• Welcome to this forum Guest. We are a worldwide group with a common interest in Birmingham and its history. While here, please follow a few simple rules. We ask that you respect other members, thank those who have helped you and please keep your contributions on-topic with the thread.

    We do hope you enjoy your visit. BHF Admin Team

Childhood Memories

Robert Ensor (bob)

master brummie
I remember when we got a trimline phone people would ask what it was, and some just asked to look at it

So when my folks bought the grocery store it had a phone we had a phone in the house we moved from

When we moved into the store the GPO came and took out the phone, well this did not go well with my pop so down town he went and had a meeting with the head guy.

Long story short the man said sorry Mr Ensor we will come and install a phone then pointed to a line of phones and said " pick the one you want " so pop goes I will have the one on the end.

The GPO guy says that's the new trimline we are not offering those yet, so a few days later we got a trimline phone
 

Edifi

master brummie
When I was a Lorry driver in the 80s used to pull loads of these Black Telephones out of the Bakerlite factory on the Wolverhampton Road and distribute them around the country.
 

Nico

master brummie
As recorded here, probably more than once, phones were an attraction - when in phone boxes. It seems it was always worth trying button 'B' for loose change. :laughing:
I liked the feel of pressing the button as it sort of resisited a bit. I hate pressing doorbells and you cant feel any pressure giving the impression it has no rang somewhere.
 

jmadone

master brummie
I have just watched an old film on television, "The Thief of Baghdad" and I was immediately transported back to a cold, wet Sunday afternoon in the 1950s, sat in front of a blazing coal fire after Sunday dinner and watching this for the first time on a small black and white telly. I remember being enthralled by the Flying Horse, terrified when the Genie was released from the bottle and best of all the Flying Carpet wishing I could have one. Wonderful, winter Sundays........................
 

Robert Ensor (bob)

master brummie
So here I am getting excited Christmas is just days away already busy in mum's shop people ordering 3 or 4 loafs of bread and buying food for the Christmas week.
Will ride tomorrow with pop and pick up the fresh turkeys from a friend at the Co-Op in Alum Rock a long drive from Rednal but we will get 30 or so birds
Will make a quick stop in town and buy a couple of nice big crabs for over the holiday.
My mom's shop has all kinds of Christmas stock mince pies and yule time logs and such
Went with pop in the week to the cash and carry to buy extra stock for Christmas week also purchased a box of walnut whips for mom as a treat, her favorite this time of the year.
Don't know when it happened but pop went and picked up 2 or 3 bags of mishaped chocolate from Cadbury's but someone could have got them for him after all a lot of folks we know work there
The one shop window has a Christmas display of treats I had fun spraying fake snow over everything but I hope we do not sell it all..
Tomorrow we will put up the tree and decorations in the living room you know the kind that gets pinned in the ceiling and strung out to the opposite corners.
Pop will run round on Monday dropping of bottles of scotch I will have to make some groceriey delivery's to our regular customers.
Mom will be working very late as we will be getting fresh bread delivered well into the night still warm smelling good.
Christmas Eve in the shop will be nuts all the staff and more will be working, I will be trying to make the bacon slicer take off along with stocking shelves bringing peoples bread order up front after the the name check and order confirmation, so many people walk in and ask for bread the most scarce thing on Christmas eve, mom always has extra but has sold ours before now.
By the time we close my poor mom will be wiped out.
Ahhh Christmas morning hope it snowed run down the stairs make sure Santa stopped by getting to old for Santa ( Ha Ha ), take a ride to Erdington to the Lyndhurst Estate with pop to pick up my Grandparents who will spend the next few days with us
While we are gone mom will get that bird in the oven and by the time we get back it will smell like Christmas.
Of course Christmas would not be the same untill all the adults take a nap after dinner, and my pop and Grandfather play cards while waiting on the crab.
I'm sure Mom will be happy for next few days the store is closed, but we still get people knocking on the shop door forgot to buy butter or something.
If it snows we will go up Rose Hill at the top of the Lickey Hills sledging just some Christmas childhood memories.
Wait till I recall what we had for Christmas dinner.
 

