Tuesday, 17 April 2012

A to Z 1950s/60s Nostalgia: O

O Smell:
Old Spice - One sniff of this After Shave and I see kipper ties with matching patterned shirts!

O Memories:
Op-art -  I used to love this type of art. I knew nothing about it but appreciated the fun way it played around with my eyes. Bridget Riley, the artist who produced the middle picture of the examples below, is known by some as the 'mother' of op-art. [My heading of Os are showing off some examples of op-art.]

Outside games - Most of my time as a child was spent out in the street. We'd play hopscotch, ball games, hide and seek, circle games like 'The Farmer's in His Den'. Sometimes we'd sit on the kerb and talk or write down car numbers. A favourite game was skipping and there was always someone who had their Mum's old washing line that we could use. We'd have the rope stretched from one side of the road to the other. I don't remember cars bothering us very often and if they did we just stepped aside. We never argued or needed an adult to sort things out. We all knew the rules and we played by them... at least, that's how I remember it.

Office work - I worked as a secretary during the latter part of the 1960s. This was before the computer. Electric typewriters were a rarity and I don't think I'd ever seen a photocopier. If copies of a letter were needed we had to use sheets of carbon paper. When we made mistakes we put tiny pieces of paper in-between the carbon and the copy so we could rub out without making a mess. The only problem was I always forgot to take the bits of paper out and had gaps in my copies.

The cast of On the Buses
O Programmes:
On TV:
On the buses
Opportunity Knocks
Oh Boy

On Radio:
Open House

This is the copy of Orwell's 1984 that
I remember reading as a teenager
O Names:

Lawrence Olivier
Joe Orton
George Orwell
Peter O’Toole
Esther and Abi Ofarim
Des O’Connor
The Overlanders
Roy Orbison who provides the...

O Music:
Roy Orbison singing Only the Lonely

Did you think of any more Ns?


  1. Old Spice, lol. That reminds me of my dad. He used to pack it on. :)

  2. Love the Op-art, Ros. Old Spice must have found its way into so many Christmas stockings.

    O was a toughie for memories.
    Daphne Oxenford on 'Listen with Mother', The Ovaltineys and their song... I can still hear: 'Happy girls and Boys'.
    Another song: 'On the good ship, Lollipop'.
    Gosh, Esther and Abi Ofarim - Now I've got Cinderella Rockafella in my head.
    Omo washing powder, Odor-ono deodorant.
    Oh, and Oxo cubes and the TV ad.

    I'm sure there must be more O memories.

    Pat (with thinking cap on)

  3. Sometimes when I'm sitting quietly I smell Old Spice from out of nowhere and always know my dad is looking after me.
    I can't stop laughing at how much we have thought alike I think at least four things here I have for other letters. I'm really struggling with U how about you?

  4. P.S. "Oh, Carol" (Neil Sedaka)
    Although the first books were published in the 1940s or earlier, there were a lot of new Orlando the Cat books in the 50s and 60s

  5. I saw many familiar names on your post and by coincidence Only The Lonely by Roy Orbison was my subject today.


  6. Hi Ros, "Old Spice" seems to be in everyone's 50's/60's memory - me too.
    Great minds again...... as my own personal 50's O memory is of an "Olivetti" typewriter - hours spent learning at secretarial college - "carriage return" - know what I mean!!!!!
    Smell: OLA washing up liquid - left everything with a perfumed taste too - yuk!!!
    Pat I came up with Omo washing powder and the very first Oxo Advert.
    Songs: "Once Upon a Dream" by Billy Fury, "Over the Rainbow", "One Night with You" by Elvis Presley.
    TV: Omnibus
    People: Bill Owen, Ozzy Osborne. Tony Orlando.
    Ohhhhh Ros those wonderful memories of outside games, skipping, ball games, whip and top and marbles and so many, many more............ "happy, sunny days of childhood".

  7. Hi Lynda, it must have been the only After Shave on the market!

    Hi Pat, I’d forgotten about Daphne Oxenford and the Ovaltineys. Wonderful memories but I don’t remember Orlando the Cat.

    Hi Anne, what a lovely thought. I’m sure he is and don’t stress about us hitting on the same topics. It was inevitable!! We were having similar ideas even before this A to Z, remember!

    Hi Yvonne, there are a lot of coincidences appearing on the A to Z right now. Might make an interesting blog post in May.

    Hi Rifka, yes! Carriage return! I should have added that one. If you forgot to return your carriage then you just typed right off the paper and onto the rubber roller and that little bell helped you to remember but I was always forgetting. I was a useless secretary! I remember playing with marbles but not whip and top. You’ll be talking about hoop and sticks next!!! [It was a joke, dear sister!]

  8. I used a typewriter when I first started submitting. I only type with two fingers, and even now I still make lots of mistakes, so you can imagine how much correcting paper I went through. I cried with joy when my dad bought a word processor, and the mistakes could just disappear from the screen as though they'd never existed.

  9. Cute post. Glad I stopped by. Also like your blog.

    I'm the author of the Bella and Britt series for kids. Pop by my blog if you've the chance.

    Thanks for your opinions today!

  10. rings in my mind as part of my growing up too. Even though I lived in Australia, we did the same things. We had Italian boys, who moved over after the war, hanging about on bikes watching us skip.


  11. O! O! O! Love Roy Orbison.
    I too had a secretarial job with a Royal typewriter and carbon paper.
    Your op art makes my eyes cross!

  12. My Dad still uses a type writer and wears Old Spice. That clacking of his type writer is one of my favorite childhood memories. He does have an electric one now.

  13. All I have to do is catch a whiff of Old Spice and I'm instantly 3 years old again, giving my grandfather a big hug. :D

  14. People who never suffered through typing with copy papers don't know how good they have it. Here in the US, kids don't seem to play like we did. They either get taken by their parents to various activities or sit in front of the TV or computer. I feel truly blessed to have grown up before it was dangerous to be a child and before TV and other electronics.

  15. My dad always wore Brut rather than Old Spice. It's still a smell I know though!

    I'm stopping by from the A to Z Challenge!
    Giggle, Laugh, Cry

  16. Good choices! I love op art and my dad always smelled of Old Spice too :)

  17. Hi Ros, we used to choose a colour and then spot how many cars passed by in our chosen colour!

    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

  18. Yes Old spice was the smell of my Dad too!
    Love Roy Orbison. I'll have that song in my brain for today hopefully.
    Still loving your AtoZ's. Great posts!

  19. Hi Ros . I'm sure Old Spice featured - but not with my Dad ... we never had a street to play on - so I envy you that part ...

    I love those Op Art pics you've posted and the letters - PS they've been a delight to see pop up on the screen for each of your letters ..

    I learnt to type on one of those old battering rams - I don't know how long I'd have lasted if I'd had to continue to use them!

    Great Os .. and I love Roy Orbison .. cheers Hilary