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Nostalgic Motoring: Beyond the Bodywork – old school car maintenance

 

AT WEEKENDS it was common to see the neighbours heading to their cars carrying a bucket of water with a few caps of Turtle car wash added. After washing the car, a leather would be used to dry-off the bodywork before polish was applied – bringing out the shine with a clean chamois was the finishing touch before we’d stand back and admire the sparkling motor. The bodywork looked showroom new but what about under the bonnet, wheels and brakes?

Where’s my tools?

Whilst we were never expected to fit our own tyres on the driveway, there were days when we rolled up our sleeves, grabbed the tools and got to work changing spark plugs, oil, air filters and brakes. A lot of the the practicalities of car maintenance have been firmly shifted to the local garage, but here we’ll reminisce on some of the advertising for the essential components that kept the motor running smoothly, safely and efficiently.

My tyres stick to the road like Super Glue 

Gripping the wet road, sweet cornering, long lasting and durable – the attributes we want from a tyre. The advertisers would woo us with boasts about exceptional tyre performance. Motor rallying sponsorship helped reinforce their claims of best in class. Today the manufacturers know that motorists are more likely to search the likes of National, Kwik-fit and Euromaster to find the best deal … price and discounts reigns over brand loyalty.

Oily business

5/40, 10/40 or 15/40? If you’re a motoring enthusiast you’d probably be able to explain these numbers detailing viscosity flow rates and temperatures on an excel graph – for the non-enthusiast these are just some random numbers on the side of the can that looks more like odds in a bookmaker. Shell, Duckhams and Castrol were regular advertisers -liquid engineering that kept the car running smoothly. Again motor rallying sponsorship added weight to advertising. Curious about those numbers? Go find the motoring geek on your street then listen and learn.

I can do it

Spark plugs, brakes pads, oil filters, air filters – the motorist with knowhow had these all essentials clutched in their hands whilst leaving the motor shop. They may have a Haynes manual to help suss out those complicated bits as they got stuck into the challenges beyond the bodywork.

It’s not my job … it’s yours!

As cars become more reliable and hand car wash services are a regular around town, the car bonnet of the next door neighbour stays firmly shut at the weekends. The bucket of water with car wash and sponge is slowly being shifted out of our residential streets – responding to the question of plans for the weekend with ‘washing the car’ or ‘doing an oil change’ will result in raised eyebrows. For many (me included) beyond the bodywork has become a strange, unfamiliar mish-mash of components, wires and pipes – a scary place where where only garages and competent mechanics dare to touch and explore.

 

Nostalgic Christmas present? The book Section N Underpass features memories of the Ford Cortina, Capri and the Austin Allegro. Essential reading for memories of the 70s and 80s. Release date 14th December. Get the rundown and pre-order here: https://www.troubador.co.uk/bookshop/humour/section-n-underpass-hb/

Want more about motoring from yester-years? Check out Yesterday’s Drive: Yesterday’s Drive: A brief review of car advertising in the 70s and 80s

All images in the blog were kindly supplied by Yesterdays Drive via twitter (@YesterdaysDrive)

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Nostalgic Motoring: Beyond the bodywork

Check out my cleaned-up ride

AT WEEKENDS it was common to see the neighbours heading to their cars carrying a bucket of water with a few caps of Turtle car wash added. After washing the car, a leather would be used to dry-off the bodywork before polish was applied – bringing out the shine with a clean chamois was the finishing touch before we’d stand back and admire the sparkling motor. The bodywork looked showroom new but what about under the bonnet, wheels and brakes?

Where’s my tools?

Whilst we were never expected to fit our own tyres on the driveway, there were days when we rolled up our sleeves, grabbed the tools and got to work changing spark plugs, oil, air filters and brakes. A lot of the the practicalities of car maintenance have been firmly shifted to the local garage, but here we’ll reminisce on some of the advertising for the essential components that kept the motor running smoothly, safely and efficiently.

