Songs of Praise must be one of the dullest TV programmes ever to have been put on the air. Even in spite of attempts to spice it up a little with Diane Louise-Jordan as one of the presenters. When I was a kid my mom would insist on watching it. This was the Harry Secombe era. I think it helped salve her conscience for not going to church. Or, it may have been the fact that back in the day there really was nothing else on.
Sunday’s were dull, dull, dull. We used to wake up and listen to a radio show on BRMB Radio in which people would write or phone in to pass messages to long-lost relatives who were in far-flung places such as Australia and New Zealand. The highlight of the show was when the radio show would actually connect the relatives by phone. Yes, I AM THAT old. Old enough that a relative emigrating to the New World meant that you would never see them again. This was the days when the world was not such a small place as it is today. Plane fares were expensive and boats were slow. It was the days when phone calls were exorbitant and international calls came with a time delay which made conversations stuttering at best.
My cousins would pop in on their way back from church. They were Catholic and had little to no choice in the matter. They are all fairly lapsed now. Religiously that is. We would crack open the Camp Coffee. Which is not actually coffee of course but a chicory substitute that was developed in the War. No I am not THAT old. But, for some reason, my parents, and grandparents used to think that it was the height of sophistication. Even better than Gold Blend. And, consequently, like the tins of pink salmon, it was reserved for Sundays and high days, such as Christmas (accompanied by a tot of Captain Morgan’s).
We always ate sunday lunch together. At the table of course. Sunday roast with all the trimmings, washed down with a bottle of Liebfraumilch or Black Tower, or, if he had been in the mood, a glass of dad’s homebrew lager with lime cordial.
But they were the highlights of Sundays at home as a kid, until the arrival of the Sale of the Century and Mastermind in the evening. Songs of Praise used to be the prompt for my weekly bath. Weekly! Attitudes to personal hygiene have changed over time. I shower and wash my hair at least once a day these days. But, as a kid, we bathed once a week. on a Sunday evening. So that we would be clean for school. For a whole week of school. Having a bath was a ritual that had to pre-planned.
The immersion heater would have to be primed at least an hour or two in advance. No special lotions, potions, or bubble baths for us. We had a squirt of Fairy Liquid (I was always partial to a bit of Nanette Newman…………and, later, her daughter, Emma Forbes…………….what’s not to like!), a bar of soap, and a flannel. And, I don’t think that I even discovered or used deodorant until Sixth Form…….Of course, I did shower after PE and would have a bath upon getting home after Games afternoon. But, other than that, it was once a week on a Sunday, as mom sang along to All Is Bright And Beautiful downstairs.
How Sundays, have changed……………
Entry filed under: middleman. Tags: baths, black tower, brmb radio, camp coffee, diane louise jordan, Emma Forbes, fairy liquid, harry secombe, homebrew, Liebfraumilch, mastermind, mother and daughter, nanette newman, sale of the century, songs of praise, Sundays.