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Top 10 memories of growing up as baby boomers

Posted on 6 November 2017

Oh, to be a kid again!

Life wasn’t easy after the war. No one had much and luxuries were thin on the ground, but it didn't bother us kids. We were too busy having fun in the great outdoors to care.

Nostalgia's a funny old thing. When you look back, you probably see everything through rose-tinted spectacles – or only remember the good bits, but what does it matter? It doesn't hurt to take the occasional trip down memory lane and get a bit misty eyed about the stuff you loved as a kid. Just the mention of bread and dripping and I’m sat in front of the fire with a cold back and a warm front. How about you?

Here are just a few very simple things that could take you back too.

Washing in a tin bath

Once a week the tin bath came down from its hook to be placed in front of the fire and filled ready for your bath and hair wash. In winter it was freezing with no central heating to keep you toasty. If you were lucky you’d be high enough in the queue to get the water while it was still warm… and clean (ish).

Mum bathing her daughter in a tin bath
Trinity Mirror / Mirrorpix / Alamy Stock Photo

Saturday mornings at the flicks

Along with hordes of other kids, you'd cram into the local picture house to join in with the boos, hisses and hoorays – or giggles when someone let off a stink bomb. In the interval, the poor usherette had to cope with unruly queues of kids, desperate to get their hands on a lolly or ice cream tub.

A cinema packed with children, all staring intently at the screen
Trinity Mirror / Mirrorpix / Alamy Stock Photo

Playing on the street

What it was to be a child then. The minute you were dressed, it was out the door to see what the other kids were up to. You'd make up your own games, climb on anything in sight and generally get up to all sorts of mischief. The fun only stopped when you were called in for tea.

Three young children stood playing on a wall in front of a house Heritage Image Partnership Ltd / Alamy Stock Photo

Mum's cooking

No microwaves or ready meals then. Mum cooked everything from scratch, often using leftovers to cook up a tasty treat – and we ate every last scrap. Whether it was cottage pie, using the last of yesterday's joint, spreading dripping on bread or sticking the stale cake in a trifle, it all tasted amazing.

Mum cooking at the stove watched by her daughters
Trinity Mirror / Mirrorpix / Alamy Stock Photo

Doing dangerous stuff

If there was health and safety when we were kids, we certainly didn't hear about it! We rode our bikes without helmets, hurtled down the hill in homemade carts or spent our afternoons playing on bomb sites. And we always seemed to come off with no more than a bloody knee!

Kids on a homemade cart
Chronicle / Alamy Stock Photo

Knowing all the neighbours

We knew everyone on our street, so there were always plenty of kids to play with, or a friendly face for mum to have a natter with while cleaning the front step. No one locked their doors then and neighbours often popped in unannounced when they heard the kettle whistle.

Mums with a pram and children playing in the street
Allan Cash Picture Library / Alamy Stock Photo

Trips to the seaside

We'd get up early, pack our bucket and spade and set off, with mum carrying everything we needed for a day out – mainly sandwiches, cake and a flask of tea. The minute we arrived, we'd get down to our pants and charge into the sea - no matter how cold it was.

 A young boy pouring a bucket of water over his dad
Trinity Mirror / Mirrorpix / Alamy Stock Photo

The rag 'n' bone man

There was always great excitement when we heard the cry 'any old iron'. If you could find any broken bits and pieces or old clothes, you could swap them for something like a balloon or even a goldfish. And there was always one kid who'd give away a pair of his dad's boots and have to face the consequences!

Children in the street petting the rag 'n' bone man's horse
Dave Bagnall Collection / Alamy Stock Photo

School puddings

You can keep the liver as tough as old boots or the sloppy boiled cabbage, but oh to have another helping of the jam roly-poly with lashings of custard, or a ladleful of piping-hot rice pudding served with a spot of raspberry sauce. Yum.

Dinner ladies serving food to a line of children
Trinity Mirror / Mirrorpix / Alamy Stock Photo

And finally, a quarter of sherbet pips

What a glorious place the old sweet shops were. Row upon row full of jars, filled with some of the most delicious sweets a penny could buy. Sherbet lemons, strawberry bonbons or pineapple chunks all expertly weighed out to exactly a quarter by the shopkeeper on the Avery scale.

A small boy getting buying sweets over the counter
Chronicle / Alamy Stock Photo

What are your special memories of growing up? Is there a particular smell that takes you straight back to mum’s kitchen or the school canteen? Do you crave bread and dripping to this day? We’d love to know what you miss most about your younger days.

If this article took you back to simpler times and you’re in the mood for more, you may also enjoy these memories of a post war childhood, the 1950s home and earning your first bob as a kid.

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Phoenix Life Limited trades as SunLife and is the provider of the Guaranteed Over 50 Plan, SunLife Insurance and the life insurance policy payment option for Funeral Plans. Phoenix Life Limited’s registered office is at 1 Wythall Green Way, Wythall, Birmingham, B47 6WG (registered in England, no. 1016269). Phoenix Life Limited is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority and is entered on the Financial Services Register (registration no. 110418). As part of SunLife’s commitment to quality service and security, telephone calls may be recorded.

SunLife Limited distributes financial products and services and is a company limited by shares, registered office: 1 Wythall Green Way, Wythall, Birmingham, B47 6WG (registered in England, no. 05460862). SunLife Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and is entered on the Financial Services Register (registration no. 769427).

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Hugh James is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA Number:303202).

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