Monday, 2 April 2012

A to Z 1950s/60s Nostalgia: B

How many Bs do you remember?

B Smell:
Brylcream - For men's hair only, it left it glistening with grease and exuding essence of soapy boot polish with a warning - touch at your peril!

Dusty Springfield's beehive hairstyle
B Memories:
Beehives - We used to back-comb our hair until the ends were white and split and all in the name of fashion, though it never quite worked for me. I back-combed manically but never achieved my sister’s perfect beehive look. Hers was as magnificent as the late and lovely Dusty Springfield’s.

Bus conductors - The bus driver sat in solitary isolation while the conductor walked up and down the bus with a ticket machine round his neck taking our fares. We weren’t allowed to press the bell. He [and it always was a he!] shouted at anyone who did!

Bomb sites - I don’t remember Dad ever using a car park. He either parked on the road [there were no yellow lines] or he parked on a bomb site bumping his little black Ford Popular over the bricks and rubble.

The Baker - Every week the baker knocked at our kitchen door balancing on his hip a huge wicker basket that overflowed with tasty cakes. When Mum got jam tarts I’d lick the jam and leave the rest.

B Programmes:
On TV:
Billy Bunter
Max Bygraves Show “Let me tell you a story.”
Sergeant Bilko with Phil Silvers
Bonanza with Ben Cartwright and Hoss
On Radio: 
Dick Barton Secret Agent
Billy Cotton Band Show “Wakey Waa-aakey!!”

Joan Baez
B Names:

Roger Bannister, broke the 4 minute mile, 1954
David Ben-Gurion, PM Israel
Francis Bacon, artist
George Best, footballer
Alan Bates
Dirk Bogart
Jim Broadbent
Chuck Berry
The Beatles, of course!
Warren Beatty
The Beverley Sisters
Joan Baez
Joe Brown
Pat Boone
Acker Bilk
The Beach Boys who provides the...

B Music:

Good Vibrations.

Which Bs did you remember?


  1. Awesome theme for the challenge! I'm sorry (and more than a bit pleased) to say that I was born after the 50s and 60s, and so have zero memories from that era. To give you an idea of my age, the B people from my childhood comprise both Bushes and the Backstreet Boys. ;)

    J.C. Martin
    A to Z Blogger

  2. I remember David 'B'eckham advertising Brylcream, and I still use it now and again.

    This is me, Duncan D. Horne, visiting you from the A-Z challenge, wishing you all the best throughout April and beyond.

    Duncan In Kuantan

  3. You have really done your homework to come up with so many B words.
    Beetle Bailey comes to mind, and Betty Boop; The Big Bopper; and Brandy, Your a Fine Girl. Theme: A World of Crime

  4. I immediately thought beehives!

    Look forward to your challenge posts...
    --Damyanti, Co-host A to Z Challenge April 2012

    Twitter: @AprilA2Z

  5. Oh yes - I remember some of those. But our bus conductor wasn't always a he and we pulled the wire that rang the bell - only for a request stop, of course. And I remember Billy Cotton's "Wakey Waa-aakey!!" on the TV. He must have been transferred. Thanks for the memories :) ~Miriam

  6. Oh J.C. hi and I’m glad I cheered you up. I’m sad to say that I’ve never heard of your two B names. *feeling-like-an-old-lady sigh*

    Hi Duncan, you still use Brylcream? No! Thought it was defunct.

    Hi Gail, The Big Bopper was the one in the plane with Buddy Holly, wasn’t he? So sad.

    Hi Damyanti, you’re doing a great job of co-hosting and thanks for the visit.

  7. Hi Miriam, did you grow up in Israel? I suppose the transport systems are very different across the world. I hadn't thought of that.

  8. My dad used Brylcream my aunt had a beehive and the bus conductor was always throwing us off the bus for trying to skip our fares. You have been a busy bee!

  9. I remember seeing a picture of my mom modeling a stylish beehive. I always wondered how it got done, but I never asked her. It was a picture from her younger days :-)

    Lovely post!


  10. Beehives and Bonanza got me. Made me think of my grandparents. :D

  11. 'B' for me has always meant beans and a stupid riddle - How many beans make five?

    The answer was - a bean, two beans, a bean and a half, and half a bean.

    I told you it was stupid.

