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Archive for November, 2007

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Penny Sweets – Lollipops

Posted by Big Boo on November 30th, 2007

LollipopsAnother mainstay of the Penny Sweets selection were the vast array of different types of lollipops that were available to add to your little white paper bag. Lollies tended to be around the 3p price point, so you normally only chose one. we present here some of the options available, though I think all of these are still available today.

Standard boiled sweet lollies. The most simple and common place of lollies were the boiled sweet ones. A large globule of hard candy on the end of the stick, that you had no option but to lick and suck until it became small enough that you could place it between your back teeth and crunch it up. Not particularly good for the teeth, but nice to eat.

Bubble Gum lollies. These consisted of a dollop of chewing gum containing in a boiled sweet outer shell. You sucked the shell for a time until it became thin in enough to crack with your teeth, which then allowed you access to the chewing gum beneath. You would pull this off the stick to eat, but since there were still bits of boiled sweet in it for a while it was quite a crunchy experience.

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Take Hart

Posted by Big Boo on November 29th, 2007

Tony HartGood old Tony Hart. He was one of those BBC TV presenters who looked like a kindly old uncle, with his shock of white hair and his calm voice and mild mannered approach to teaching kids the basics of art. Watching him at work was always a pleasure. He could create a stunning picture from a few simple lines with a thick black marker pen, which always made you wish you could draw as well as he could.

Every episode of Take Hart would teach you several new interesting ways of making a piece of art. Some were a bit messy or would be difficult to achieve on the often larger scale that Mr. Hart would work to. For example, painting a picture using paint rollers on a massive sheet of paper using emulsion paint was not the kind of thing your Mum and Dad would readily let you have a go at.

There were plenty of other things you could have a go at though, from the basics of drawing a simple cartoon character through to making three dimensional shapes out of drinking straws and cotton. These are the kind of things Tony taught you and made you want to have a go yourself.

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Shakin’ Stevens

Posted by Big Boo on November 28th, 2007

Shakin’ StevensI always felt that Shakin’ Stevens was kind of a British equivalent of a young Elvis Presley. With his greased quiff hair style, denim jeans and jacket and those crazy dance steps, Shaky, as he was nicknamed, had that kind of an air about him. The style of songs he sang also had an element of The King about them too, being good old fashioned Rock ‘n’ Roll, with a real emphasis on the Roll.

He had a string of hits which are still popular today. Like The Birdie Song they are a mainstay of Wedding DJ’s, but unlike The Birdie Song fond memories come to peoples minds when they are played, rather than “Oh no, not that one”. His real name is Michael Barrett, and he was born in Ely, Cardiff in Wales, so we could call him the Welsh Elvis!

There are two songs for which he’ll always be remembered, and it’s hard to choose which one epitomises him most. One of them has to come first though, so I think I’ll have to go for Green Door, although This Ole House isn’t far behind. I’m sure everybody remembers the chorus to both these songs, and watching Shaky prancing about and do that jump in the air and landing on his toes with his knees bent inwards.

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Electricity Safety Films

Posted by Big Boo on November 27th, 2007

Electricity PylonI used to love the public safety announcement adverts that would sometimes air during kids TV programmes. The Charley Says ones were my favourites, but a close second were the ones about being careful near electricity sub stations and pylons. Whilst they did perform their intended role well, I couldn’t help but find them amusing at the same time.

The best one was the really dramatic one about the kid called Billy who loses his frisbee over the fence of a electricity sub station. The electricity gubbins inside the fence had several large insulating discs on it, which looked similar to Billy’s frisbee, which of course had got lodged between two of them.

Billy tells the girl he is playing with that he saw some kids break in the other week, and knocks a fence panel aside with a piece of wood to gain entry (doesn’t say much for the security of these places, does it?). In he goes, despite his friends warnings, and climbs up to get his frisbee. He touches the wrong part though, sparks fly and he falls, with his young friend left screaming “Biiillllly!!!” at the top of her voice.

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Stocking Fillers - Suppliers to Father Christmas
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Button Moon

Posted by Big Boo on November 26th, 2007

Button MoonWe’re off to Button Moon,
We’ll follow Mr. Spoon.