Nico

master brummie
I so liked it when the Salvation Army played on the street corner on the lead up to Christmas singing carols and they trudged through the snow and knocked at the doors with their wooden collection boxes on a horizontal piece of wood.
The school nativity or play, the Christmas class party. The Carol service at the local church. Vary occasionally mum came if should could get off work. She sang a beautiful contralto (choking up here) and I could here her from the choir stalls, from the back of the church where the handful of mothers sat. Never any fathers. Nan always went.
Trying to go to sleep as Santa would't come. So pleased opening my pillowcase of toys and toffees.Glitter which didn't go all over you. I loved giving my parents their gifts and taking them to my grandparents on Christmas morning. We took it in turns to spend Christmas dinner with them and Great Grandma across the road and them with us for tea and vice versa. Nan's pewter sweet dish came out for the Quality Street. And the cake stand. Great Grandma had made the Christmas pudding, we all made a wish as we all had a stir of it. Her sister, my Auntie, from Cheltenham would be fetched from the bus station. I would go along in Grandad's car, a treat and sit at the front!. Not many people had cars then. My Granny would be fetched on alternate Christmas Days and Boxings days to either be with us or my uncle. She did prefer us as she loathed my Auntie and vice versa, and we had a downstairs loo! I had made paper chains with mum, paper lanterns and crackers to put on the wall. Grandad always bought us a real tree, not a huge one. The Pifco lights lasted for years. Mum would be tired from baking and glueing and wrapping because she had a full time job. She did the tree and that went up the last Sunday before Christmas. If Christmas dinner was at our house, mum would invite one of her friends who lived alone to share it with us. I liked it when her friend Sheff (knickname) came as she played the piano. We eventually had a capon. That put an end to Nan's cock(erel) jokes. One point to mum. Granny was not very mobile, she lost several fingers in a factory accident but she liked to help and sat with her legs open showing her passion killers and garters (as Nan would retort, "ooh er's common") Granny peeling the sprouts (and Nan being the other mother in law.) But I liked Granny as I loved all my family. She was funny. (Choking here again).
Sherry trifle for tea and Christmas Cake Grandad made. He was a lorry driver by day. He usually made four cakes and iced them which he distributed. He saved some icing for me to squeeze in to shapes, and he stuck tiny iced flowers, and silver balls on the pink and white cake.
The sherry would come out. The tot glasses. The Advo Cat as Nan called it. The cocktail biscuits in a balsa wood box. The glacé cherries. Dad smoked a cigar. I got a tot glass if Aunty wasn't looking. The Queen's speech. We kept our paper hats on all day. Watched TV. Auntie hoiked dad out of the best seat. We played games. As an only child everybody gave me the contents of their crackers. The False noses, spectacles, and Hercule Poirot type moustaches which always made my eyes run. Did it you?
And the street was quiet for a day. ....
 
Last edited:

oldMohawk

master brummie
Reading Nico's post made me remember and think about a childhood christmas so long ago ... and then the forum search shows I had 'remembered' it six years ago on the forum ... :rolleyes:
In my last post I mentioned the 'frontroom', we seemed to only use it on special occasions, one of these being Christmas.
Sometime in December Mom would say lets put the trimmings up. They were kept in an old cardboard shoe box, they were like concertinas and we had fun pinning them from the corners of the room to the light in the centre. Then the old Christmas tree would be put up and we would tie on the few glass baubles we had and fix real miniature candles on the ends of the branches. On Christmas evening Dad would light the candles and turn the light out, it was magical as they flickered. Only the radio in those days and we all played ludo and snakes and ladders while some chestnuts went bang as they roasted on the open fire ....
 

wendylee

master brummie
Reading Nico's post made me remember and think about a childhood christmas so long ago ... and then the forum search shows I had 'remembered' it six years ago on the forum ... :rolleyes:
Yes I remember the old faithful trimmings used to come out and holly magically appeared from nowhere to decorate the room
(think it was from a garden up the road)???? dad always found some somewhere!
The there is the old christmas tree we had when we were young , it was ancient with almost toilet brush like branches..green of course haha and the candle clip on the end, for real candles. One year they caused a fire and we finally bought a new one! Yippeee. Happy days we didnt have much but always had a great family christmas.
 

