I was recently in a hobby craft shop and happened to notice a jig saw. The picture printed on the box was a gloriously sentimental painting of a train journey in the 1950s. A family were off to the sea side. The engine billowing smoke, the porter had their bags on a trolley, and the guard was blowing his whistle. A nostalgic scene of a way of life now far removed from today.

It made me wonder what that jig saw picture would look like now if we looked back in time…

Perhaps it would feature a scene from the 1970s, with everyday objects that have slipped into obscurity without hardly a notice. The milkman delivering a ‘pinta’, the video rental shop, the red telephone box…

But of course there are somethings that have gone that we don’t regret and won’t get nostalgic about!

Bluebirds stealing the cream!

Pasteurized milk is raw milk that has been heated to a specified temperature and time to kill pathogens that may be found in the raw milk. Homogenization on the other had is an entirely separate process that occurs after pasteurization in most cases. The purpose of homogenization is to break down fat molecules in milk so that they resist separation. Without homogenization, fat molecules in milk will rise to the top and form a layer of cream In the 60s and 70s, it was quite common for milk that was delivered in bottles to your door, to have a layer of cream on the top. Great, if you like a bit of cream with your morning cereal. 

Not so great, because the Bluetits would hammer their beaks into the foil top, stick their furry heads into the bottle and guzzle the cream, meaning the whole pint was wasted!!!

Games that turned out to be dangerous

These days a game of conkers has been labelled as ‘dangerous’ and should be avoided. The potential of suffering damage having being smacked in the hand with a seed from a horse chestnut tree doesn’t compare in the slightest to the 1970s game ‘Clackers’.

They consisted of two plastic spheres suspended on string which, when swung up and down, bang against each other, making a clacking sound. They were formed out of two hard hard acrylic plastic balls, each about 5 cm in diameter, attached to a tab with a sturdy string. The player holds the tab with the balls hanging below and through up-and-down hand motion makes the two balls swing apart and back together, making a clacking noise that gives the toy its name. With practice one can make the balls swing so that they knock together both above and below the hand.

Unfortunately not only did the balls have a tendency to occasionally shatter upon striking each other, but more importantly when accidentally struck on the wrist, you could easily end up with a couple of broken bones!

Childrens’ drinks that could cause cancer

As a child in the 1960s, we enjoyed drinking ‘Fizzies’.

These were soluble tablets, similar to today’s heartburn remedy ‘Alka Seltzer’. When dropped in water, they fizzed and dissolved, creating a sweet, effervescent drink, which I loved!

Unfortunately after I had consumed many litres of the stuff, it was decided they were carcinogenic, and taken off the market!

Habit forming sweets

What’s wrong with enticing children to smoke you might ask?

Well, obviously not much when you consider the sweets we used to buy when we were children. Candy flavoured cigarettes? They were great!!