My tyres stick to the road like Super Glue 

Gripping the wet road, sweet cornering, long lasting and durable – the attributes we want from a tyre. The advertisers would woo us with boasts about exceptional tyre performance. Motor rallying sponsorship helped reinforce their claims of best in class. Today the manufacturers know that motorists are more likely to search the likes of National, Kwik-fit and Euromaster to find the best deal … price and discounts reigns over brand loyalty.

Oily business

5/40, 10/40 or 15/40? If you’re a motoring enthusiast you’d probably be able to explain these numbers detailing viscosity flow rates and temperatures on an excel graph – for the non-enthusiast these are just some random numbers on the side of the can that looks more like odds in a bookmaker. Shell, Duckhams and Castrol were regular advertisers -liquid engineering that kept the car running smoothly. Again motor rallying sponsorship added weight to advertising. Curious about those numbers? Go find the motoring geek on your street then listen and learn.

I can do it

Spark plugs, brakes pads, oil filters, air filters – the motorist with knowhow had these all essentials clutched in their hands whilst leaving the motor shop. They may have a Haynes manual to help suss out those complicated bits as they got stuck into the challenges beyond the bodywork.

It’s not my job … it’s yours!

As cars become more reliable and hand car wash services are a regular around town, the car bonnet of the next door neighbour stays firmly shut at the weekends. The bucket of water with car wash and sponge is slowly being shifted out of our residential streets – responding to the question of plans for the weekend with ‘washing the car’ or ‘doing an oil change’ will result in raised eyebrows. For many (me included) beyond the bodywork has become a strange, unfamiliar mish-mash of components, wires and pipes – a scary place where where only garages and competent mechanics dare to touch and explore.

Nostalgic Christmas present? The book Section N Underpass features memories of the Ford Cortina, Capri and the Austin Allegro. Essential reading for memories of the 70s and 80s. Release date 14th December. Get the rundown and pre-order here: https://www.troubador.co.uk/bookshop/humour/section-n-underpass-hb/

Want more about motoring from yester-years? Check out Yesterday’s Drive: https://retro-hen.com/2018/11/03/yesterdays-drive-a-brief-review-of-car-advertising-in-the-70s-and-80s/

All images in the blog were kindly supplied by Yesterdays Drive via twitter (@YesterdaysDrive)

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Nostalgic TV: Wrestling at 4pm

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 …

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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)!

 

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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 14th December 2018. Pre-order your copy here: Enter the Underpass

 


retrohen – read – remember – reminisce – share

 

 

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1988: The Music and Politics remix featuring Maggie Thatcher and the opposition

 

MAGGIE THATCHER ruled and stood firm as ruler and Yazz insisted that the only way was up! Some prospered in ’88 but Womack & Womack saw teardrops on the faces of the less fortunate. According to Belinda Carlisle, heaven is a place on earth, but it’s also a place where you’d be criticised in you bumped into Alexander O’Neil. Fairgound Attraction told us it had to be perfect, but Kylie added a touch a realism by belting out ‘I should be so lucky!’

Climie Fisher was spot-on with love changes everything as the first BBC Red Nose Day makes £15m for charity. Mandela was always on the mind of the Pet Shop Boys as the concert at Wembley marked his 70th birthday. Transmission Vamp sang ‘I want your love’ and with a nudge from U2, we had the desire to oblige.

Neil Kinnock called for more cash to help the NHS but Bros said ‘I owe you nothing!’ Nurses went on strike for more pay – with a little help from Brother Beyond, they tried harder and eventually the government announced that nurses would get a 15% pay rise. A pay rise especially for the nurses sung by Kylie & Jason.

Exit O-levels and CSE’s, enter GCSE’s. No need to worry as Eighth Wonder stood bold and declared ‘I’m not scared’. After a some initial scepticism, Joyce Sims swayed us to embrace GCSE’s and allow them to come into your lives and the song from Cher proved to be the clincher … we’d found someone.

