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Nostalgic TV: Minder – opposites attract

THE CITY: London. The year: 1984. Bus number 266 from Harlesden to Brent Cross Shopping Centre.

When the bus reached Cricklewood, there was a used car dealership on the right hand side of the road. Nothing special about the cars or display – in fact I never saw a potential customer clocking any of the motors.  I imagined what the owner of this used car dealership would look like. I imagined the owner of this car dealership to be involved in dodgy dealings, making fake promises and being extremely slippery. I imagined the owner having to employ someone to protect him from the angry mob on his trail. I imagined the owner to be called Arthur Daley!

 

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Minder – many will have fond memories of the well dressed, well spoken, cigar smoking gentleman who was the proud owner of a used car business. First impressions can be deceiving and if you were unlucky enough to buy a car from Arthur,  you’d be fuming whilst stuck on the North Circular Road with the car bonnet up. Yep you’d been scammed!

This mild mannered, Jaguar owner Arthur Daley did not just dabble in used cars, he had a stream of other avenues he dabbled in – import and export of fine wines, furniture sales, fine art, cutlery, electronics, fine clothing, shoes, event marketing and even protection! His lockup was the central storage location for the dodgy items to be flogged to innocent buyers.

 

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How could such a man get away unscathed from all these dodgy dealings? Enter Terry McCann … Minder. Terry was the opposite to Arthur – honest, loyal, hardworking and thoughtful.  As an ex Boxer, Terry was useful with his fists which is the reason why Arthurs’ empire survived. It was not unusual for Terry to have a punch up with furious customers who’d come to ‘sort Arthur out’. So for all the loyalty shown by Terry, how did Arthur treat and reward him? No different to how he treated his innocent customers … by ripping him off!

 

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Relationships – they say that opposites attract. That’s certainly true in this case. Terry threatened to leave his employer on many occasions. Sometimes he did leave but soon he’d return when his smooth talking ex-employer talked up big wads of cash to be earned.

Arthur and Terry were likeable chaps in different ways. Arthur was slippery but we’d find ourselves chuckling at his antics. Terry was a likeable chap and all round nice guy. For all the hostility they showed towards each other, they thrived off each other and couldn’t do without one another. That’s what happens when opposites attract.

 

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Happiness is a cigar called Hamlet – the mild cigar

 

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Disobedient ticket machine

HIS TRAIN is pulling into the station. He tries loading the coins into the ticket machine but the machine is not behaving and rejects some of the coins. He feeds the coins in again but the result is the same. Like a possessed gambler on a fruit machine he frantically feeds the coins into the machine again! Eventually the final 50p coin is accepted by disobedient ticket machine and he has a ticket to ride.

 

The attempted sprint

He runs into a multitude of passengers heading the opposite direction whilst running down the stairs to the platform.  The word ‘sorry’ continually comes out his mouth whilst dodging, weaving and crashing into the oncoming traffic of passengers. He makes it to the platform just as the platform conductor is about to blow his whistle. Disaster strikes when he twists his ankle whilst making a last ditched effort to jump on. Instead on landing in the carriage he lands flat on his back on the platform! The platform conductor blows his whistle and the last remaining doors slam shut. The train then creeps out of the station.

 

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Relief and comfort

Mentally and physically broken, he drags himself against the post bearing the station name. He reaches inside his pocket and pulls out a box of Hamlet and a small box of matches. He lights the mild cigar and puffs away – each puff leaving a cloud of smoke in the air like a steam train. The events of the last couple of minutes now seem mundane whilst observing passengers dashing around like ants. He happily puffs away whilst sitting in his new comfy spot.

 

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Happiness is a cigar called Hamlet

Happiness does not come from a fat salary, spending time with loved ones or jetting off on exotic holidays. True happiness comes from puffing on the mild cigar after you’ve landed on your backside! Happiness is a cigar called Hamlet – the mild cigar.

 

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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 November 2018.