  12. This post brought back so many memories Brylcream a little dab'll do ya. How fun.

  13. There were most definitely lady bus conductors in Leicester Ros, some of us even wanted to be one :-) and I'm quite old enough to remember all of the things you mentioned....and how about bottled milk deliveries

  14. I grew up listening to the Beach Boys - my dad loved them!

  15. Great theme! I love learning about different eras. I will have to come back for more!

  16. Hi Anne, busy bee! Like it ;-)

    Hi Doris and SA, whoops! It sounds like this is a bit of a history lesson for you!

    Hi Bob, thanks for the riddle but beans aren’t nostalgic... or maybe they are for you?!

    Hi Karen, many lads used to use more than a dab of the stuff!

    Hi Ann, you and Miriam have shown me that my bus memories are not as reliable as I thought they were. Thanks for putting me right and the bottled milk deliveries. I miss those.

  17. Great idea for a theme. My grandad still uses Brylcream so I associate the smell of it with him. I think I remember bus conductors when I was little and have vague recollections of watching Bonanza (but I think they were probably reruns).

    Looking forward to seeing what you come up with for the letters Q, X and Z!!!

  18. Sorry if I appeared to be correcting you. I just thought Leicester must have been different from London. ~Miriam

  19. It's not a problem, Miriam. I'm very happy to gather accurate memories from other bloggers. I don't remember any female bus conductors but I must have a false memory for this.

    Hi Kirsty, strangely enough one of the hardest letters has turned out to be E. I made sure I had something for every letter before I started even if there might be a teeny bit of cheating here and there!

  20. I remember Brylcream and beehives. My favorite show was Bonanza.

  21. Ros, You've really gone all out here! My favorites were beehives and Bonanza! I still watch some of the reruns. This is such a creative idea, and I can't wait to come back! Julie

  22. Ah, the Beach Boys. *singing* "I'm picking up good vibrations"

  23. My dad used Brylcream right up to the day he died 3 years ago. Horrid stuff. :)

    I grew up in a tiny village so our buses were few and far between but I only remember male conductors.

    Oh, Bonanza. Loved that! Thanks for the memories.

  24. Aww, Bonanza! What a classic! Such fond memories. Another B memory for me is Bond, James Bond.
    Great post and happy A-Z blogging!

  25. Brylcream!!! It left greasy marks on the back of chairs! The first car my Dad had was a Ford Popular and it had a whole in the floor through which I watched the road go past LOL. I think my first love was Little Joe from Bonanza. Remember those sweets bullseyes? And jumping beans? And those lamps with bits of wax floating around in them. Whoops, that's not a "b".

  26. I only know some of the musicians and the music. Oh, and I know the theme song to Bonanza, and I actually saw my first episode of Bonanza a month or something ago when fishing for something to watch.

    I do feel like I've missed out, door to door baked goods? I'd like to sign up for some of that!

  27. Wonderful memories. All the B's from the long-lost days.

  28. Love Good Vibrations, what a great song. I don't remember most of these, but I love the beehive hairdo and Brylcreeem cracks me up. I can't believe men really put that on their hair.

  29. I've watched Bonanza. You can see re-runs all the time. I went to a Beach Boy concert years ago.


  30. Love the Bs!! I love the Beach Boys! :)

  31. Oh, lots of memories here. Great idea, I love the 50s and 60s. Few extra things I remember: Bristow's lanolin shampoo, Black Cat cigarettes, Brock's Fireworks, Bayko Building sets, Beat the Clock (TV programme)Bluebell metal polish, Bear Brand stockings.

    Don't know if John Bull printing sets count as a 'J' or a 'B'.

    Looking forward to the next letters.

  32. The Beatles, of course! Then Bonanza, Joan Baez,Joe Brown and Pat Boone.

    I really like the theme of your A to Z challenge.

    A blog from the not too very distant past. Awesome.

  33. Even though I'm an American, I remember most of these. Loved the Beatles and the Beach Boys. Before that I loved Bonanza; so cheezy! Thanks for the great post.

  34. Rosalind : This is such a great theme. I can tell a little difference between the countries, but maybe it's just my being another generation but I do remember a lot them. Dusty Springfield must be old today. I had heard the name but just used her 'Preacher Man" for a class and I really liked it. My granddaughter had never heard of her. Now I understand.

  35. What a fabulous theme!! I think The Beatles is a must, and Ba-ba-ba-ba-Barbara Ann! :)

  36. Yay, the Beach boys. A little bit of Summer on a very cold night :-)

  37. Hi Ros .. these are great memories .. I remember most of them - gosh I laughed at Sgt Bilko .. Joan Baez, the Beatles definitely .. and most of the rest - but not quite all .. oh yes Bonanza ..

    love them - great theme .. cheers Hilary