Scargill got re-elected as leader of the National Union of Mineworkers –  Jason Donavan’s ‘Nothing can divide us’ may have ran through his head during his successful re-election campaign but he didn’t hear The Primitives singing ‘Crash’ in the background. The 6th sense possessed by Phil Collins felt something in the air that night.

The year ended with egg on Edwina’s face and she really should have taken Tracy Chapman’s fast car to escape from the angry egg mob. Instead she declined Tracy’s offer, listened to Danny Wilson and said a Mary’s prayer. Matt Bianco’s stood in her corner and yelled ‘Don’t blame it on that girl’ but the damage was unrepairable. Edwina finally cracked and took the advice of Terence Trent D’Arby by signing her name on her resignation letter. As she left her role as junior health minister, Tiffany belted out ‘I think we’re alone now’ whilst following her out the office.

 

 

 

 


Nostalgic Christmas treat? Section N Underpass is a fun and factual hardback book looking back at entertainment, advertising and leisure from the 70s and 80s. It will have you in stitches whilst reminiscing! A must-have for nostalgia fans. Release date 14th December. Read all about it and pre-order here: Enter the underpass

 

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Nostalgic television: That’s Life – life summed up in 40 minutes

AFTER watching a bit of Bully (Bullseye) and hearing the theme tune to Highway, you knew that the weekend was almost over and Monday morning would soon be kicking you up the backside into the world of weekday reality. But stop … there was one television programme that made the Sunday evening Monday morning transition bearable – that programme was That’s Life!

 

Reality TV

Hosted by the caring Esther Rantzen, That’s Life was a roller-coaster of laughter and serious topical issues – think of Watchdog and Points of View blended together and served up on Sunday evenings – voila!

 

The typewriter, articles and misprints

Viewers were encouraged to send in photos of posters, signs, newspaper and magazine articles with misprints, mis-spelt words and sentences that had connotations opposite to the subject matter. We must bear in mind that typewriters did not have spell-checks – if an error was spotted it was out with the bottle of Tipp-Ex – if it wasn’t then the error could be hilarious enough to end up on the programme. Maybe a letter to Mr Gates at Microsoft asking him to kindly remove the red underlining feature on MS Word could get the ball rolling in churning out more crying-with-laughter articles.

 

Let’s provide a solution

Imagine the scenario of false teeth being so badly fitted that they pack their bags and leaves home each time the wearer opens their mouth. This was the case for onE poor gentleman – he had tried several dentists but his teeth still kept leaving home. The solution … a design drawn-up and put together by a motor mechanic. ComponentS used: a wire hanger and bits ‘n’ bobs – the result … does the job but not very attractive or practical!

 

Out on the streets

The That’s Life team never hesitated when it came to speaking to the public. Rain or shine they’d be out on the streets with camera crew and microphone. There are some questions in life that need answers – Have you ever been given roses? Is kissing strangers good for your health? Are moustaches sexy? One dialogue on the street went like this:

Q: Are you any good at exercises?

A: Hopeless.

Q: Have you ever tried?

A: Errm … I did a few press-ups once.

Q: What Happened?

A: I sort of collapsed.

 

I’ve been ripped-off!

Over-charged on gas or electricity? Get in touch with the That’s Life team. Dodgy tradespeople, poor customer service, faulty goods, hidden charges, botched medical procedures, over-charged at the supermarket – put pen to paper and let the team sort out the culprits. There was even the prestigious Jobsworth award – an award for enforcing ridiculous rules and sticking to them – one memorable winner was the British Rail on-board catering team …

Customer: Can you not put the butter on the toast whilst still hot – it makes the toast soggy?

British Rail staff: It’s the rule I’m afraid … the butter has got to on straight away.

Customer: Can you not leave the butter on the side?

British Rail staff: I’m afraid not, the rules are that butter has got to go on straight away.

