From Our Nostalgia Correspondent
Do you remember when coltsfoot rock was 1½d an ounce, liquorice comfits were 2d a quarter and assorted sweets were 4 for a penny off the tray? Mivvies were all the rage and for 2d you could experience all the delights of a frozen jubbly? Then you were probably born before 1955, have a better long-term than short-term memory, suffer from occasional "embarrassing leakage" and have someone who "pops in every now and again to make sure you are still breathing"! No - joking aside - surveys suggest that more than 1 in 76 of the population once bought loose sweets and took them home wrapped in a paper cone, whilst 2 in 39 of those above the age of 70 can't remember where they put their spectacles yesterday and are probably reading this with a magnifying glass!*
If you are part of the growing generation of bemused readers who can't quite get a grip, then you will want to check out the latest publication from the Threadbone Press in its "It's Yesteryear Once More" Illustrated Local History™ series. "East Dorset Corner-shops of the 1950s" by A Nally-Retentive is a lavishly illustrated catalogue of all the corner-shops and local newsagents known to have been in existence in East Dorset in 1955 and is essential reading for anyone who ever bought a packet of Victory Vs just for fun!
Thrutrees Fruit Gums: just one of the delicious items available in a good 1950s corner shop.
Dentists loved them: in pre-fluoridated water days business boomed.
Corner-shop enthusiasts will be pleased to note that - as in other volumes in the series from "West Dorset Greengrocers of the 1940s" onwards - there is a complete checklist at the end of the book against which it is possible to record whether the reader ever visited the shop in question and whether they stocked their favourite items.
My own personal favourite corner-shop - happily present and correct in the book - was always Whisky-McNightly's (later Edna's Newsagents) in Littlemoor where I purchased my first Black Jacks and Laura Booth let me have my first go on her sherbet dip - but that's another story for another time!!! Sorry Laura!
Anyway back in the world of pear drops, fizzers and Pontefract cakes, everything about the new volume is just tickety-boo. So if you are old enough to know better but young enough to go out on your own, why not wander down to your local Threadstones and buy this lovingly assembled slice of nostalgia. You know you want to!
*ThruGov Official Survey: Sample Size 8 - results extrapolated. The same survey ranks Freddie Grisewood as the nation's second favourite broadcaster after Franklin Engelmann, with a young Cliff Michelmore a distant third. Fyfe Robertson was disqualified on a technicality.
ORDER YOUR COPY FROM THE THREADBONE PRESS TODAY! DETAILS HERE
Potter's "Legion Stores" in Pentridge is but one of 348 corner-shops lovingly catalogued in the latest volume in The Threadbone Press's "It's Yesteryear Once More" Illustrated Local History Series. TOP: The unassuming exterior of "the veritable Aladdin's Cave" so beloved of the local citizenry (note the Frannie Blankers-Thrupiece Rothman's poster to the right of the door); BOTTOM; Mavis Potter "handles" the goods in the pre health and safety fashion of the day. She was notably fastidious, once recording that "she always washed her hands after she had "been" whether she needed to or not".