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Let’s cook and Get Stuffed!

We have a bit of a dark horse this week. It’s one of those 250/1 outsiders that many overlooked. This dark horse starts off fast and finishes even faster – blink and you’ll miss him!

Feeling a bit peckish?

Rule number 1: Ditch the fancy cookbooks! Or you’ll be dashing from supermarket to supermarket trying to hunt down fancy ingredients

Rule number 2: Give those celebrity chefs with a whack with your heavy-duty frying pan.

Rule number 3: The Get Stuffed team are here to sort you out!

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Never heard of them? You would catch them at about 1am on Sunday morning. You may have had a night in slumped in front of the telly. You may have been dozing and missed it – your loss … you snooze, you lose!

If you were one of the fortunate ones not to snooze, then jackpot! If you managed to keep your eyelids open then you were in for a treat – 5 minutes of culinary delight. As soon as these chefs hit the screen you were wide awake, bolted upright and began to salivate.

Get Stuffed had some bad ass chefs. These chefs learned their trade on the streets. They didn’t need to attend a top notch cookery schools or knock up a meal in kitchen with views of hills and streams – just give em the basics – a cooker, ingredients from the local shop and a dash of imagination.

These chefs were fun and they just knew how to cook up a wicked meal. Hesitation did not enter their minds. It was a case of ‘cooking is easy and the results are perfect every time’. None of this stressing, bad language, sweating like a pig in a sauna lark – it was all very friendly in the Get Stuffed kitchen. The food was always tasty – the expression on the chefs face’s said it all … ‘Yummy, Yummy, no more rumble tummy and I’ve still got some money’. By the time the closing credits were rolling, you’d wished you’d worn a bib to soak up the dribble tumbling off your bottom lip.

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You can tell the ones who watched Get Stuffed. They are the ones who are savy with their hard earned cash. The ones who bring their broken TV’s back to the shop for a refund after 20 years of reliable service. The ones who head to the supermarkets 10 minutes before closing time and walk out with a trolley full yellow sticker items. The ones with overflowing cash in their accounts.

Well done to those who managed to embrace Get Stuffed. It’s been worth it and you’re now reaping the rewards.

Tough luck to those you didn’t have the staying power to last until 1am. Don’t beat yourselves up – it’s all in the past so get over it!

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Scan
The Get Stuffed cookbook!

 

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Enjoyed the blog? Grange Hill is featured in the new hardback book, Section N Underpass – a nostalgic collection of blogs featuring a fun look back at British advertising, leisure and entertainment from the yester-years. Release date November 2018.

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The Big Dog – The Raleigh Chopper

PROMOTION – some strive for it in their career. Some progressively climb the career ladder in an orderly fashion, whilst others jump the queue!

The same can be said in the world of bicycles.

There was a popular rank under the Raleigh company umbrella of bicycles. The starting point was the Boxer. The Grifter sat in the middle, but at the summit stood the Chopper.

 

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The Boxer was your entry level bike. ‘Check me out – I’m on the scene and I’m gunning for you!’

The Grifter – ‘I’ve been around for a while and I know a trick or two … I’ll just bide my time’.

Then we come to the undisputed number one – The Chopper.

The Chopper was the MD of the Raleigh Bicycle Company – ultimately the Big Dog.

You knew he was the big dog and stood head and shoulders above the rest.

Check out the big back wheel and the small front wheel. Check out the backrest positioned at a slight angle so you can ride and recline. Check out the positioning of the handlebars – this is one easy rider!

 

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The Chopper is about respect and status. It’s a cruising machine that needs to be ridden slow – one hand on the handlebar whilst the other hand holding a can of 7up. Recline and relax with this stress-free ride.

The big dog makes a silent and clear statement … I’m at the top and I’m not moving! It’s telling the Boxer and Grifter that promotion does not exist in their lives – almost like pushing a drawing pin into their tyres. The big dog is a ruthless MD.

