Tuesday, 17 March 2009



By now, we’d been married seven years and had collected a good home around us. In our lounge we had a new 21-inch screen television set, a three-piece suite and a carpet square! In those days only the relatively wealthy could afford fitted carpet. Then, Cyril Lord, a carpet entrepreneur, introduced plain coloured carpets that could be purchased by the yard in several widths and at affordable prices. We managed a large square, but were still not in the fitted carpet league. We also had one of the first Hi-Fi systems, fresh from the Ideal Homes exhibition. Not only did it have FM radio and a built in reel-to-reel tape-recorder, but it also had an echo chamber and the facility to make double track recordings, all with plenty of echo-echo-echo! It was very modern and stood on long, spindly, black legs ending in shiny, brass ferrules. How proud we were of our gleaming, black and gold Hi-Fi.
We had also bought a kitchen table and chairs made from bright yellow Formica and vinyl. The chairs stood proudly on black, tubular steel legs, looking like great, yellow beetles striding across our red and white chequered linoleum covered floor. At the same time, we indulged in a matching yellow fibre glass sink unit, and a pale green kitchen cabinet with, as the brochure said: ‘ a fitted clock and bread bin together with pull-out work surface’. It was all very modern and much sought after! We even had Rusty the dog to complete our happy picture.
Remember we were just entering the ‘swinging sixties’ and this was reflected in our home. Purple, mustard, terracotta and burnt orange were the colour we chose to paint the doors in our flat. It started when we bought ‘contemporary’ linoleum to cover the floor on the landings. It had a black background and lots of colourful designs all over it, squares and triangle with rounded corners. We decided it would be fun to pick out all the bright colours in the floor covering and echo them on the doors that led off from the landing. Very fiftyish, which, of course it was.
Arthur and I were still very happy with our life together, and had no desire to start a family – we thought. I’d started looking at little girls wearing frilly frocks, cute smiles and ribbons in their hair but, at the time, didn’t recognise it for what it was: broodiness.
One day in June 1959, Doug contacted us and suggested that we all go down to the Railway Tavern for a drink, as there was something that he and Pat wanted to tell us. We were agog with curiosity. Surely they couldn’t be moving. Maybe Doug had landed a good job at last. When we’d settled down with our drinks, Doug told us that Pat was pregnant and they wanted us to be the first to know. We were so surprised because they hadn’t been married very long. Suddenly, I knew that I wanted to be pregnant too!
‘Can you imagine Mum’s face if we were to tell her that we were both expecting babies?’ I said. Doug and Pat agreed that it would be fun, but there was one little drawback. Pat was already pregnant and Arthur and I hadn’t even started yet!
‘Please wait just a couple of weeks’ I pleaded, ‘before you tell Mum and dad. It would be wonderful if we could present Mum and Dad with their first two grandchildren at the same time. Especially since they’d waited so long’.
‘OK,’ Doug agreed. I think he secretly thought we were both off our trolleys. After all, we’d been childless for seven years.
That night we set about fulfilling our part of the plan. After only one try, I was absolutely certain that it had worked and that I too was pregnant. We suddenly wanted to be parents more than anything else in the world, and there didn’t seem to be any reason to waste time now. I don’t think that it occurred to me that we might have to wait months, or even years, to make a baby.
It was just a short time later, and my period was overdue by three days. I just knew this was it! I went to the doctor and told him that I thought I was pregnant, He asked me how late I was and, when I told him three days, he roared with laughter and said: ‘Come back in a couple of months.’
To be contd…


Swubird said...


That was an excellent description of your early home. I felt like I was right there with you listening to the hi-fi with that great echo chamber.

Three days late! Yikes, I remember one time many years ago when my girlfriend said she was a few days late. I nearly died is nervousness. I chewed my nails. I smoked.I stayed up all night walking the floor. Then, all was okay.

Another good post about the ongoing saga of Granny Grimble.

Happy trails.

Babs (Beetle) said...

You know, I can still see all that furniture, and I remember your 21 inch TV - so posh :O)

Jay said...

Good heavens! We had a yellow formica table, too! Did it have a weird kind of spindly design on its surface in black? LOL!

Love this tale. How fortunate that Arthur agreed to start a family just then, too!

weechuff said...

Oooh! This is so exciting!! I remember the table and chairs, and also the floor covering I think. I also had a yellow formica table with the four vinyl chairs in our first home, but ours were in yelloow gingham pattern!! I also remember how large and empty our first flat seemed in comparison to todays homes with so much in them! We didn't have a lot of money in those days, and there were certainly no benefits, so we chose our stuff individually as and when we could afford it.

granny grimble said...


So glad you felt at home in my little flat! If I'd known you were there I'd have made you a nice cup of English tea! No tea bags in those days!


Do you remember our black suite with red and yellow stitches woven all over it? It sure was a colourful episode in our lives!


Yes there was a sort of black scribble pattern on the chairs too. We had a red 'Sputnik' sugar bowl or butter dish. It had white spots on it and the domed lid swung under the base when in use. I tried to buy one on ebay a while ago (just for old times sake) but could't find one.


That was one of the things I liked about our first homes. No clutter and every single item was chosen and put in place. Mind you, there were a few things that I wouldn't give house room to now! It's lovely to look back and remember, isn't it?

Croom said...

:O( I do not have any memories of anyones home :O( I miss out on so many memories. Why have I got such a dreadful memory?

A great trip down memory lane Leeta.

granny grimble said...


I hope you remeber your own first homes. I remember that you had a serving hatch in one of your houses and I thought it very posh!

GoldAnne said...

That was so interesting leeta , I remember Cyril Lord, after my first husb and I parted , my mother and father uprooted theirs to give to me in a flat Anne-marie and I had,
I cut it all into little peices to match up the patterns, and painted,
most of other stuff in flower power cerise hot pink green and blk even the bath and loo completely lol(and yes it came off)
Thanks leeta im catching up,, all 3 puters have been at the menders ,now theres a record lol
love Anne