7 things you’ll only get if you were a kid in the 1970s
Bagpuss, Mr Benn, roller skates that expanded to fit your shoes, rainbow leg warmers, long hot summers, sausage and beans in a tin – it was GREAT being a child in the 1970s.
1. Kids TV was limited to three TV channels
Plus, they were mostly only allowed to be watched on a Saturday morning. Programmes were repeated all the time. Did you know there was only ever 13 episodes of Mr Benn and Bagpuss.
2. If you wanted to talk to your friends you would ‘go round’ to their house
No mobile phone, no FB messenger – in the 1970s the best way to ask Nicola from next door if she wanted to play was to actually go next door and ask.
3. It was normal for adults to send kids to the shop to buy cigarettes
“They’re for Uncle Derek,” you could say, and the newsagent would believe you. You would go there on your metal adjustable roller skates - your feet continually grew.
4. Meals were an orange processed mix of sausages and beans in a tin, fish fingers and best of all – Findus Crispy Pancakes
Sometimes you would have frozen peas with your meal which was as close to your five-a-day as you got. For pudding, the ultimate treat was homemade trifle (at least it contained tinned fruit) or vanilla ice cream with a wafer.
5. You walked everywhere, on your own or with siblings and friends
You were positively encouraged to disappear for hours on end wearing just a striped tee, shorts and rainbow leg warmers. The only rule was that you had to be home before it was dark. In reality hunger would set in before that and you would run home hoping for a bag of Wotsits or a Starbar.
6. You had Laura Ashley-style wallpaper or curtains (or the real thing if rich).
Bedrooms had to be branded everywhere with your choice of style. So you had Star Wars curtains, wallpaper and bedding or Laura Ashley or Holly Hobby or Dukes of Hazzard. From floor to ceiling had to be branded. Even the waste paper bin.
7. It was always VERY hot in summer and FREEZING In winter.
Every summer evening in bed your Mum would bring you a wet flannel for your face and in winter a scalding hot water bottle for your tum. Moderate temperatures did not exist.
In our Northern council house we had woodchip wallpaper on every wall, teak Formica and glass furniture and Hornsea pottery. We were posh enough for a teak bar unit in the lounge, equipped with optic (for the Martini Rosso), kegs of Double Diamond beer and small bottles of Babycham and Snowballs. I always loved Saturday nights when I could serve drinks whilst Starksey and Hutch were on the TV.