Oh, moving on a decade or two, do you remember the ghastly time when shops did away with individual cubicles and had communal changing rooms? What on earth was that about? It only lasted a few years, I should think clothes sales plummeted in that time. Even if you were reasonably confident about your body and few enough women are, stripping off and trying on clothes among strangers is just awful.
You never picked up things in shops and took them to a till, an assistant came to help you.
What was sold back in the 50s and 60s that isn’t available now? I can think of soda syphons – you sent them back to the shop to be refilled, or maybe there was a deposit on them – which came to the same thing, you always needed soda water on hand, even if only to add to whisky. Lemonade came in glass bottles with a deposit on them – they were still around in the late 1970s, I remember buying fizzy ‘nade for my older children.
Smiths Crisps (did it have an apostrophe? I can’t remember) with its little twist of salt that you unwrapped and sprinkled into the packet of crisps, then held the top of the bag and shook to distribute. Years later they tried reintroducing it, but it was in little sealed squares and it wasn’t the same at all.
Sweetshops, with their glass jars of sweets – they’re still about, though there aren’t too many of them, but the jars are plastic now. Why did some sweets vanish while others are still made? Spangles, for example. Other sweets that we ate then are still about, though you do need a proper sweetshop to find them, such as sherbet fountains (though the tube of liquorice is hygienically wrapped nowadays which does rather spoil things), aniseed balls with the little seed at their centre (aniseed balls rarely have that nowadays, which is a bit of a cheat). Walnut whips can be bought now, but they cheesepared many years ago by removing the walnut half from the inside – it used to be embedded in the base of the chocolate – and only leaving the one on top. And surely they’re smaller than they used to be, or is it just that I’m bigger. Do Wagon Wheels still exist? They got smaller, for sure.
If you would like to add your own recollections, let me have the email you use for your Blogger account (I don’t know if it would work for other blogs, though we could give it a go) and I’ll add you to the list of people who can post on this blog (I think this is awfully brave of me)- you can add to this one or write a post of your own. If there is any enthusiasm for the idea, Tim suggests we could start a blog on the subject – it might be fun to share memories. I expect it would flare brightly as we remember things and then we’d all snap back to the present, but that doesn’t matter.