wendylee

master brummie
I so liked it when the Salvation Army played on the street corner on the lead up to Christmas singing carols and they trudged through the snow and knocked at the doors with their wooden collection boxes on a horizontal piece of wood.
The school nativity or play, the Christmas class party. The Carol service at the local church. Vary occasionally mum came if should could get off work. She sang a beautiful contralto (choking up here) and I could here her from the choir stalls, from the back of the church where the handful of mothers sat. Never any fathers. Nan always went.
Trying to go to sleep as Santa would't come. So pleased opening my pillowcase of toys and toffees.Glitter which didn't go all over you. I loved giving my parents their gifts and taking them to my grandparents on Christmas morning. We took it in turns to spend Christmas dinner with them and Great Grandma across the road and them with us for tea and vice versa. Nan's pewter sweet dish came out for the Quality Street. And the cake stand. Great Grandma had made the Christmas pudding, we all made a wish as we all had a stir of it. Her sister, my Auntie, from Cheltenham would be fetched from the bus station. I would go along in Grandad's car, a treat and sit at the front!. Not many people had cars then. My Granny would be fetched on alternate Christmas Days and Boxings days to either be with us or my uncle. She did prefer us as she loathed my Auntie and vice versa, and we had a downstairs loo! I had made paper chains with mum, paper lanterns and crackers to put on the wall. Grandad always bought us a real tree, not a huge one. The Pifco lights lasted for years. Mum would be tired from baking and glueing and wrapping because she had a full time job. She did the tree and that went up the last Sunday before Christmas. If Christmas dinner was at our house, mum would invite one of her friends who lived alone to share it with us. I liked it when her friend Sheff (knickname) came as she played the piano. We eventually had a capon. That put an end to Nan's cock(erel) jokes. One point to mum. Granny was not very mobile, she lost several fingers in a factory accident but she liked to help and sat with her legs open showing her passion killers and garters (as Nan would retort, "ooh er's common") Granny peeling the sprouts (and Nan being the other mother in law.) But I liked Granny as I loved all my family. She was funny. (Choking here again).
Sherry trifle for tea and Christmas Cake Grandad made. He was a lorry driver by day. He usually made four cakes and iced them which he distributed. He saved some icing for me to squeeze in to shapes, and he stuck tiny iced flowers, and silver balls on the pink and white cake.
The sherry would come out. The tot glasses. The Advo Cat as Nan called it. The cocktail biscuits in a balsa wood box. The glacé cherries. Dad smoked a cigar. I got a tot glass if Aunty wasn't looking. The Queen's speech. We kept our paper hats on all day. Watched TV. Auntie hoiked dad out of the best seat. We played games. As an only child everybody gave me the contents of their crackers. The False noses, spectacles, and Hercule Poirot type moustaches which always made my eyes run. Did it you?
And the street was quiet for a day. ....
That was great reading but gosh it sounds like a christmas at my house when I was a kid!! The preparations were just as exciting as the day! Pillow cases full of toys and toffees, iced christmas cake with marzipan too... yummy, sherry trifle and advocat , even as kids dad made us a very weak snowball all fluffed up with a glace cherry on a stick in a cocktail glass. Seems like a lot of the old traditions have fallen by the wayside., but you never forget christmas as a kid.
 

Radiorails

master brummie
Memories of Christmas, will of course, depend on the period of time in which you were a child. Christmas was a low key affair in my childhood - food rationing and other shortages saw to that. The families whose husbands/fathers were away in the Armed Forces probably had quite a different time to those who were not combatants and worked in industries or agriculture. I suspect that those at home had opportunities to make or know some one who could make some form of toys; those children of serviceman may have been less fortunate. Larger families often had older, retired members who could turn their hands to making and providing things. Some families had access to their own gardens and/or allotments which provided extras as did those who were able to raise fowl. (Can't raise fowl today in residential areas - people moan about the noise they make :scream: ). My own memories are of a scrawny (probably Woolworth) tree which folded up when not in use. I was given coffee to drink (probably Camp), by Nanny and told that drinking too much coffee would darken my skin. I also remember having to queue a couple of times or so at a wine merchants shop to buy a bottle of wine or whatever. The place was only open at certain times and some products I expect were rationed. There were many other things such as fruits, groceries and meats that were in short supply and required joining a queue. The wine shop was close to the Robin Hood island, Hall Green, as I believe it may have been the nearest (even so it was a two or three miles walk away), but on reflection it was not that close to home and maybe Nanny did not want to be seen buying alcohol. Imagine queuing today for bottles of wine etc. She was also particular where she drew her pension money and presumably her allotment, for me, from my soldier father. That was usually at a Post Office in Highgate. At least that gave me the pleasure of looking into Highgate Road bus depot as we passed by. ;) I also got my sweet ration there, it was always a quarter of Dolly Mixtures. The good thing about Dolly Mixtures is they went a long way and lasted a while you could save some for later on. Presents were few but you made the best of what you got. It was, I suppose, good training for later life and not 'crying for the moon', I guess. The religious nature of Christmastide was somewhat more sincere I think. Carols were sung - and meant - and children did often call carolling. Money was not always their reward as sweets and other trinkets were quite acceptable. Children were, at the time, despite the blackout and areas still without street lighting, believed safe out at night and most parents were happy for them to go out carol singing. I remember simple displays in shops. but most traders carried on as usual and were happy with any extra trade that came. I do not recall the frantic, stressful shopping that seems to be part of today's Christmas period. Many places only closed on Christmas Day and New Years Day. Old adages say that to pay out money on New Years Day means that you will pay it out all year. Also to wash on New Years Day will wash away a family member. :eek: Whilst WW2 lasted for six years its effects lasted for a few years after that.
 

