Posted on

The Operation Game: A brief tale regarding the complexities of removing body parts




Original retro gaming?

WHILST growing up during the yester-years, board games were a popular form of entertainment – games like Snakes and Ladders, Monopoly, Game of Life and Scrabble ruled and there was no sign of the Playstation and Xbox. It was normal to have a board game on the living room carpet with players rolling a dice, shifting their piece around the board whilst kneeling or sitting with legs crossed.


Innovation and staying power

Manufacturers of board games have kept the innovation going to ensure popular games don’t disappear to the board game scrapheap – I’ve lost count of the many versions of Monopoly currently on the market!

The game, Operation, is still on going strong. Trying to remove body parts from patient without anaesthetic would normally mean the end of the road for the surgeon (career-wise) and the poor patient  – death! Luckily Operation was not so serious and very forgiving.

Below is a brief story of the complexities of removing body parts in the game of Operation (no one was harmed and no excessive blood loss occurred during the procedures)


The story begins …

THE PATIENT IS TERRIFIED and the surgeon has recently qualified – after years of rigorous study, exams, training and marathon hours, she’s qualified. Fiona Flump questions herself – is she up to the job? She saw the terrified look on the patients’ face. Words of reassurance spurted out her mouth and the patients’ heart rate stabilised. Now it’s time to back up those words of reassurance with action. Hopefully the patient will leave the operating table in a better state than he came in!


The procedure is simple – she’s removed spare ribs many times under watchful supervision but today there’s no supervision. She goes in slowly with the tweezers. The ribs is slightly off centre so she carefully moves it to the central position before the removal – a steady hand is a must as she goes in. The tweezers grip the ribs securely before being lifted out – success! Her reward – a relieved patient and £100!

Dr Flump knows there are more difficult procedures ahead. Below are the levels of difficulty for removing various parts of the body. These ratings are scribbled down on the wall of the staff toilets.


Adam’s Apple


Technique: Pinch hold of the stem.

Pre-op advice: The adam’s apple challenge doesn’t diminish whether it’s a golden delicious or granny smith!

Difficulty level: 6/10




Technique: Get hold of the tip of the bone.

Pre-op advice: Unlike a genie in a bottle, you won’t get three wishes to have three chances of removal!

Difficulty level: 8/10


Broken Heart



Technique: Insert tweezers between the broken centre and top half of heart.

Pre-op advice: A broken heart is fragile so handle with care. Advisable to ditch swigging the vodka during this procedure.

Difficulty level: 9/10


Funny bone


Technique: Grab the centre of the bone – dead simple!

After-care advice: After removing give your dog a treat – watch them chomp on the bone whilst wagging their tail.

Difficulty level: 4/10


Spare ribs



Technique: Go straight for the tip of a rib!

Pre-op advice: This is a no nonsense removal … don’t make a meal out of it!

Difficulty level: 2/10


Butterflies in stomach


Technique: Just like flipping a coin … choose heads or tails?

Aftercare advice: You’ll be floating like a butterfly and evading the stinging bee after successful removal.

Difficulty level: 5/10


Writer’s cramp



Technique: Just pluck it out!

Pre-op advice: If you can’t successfully complete this routine procedure … resign!

Difficulty level: 1/10


Bread basket



Technique: Into the jigsaw-like area with the tweezers.

Pre-op advice: You’ll find out which side of your bread is buttered if you mess up this procedure!

Difficulty level: 5


Charlie horse


Technique: Clutching the leg is recommended.

Pre-op advice: It will be tempting to slap a 50p each way bet on this removal, but remember … no gambling in the operating theatre!

Difficulty level: 8/10


Water on the knee


Technique: How else would you pick up a bucket? Get hold of the handle!

Aftercare advice: Throw the bucket of water at your colleagues in operating theatre – it will stop them dozing off!

Difficulty level: 5/10


Anklebone connected to the knee bone


Technique: None!

Pre-op advice: Warn the patient before the procedure that the chance of the success is one in a million!

Difficulty level: 10/10


Wrenched ankle


Technique: Get hold of the centre of the wrench.