 

And finally

That’s Life summed up life in the space of 40 minutes – fun and laughter, sadness, compassion and tears, being screwed-over and ridiculous rules! The programme put life into perspective and made the Sunday night Monday morning transition less painful. The next time you’re on a Sunday evening downer, relax and give yourself 40 minutes to stop, relax, reflect and laugh – think of the programme as you crawl into a more balanced, middle of the road, not brilliant but not too bad place.

 


Nostalgic Christmas treat? Section N Underpass is a fun and factual hardback book looking back at entertainment, advertising and leisure from the 70s and 80s. It will have you in stitches whilst reminiscing! A must-have for nostalgia fans. Read all about it and pre-order here: Enter the underpass

 

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Nostalgic Football: The Big Match and the football evolution

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DURING THE 70s and 80s, BBC’s Match of the Day had competition in the form of ITV’s The Big Match. The programmes didn’t compete head-to-head – MOTD had a Saturday night slot (one that it still holds today) whilst The Big Match had a Sunday afternoon slot. Throughout the 70s and early 80s, TBM was hosted by the popular, instantly recognisable Brian Moore – Brian Moore means football.

 

Game changing. Whilst footballers wages have escalated to skyscraper levels, there are other areas of the game that have evolved over the years. Here are a few of them captured when we revisited The Big Match.

 

Only one sub!

Yep there was only one substitute on the bench back in the yester-years of football. The conclusion of many old-school supporters is that the players were as hard as a frozen football pitch. Crunching tackles that sent opponents flying was part of the game with few cautionary cards dished out. Not sure what kind of diet the players were on but maybe a few dollops of cement was part of their pre-match meal.

 

That pitch is looking a bit rough

In today’s football we hear of managers complaining about the state of some pitches around the country. Some of the surfaces the players ran around on during the 70s resembled a water-soaked field trampled by a herd of cows then left to dry out! A battered looking pitch was normal – the players just got on with it and tried to keep their footing.

 

 

Electronic advertising boards not allowed!

With football such a lucrative business these days, advertising boards are ruled by companies that suck-in cash faster than a Dyson vacuum cleaner. Today’s advertising on boards shift, flashes and winks at us. Check out the no-frills advertising boards from the 70s and 80s below – there’s even advertising for local businesses. Draper tools, Duckhams, Radio Rentals, Visionhire and Pontins holidays were popular advisers back then.

 

Pure and simple

Once upon a time football shirts would have player numbers on the back and on the front was the kit manufacturers logo and club badge. Today’s kit would look slightly bare if it didn’t have the players name spread across the back and a sponsorship logo splashed across the front. Advertising boards have their restrictions, but when you have advertising on two legs running up and down the pitch, that’s 360 degrees advertising for 90 minutes – very clever.

 

The changes just keep coming …

Division 1 changed to the Premier league. The League cup has gone through numerous name changes – the Milk cup, Littlewoods cup, Rumbelows cup – some call it the Mickey Mouse cup – a name that requires no explanation to football fans. The only entry into the prestigious European Cup (now called the Champions League) was by winning the league title – no sneaky way in for clubs that came second, third or fourth in the domestic league. Lots of changes with cash being shuffled and dished out faster than a casino dealer. There’s no sign of the football evolution slowing down but we can smile as we reminisce about the questionable hairstyles, moustaches and when the prawn sandwich brigade was not part of the footballing dictionary.

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Nostalgic Christmas treat? Get the rundown of when Grandstand and World of Sport rules on Saturday afternoons in the nostalgic book ‘Section N Underpass’. Release date: 14th December 2018. A fun and factual hardback book looking back at entertainment, advertising and leisure from the 70s and 80s. It will have you in stitches whilst reminiscing! A must-have for nostalgia fans. Read all about it and pre-order here: Enter the underpass

 

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Classic Comedy: Open All Hours: How to successfully manage a corner shop

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WHEN it comes to running a corner shop there’s a few no-brainers – open-up on time, look after your customers, keep the shop clean and make a tidy profit.