Nico

master brummie
Yes I remember the old faithful trimmings used to come out and holly magically appeared from nowhere to decorate the room
(think it was from a garden up the road)???? dad always found some somewhere!
The there is the old christmas tree we had when we were young , it was ancient with almost toilet brush like branches..green of course haha and the candle clip on the end, for real candles. One year they caused a fire and we finally bought a new one! Yippeee. Happy days we didnt have much but always had a great family christmas.
Mum used th same old pale green battered shoe box for the decorations. That was big enough. The crinkley chains and crinkley metallic tinsel, fairy, bakelite icicles, and stars to glow in the dark, which didn't. Baubles. IThe fold flat bells. t was enough then.
 

Nico

master brummie
Reading Nico's post made me remember and think about a childhood christmas so long ago ... and then the forum search shows I had 'remembered' it six years ago on the forum ... :rolleyes:
Jeremy Vine Radio ran a feature on real candles on a tree as if it was bizarre.Nan said they had real candles and my Leicester mate did. He said they clipped on to the tree and his mum lit them and played a carol or listened to one on the radio. Usually Silent. Then she blew them out.
 

rosie

brummie
Nico, I've got some of those clips for Christmas tree candles, have never used them though. I loved those fold-flat bells. Mother saw in a magazine how to make ornamental snow out of washing powder, made to a paste with water, we had Daz so ours was blue!! It went in the wash afterwards.
rosie.
 

Nico

master brummie
That's funny Smudger.The Blue snow. A trend setter. I am told they have pink snow in Canada? I have seen candle clips on modern candles. I am told the best Christmas lights are battery operated now but we have these old fashioned ones my partner had for her daughters so they must be 40 odd years old. They go in to a 2 pronged adaptor then the plug. You can get fold flat bells and balls still but they are not so popular. I got some for my parents Golden Wedding. I put up a battered poinsettia wall decoration with raggedy leaves still. Mum gave me some money to buy new decorations as she thew the old ones out when grandad died. So I bought the latter which took most of the money from Woolworths. In the 60s.
 

Nico

master brummie
As a fellow city dweller, our neighbour fed up two cockerels in her back garden, she kept them in a tiny pen to fatten them, which mum said was cruel. The size of a beer crate. They were tough and bitter. Serve her right said mum.
 

Smudger

master brummie
Just out of interest, in Brum do you still get carol singers knocking on your door? What about trick or treaters or penny for the guy? We haven`t had any of those in a long while. Just more traditions dying out.:(
 

Nico

master brummie
Was your Front Room a bit musty as some of our relations' Front rooms were because they were seldom used or aired? We always went in the Front room at night. Me only briefly as it was cold or if Granny came. Or at the weekend.
 

mw0njm.

brummie dude
Many modern phones are more fashion than use. Remember that Trimline phone, that with just a very slight pull on the cable it fell of what ever surface it was on, usually onto the floor, often disconnecting the call. Fashion accessory more that a useful phone.
Many portable type phones *(radio) are fine - if you can actually seen the keypad, in poor light or darkness. Many mobile phones are equally hard going. I find the low priced mobile - that doesn't sing or dance - the better ones. ;)
Children were discouraged as far as I recall from using or answering the telephone. Usually the operator or 999 type of calls were the only ones permitted. But then in the times most of us speak of any form of telephone was purely for business or occasional use, people were not wedded to their ''phones.
* radio scanners can often listen in to 'phones that use radio frequencies.
old analogue remote phones are on 47 mhg.and 1.6 mhz . you can hear them... But not the digital ones....I use a cheap clonker.i have had this from the day we went digital. and when vodaphone was called vodac
 

Attachments

Top