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Ever Ready batteries – nostalgic power



IT’S your birthday. You’ve made it to the grand age of 10. The party is in full swing. Your friends are dancing like drunken snakes as the party tunes pump out. The music stops and then it’s onto a game of pass the parcel. Once the parcel is finally unwrapped, it’s time for a break as everyone takes their seats on the table. The table is filled with delights – wobbling jelly, mountains of Ice cream and a bright coloured birthday cake.
After you’ve all stuffed your faces, it’s time for you to blow out the candles on your birthday cake. Close your eyes, make a wish, deep breath and blow!


You begin ripping open your pressies. You dig your fingers deep into the folds of the well wrapped presents and send the wrapping paper flying over your shoulder. Your wish has come true as a portable radio is revealed. Radio out the box, aerial up and hit the on switch. Your face is filled with confusion and frustration as nothing happens. You look up and notice your dad holding out a handful of batteries needed for your radio to work. These are no ordinary batteries – these batteries are better than the rest and guaranteed to give you loads of radio listening time. These batteries are Ever Ready batteries.




False economy. That’s what you’ll be getting if you buy cheap batteries. Your radio will be as flat as a tortilla within an hour if you go for an ordinary battery. Don’t be tight, get it right first time by investing in Ever Ready batteries. If the shopkeeper tries to convince you to buy the ‘never heard of’ brand, ignore them and demand Ever Ready.


Back in the day, Ever Ready was the battery to get your hands on. These were the days before the battery with the copper coloured top hit the top spot. When you brought a new radio, the chances were that you’d pop a few Ever Ready’s in. A new torch? A chunky Ever Ready would keep things bright.


I  have fond memories of popping in a couple of red Ever Ready’s into my portable radio. I remember the feeling reassured knowing that the batteries would not give up the ghost whilst listening to the charts on Sunday evening. The Ever Ready brand has gone but whether you chose Ever Ready blue or red, you were reassured that the heartbeat of your appliance kept beating well beyond expectations.




Ever Ready were used in cameras too but were not at fault for some poor photos. Take a look here:  The camera: rolls of film and rubbish photos

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The Old Routemaster Bus: risky nostalgic experience

THE Number 12 routemaster destined for Dulwich. As it pulled away from the bus stop, I’d run as if being chased by Freddy Krueger to catch it! Health and safety was non-existent when it came to catching the bus.




Pole Dancing?

Catching the routemaster was a good way to get the heart racing. As you spotted your target slowly pulling away from the bus stop, you’d burst into a sprint, jump onto the rear platform of the bus and grab the safety pole. Your momentum usually spun you around the safety pole (a bit like pole dancing) until you steadied yourself. You’d then climb the stairs, take a seat and enjoy the ride.



Getting off

Getting off required a bit more skill and judgement.

Instructions for getting off a Routemaster travelling at < 20 mph:

1. Stand on the rear entry/exit platform with one hand on the safety pole.

2. Ensure that’s you have enough clearance (enough runway space for landing).

3. Leap off as if you’re about to break into a sprint.

4. Once you’ve landed, your heels will be in close proximity to the back of your neck due to your momentum. This is perfectly normal.

5. Once your momentum has steadied, stride normally to your destination.



Swing no more

The days sprinting, jumping and swinging around the safety pole whilst catching the open-back routemasters are over. The old routemasters have been replaced with modern ones where the door slams in your face! Health and safety now rules. A sprint and jump that ends with a perfectly timed leap of faith – the excitement of the old routemaster.


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Enjoyed the blog? A nostalgic collection of blogs featuring a fun and factual look back at British advertising, leisure and entertainment from the yester-years are featured in the new hardback book, Section N Underpass. Release date early December 2018.

Section N Underpass Cover


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Wrestling at 4pm – nostalgic television

IT’S Saturday and the clock is ticking. We’d dash around finishing the chores in order to hit the 4pm slot. It’s the calm before the storm as Dickie Davies introduced an hour of swinging fists, head butt’s and illegal blows. The dominant force of Wrestling was about to begin. Here’s a few quick highlights …





Emotionally charged

Cheering, booing, chanting, shouting, swearing, fuming – the living room is now brimming with energy as emotions run riot. Inside in ring, the referee attempts to keep order between the good, bad, the pretty and the ugly. The wrestlers entered the ring to a chorus of cheers or boos.  The people’s favourite would stride into the ring to a chorus of cheers whilst the  ring walk of a villain was greeted with boo’s and verbal abuse. Wrestling was about crowd interaction, causing a stir, pulling viewers and filling the halls – skills inside the ring came second.




The female attraction

Wrestling was popular with the women. The wrestling halls were packed with women chanting, cheering and getting wound up. The female wrestler, Klondyke Kate, always got a mouthful of abuse from women in the audience. ‘She needs shooting because she’s dirty!’ was the response of an infuriated lady in the audience when asked about Klondyke Kate. Poor Klondyke Kate was only doing her job by playing the part in the wrestling pantomime.




Heavyweight status 

In its heyday, wrestling  would draw in TV audiences of up to 16 million! Big Daddy and Giant Haystacks were crowd pullers and facing each other smashed audience figures. Big Daddy weighed in at 23 Stone (146 kg) whilst Giant Haystacks was a whopping 40 Stone (254 kg)!








10 memorable wrestlers from the golden age

  1. Kendo Nagasaki
  2. Jim Brakes
  3. Mick McManus
  4. Johnny Saint
  5. Mark ‘Rollerball’ Rocco
  6. Pat Roach
  7. Kung Fu
  8. The man from Paris
  9. Catweazle
  10. King Kong Kirk


All good things come to an end

The golden age of wrestling is well and truly over. World of Sport (the programme that included wrestling), eventually disappeared from our screens along with it’s popular host Dickie Davies. Wrestling is still fondly remembered – mention Big Daddy and Giant Haystacks won’t be far behind – mention World of Sport and Dickie Davies will come up in the conversation – Saturdays at 4pm still reminds many of us of the glory days of Wrestling.


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An expanded story on the glory days of when sport ruled on Saturdays is featured in the new hardback book, Section N Underpass. Release date November 2018. Pre-order your copy here: Enter the Underpass


Missed last weeks’ blog? Check it out here:  The name … J.R. Hartley

retrohen – read – remember – reminisce – share