Arkwright did all the above and more. He had a distinctive way of looking after his customers and knew how to maximise profit. His motto was ‘Get it in the till quick’ whilst making sure the deadly cash drawer didn’t crush his fingers.

Here we take a look at some tricks of the trade used by Arkwright to ensure the customers and cash kept rolling-in …

 

Know your customer and offer them the best most expensive

Arkwright certainly knew his customers. Regulars stepping into the shop for their usual would sometimes be offered a more expensive upgrade. Refusing the upgrade would lead to a long-winded sales pitch. The customer would either 1) endure the pitch and walk out with their usual purchase, or 2) buy the upgrade to avoid hassle and confrontation. The long-winded sales pitch is worth the effort and could result in an extra 10p in the till!

 

Leave the donkey work to someone else

The only times we saw beads of sweat on Arkwright’s face was when he had to shell out cash or got sight of nurse Gladys’ cleavage. Granville did all the running around which freed-up Arkwright to stand back and assess trends, customer behaviour and think about maximising profit. Getting someone else doing the donkey work sounds sensible.

 

Don’t throw anything away and be creative!

Imagine having a supply of tinned food with no labels on them. With no idea of the contents, it may be tempting to toss em’ in the bin. In Arkwright’s world, tossing anything away without receiving any cash is criminal. How about promoting the unnamed tins in a ‘Canned Surprise’ bingo? ‘What’s in the tin?’ –  ‘I don’t know, it could be anything … Rice pudding, Pears, Baked Beans, Soup … buy a few and find out’. Genius thinking brought to us by the one and only Arkwright.

 

Never let anyone entering the shop leave empty handed

Any potential customer leaving the corner shop empty handed is absolutely unacceptable to Arkwright. Someone popping into the shop to ask for directions – sell em’ a loaf of bread and a few slices of ham for their journey round the corner. When opportunity knocks, grab it with both hands and get money in the till!

 

A work life balance is essential

If it wasn’t for nurse Gladys the corner shop would be Arkwright’s only reason for living. Nurse Gladys was a welcome distraction and brought out the randy side of the money-grabbing shopkeeper. All work and no play is like waiting for paint to dry in a humid room … boring and never-ending.

 

Protect your assets

After spending lots of money making sure the shop is well stocked, the last thing you want is some thieving toe-rag swiping it away. Arkwright had a rifle for shooting thieves but the more sensible option is an alarm, CCTV or even a hungry guard dog. Your stock is your livelihood so keep it secure – no one is going to come into your shop if the shelves are as bare as a nudist resort!

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The conclusion and recipe for success

Thinking of owning a corner shop? Keep the top-tips mentioned above in mind – learn from experience not by making elementary shopkeeping errors. Remember that cash is king and running a successful corner shop could mean ending up living like royalty.

 


Read about television, leisure and entertainment from the yester-years in the nostalgic book ‘Section N Underpass’. A fun and factual hardback that will have you in stitches whilst reminiscing about the 70s and 80s. A must-have for nostalgia fans. Release date 14th December 2018. Read all about it and pre-order here: Enter the underpass


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Yesterday’s Drive: A brief review of car advertising in the 70s and 80s

BACK in the 70s and 80s, before driving-off, we’d pull the aerial up in order to get a radio reception. Once inside, we’d manually operate the choke and start the engine. After winding down the window and adjusting the wing mirror, a bit of strength was needed to turn the non-powered steering wheel.

Today’s cars are more reliable and there’s less faffing required to get moving, but there’s no mistaking the awe and beauty of some of the cars from back in the day. The car market has always been competitive and some of the advertising from yesterday-years go about taking their competitors apart in a sly and subtle manner.

In this short article, we’ll look at some of the cars advertising from yesterday-years – from the sexy to the all-out rip-speed beast.

 

A Sexy drive

Sexy is a matter of opinion but there were some cars where sexiness oozed from bumper to bumper. Their shape was unbelievably well-crafted and still turn heads when seen on streets today. Sexy could be served straight and undiluted or with a dash of adventure and sportiness.

