The 70s.Growing up in Leeds.Part 2.Christmas

Leeds.Christmas
Leeds.Christmas


 Christmas is here again, bringing back memories, some make us happy, some cause us to be sad.
My memories are all happy, bittersweet though, most of the people who made my Christmas's, ones to be remembered, are no longer with us, but who knows?
 Maybe they are, we just can't see them.

Here, are some more memories, of growing up in Leeds in the seventies, carrying on from part one, which can be seen at the link below.

It's a long post, sorry, but worth reading, I think.

There was so much more that I could have put in, so, think yourselves lucky!


My very first memory, and yours too, I'm sure, is the excitement of Christmas Eve.
We have written our letters to Santa, sent them up the chimney, there is no doubt in our minds, that we will receive all we asked for!

Not only have we sent Santa a letter, we have been to see him, in person, to tell him what we want.
Our usual Christmas grotto, was at Brown & Muffs department store, Bradford.

More than Santa's grotto in Brown & Muffs, I remember they had a wooden escalator!



Wooden escalator
Wooden escalator



Pillow cases are at the ready, placed at the bottom of our beds, the earlier we go to bed, the earlier Santa will pay his visit.

A lot of time was spent, breathing on the frosty window, melting the ice, to look out to see if Santa was on his way.



Frosty window
Frosty window


We didn't have central heating, until I was about twelve years old, I never remember being cold though.
I must have blocked out that memory!

Oh, our poor parents, when we awoke at dawn, maybe before!
After everything was inspected, oohed and aahed over, we went back to bed, taking our loot with us.
I always ate everything in my selection box...all of it, one thing, straight after the other!

We got up again, at a more civilized time, and Christmas day began.



Christmas past. Me on the right
Christmas past.
Me on the right

Every single one of my Christmas's were spent at my Grandmother's, right up until coming to Greece in 1977.
It was full house, all the family, Aunts, Uncles, cousins.
I loved it!



To Grandmothers house we go.
To Grandmothers house we go.


Another vivid memory, is, in the run up to Christmas, going to Calverley Woods, with my Uncle Francis, to gather holy, for decorating the house.

He was great Friends with the Gawthorpes, of lodge farm Calverley.

 I can still see the steam coming of the freshly killed turkeys, hung up in a row as Mrs Gawthorpe gutted them.

A wonder I wasn't psychologically scarred for life!

This is the same Uncle, who, when I was about ten years old, taught me to use a shotgun!
 It wouldn't be allowed today, would it?

As we grew older, we made more Christmas memories, the carol service, on the last day, before breaking up for the Christmas school Holidays at Pudsey Grammar is a fond memory.

This event meant that Christmas was well and truly here.




St.Lawrence Church.Pudsey
St.Lawrence Church.Pudsey



Now that we are free from school, if there had been snow, the snow shoveling started, along with the carol singing.
All done, to amass a bit of pocket money, to do our own Christmas shopping.

This was usually done in Woolworths, Pudsey: four or five of us together, we all saw what each other bought, so we had a good idea of what we would be receiving!




Woolworths
Woolworths



We have now reached the seventies, things really got going!

Instead of being spent at home, with family, Christmas Eve was spent in the Old Hall at Farsley, for me , anyway.

Bopping away to The Slade :

 "Merry Christmas Everybody", 
booming out of the jukebox.



Slade
Slade


Rum and black, or barley wine , evil stuff, if consumed in large quantities, gave me my first ever hangover.
I can remember trying to keep as still as possible, when I went to bed, if I moved at all, I was sure I would be sick!

Let me now, tell you a story, a story by pictures.
A good old-fashioned, seventies Christmas.

Christmas morning could find our Mother's, in something like this.



70s dressing gown
70s dressing gown


The first job was,turn on the Christmas tree lights.




Christmas tree
Christmas tree



Not much could be seen, of the trimmings, they were all obscured by a sheet of silver rain.




Christmas trimmings
Christmas trimmings



The rather badly made trimmings, after following John Noaks's instructions on Blue Peter, were hidden at the back of the tree.

We can now throw out all excess washing up liquid bottles and egg cartons, collected just for this handy craft!

After drinking copious cups of tea, in mugs that looked something like this: all of Yorkshire had visited Hornsea Pottery,


Hornsea pottery mugs
Hornsea pottery mugs


we got ourselves dressed, ready to enjoy Christmas.


Our "specially bought for Christmas" get up, bought in Chelsea Girl, made us feel very "With it" indeed!



Seventies style
Seventies style



The more "Arty Farty" of us, the less "Dedicated followers of fashion",
may have donned something like this.
 See picture below.



Seventies style
Seventies style



 If we were off to spend the day with friends and relatives,
 this was our form of transport.



Seventies transport
Seventies transport



Once we arrived at our destinations, more cups of tea were drunk, accompanied by a mince pie, or maybe a Mr Kipling's Bakewell tart.

Mr Kipling makes exceedingly good cakes you know.

The more daring of us had a Babycham.



Babycham
Babycham



 Now comes the giving of gifts.
Most to be returned in exchange for something else, in the new year.
Especially the Christmas jumpers!



Christmas jumper
Christmas jumper



 Children got any, or all of these shown below.



Seventies toys
Seventies toys




The Mousetrap game was rather difficult to assemble, it needed adult assistance, much to the chagrin of parents.

What fun though, catching the little mouse at the end.




Seventies games
Seventies games



There was always an annual of some sort in there with all the rest of the goodies
.
I remember getting either a Sindy or a Jackie album.