Once reality kicks in, the Boxer and Grifter bow in reverence when the MD shows up. Life becomes easier for them once they submit to the unique, superior model.

 

What next?

The Chopper is number 1 so no point in trying harder. Whilst continually linked with senior roles at competitors within the world of bicycles, the big dog considers them (slowly) but always stays loyal to Raleigh.

 

How?

The Chopper didn’t have work hard to reach the pinnacle – the orderly queue of the career path was jumped whilst leaving other contenders deflated on the stepping stones.

How did the Chopper manage to jump the queue?  It’s unique, stands out from the rest and has serious respectability. It’s confident and sometimes cocky – traits that have no real negative impact on mass appeal.

If gaining promotion is a bit a struggle for you, then just think of the Chopper and be unique. Walk into the office wearing a onesie, grow some chunky sideburns or get the barber to give you a mohican! Be unique and float to the top.

 

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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 November 2018.

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A short story of addiction – R Whites Lemonade

 

YOU TELL YOURSELF ‘That’s it … never again!’ Your willpower is shattered as the silent seductress draws you in. Once drawn in, you’ll have the slightly embarrassed look of Oliver Twist whilst pleading for more!

It’s bedtime so the silent seductress has no chance … Wrong! You’re more likely to be seduced whilst sprawled across your mattress. You give in, jump to your feet and sneak downstairs in search of the seductive one. You arrive at your destination of naughtiness, throw open the fridge door and grab the one you’ve been drawn to. You waste no time hurling a glassful of the wicked one down your neck. Giddiness sets in and you break into an uncontrollable, unfashionable dance.

Hold on … someone’s been clocking you! You stare at the unimpressed face that’s clocked you. Still recovering from your giddiness, you confess … R Whites Lemonade!

 

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Secret lemonade drinker advert

 


 

Enjoyed the short of addiction? 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.

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Memories of Lucozade original: the road to recovery

 

Cough cough … Splutter splutter! Achooo! Maybe the flu has got you flat out on your back … motionless like a sack of Spuds.

Been working like a horse and now feeling knackered?

Maybe you’re in a hospital bed recovering from a minor op.

Don’t stress because your road to recovery has been given a major boost! The flu will be a distant memory, you’ll be back working like an enthusiastic horse and they’ll be a vacant hospital bed in no time!

Your recovery route will be assisted by Lucozade!

 

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The bottle by the bedside

It was common to see a bunch of flowers, grapes and a bottle of Lucozade by a patient’s bedside whilst recovering in hospital. I guess the flowers were to cheer the sick one up … reminding them of the beautiful life waiting for them on the outside. Not sure about the grapes – keeping the waterworks flowing and flushing out those toxins maybe? There was no doubt about the contribution of Lucozade – pushing recovery along. Lucozade gave you a mental boost too – ‘I’ve just had a glass of Lucozade, the energy boosting drink that’s so potent it needs to be wrapped in cellophane to keep it under control. Once unleashed the result is unquestionable!’

 

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Recovery

There are 3 steps to successful recovery:

  1. Medical attention
  2. Rest
  3. Lucozade

 

Lucozade can be seen as the most enjoyable part of the recovery step – the finishing line which was once blurred, is now clear and horizontal. Lucozade could be described in 3 words – The Recovery Drink. They were no frills with Lucozade – no claims to give you wings – it encouraged the final stage of recovery to get a wriggle on!

 

A loving gesture

I recall TRD being a bit premium too. My dear dad would buy his wife a bottle of Lucozade at the weekend. I guess it was seen as a kind of treat back then. When placed in the fridge it would be seen a block of solid gold surrounded by inferior bits of bronze (Orange squash). I guess back then this loving gesture was the equivalent of buying your other half a nice bottle of merlot or craft beer. In this day and age, if you were to buy a bottle of Lucozade for your partner as a treat, you’ll probable get that ‘You having a laugh?’ look – how times have changed!

