I’m kind-of dropping the Christmas ball with this post, but this past week whilst my Mum jetted off to Washington I went through the old family photos in her bedroom cupboard looking for period Santa pictures (see the previous post) and I ended up finding so, so, much more… I ended up discovering the world of Steak Muffins.
One of the things I found was the church magazine that mentioned my baptism from 1977 – kept all this time, yet I’ve never seen it – and each page was a delight crammed as they are with seventies adverts for local shops that I found hilarious. So in much the same vein as Bush words and Bushwa, who exposes Australian history through the release of period newspapers from the archives, allow me to shine a light on the seventies in the north of England. You know from the name that they sell quality fruit and vegetables, but yet if you’re still not sure as to what they do: Courgettes, peppers, etc should clear things up. Either that or these were exotic produce then and worthy of squeezing into a tiny ad. Fancy goods? Well la-de-dah, get you! In my imagination a 1977 “fancy good” might be a Goblin teasmade or a toasted-sandwich maker, but I don’t know. You’ve gotta love a bakery that feels the need to advertise that they make fresh bread every single day. Their dedication knows no bounds. Let them oil your sheepskin? No thanks… But what a job to have, as they seem to have a two-and-a-half hour lunch-break! I think I’ll hold out for someone a little more go-getting to oil my furs thank you very much. A funeral directory that gives you personal attention… As opposed to what? An automated funeral? Robots processing the coffin? Still, after that freak show, you can pop into Holdens for sweets, cigarettes, and all the minerals you want… I’m thinking I’d like some Quartz, some Blue John, plenty of Iron Pyrite… And some new-laid eggs from next door. All those times I’ve wanted an expert in the field of Danish bacon and never known where to turn…All those times I’ve had Scandinavian water-infused pig product dilemmas… Next time I’ll just pop along to the Spar.
Now, some grounding in British cultural phenomena: in the sixties the kids use to form gangs of Mods and Rockers, cruise around on scooters, and get into fights. Whereas in the nineties the equivalent age group went to illegal raves held in disused buildings and farmer’s fields. But then, in-between these, in the seventies it seems to have got a little bit nasty. Pie and Peas parties? I bet they were a riot. Why does an “electricity showroom” sound so funny to me? I’m sure I’ve heard the phrase as a child, but I still can’t quite work out what it must have been.
And I’ve saved the best until last, the ad that should have put “famous” in inverted commas and they just keep on giving as they give to the world the creation of Steak Muffins! Which should just awful…
And like a euphemism for something… And if not for those then a euphemism for something much worse! According to the internet it’s not in common use, so I’m starting it here. Oxford English Dictionary, update your citations, it started here!
I’m not sure a meal in a snack is going to catch on… And the special feature of the pub: wine by the glass! The fact that it appears to be a modern invention makes the seventies look a bit prehistoric. Although if you wanted “privacy” and were squirreled away in the “Cottage Room” it does make it sound a bit dubious…
And another reminder for Danish bacon at the Spar… Just in case you’d forgotten already. The seventies looks like a laugh a minute.