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The family drive

Having a car that could comfortably fit a family became a big boast. It was important that the passengers didn’t feel like a journey in the car was more like an endurance test rather than a pleasant experience. The Austin Allegro television advert boasted about having room for five, room to spare and room for long legs!

 

 

The cars on the posh end of the spectrum

Cars that really cut the mustard. Many of them were sleek and had that ‘company car’ look. Owners of cars in this category were made a quiet statement or two … ‘I’m classy and I know it’ and ‘I’m not average’.

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The practical drive

Estate cars ruled when it came to having an extra bit of room. A bit extra room for those bulky flick-lock suitcases or for transporting weighty furniture. The Volvo was seen as a robust, reliable, safety-first type of car. Practicality was paramount for the owners of cars in this category – can be summarised as being no nonsense cars  that won’t win any beauty contests but will do the job.

 

The all-out pedal to the metal cars

Practicality is left for dust when it came to these cars. Speed, speed and more speed was the only topic on the agenda. Drivers wanting to put pedal to the metal whilst making other motorists look like tiny dots in their rear view mirror. Today’s motoring  advertisements cannot mention speed, fast or any words indicating that the driver could outrun other cars (safety reasons and discourage potential speed demons) but back in the day this was not the case … broom broom screech eat my exhaust fumes!

 

Easy driving

Power steering, automatic choke, parking sensors, onboard warning lights, CD players, MP3 players, central locking, heated mirrors, adjustable mirrors, automatic front windows – all of these come as standard with our modern cars. The question of ‘What’s the furthest you’ve gone in that car?’ has disappeared from our motoring discussions – reliability has risen to impressively high standards. Whilst all these advancements are a huge leap forward to making driving easier and enjoyable, there’s no mistaking the beauty, fun and the nostalgic feeling when you see a Yesterday’s Drive on the street.

 


 

Read about the Ford Cortina, The Austin Allegro and Ambassador and the Ford Capri in the nostalgic book ‘Section N Underpass’. It’s a must-have for memories of the 70s and 80s. Release date 14th December 2018. Pre-order your copy here: Enter the Underpass


 

 

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Classic television: Bullseye and Bully’s prize board

 

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BULLSEYE was classic Sunday afternoon/early evening viewing in the 80s. Hosted by the charismatic Jim Bowen, it was a hit with the nation and is still being shown on the TV channel Challenge!

Not just darts but …

Loads of money

Wads of hard-cash being dished out was typical of the gameshow – Jim would often count out the banknotes during the interval. Bullseye was generous when it came to handing over the cash – instant and in your face!

The speedboats

Speedboats were a popular star prize but winning one could cause a bit of a problem if you suffered from sea-sickness or if the coast was 250 miles away. All’s not lost if you ended-up with an unwanted sleek, powerful boat … apparently a swap option was available … phew!

The Bully’s tankard

Jim would position the cash notes elegantly in the tankard with half-in and half-out. Contestants would walk away with the legionary steel tankard and proudly display it on their mantlepiece. A tankard and darts brings back memories of the days when professional darts players gulped-down serious amounts of beer between throws … maybe this can be reintroduced into the modern game to liven things up.

 

 

Bully’s prize board

 

Before we start, a couple of golden rules:

  1. Stay in the red and out of the black
  2. You get nothing for two in a bed

The prizes on the board were pretty impressive – here’s a few goodies that were up for grabs:

Innnn One … Dinner gone cold? This microwave oven will reheat it in no-time.

Innnn Two … You’ll be right on time with this pair of stylish gold plated watches.

Innn Three … Get rid of the guesswork and weigh accurately with these digital scales.

Innn Four … No birds or feathers in sight with these elegant nest of glass tables.

Innn Five … This motor powered bike will make outdoor leisure time enjoyable.

Innn Six … Keep your lawn neat and tidy with this lawnmower.

Innn Seven … You’ll be a step ahead with this latest, top of the range home computer.

