‘Are you sitting comfortably? … Then I’ll begin’
‘We loved all the children’s programmes of the fifties. We started with ‘Watch With Mother’:Rag, Tag and Bobtail, Muffin the Mule, The Flowerpot Men, Andy Pandy, The Woodentops – who could ever forget the two children dancing and prancing around singing ‘Peas for dinner! Peas for dinner!’ rapturously – then graduated to Crackerjack and the Huw Wheldon science programmes. Great stuff. You got a cabbage to carry on ‘Crackerjack’ if you got a question wrong, and people ended up in such straits!’
‘The whole neighbourhood used to congregate in the front room of the one household in the street to have television in the mid-fifties. We’d watch “Children’s Hour”.’
‘The first programme I remember watching and enjoying is “Lost in Space”. But it frightened me. It was a serial. I had to have the light left on when I went to bed after that was on.’
‘Sylvia Peters was so glamorous and wonderful, wearing her evening dresses. “Good evening, viewers.” She had a perfect heart-shaped face.’
‘I hated “The Brains Trust”. My parents and uncle all used to sit and watch this, so I did too, and I just didn’t understand it. I suppose it was like current affairs programmes now.’
‘Eamon Andrews seemed to be in every television programme broadcast during the 1050s: “What’s My Line?”, “Crackerjack”, and about a hundred more. He was a more familiar figure than most of my far-flung relatives.’
Extracted, with permission, from The 50s & 60s: The Best of Times – Growing up and being young in Britain by Alison Pressley, published by Michael O’Mara Books Limited.
Copyright © Alison Pressley 1999, 2001, 2002, 2003; compilation copyright © Michael O’Mara Books Limited 1999, 200, 2002, 2003. All rights reserved.