Aftercare advice: Take the wrench home and mend that leaky sink. Alternatively it’s a good threatening tool to regain an unpaid loan!

Difficulty level: 3/10



Let us know about the fun of board games and the nostalgic memories of Operation


Enjoyed the blog? A nostalgic look back at the popular board game Monopoly is featured in the new hardback book, Section N Underpass. Release date November 2018.

Section N Underpass Cover



Keep enjoying the nostalgia!


Summer is coming to an end but the weather is not too shabby so playing out is a possibility. Read about some outdoor games from yester-years here: School’s out for Summer – playing out


Posted on

Rigsby’s rules – the rules of a rogue landlord

Main pic rd


The basics

WHEN considering renting there are some basic requirements that are must haves – affordability, cleanliness, safety, privacy and location are usually top of the list.


The ideal landlord

It’s reassuring to have a fair and honest landlord – a landlord who charges fair rent – someone who puts their tenants first, makes sure the property is kept in top nick and respects privacy.



The ‘do-what-I-want’ landlord

Step-up Mr Rigsby – the ultimate loose-cannon landlord. Money-grabbing, rude and unreliable. He was also sneaky, fast-talking, quick-witted, chaser of Miss Jones and hater of men with long hair!





Rigsby’s rules

RD 12


I’m sure Rigsby never bothered to hand-over a contract stating the rules and regulations to his tenants – if he did, it could possibly look something like this:

1. I, Rigsby, am the owner of this prestigious house. I will collect rent on a weekly basis. Failure to pay will result in instant eviction. This does not apply to any species of the female variety whom are single.

2. I, Rigsby, will maintain the house and ensure all major repairs are carried out in an untimely manner.

3. The tenant (s) must not entertain guests of the opposite sex within the house. Any tenant (s) found violating this rule will face eviction.

4. I, Rigsby, am the guardian of Vienna, the cat. Vienna has the right to roam around any room that is occupied by the tenant(s). Vienna has rights that exceed those of the tenant(s).

5. All rooms are fully furnished with high quality furniture. Any damage to the furniture must be fully paid for in cash – this can either be paid immediately or added onto the weekly rent (if paying in instalments added onto the weekly rent, interest fees will apply. Interest fees vary depending on the general mood of the landlord)

6. I, Rigsby, have authority to enter the room of any tenant(s) at any time without prior warning.

7. I, Rigsby, have the right to squeeze-in an additional tenant or tenants into an existing room that is currently occupied.

8. I, Rigsby, will ensure that the prestigious building is kept free from defects such as rising damp.


rising damp poster



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 November 2018.

Section N Underpass Cover



Keep enjoying the nostalgia

Read the story of how opposites attract – Dennis Waterman and George Cole in Minder – read here: Nostalgic TV: Minder – opposites attract


Posted on

School punishment … retro style


AS a new school term is about to begin, teachers have the challenge of encouraging pupils to pull themselves together and shake off the summer holiday hangover. Many pupils eventually get back into the school routine without too much fuss.

Things were a bit different during yester-years – tough punishment was on the agenda for pupils who continued to slack after the summer break.

School discipline –  it was sometimes harsh and undeserved. Here are six common ways  teachers kept us in line.




Punishment by boredom. ‘I will not talk in class. I will not talk in class. I will not talk in class … I will do my homework… I will do my homework… I will do my homework … I will not throw things at other pupils… I will not throw things at other pupils… I will not throw things at other pupils’.


Stand in the corner and face the wall!


Punishment by boredom and isolation. A blank canvass is ideal for an artist but useless if you’re just standing there staring at it! Your nose is almost kissing the wall and your eyes go blurry. You’ve been ordered not to turn-round until told.


I’m going to wash your mouth out with soap!


You were unaware of the teacher behind you when the naughty word slipped out your mouth. You’re dragged to the toilets where the most scuffed and grubby bar of soap in shoved in your mouth – harsh!


Hit with the blackboard eraser

The teacher is scribbling away on the board. Whilst their back is turned, you have a giggle with and natter to your mate. What you didn’t know is that the teacher has eyes in the back of their head. The eraser is launched and hit it’s intended target …you!