Innn Eight … Knowledge is power – you’ll have both with this set of encyclopaedias.

And the prize for hitting the bullseye … No need to shift from the sofa to change channels … it’s a colour television with remote control!

 

Not too shabby if you throw your darts right

Lots of practice, a steady hand and a good general knowledge base stored in your head meant you could be quids-in and heading home with a van full of top-notch prizes. Whilst Brucie encouraged contestants to play their cards right, in Bullseye it was about throwing your darts right … keep in the red and out of the black … take your time and don’t rush … aim for the board and don’t let those darts stray!


 

Enjoyed the blog? The book, Section N Underpass, celebrates advertising, leisure and entertainment from the 70s and 80s. Enjoy memorable straplines,  photos, sketches, facts and of course lots of fun! Release date: 14th December 2018. Read more and pre-order your copy here: Enter the underpass


 

Missed last weeks’ instalment? Catch-up here as we revisited the classic Kellogg’s Bran Flakes adverts: Classic television adverts: Kellogg’s Bran Flakes … they’re tasty tasty very very tasty

 

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Classic television adverts: Kellogg’s Bran Flakes … they’re tasty tasty very very tasty

… but show ’em Kellogg’s Bran flakes thats a different matter, they’ll all reply:

They’re tasty tasty very very tasty

They’re very tasty

 

 

Being brutally honest, on paper the ‘very very tasty’ lyrics looks like something written by a five-year-old after watching Play School or You and Me (‘You and me, me and you. Lots and lots for you to do …). Who’d had thought that these simple repetitive words would become one of the most popular straplines in television advertising.

 

Totally mental!

 

Imagine enjoying a meal in a restaurant – the waiter/waitress approaches the table and asks if everything’s OK and you reply adamantly in a songful manner ‘It’s tasty tasty very very tasty, it’s very tasty’. Your reply could be interpreted as:

a) The food really is out of this world – totally exceptional!

b) You’re drunk!

c) You’re a bit weird – we’ll keep an eye on you and warn the other staff members to approach with caution.

The chances are that options b) and c) would be the most likely, but when it comes to Bran Flakes thats a different matter – option a) is widely accepted and you’re seen as normal and fun!

 

Success via lyrical madness 

 

 

There’s been a number of Bran Flake adverts throughout the 80s – all containing the mad but catchy ‘very very tasty’ chorus … but each new advert came with new lyrics that left us giggling and scratching our heads – here’s a few of them (bear in mind that the adverts are promoting breakfast cereal):

 

‘What about the weather – is it going to rain?’

‘I think you’ve caught an old boot ‘

‘How’d you scrub the floor deck?’

‘You know your worms off the hook’

‘How’d you like your eggs done’

‘Can you see the milkman?’

‘You ought to try some press-ups’

‘Everyone together, bend and stretch’

‘Let me feel your biceps’

‘I think there’s a crab by your toes’

‘You know you’ve got a wasp in your ear’

 

Up there with the best

 

 

The ‘very very tasty’ series of adverts share the podium with the likes of ‘Shake and vac and put the freshness back’, ‘The water in Majorca’ and ‘Will it be chips or jacket spuds?’. In terms of madness factor, ‘very very tasty’ wins hands-down. What’s ironic is the end of the 1982 advert when the waiter says ‘You know this could catch on’ … tasty tasty very very tasty …

 


Enjoyed the blog? The book, Section N Underpass, celebrates advertising, leisure and entertainment from the 70s and 80s. Enjoy memorable straplines,  photos, sketches, facts and of course lots of fun! Release date: 14th December 2018. Read more and pre-order your copy here: Enter the underpass


Want more classic adverts? Check these out:

Do the Shake and Vac: Classic advert: Shake ‘n’ Vac with Jenny Logan

Will it be chips or jacket spuds? Classic TV advert: Birds Eye Steakhouse Grills … we hope it’s chips … we hope it’s chips it’s chips

The water in Majorca … Classic advert: From posh to cockney – The water in Majorca …