Sunday, 1 April 2012

A to Z of 1950s/60s Nostalgia: A

Each post consists of: 
     a smell to get you in the mood 
          some memories 
               a list of programmes and names 
                    a piece of music from an A artist
                         followed by you saying, “Oh gosh! I'd forgotten that!”

Welcome to my Nostalgic look at

A Smell:
Ashes - The choking sulphur fumes of ashes from the fire, piled in the ash can, sparks still flying, as Dad carried them out. “Keep away! It’s hot!”

A Memories:
Adverts on TV - These days I groan at the ads on the telly but in 1955, when TV adverts were first shown in the UK, I thought they were amazing. Dad loved electronics. He fixed up a funny-looking box to the back of our telly and we received ITV as soon as it started transmitting.

Some of my favourite adverts from back then include:
“You’ll wonder where the yellow went when you brush your teeth with Pepsodent.” 
“Don’t forget the Fruit Gums, Mum.” 
“Go to work on an egg.” 
“Murray mints, Murray mints, they’re too good to hurry mints.” 
“Milk’s gotta lotta bottle!”
*sigh* They don’t make adverts like that anymore!

AA Patrolmen - I loved it when Dad took us for a ride on a Sunday afternoon and the AA man saluted us. I used to think he was our friend.

A Programmes:
On TV:
The Avengers with Emma Peel and Steed
The Army Game – “I only aarsked!”

On Radio:
Arthur Askey – “Hello, Playmates.”

A Names:
Fred Astaire
Paul Anka
Louis Armstrong
Frankie Avalon
The Animals who provide the...

A Music:
The House of the Rising Sun.

Did I do it? 
Let me know if I made you say, 
"Oh gosh! I'd forgotten that!"


  1. Oh gosh! It's hard to believe, but I think even I am too young for most of these - except for The Avengers and The Animals. ~Miriam

  2. Sorry, Miriam. I'll try and include some more from 1960s in my other posts for youngsters like yourself!

  3. Woh! You remember so many things.I had a laugh because I nearly did The Avengers. I remember the smell of ashes too and rolling up newspaper into tight balls, do people still do this? I wonder.

  4. Loved this. Although I didn't live in the U.K. until the mid eighties, some of the same memories reach me from Australia. Brilliant way of going about the challenge.

  5. Hi Anne, yes Mr A still does that on the rare occasion we light a real fire in the front room.

    Hi Francene, so glad that some of the memories have travelled well.

  6. Hi Ros,

    No, they surely don't make adverts like that anymore! Good start to the challenge!

    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

  7. What a great post! I'm a little too young (I never thought I'd say that again!) to say I remember, but I do still remember the ashes from the coal fire and constantly being told to stay away when I went to my grandparents.

    Have a great A to Z month Rosalind.

  8. House of Rising Sun -- I love that song! Great post, Rosalind. It's nice to get updates on times long gone. :)

  9. Brilliant choice of song to start us off with :-)

    I remember the Murray mints advert so it must have carried on through to the 70's.

  10. In the US the ads were different but just as funny/riveting. I remember the Doublemint twins chewing gum and Frosty the Tiger cornflakes. Thanks for the trip down memory lane!

  11. The only ad I remember is the Pepsodent one - going to have that song stuck in my head now! :)

  12. I'm pleased to say that my senior memory had not forgotten any of them.
    Good fun, Rosalind.

  13. Hi Duncan, thanks but do you remember those adverts or are they from too far back in history?

    Hi Rebecca, hope there’s something in my A to Z collection that you DO remember!

    Hi Vero, it’s an amazing song, isn’t it.

    Hi Sarah, I’m afraid the decade distinctions blur in my memory a bit but the music is timeless, right?

    Hi Laura, there’s something about advert jingles that brings back memories that TV programmes don’t even touch.

    Hi Jemi, it is a catchy tune, isn’t it!

    Hi Bob, so glad there’s someone out there in blogging land who remembers as far back as I do. ;-)

  14. Hello! What a fun post to start off the A to Z Challenge. It's always fun learning about eras past. Have a wonderful week!


  15. This is a great put a lot of thought into it and I look forward to more.

  16. First, thank you so much for the control + 0. It worked and I am so relieved. Now I can read what I write in comments and read other's comments. Just in time for the Challenge. I love your idea here. I do remember the Avengers and tried to remember some of the British TV commercials since I lived there in the late 50s early 60s, but couldn't. Great post, looking forward to more.

  17. I used to love watching the re-runs of the Avengers. John Steed and Emma Peel!! *sigh*

  18. Very interesting! I rather enjoy the Animals. I don't think they get enough credit these days.

    Looking forward to seeing what you do!

    The Other Side
    The Freedom of Nonbelief

  19. Not only did I say, "Gosh, I'd forgotten that" but many of them made me smile in fond memory. Just a year since we met but it feels as if I've always known you. :)

  20. Loved the A post! Great nostalgic pieces.

  21. Hi Ros .. so much and I had to comment on the Animals - who on earth choreographed that? Crumbs - that was the way it was done - think how they'd be portrayed now .. not in suits - I was amazed to watch that - great fun ... suits and all ..

