory and never in little tablets that went into machines.
There were no such things as French Fries, we had Chips!
A torn pair of trousers were either thrown away, darned or put on a scarecrow or guy, not worn in the street as the new fashion.
Worn sheets were turned sides to middle, worn collars and cuffs on shirts were turned and leather patches sewn onto the worn elbows and cuffs of sports jackets.
Every week mother boiled lights for the cat.
We had no child proof tops on bottles.
We could not go shopping on a Sunday as the shops were closed.
If we were out on our own we were told to approach a stranger to help us across the road.
Children had real names not names such as Kiora, Blade, Ridge or Vanilla.
Only girls had pierced ears.
No cars had seat belts.

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Peter


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On this day 13th October 1960-1965

On 13/10/1960 the number one single was Tell Laura I Love Her - Ricky Valance. The top rated TV show was Bootsie & Snudge (Granada) and the box office smash was Psycho.  A pound of today's money was worth £13.68.  

On 13/10/1961 the number one single was Michael - The Highwaymen and the number one album was The Shadows - Shadows.  The top rated TV show was Sunday Night at the London Palladium (ATV) and the box office smash was One Hundred and One Dalmations.
A pound of today's money was worth £13.25 and Ipswich Town were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.

On 13/10/1962 the number one single was Telstar - The Tornadoes and the number one album was Best of Ball Barber & Bilk. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was Lawrence of Arabia.  A pound of today's money was worth £12.89 and Everton were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.

On 13/10/1963 the number one single was Do You Love Me? - Brian Poole & the Tremoloes and the number one album was Please Please Me - The Beatles. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was The Great Escape.  A pound of today's money was worth £12.64 and Liverpool were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.

On 13/10/1964 the number one single was Oh Pretty Woman - Roy Orbison and the number one album was A Hard Day's Night - Beatles. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was Dr Strangelove. A pound of today's money was worth £12.24 and Manchester United were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.

On 13/10/1965 the number one single was Tears - Ken Dodd and the number one album was Help - The Beatles. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was The Sound of Music. A pound of today's money was worth £11.69 and Liverpool were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.



Thursday, 5 October 2017

Web Page  No 2412

6th October 2017

First Picture: The only known picture of the Funny Machine



Second Picture: Diagram of the Funny Machine
Third Picture: Billy Bean toy.

Billy Bean and his Funny Machine.

Now here is a programme which I am sure many of you have forgotten. It appeared around the time of The Wooden Tops, the Flower Pot Men and Rag, Tag and Bobtail.
Do you remember Billy Bean and His Funny Machine the children’s TV series which was broadcast by the BBC, (there was no other channel at the time), in 1954 and ran for two years until 1956. It featured a uniformed puppet engine driver from an un-named railway,  his name was Billy Bean. Apart from being part of this unidentified railway company, operated a large fantastic and puzzling machine that could somehow produce anything that Billy Bean drew on a special screen that was called a "cartoonorator". Many mistakes were made with humorous results, which was the aim and charm of the programme. The machine which featured such devices as a windmill, a Dorset-Faucet (whatever that may be!) and the cartoonerator. The voice of Yoo-Hoo was supplied by Ivan Owen, who later went on to voice one of the Britain's best loved puppets of all time, Basil Brush. Many back-room staff, who later went on to be involved in other puppet series, were involved in this early TV production. Peter Hawkins, who went on to make a career in children’s puppet TV, provided the voice of Billy Bean.
To a degree it could be said that the programme was an American import as it was based upon an American children's show dreamt up by Chuck Luchsinger's and called "Jolly Gene & His Fun Machine". There were many similarities, Jolly Gene dressed as a Railroad Engineer and drove a train; Billy Bean also drove a train and was dressed as a British train driver. For the programme John Wright made the puppets and all equipment including the funny machine, the series was written by Lisa Lincoln and the puppetry was by Jane Tyson and Elizabeth Donaldson. The show was produced by Vere Lorrimer.
In the show Billy Bean usually operated the funny machine assisted by a cuckoo named Yoo Hoo that emerged from a clock and laid an egg at random intervals during each performance. Ivan Owen provided the voice for Yoo Hoo, he is probably better known for, in later years, providing the voice for Basil Brush.
The programme has never had any VHS or DVD releases. Hence, the show is almost forgotten. Whether or not the show is truly lost is unknown however only one screenshot remains as visual proof of its existence and that is featured as the top picture this week.
The BBC were very keen that all the family knew of the contents of their Children’s Programmes and so often the following would be read out later in the day by the Continuity Announcer. “This afternoon's children's programme is repeated so that older members of the family can meet a new character recently introduced in Children's Television.”
For some strange reason years later the programme became popular in Czechoslovakia! Maybe there are all the episodes that have been lost to UK audiences in existence somewhere in the Czech Republic!!
Now how many of you remembered the programme?
The programme featured a theme song that went as follows, maybe you will remember this:-
Billy Bean built a machine to see what it could do.
He made it out of sticks and stones and nuts and bolts and glue.
The motor sang Chuffaty Bang, Rattata Rattatarator,
And all of a sudden a picture appeared on the funny old cartoonerator
Billy Bean built a machine to see what it would do,
It did the funniest things he'd seen,
So he called it his fun machine, machine,
Billy Bean and his fun machine."

