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Butlinland, Gold Blend and a bowl of turkey soup

THE CHRISTMAS 1976 edition of the Radio Times is still holding up. It’s still in pretty good nick considering there were signs that maybe it was heading in the waste paper bin (a previous blog on retrohen – Radio Times: Aerials, Cassettes and lashings of booze!).

Apart from listings for the BBC, I’ve been intrigued by the advertising in this edition. Take Christmas out of the equation, and the month of December would be bleak. It’s a month that contains the day with the shortest amount of daylight hours (much to the appreciation of Sir Count Dracula). The weather conditions are not suitable for lightweight clothes and thoughts of the 7 days of summer in October come rolling back. We begin thinking about holiday destinations for 2018.




Holiday destinations in the UK in 1977? Butlinland would be pretty high on the agenda. After reading the advert, I’m seriously tempted to fill in the coupon and receive my free 40-page colour brochure. You can get ‘all in’ for £48 per week in peak season. Entertainment is free (colour TV, live groups and a singalong) so you’d just need to splash out for drinks, ices and late-night snacks. I’m liking it!




Christmas is a special time of year. It’s a time when food consumption and sales of liver salts increase. It’s a time when many are completely turkeyed-out , boozed-out and knackered! Kick start your body back to some kind of normality with a nice cup of Gold Blend. Kick back, relax and enjoy the carefully roasted coffee. As rightly stated in the colour ad – ‘A very special dinner deserves a very special coffee’. Christmas dinners are special and not just scheduled for Christmas Day – think of Christmas dinners at work and other social events leading up to the 25th. Even after the 25th many are still chomping on turkey sarnies, turkey jacket potatoes and turkey stew. However long the turkey lasts, best have a jar of Gold Blend in stock – a classy end to a festive feast.




Some households will demolish a whole turkey half-way through the festive meal on Christmas day. There may well be cravings for more turkey leading to moaning about who dished themselves second and third helpings. Luckily Heinz are at hand to stop the moaning progressing into a full on leftover sprout pelting session across the table. A bowl of turkey soup will satisfy the turkey cravings and prevent a dinner table punch-up.




How much more can I squeeze out of the 41 year old magazine? Lots more! It’s survived this far so I can’t see it suddenly falling to pieces. I really love the advertising – its changed so much over the years. We live in the digital age – sending away for a 40-page colour holiday brochure now seems alien, but a cup of Gold Blend and a bowl of turkey soup (home made with a few sprouts tossed in) are still very much alive and kicking.



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