One popular and long-running television program of the 1960s was Doctor Finlay’s Casebook – a story about a Scottish country doctor of the 1920s. It developed a following because it presented an image of doctors that we could still identify with – the family doctor.
The favoured material for pyjamas in the 1950s was called”wincyette” a trade name I think for the material which had a nice furry pile on the inside. And boy did we need it in winter. The clothes felt immediately warm to the skin whereas most coton had a cold damp feel to it.
In those days before TV took over our lives (and yes there was life before television) people organized their own entertainment. Music took a major role. Most Wolverton residents (and if not most, certainly many) had a piano in the front room, used by children for piano lessons and by some neighbour or relative at parties or festive occasions for a sing-song. sually the piano stool housed a small library of sheet music published by Boosey and Hawkes and probably bought from Fred Anstee on Church Street.
The ancient Wolverton manor was bounded by the River Ouse to the north, the road to bradwell and Bradwell Brook to the east and south, and by Watling Street to the west. Those boundaries did not change for about 900 years when the Wolverton Urban district was created to include the parish of Calverton and Stantonbury. So it is possible to view population change in a well-defined area for a long time.
This is my father’s wartime ID card found in a box. It was introduced as a wartime measure and abandoned in 1951 when the government found that the cost of maintaining the card far exceeded any cost benefits there might be. ID cards have generally been a failure in this country and have only been tolerated by the public in wartime. The only function of this one that was tolerated was its need to be produced for the issuance of food coupons.
Here is a view from Ledsam Street to St. Georges taken about 1967. This was probably the first time ever that you could get this view without it being blocked by the terraces of Ledsam and Creed Street.
Seeing this pay cart at the MK Museum reminded me that one of my great uncles, a senior accounts clerk, was actually responsible for the payroll in the 1930s. This cart has B.R. painted on the side so it must have been used after nationalization in 1948, although it continues to use LMS livery colour.
The only source of milk, the other staple in our lives, was the Co-op. Reuben “Pop” Bremeyer had run a small dairy at 115 Windsor Street before the war, but he had retired when I knew him andhis sons had left home and his daughter Alice operated a small greengrocery/corner shop at that address.
In the early years of my life there was no such thing as sliced bread because it had been banned by the government as an economy measure, so it was something of a revelation to me and my contemporaries when the ban was lifted in 1950. No more diagonal cuts or “doorstep” wedges; each slice came beautifully uniform. I don’t think we were conscious of the nutritional price we were paying for this machine made consistency but there must have been a dawning of understanding since advertisers a few years later were making a virtue of the addition of niacine and thiamine.
I am not sure that this photograph has any particular interest. It shows my grandfather, then Chairman of the UDC, introducing Lady Burnham, patron of the Red Cross in Buckinghamshire. The date is August 28th 1943 and the Red Cross Appeal is being formally announced. Volunteers in those day collected door-to-door using tins with a coin slot. Since my grandmother and mother were active in organizing this appeal I have some sense of the scale of the operation. At the end of the week volunteers brought in hundreds of tins, usually full to the brim with coins. The seal at the base was then broken and the metal catch opened to release the coins, mostly pennies and ha’pennies, threepenny bits, some sixpences and a few shillings. All of these were sorted and counted on the front room table.