The ear twister



The offence you committed was minor – you’d forgotten the name of the capital city of Brazil even though the teacher had mentioned it two minutes earlier. A twist of the ear meant you’ll never forget the city of Brasilia!


The Cane



You’ve been involved in a playground punch-up. After being dragged to headmasters office for interrogation, it’s time to take your punishment. The swish sound of the cane before connecting with your hand or backside was terrifying!



Follow me:   



Nostalgic Geeks



A story of the deadly board eraser is featured in the new hardback book, Section N Underpass. Release date November 2018.

Section N Underpass Cover



Posted on

Opal Fruits: made to make your mouth water


Opal fruits





THEY were made to make your mouth water. Even though now called Starburst, many hardcore old-school consumers still call them Opal Fruits.

Popular flavours were strawberry, lime, orange and lemon – all made to make your mouth water!


Advertising made to make your mouth water


Family getaways

The 1974 TV ad featured a family of four stuck in traffic. The two kids in the back of the car are jaded and bored but the mood changes to excitement when mum pulls out a bag of Opal Fruits. They become energised as they chew on them and the traffic clears.

We have a similar scenario ten years later – a family of four are waiting for their luggage at an airport arrival lounge –  they’re jaded and bored. Mum pulls out a packet of Opal Fruits and the mood lifts!



The chimp vote of approval

A 1998 television ad Pre-warned of the name change. During the ad, a chimp was given three choices for the new name:

  1. Jungle drops
  2. Chimpey Chompies
  3. Starburst

The chimp enthusiastically chose starburst after clocking the security guard with a banana!


The alien vote of approval

Again we were given the heads-up of the forthcoming name change – this time with the help of aliens! The three choices for the name change were:

  1. Lazerlicks
  2. Sodasuckits
  3. Starburst

The aliens bowed in approval for Starburst after clocking the green spiked-haired cleaner wearing headphones in the background.


Exit Opal Fruits – enter Starburst

After 28 years of making our mouths water, this was the end of the Opal Fruits naming. When many of us see Starburst, we pull out the imaginary correction pen and replace with Opal Fruits. RIP Opal Fruits – 1960 – 1998.





Tell us your nostalgic memories of Opal Fruits on the various social media platforms

Enjoy some of the Opal Fruits TV adverts here:

Long journey

Chimp approval

Alien vote of approval

              Follow me on twitter

page4image3791904 @HenninghamDavid



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 November 2018.

Section N Underpass Cover



Posted on

Clockwise starring John Cleese: back to 1985



I’VE RECENTLY began watching the Tales of the Unexpected (TOTU) DVD’s – they were a Christmas present from my brother three years ago. The series totally freaked me out when I watched them in the 80s hence the reason why I’ve put off watching them until now. Luckily so far I’m surviving – no signs of nightmares or waking-up on a urine-soaked mattress.

The thing that struck me whilst watching the TOTU was how much more basic everything was back in the 70s and 80s – no mobiles or internet – if you’d mentioned to someone back then that we’d be splashing out 30 pounds for an electric toothbrush in the future, you’d probably be laughed at and called a loonie! So TOTU brings back memories of the 70s and 80s, but there’s one film that makes me feel like I’m really back in 1985 … Clockwise! Here’s why Clockwise makes me feel like a 15-year old again …


The Vehicles


Tricky to describe but all the vehicles scream out 80s. The two-tone Ford Transit van, the Cortina, the police car – there’s even an appearance of the Austin Princess! These were the days when we’d fill-up with four-star leaded fuel at the petrol station and pray the car wouldn’t let us down whilst on a motorway  journey. The four-wheel delights of the 80s!


The telephone boxes


Before mobile phones the telephone box was the only option of contacting someone whilst out and about. Watching John Cleese hammering the receiver in frustration when the coin slot refused to swallow his money was all too common in the 80s. The phonebox also proved to be an endurance test  – had the previous user just completed a marathon (Eau de perspiration)? Not sure if that pool of orange liquid you’re stood-in is spillage of a soft drink or from someones bladder? We can go on and on about the different smells too!