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Yours

Peter


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Cannot believe that the 10th of this month marks our Golden Wedding !!!!!


News and Views:

On this day 6th October 1960-1965

On 06/10/1960 the number one single was Tell Laura I Love Her - Ricky Valance and the number one album was Tottenham Hotspur. The top rated TV show was Bootsie & Snudge (Granada) and the box office smash was Psycho. A pound of today's money was worth £13.68.  Worst flooding in Southern England since 1953. The big news story of the day was No Hiding Place (AR).

On 06/10/1961 the number one single was Kon-Tiki - The Shadows and the number one album was The Shadows - Shadows. The top rated TV show was Sunday Night at the London Palladium (ATV) and the box office smash was One Hundred and One Dalmations. A pound of today's money was worth £13.25 and Ipswich Town were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.

On 06/10/1962 the number one single was Telstar - The Tornadoes and the number one album was Best of Ball Barber & Bilk. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was Lawrence of Arabia. A pound of today's money was worth £12.89 and Everton were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.

On 06/10/1963 the number one single was She Loves You - The Beatles and the number one album was Please Please Me - The Beatles. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was The Great Escape. A pound of today's money was worth £12.64 and Liverpool were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions. The big news story of the day was Dam malfunction kills 2000 in Italian flood

On 06/10/1964 the number one single was Oh Pretty Woman - Roy Orbison and the number one album was A Hard Day's Night - Beatles. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was Dr Strangelove. A pound of today's money was worth £12.24 and Manchester United were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.

On 06/10/1965 the number one single was Tears - Ken Dodd and the number one album was Help - The Beatles. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was The Sound of Music. A pound of today's money was worth £11.69 and Liverpool were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.



Thursday, 28 September 2017

Web Page  No 2410

28th September 2017

First Picture: Sylvia Peters in the early days




Second Picture: Mary Malcom
Third Picture: Robert Dougall
Fourth Picture: Sylvia Peters 50 years after the Coronation

