It seems amazing to my grandchildren that I grew up without TV, Wifi ,the internet and mobile phones. How did we face the summer break from school , what did we do in the 1940s and 50s?A simple holiday on the east coast of England was something we really looked forward to. My Dad would also add to my book collection with a story like this parent free adventure by Enid Blyton .
No burgers or pizzas were on the menu. A big treat was a bar of chocolate like Cadburys Dairy Milk. There were almost no sweets or candy at all until about 1947.My Dad was in the army , the soldiers had generous sweet rations and Dad would save his share until he came home on leave to give it to us . A Mars bar would be sliced into slivers and made to last a couple of days .
Loose leaf tea like this was the drink of choice for most people. It would be made with boiling water in a well warmed teapot and served in cups with saucers after being left to brew for a few minutes to draw out the flavour . I hated the tea leaves at the bottom of the cup. All sorts of signs were read into the formation of the tea leaves. A large floating leaf meant a significant letter was coming. My grandmother would spend hours ruminating over the possibilities. Mugs were unheard of in our house except enamel ones sometimes taken or picnics.
Food was pretty tasteless, the English had a love for boiling everything to a pulp It was not until I went to France at the age of 12 that I realised what food could really be like. Marmite which I like, was good on toast, crumpets or in sandwiches. It is enjoying a revival as it is suitable for vegetarians. There is a new version out with peanut butter added, I am not enthused by this.
Bisto was another great food improver added to gravy. Once the war was over we always had a large beef joint for Sunday lunch. These days a joint of sirloin that size would cost about £30 .The smell of it cooking was delicious .Cooked until very well done the Bisto gravy added moisture. Left overs were served cold on Monday as my Mum would be busy with washing day. Every thing was cooked on a stove that looked like this
In 1952 Dad bought a TV. Black and white of course and 11 inches wide. Our entire family watched the the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth 2nd on it. My grandfather stood up every time the National Anthem was played which was frequently.
A new invention in 1964 was the introduction of Pyrosil cookware. Said to have been invented to use in connection with rocket ships this oven to table ware was popular. I still have some. I was shocked to see some on display in a museum.