 

Legendary and iconic

Lucozade has legendary status. It’s iconic looks and no nonsense approach were appreciated by many. I’m for sure thankful for all Lucozade did for me whilst getting over various illnesses. The glass bottle wrapped in cellophane have disappeared and the latest 2018 version tastes different too. Still we still hold onto the fond memories of sipping a glass of Lucozade whilst off ill from school or work.

 

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Original Lucozade is featured in the new hardback book, Section N Underpass  –  a nostalgic collection of blogs featuring a fun and factual look back at British advertising, leisure and entertainment from the yester-years. Release date November 2018.

 

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Tales of the Unexpected: A Wicked Trick!

PLEASE STOP! I can’t take anymore – it’s THAT music – make it stop! It sends a shiver down my spine as it plays on and on. My eyes bulge as the opening title starts. I stare at her silhouette – incredibly sexy, calm and enticing whilst dancing in the flames. My eyes don’t shift from her as she invites me to come dance. I hesitantly refuse. I dare not move but I’m subtlety being drawn in to her world and that music still won’t stop!

 

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Too late – I’ve been sucked into her world! Things have taken a sinister turn for the worse and I have choices to make.

I see the revolver spinning but I don’t want this game of Russian Roulette to drag on. I hope it will stop in my direction and … Bang! At least it will be over and done with and that music will stop. Typical of my luck, the revolver keeps on spinning. I reach for it to take matters into my own hands but it’s just out of reach.

Next I’m faced with a roulette wheel. I’m not a gambler – my limited gambling experience is based on watching ‘Play Your Cards Right’ on TV, screaming ‘Higher’ and ‘Lower’ as Bruce flipped the cards. Now I have a choice … Black or Red. I’m determined to put an end to the torturous music so I go for Black 13 – surely this must work! I fail to succeed again and I’m whisked off to view some tarot cards. Surely the end must the near but the torture continues as the cards keep rotating!

I’m then whisked past a collection of skulls and within a split second, the music stops … Phew!

 

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All is calm. I’m not sure how I got here but I’m in a rather cosy living room next to a roaring fire. I know the man relaxing in the armchair by the fire – one of my favourite authors. I loved James and the Giant Peach!

I’m safe. I’m not sure what happened before but it’s all done and dusted now and I’m actually relieved to still be alive.

I’m confused as the man in the armchair starts talking mumbo jumbo. He has a sly look on his face but I ignore him and warm myself up in front of the roaring fire. The shiver down my spine slowly disappears as I get comfy in the serenity of this cosy room.

It’s not long before I’m being sucked into the flames of the roaring fire. My eyes bulge as the man in the armchair gets smaller in the distance. Then that music starts again. Her dancing silhouette … me not wanting to dance. I reach for the revolver but it’s still just out of reach. The roulette wheel … ‘Black 13 … Black 13’ I scream but it just keeps spinning. The same loop … I still don’t want to dance … I stretch harder to reach the revolver, but fail again. ‘Damn it Black 13’! The loop continues …

I get a glimpse of the man in the armchair in the distance. I beg him to please stop the music. He looks at me, smiles, leans back in his armchair, then and slowly nods off!

 

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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 December 2018.

 

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Bullseye: A short tribute to Jim Bowen

INNNN One … Wake up to a hot cuppa with this fantastic Teasmaid.

Innnn Two … Never have a cold sandwich again with this Sandwich Toaster.

Innnn Three … Wash days are never a chore with this automatic Washing Machine.

Innnn Four … Enjoy your favourite tunes in style … its a Midi Hifi system.

Innnn Five … Say Cheese! Capture every moment with this 35mm Camera.

Innnn Six … Dine like royalty with this Cutlery set

Innnn Seven … Flick through channels in your armchair with this 14-inch remote control colour TV.

Innnn Eight … Red or White? The choice is yours with these Wine glasses.