Sylvia Peters
Sylvia Peters, was not the first woman to appear before the cameras on BBC television, but she was the first to achieve fame, if not quite celebrity status, in the early 1950s. One of three programme announcers at the time of the Queen’s coronation in June 1953 – the first major and prolonged outside broadcast the corporation had ever attempted – she was chosen to introduce the coverage and since up to half the adult population managed to get in front of a television set to watch the event, she found herself famous almost overnight. The other two main BBC presenters at the time were Mary Malcolm and Robert Dougall.
Hers was the first face viewers saw that morning, announcing what would be “a great and joyous day for us all”. She was dressed in a flowery evening gown and, sitting in front of a map showing the route of the coronation procession, it was her job to relate what would be happening. Beside her was a six-page memorandum outlining what she had to do if there was a technical fault or a break in transmission – which in the event fortunately did not happen. She was in a studio at Alexandra Palace and handed over to the main commentators, Richard Dimbleby at Westminster Abbey and others along the route, to report the scene.
Sixty years later she said that: “Part of the reason I was chosen was I had a very good memory. I was given the script the night before and had to learn it in time. I was also the same age as the Queen, which they liked.”
Afterward the broadcast she found herself being stopped in the street by members of the public and, even 40 years later, long after she had finished regular broadcasting, would still be recognised.
She was born Sylvia Petronzio, the daughter of Romelo Petronzio, who had a clock-making business in London, and his English wife, Ethel Edwards. From an early age her mother took her to ballet and acting lessons, and she appeared in revues, including one at the Coliseum marking VE Day at the end of the second world war.
In 1947, however, mother and daughter spotted an advertisement for announcers at the BBC, and using her anglicised surname of Peters– was persuaded to apply. “My mother forced me because she did not like me being on the stage,” she said years later.
The audition included a foreign language test, a pronunciation exam and screen tests, including a shot walking downstairs – peculiarly, since announcers were not expected to move as they broadcast. She got the job on £500 a year: “We were meant to be decorative, charming hostesses. They wanted us to look pretty and feminine.”
At that stage just half a million households had television sets, and coverage only reached as far as the Midlands. Breakdowns and losses of transmission were common and broadcasting was live. Female announcers wore patterned evening dresses – but not stripes or checks which made the picture strobe – shoulders were covered by shawls and cleavages disguised by plastic flowers. There was no autocue, rehearsals or editing. “We were on every night. There was no one else,” she said. “When I first went to the BBC, people did not admit they had a set. They would say, ‘the servants have one and I occasionally see it downstairs’.”
The coronation broadcast was seen live across France and Germany, with the film flown by jet to be shown in the US and Canada that evening. It made television respectable for the first time.
The following year, she branched out to become one of the first hosts of Come Dancing. She went on to record a training film in 1957 for the Queen, to prepare her for her first televised Christmas broadcast. The Queen took it to Balmoral for the summer to study by this time she was able to chose the autocue method which was new at the time.
In 1958 Sylvia Peters retired as an announcer, though she continued as an infrequent broadcaster for a further 30 years, introducing Ladies’ Day at Ascot, presenting the early ITV product placement show Jim’s Inn, appearing in occasional documentaries and being interviewed in 2013 about her role on Coronation Day. She opened a children’s clothing store in Wimbledon in 1963, and it was followed in 1977 by a shop for women’s fashion.
In 1950 she married Kenneth Milne-Buckley, her first studio manager at the BBC. He predeceased her and Sylvia Peters died on 26th July 2016 leaving her daughter, Carmella.

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Peter


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On this day 28th September 1960-1965
On 28/09/1960 the number one single was Apache - The Shadows and the number one album was Down Drury Lane to Memory Lane - A Hundred and One Strings. The top rated TV show was The Army Game (Granada) and the box office smash was Psycho. A pound of today's money was worth £13.68 and Tottenham Hotspur were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.

On 28/09/1961 the number one single was Johnny Remember Me - John Leyton and the number one album was The Shadows - Shadows. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was One Hundred and One Dalmations. A pound of today's money was worth £13.25 and Ipswich Town were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.

On 28/09/1962 the number one single was She's Not You - Elvis Presley and the number one album was Best of Ball Barber & Bilk. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was Lawrence of Arabia. A pound of today's money was worth £12.89 and Everton were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.

On 28/09/1963 the number one single was She Loves You - The Beatles and the number one album was Please Please Me - The Beatles. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was The Great Escape. A pound of today's money was worth £12.64 and Liverpool were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.

On 28/09/1964 the number one single was I'm Into Something Good - Herman's Hermits and the number one album was A Hard Day's Night - Beatles. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was Dr Strangelove. A pound of today's money was worth £12.24 and Manchester United were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions. The big news story of the day was Harpo Marx dies.

On 28/09/1965 the number one single was Make It Easy On Yourself - Walker Brothers and the number one album was Help - The Beatles. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was The Sound of Music. A pound of today's money was worth £11.69 and Liverpool were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions. The big news story of the day was Volcano erupts in Phillipines.