The theme song was straight to the point, no messing about. Button Moon was going to be our destination when we stepped aboard Mr. Spoon’s space rocket. It was aptly named too, being a massive bright yellow button with four holes in the middle.

Button Moon was a puppet show, where most of the puppets and props were made from every day objects. The star of the show was Mr. Spoon, named because his limbs were wooden cooking spoons. I believe his body was a bottle and his hat a funnel. He lived in a giant OXO box house, and he owned a traditionally shaped rocket ship which is how he journeyed to Button Moon.

Mr. Spoon’s daughter was called Tina Teaspoon, and she was constructed in a similar manner to Mr. Spoon. Tina would normally accompany Mr. Spoon on each journey to Button Moon, as would her best friend Eggbert, who’s body was mostly a giant eggcup.

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LocateTV and e-mail Newsletter!

Posted by Big Boo on November 25th, 2007

Firstly, you may have noticed that some of our posts about TV shows now feature a new little widget courtesy of LocateTV, which let’s you know when you can next catch that programme on TV.  For an example, check out our Bagpuss page.  Incidentally, we must send an overdue thank you to LocateTV for our mention on one of their blog posts.  Thanks guys, and thanks for the great widget too! 

We also wanted to let you know that as well as subscribing to our RSS feed as a way of keeping up to date with all our latest posts it’s now possible to get updates to the site delivered straight to your e-mail inbox, thanks to the wonderful boys and girls at Feedburner.  Links to subscribe via both methods are available at the top of our side panel.

Both services are completely free to use, and you can unsubscribe at any time – but we hope you wouldn’t want to do that anyway!

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Posted by Big Boo on November 23rd, 2007

BodI think Bod was a boy. I’m sure narrator John Le Mesurier used to call him “him” anyway. It’s hard to say as he was fairly androgynous, being little more that a yellow triangle with a bald oval head, and two yellow rectangles with shoes for legs, which could telescope in and out of his body – or at least that’s what it looked like.

Bod was created in the 1960’s as a series of childrens books but was made into a cartoon during the 1970’s. It was still being aired well into the 1980’s, which is why I remember his adventures and his regular companions Aunt Flo, Farmer Barleymow, PC Copper and Frank the Postman. The first time you saw one of these characters a short animation would be played, accompanied by that characters signature tune. For example, Aunt Flo always entered with a slow walk on finished off with a little twirl with her arms stuck out from her sides. PC Copper always entered with that classic policeman stereotype of a bend of the knees. I’m sure he dropped his aitches, and would quite often say “‘ello ‘ello ‘ello, what’s goin’ on ‘ere then”.

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Ghostbusters 2

Posted by Big Boo on November 22nd, 2007

Ghostbusters 2Five years after the first Ghostbusters film, in 1989, the sequel was released. Reuniting us with all the characters from the first film, it was a good film, though as with many sequels, not as good as the original, or at least I didn’t think so. This film fell into the trap of trying to reproduce too much of the first film, a good example of this being when the Ghostbusters mobilise the Statue of Liberty by spraying it with feel good goo. I can imagine some Hollywood executive saying, hey, we need to have the Marshmallow Man back, and since this would have been a ridiculous idea given how the Marshmallow Man came into being, the Statue of Liberty was suggested instead.

This film opens with us seeing major changes to the make up of the Ghostbusters. Egon now works at a research lab for child studies, while Pete Venkman now has is own TV talk show about weird stuff. Ray owns an occult book shop, and he and Winston are the only two who remain as Ghostbusters, but as little more than childrens party entertainers now.

Of course, things don’t stay this way for long, and the Ghostbusters are soon back in action when they discover a large underground river of pink goo flowing under the streets of Manhatten. It seems this river is the outcome of New Yorkers bad feelings towards each other manifesting as some kind of ectoplasmic residue, and it is being tapped into by long dead evil dude Vigo the Carpathian, who is imprisoned in a photograph that is being renovated in a museum where Dana Barrett has been volunteering. Vigo has his eye on Dana’s baby son Oscar (and no, Venkman is not the father!) as a means of re-entering our world. He intends to use Oscars body to bring his own soul back from wherever it is currently trapped.

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