Train stations and British Rail trains 

1985 were the days when passengers still swung open the train doors before the train came to a halt whilst entering a station – lethal for the passengers standing innocently on the platform! Smoking in the carriages was allowed. Many of the carriages had a wooden look to them and the seats were blue with black stripes. Staff wore uniform bearing the British Rail logo. RIP Awayday discounts and soggy sandwiches wrapped in cling film!




Which film brings you back to your teenage years?

Any fond memories of British Rail?

Maybe you were the proud owner of one of the cars pictured above?

As usual let us know


Get these weekly blogs straight to your inbox – send ‘YES’ to


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 November 2018.

Section N Underpass Cover

Posted on

Nostalgic TV Quiz-show: It’s Catchphrase (remember … say what you see)



Nostalgic Sunday

THERE was something special about Sundays. A typical Sunday would begin with a lie-in followed by a cooked breakfast. The weighty Sunday newspaper would be read at a leisurely pace. A Sunday roast would be gobbled down in the afternoon followed by the snooze on the sofa.  Evening entertainment on television usually hammered-home the fact that the weekend was almost over and it’s back to school or work in the morning (think of the theme tune to ‘Highway’ presented by Harry Seycombe). They were a few TV programmes that made us forget about the dreaded Monday and grasped our undivided attention – the first one that comes to mind is Bullseye and the other is Catchphrase.


Catchphrase – the concept

Easy – a picture with Mr Chips doing a action would appear on the screen – the  contestants would have to guess the correct catchphrase of the action. Can you guess this one?



Roy Walker – the original and best

Roy was the original host of Catchphrase – with his funny, friendly warm Irish tones and magical connection with the contestants and audience meant he became a household name. Think Roy Walker … think Catchphrase. Think Catchphrase … think Roy Walker. Catchphrase without Roy Walker is like going to a chip shop, asking for fish and chips and being told ‘we only only sell fish’ – strange!


Challenge TV – the saviour of nostalgic quiz-shows

With the huge variety of TV stations available I always end up selecting Challenge. I wonder how many, like me, are addicted to the likes of Bullseye and Catchphrase? No shame in admitting that you are – it just shows that you love the slap-you-in-the-face attributes (the one-liners, 80s fashion and 80s prizes) that they bring … you’re a bit of a nostalgic geek!


What were your favourite Sunday evening TV programmes?

What was your most annoying?

As usual let us know.

Get these weekly blogs straight to your inbox – send ‘YES’ to

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 November 2018.

Section N Underpass Cover

Posted on

School’s out for Summer – playing out



THE school summer holidays are here! It’s a joyful time for loads of kids – ditching the school uniform and classroom for six whole weeks. For parents it can be a bit mixed –  quality family time or six weeks of torture and frustration! Keeping the kids occupied can be a bit of a challenge.

80s style summer holidays

The huge chunk of the summer holidays were spent playing outside – it was common for a friend to knock on the front door and ask if you were ‘playing out’. Below are a few playing out activities that kept the kids occupied for hours and provided breathing space for parents.




Get your bike out, call for your mates and cycle the pavements in a pack for hours. Who could do the best trick on their bike? Who could do the longest wheelie?  Whether you had a BMX, Chopper, Grifter or Boxer, the days would be fun and time would whizz by.

Danger level: Low to medium – danger to crashing into a pedestrian or a stunt going horribly wrong.



Roller skates


Get your skates on and skate up and down the pavement. Can you build a miniature obstacle course (pieces of stick and a few stones) then twist and swivel your way around them?

Danger level: Low to medium – expect a few scuffed knees and elbows and ensure the medical cabinet at home is stocked with elastoplasts.


Knock-down ginger


How to play:

  1. Approach someones front door (Ideally someone you don’t know)
  2. Ring the bell or knock on the door
  3. Run like mad to a safe place – ideally to a place where you can see the occupant but they can’t see you!
  4. Watch as the occupant opens the door, looks around whilst looking bewildered, then heads back indoors.
  5. If you’re brave enough, repeat the process.