And Bully’s special prize … Let those dishes wash themselves with this automatic Dishwasher!’

 

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The one and only Jim Bowen

I’d always look forward to tuning into Bullseye on a Sunday afternoon. Jim Bowen was always smartly dressed. He’d sport huge slightly tinted glasses and reeled off one-liners that made us chuckle. Jim was the perfect host for Bullseye – mention Jim to anyone and he’d be instantly linked to Bullseye. Let’s face it, Bullseye without Jim would be like a Sunday Roast with just veg and gravy. Sunday afternoons meant we could forget that the weekend was coming to a close, kick back and enjoy a bit of bully. Jim’s ability to connect with the contestants, audience and viewers made Bullseye essential Sunday afternoon viewing

 

 

The fun of counting cash

Thirty pounds was not to be sniffed at back in the 80s – that’s how much a contestant got for getting a question right in the initial rounds. If the contestant didn’t progress to the next round, no worries – hopefully they would have won some cash … £120 … £175 or maybe just over £200. The cash for the contestants (who didn’t make it through to the latter rounds) would be counted up by Jim – it took him the entire commercial break to count it! Counting out cash during the commercial break was Jim’s signature action whilst we grabbed a cuppa.

 

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Fond memories

You really couldn’t beat a bit of Bully. I smile when I drift off into my own little world and think of those darts flying (sometimes wildly) towards the board. My broad smile then turns into a chuckle as I imagine being transported back to Sunday afternoons in the 80s and 90s. RIP Jim Bowen – great guy and fab gameshow host. Darts, fun, counting cash, boats, prize boards, keeping out the black and staying in the red – Jim Bowen.

 

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On the gameshow roll? Read: Nostalgic TV: Play Your Cards Right

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Brut – Splash it all over! Taming of the Brut

BRUT! He’s not subtle but abrupt. He’s direct. He’s the rude individual who’s just slapped you across the face and walked off with a swagger. You may try to ignore him – hoping he’ll would disappear down the bathroom sink but this homme de France has staying power. He has his chest puffed out with the look of ‘I’m here to stay so get over it!’

Love him or hate him, men have been splashing him all over for decades. Henry Cooper and Barry Sheene are some of the sports personalities who have championed Brut. Del Boy even wished he had an emergency Brut capsule to splash on when he spotted his ex in the local.

 

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Curiosity killed the cat

I’m a bit of a curious chap. I know curiosity ended the life of our four legged house pet but I’m still here to tell the tale. I noticed him on the top shelf in the supermarket. I looked at him with interest but he didn’t even acknowledge my look of curiosity. In fact he didn’t even look at me at all! He sat at the summit in his green outer garment admiring himself, knowing he’d be stinging someone’s cheeks sooner rather than later.

I didn’t hesitate … why should I? He has a reputation and I needed to satisfy my curiosity!

After shaving (with a new blade), the time had come. I braced myself before slapping him onto my closely shaven face. There was a gentle sting. I was expecting a sting intensity of 10 (on the 1 to 10 scale) – like being stung by a bunch of angry bees. Instead the sting intensity level was more like a 3! I glanced up at him and gave him a look of ‘you’re not as tough as you look’ and slapped more onto my cheeks.

I remember in the 70s when my brother slapped on the Brut we all knew about it –  the abrupt green eyed homme de France flooded every corner of our rather large house with its aroma. Not quite the same now though – his lingering aroma was restricted to my face and bathroom.

 

The verdict

Well I finished off the abrupt one within a month. All what’s left is his empty glass shell that’s heading to the recycle bin. My curiosity had been satisfied. Maybe back in 70s he was more feisty and would have taught me a severe lesson … they do say we mellow as we progress in years.

Well my abrupt, arrogant friend is actually quite nice once you get to know him. His twin brother nodded at me from the top shelf of the supermarket during the week. I smiled and nodded back – mutual respect. Respect the Brut!

 

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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 November 2018.

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