    Smell of hot ash - remember that and remember doing it sometimes still .. we had tv late - but some of the adverts I remember (of course) .. The Avengers were great light relief .. Arthur Askey vaguely .. The Army Game - not sure!

    Loved it - but that Animals clip will remain with me for ages ..

    Looking forward to Nostalgia 2 .. cheers Hilary

  22. Wow, I like the fact that you thought it through and did it from different angles. You inspired me greatly. I might do mine better tomorrow once the kids are in bed, the baby is sleeping through the nights. Oh, I think I might be dreaming here. That might not happen yet. :) I will keep trying to achieve what you did here though. Thank you.

  23. What a wonderful idea! I look forward to seeing all the nostalgia=)

  24. What a neat theme! I remember a lot of these, too.

  25. Hi! I'm hopping over from the A to Z challenge. I love your theme and will visit often. Good luck with the challenge!

    Donna Martin

  26. Hi! I'm hopping over from the A to Z challenge. I love your theme and will visit often. Good luck with the challenge!

    Donna Martin

  27. I used to love Emma Peel! I used to jump around my bedroom pretending to be her! (Late 70s/early 80s repeats!)

  28. wow, brought back some memories, especially the adverts!

  29. What a comprehensive, delightful post and novel theme. Roland

  30. Excellent Ros!The memory you brought back for me, was when I was a small child, my father would take me and my brother, with him to the pub after Mass on a Sunday, he'd give us money for the Juke box.

    The song House of the Rising Sun was always playing.
    Excellent start to the A to Z challenge.

  31. Excellent Ros!The memory you brought back for me, was when I was a small child, my father would take me and my brother, with him to the pub after Mass on a Sunday, he'd give us money for the Juke box.

    The song House of the Rising Sun was always playing.
    Excellent start to the A to Z challenge.

  32. I forgot to mention in my earlier comment that I sincerely hope that you are feeling better, if not by now, then real soon. I had a good day today, but learned my lesson and am taking it easy.

  33. Oh, how fun! I love watching old advertisements, it's so funny how much tv has changed. It's amazing too how a smell can bring back so many memories. Love your ideas for what each post will include.

    I'm looking forward to this nostalgic trip! :)

  34. Yep, I remember that Pepsodent commercial from American TV. Great post!

  35. Oh, they don't make adverts like that anymore! And Fred Astaire, yes, we are definitely on the same nostalgia wavelength, Rosalind. (

    I can't remember what my C is, but it's not Casablanca. Oh, now I remember. It's Chinatown. Both GREAT movies. I think the AFI has Casablanca as #2, following Citizen Kane - another great C movie. There are just SO many!!
    Ann Best, Author of In the Mirror & Other Memoirs

  36. what a fun A post
    I love your idea

  37. I am too young (wow,I love saying that) for 1955, but I still knew all your A people and one of the programs. But being from the US I probably wouldn't have know them is I was around.
    Love, Love, Love the theme, I will be keeping up with you. Thanks for dropping by my blog as well.

    Pamela Jo

  38. Ah, nostalgia.

    Thanks for stopping by and commenting on my blog :)

    ---Damyanti, Co-host A to Z Challenge April 2012

    Twitter: @AprilA2Z

  39. This was a lot of fun,and yes there were a few I hadn't thought about in a long time,like the Pepsodent ad. :)
    I'm glad you included The Avengers-there's nobody who comes close to Mrs. Peel for me on today's television.
    Fred Astaire, Louis Armstrong and The Animals-all wonderful in their own way.
    Thanks for sharing!

  40. oh lovely A

    here is mine at GAC a-z

  41. I remember two things! But I was a 70s baby.

    The hot ash removal from wood-burning stove: We lived in an ancient farm house without central heat or air, so this happened at least once a day in the winter!

    And The House of the Rising Sun: because awesome music is timeless :D

    I love the theme!

  42. Don't forget "Save some for Lulu!"

  43. Hi - I joined you a 'F' and just had to trawl back and see the other 'memories'!

    Scarily, your childhood seems a mirror image of mine!
    er... you're not my sister in disguise, are you? ;-p)

    Thankyou for dredging up yesteryear - now following you to see what other delights you have in store!

    SueH I refuse to go quietly!

  44. I'm late to the party, coming in on I and working my way back, but I've been enjoying this so much!

    I said a delighted YES to the Pepsodent ad (had it in Canada, too).

    I was hoping for Julie Andrews as one of your A names...

    Beth Stilborn

  45. Brian Auger was an incredible jazz rock artist who came out of that era and went on for many years afterwards. "House of the Rising Sun" by the Animals was one of the first rock songs that made me really start getting interested in the genre. I'm going to be writing about this song in Alex Cavanaugh's First Loves blogfest on Monday May 14th.

    Wrote By Rote

  46. Rosalind, Appreciate the peak back at last year from your entry this year. Your blog and posts are clever and fun. Enjoyed the visit. Maria


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