Danger level: Medium to high – expect to be dragged home to your parents if caught by a swift occupant!



Types of marbles


Find a decent sized manhole cover and challenge you mates to a game of marbles. Make sure the rules are clear from the onset and get rolling! After a few hours, are you able to walk away with pockets bulging after a successful session?

Danger level: pretty low but could send a passer-by flying if they accidentally stood on a stray marble.


In a nutshell …

Laughs and fun  – cuts and bruises – telling offs and punishment – all part of playing out during the summer holidays back in the day.


Any other games on the street you fondly remember? Let us know.


Want the next retrohen instalment straight to your inbox? Send ‘YES’ to


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 November 2018.

Section N Underpass Cover


retrohen: read – remember – reminisce – share

Posted on

Off my trolley? The shopping trolley is back!

THE highlight of last week was a trip to Poundland. Keeping in line with my rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle, this week I did a bit of online shopping. It took place at approx. 18:22 hours on Sunday. I was excited about my purchase and excited about selecting the click and collect option.  I collected it on Monday morning and it’s now stored in the cupboard under the stairs. I’d talked about making this purchase for months – decision finally made and now I’m the proud owner of a two-wheeled shopping trolley.




Back in time for shopping

Back in the 70s and 80s, my mum would use her shopping trolley every Friday. The first stop was the greengrocers – then onto the various smaller shops and the butchers was the final stop before heading home. The majority of the shopping went into the trolley. I do realise that this brief piece of history brings-forth visions of elderly people but allow me to add some justification to my recent purchase …

It really makes sense 

I live in a vibrant town. The town centre is a two-minute walk from my home. Once in the centre, there are a number of independent coffee shops, a music shop, bookshop, bars and restaurants as well as the usual suspects (Sainsbury’s, Aldi, Iceland and Quality Save). My shopping trip is always on foot and Saturday’s has turned into a Yo-Yo session when it comes to shopping. Just like my mother (and more common these days) I tend to buy things from a number of shops. After buying the necessities (milk, orange juice, canned goods) from the first couple of shops, the weight of carrier bags starts cutting off the blood supply to my fingers – it’s back home to drop off the weighty bags then back out to the shops again – a process that sometimes repeated up to four times! The shopping trolley will put an end to this – I’m looking forward to ‘one-shot’ shopping trips with healthy blood supply to my fingers!


Best behaviour

Even though there’s a big posh shopping centre 20 minutes away, I’m happy to shop local.  I love the atmosphere in the record shop (Music for the Soul), I love going into Darbys Coffee and lounge shop to switch-off and gobble down a bit of cake. Recently I’ve realised that I’ve got be be on my best behaviour around town – once in a blue-moon I’m approached by a local who cautiously asks ‘Are you an author?’ Instead of replying with ‘Of course I bloody-well am – you shouldn’t have to ask!’ (a reply that could really catapult my popularity to diva-like status!), I smile and reply with ‘Yes I am – how are you today?’ Going forward, the question of whether or not I’m an author will not be required – the chap pulling the check-patterned shopping trolley is indeed an author.


Anyone else using a shopping trolley? Any of the above designs takes your fancy? Let us know as usual. 

Weekly blogs straight to your inbox? Send ‘YES’ to

The introduction to 80s comedy ‘The Kit Curran radio show’ gives us a nostalgic look back at shopping precincts, trolleys and 80s graffiti – here’s the link to the video The Kit Curran Radio Show


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 November 2018.

Section N Underpass Cover

Posted on

Staying power: Wagon Wheels, Fray Bentos pies and Quality Street

LAST weeks blog was about drinks and munchies from yester-years – Opal Fruits, Marathon and 5-4-3-2-1 were mentioned. Whilst Opal Fruits and Marathon are still alive and kicking under different names, the same can’t be said of 5-4-3-2-1.

I had a fruitful trip to Poundland this week  …  Nivea mens shower gel, 30 brown envelopes and Neutradol air freshener – all three for three quid (may sound obvious but not everything in Poundland is one quid as you’ll find out later in this blog).

There were a few items, that were once heavily advertised on television, that has held onto their original name and are still being churned out – items that have seem to be held down with Super Glue 3 and show no signs of shifting. Here goes …


Wagon Wheels


wagon wheel
Wagon Wheels from yester-years

And here the debate begins. I’ve heard numerous stories that over the years the size of wagon wheels have shrunk more than a jumper that’s gone through a hot wash. Stories of wagon wheels once being so huge that jaws would seize-up halfway through chomping were not uncommon. The once jaw-jamming wheels are still around at the bargain price of £1.

2018 Wagon Wheels




Fray Bentos Steak and Kidney pies




The strapline used in advertising was ‘No lumps, fat or gristle … guaranteed!’ Once regularly advertised on television this was a time-saver for many not wanting to faff around rolling puff pastry or chopping up beef and kidney.  I’ve not eaten one of these in years but that’s about to change this weekend – I’ll let you know if it’s still fat and gristle-free next weekend. The price … £1.


2018 Steak & Kidney pie




Quality Street


Quality street
Back in the day – Quality Street in a metal tin


We began on a controversial note so we’ll finish on one. They didn’t have a tin or plastic box of Quality Street in Poundland, but they did have a triangular-shaped box selling for not £1 but £2! A big metal tin of Quality Street was a common feature on living room tables over the Christmas period – it would last for ages! The soft-centred ones were commonly gobbled-down first and the harder ones left to rattle around in the tin. Today, Quality Street are less likely to be in a metal tin. Have Quality Street had the shrunken jumper treatment? All facts, figures and measurements will be gladly received so let us know.





Three products with staying power – money for television advertising seems to have dried-up but they are still with us. The odd nip and tuck plastic surgery and internal organ transplant means they’ll most likely outlast many of us!


Want regular nostalgic blogs straight to your inbox every Saturday? Email ‘YES’ to


Missed last weeks’ blog? Check it out here: Thirst-busters and munchies from yesterday-years

Posted on

Thirst-busters and munchies from yesterday-years

BACK in the day, one of my favourite drinks was Cocopina – a coconut and pineapple flavoured fizzy drink with a bright toxic colour, packed with sugar, artificial colours and flavourings … it tasted great! I also enjoyed chomping on a marathon bar to stave off hunger whilst out cycling on my cheap version of the Raleigh Grifter. Those were the days when a friend knocked on the front door and asked if I was ‘playing out’. Below are a few drinkies and munchies you may remember from those playing out days …





In a nutshell: Mixed fruit soft drink with high tech advertising.

Strapline: ‘It’s a miracle but we’ve made it’.

Decade: Short lived – only a few years during the 80s.



The Corona drinks range

Corona 2

In a nutshell: Not the Mexican lager drunk with a wedge of lime but a range of popular soft drinks. Many of the drinks were sold in glass bottles. Popular flavours were Cherryade, Limeade, Cream Soda and Orangeade.

Strapline: ‘Every bubble’s passed its fizzical.’

Decade: Began in the 1880s and was popular thought the 60s, 70s and 80s. Sadly no longer with us.





In a nutshell: Hugely popular chocolate bar packed with peanuts. Now called Snickers but many people still called them Marathon.

Strapline: ‘Comes up peanuts slice after slice’.

Decade: 30s through to the 90s.


Opal Fruits

opal fruits

In a nutshell: Soft chewy sweets now called Starburst. Flavours were Lemon, Orange, Lime and Strawberry.

Strapline: ‘Made to make your mouth water’.

Decade: 60s through to the 90s





In a nutshell: Gosh I seriously miss this bar! Made-up of five parts – milk chocolate, light crispy rice, caramel, fondant and wafer.

Strapline: ‘5 bars – 5 treats’.

Decade: Like Quatro, short lived – 80s.



Any other favourites? Let us know.


Check out  the YouTube ads here:




Open Fruits




Weekly blogs straight to your inbox? Send ‘YES’ to


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 November 2018.

Section N Underpass Cover


retrohen: read – remember – reminisce – share