The boys received  Beano or Topper.




Seventies albums
Seventies albums




 Then there were the "Smellies, always the "Smellies"
Never missing from any Christmas.
The easy way out:
 "Oh just buy him some aftershave, always comes in handy"





Seventies aftershave
Seventies aftershave




Apart from the Aramis, men's toiletries were pretty dire.

Maybe Aramis was too, it's years since I smelt any.

If you couldn't afford the aftershave, there was always the soap-on-a rope!



Notice how there was much more choice for the ladies.
Not that choice is always a good thing.

Here we have items for people on a strict budget.




Seventies perfume
Seventies perfume




If it was for a girlfriend, not just for your best mate's sister, you were likely to buy one of these.
Just a little bit more exclusive!
Show you care!





Seventies perfume
Seventies perfume




Let's not forget the gift sets, usually consisting of bath cubes.

They never dissolved.

Or the talc, with an especially cloying scent.

These were mostly given by your old Aunts.

They were also bought by school children as a gift for their teachers.




Seventies gift sets
Seventies gift sets



That same Aunt, is likely to have bought you one of these:




Seventies records
Seventies records



When what you really wanted,
was one of these:




Seventies records
Seventies records



The year that Clive Dunn brought out his record "Granddad",
Every person, in every house, in the land , could be heard singing:

"Granddad, you're lovely"



Clive Dunn
Clive Dunn



 And now it's time to eat the Christmas lunch, if you're from Yorkshire, you call it Christmas dinner.
No matter what time of the day it's eaten.

Mothers have been up since the crack of dawn, to put the beast of a turkey in the oven.
They have been slaving over mounds of spuds and Brussels sprouts all morning.

Probably battling with something that looked like this:




Seventies kitchen utensils
Seventies kitchen utensils



When they do finally manage to sit down for a minute, with a gin & tonic, they always looked rather red and sweaty.
Not much changed there then!

The turkey was usually dry, the sprouts boiled to a mush and the children fighting over who was going to pull the wishbone.
Down at the other end of the table, a fight was ensuing over who had the dark meat and who had the white.
Once it was all on your plate , you loved it, and asked for seconds.




Christmas lunch
Christmas lunch



Until the great juggling act, of getting everything cooked and ready at the same time,was finished,  food was kept warm, in one of these:
The hostess trolley!



Hostess trolley
Hostess trolley



After everyone had eaten fit to burst, along came the desserts:




Christmas desserts
Christmas desserts



 The same things are still eaten today.
There's nothing like tradition!
Although mid-seventies, some aspiring people did experiment a bit.
Tiramisu, fondu, a black Forrest gateau, instead of a Christmas cake




Christmas cake
Christmas cake



 It didn't last long though, all that new-fangled stuff.
It soon went the same way as the prawn cocktail and chicken-in-a-basket.
Out the window!

We've eaten, it's time for a bit of television,
watched on one of these:



Seventies television set
Seventies television set



Mind you, I don't think we had a colour telly, until about 1972.
When did Princess Anne get married?
We had our colour telly then as I remember all  female relatives descending on us, to watch her wedding, in colour.


Here's a sample of what we watched all through Christmas day.
Some of us watched, should I say.
Others were having that famous Christmas moment:
Asleep, mouth wide open and snoring.



Seventies television programs
Seventies television programs


At Christmas, the telly blared out all day.
It was never switched off.



Seventies television programs
Seventies television programs



To accompany our telly viewing, this was the sort of stuff passed around.
And around and around!
We must have consumed in one day, enough calories, for a week.




Add caption
Chocolates for Christmas
Chocolates for Christmas



 I love every single one of the things pictured here.

Someone had brought a Terry's chocolate orange, from England, for my daughter.
It was during the summer, but as soon as I saw It, I thought:
"Christmas"!

Drinks were handed around, maybe on something like this:




Drinks trolley
Drinks trolley



A drinks trolley!
Some even had a cocktail cabinet.




Cocktail cabinet
Cocktail cabinet



As my parents were not big drinkers we had neither.

All booze, what little there was of it, was kept under the sink, along with the Squeezy!

There may have been a soda syphon on the trolley,
It might not have been working though, if
Dad had forgotten to buy the cartridges needed,, in the rush up to Christmas.




Soda siphon
Soda syphon




" Wakey Wakey" we've now reached tea time.
The women, not long sat down, after clearing up all the debris from the dinning table, and washing up, while having a good old gossip, with a sigh, start all over again.

Out comes the roast gammon, the pork pie: stand pie, all  bought at Leeds market.

Tomatoes, hard boiled eggs, Branston pickle, red-pickled cabbage, homemade by my Grandmother,
Silver-skin pickled onions, oh, and iceberg lettuce.

Have I missed anything?



Christmas tea time
Christmas tea time




After a few more drinks, a bit more telly and another snooze, it's time for home.

Children are tired and fractious, moaning over broken toys.
And where's the mouse from the mousetrap game?

Rubbish is tipped out of the bin, just in case it was thrown away with the old wrapping paper.

By the way, the bin we used for old paper was this one.
I swear to God it was!

The exact same, I suppose we had bought it from  Asda.




Seventies waste paper bin
Seventies waste paper bin
.


Once home, we went up to our rooms,
which were decorated something like this:




Seventies decor
Seventies decor



Via a staircase that really, when using, sunglasses should be worn.



Seventies style
Seventies style



We ran a bath, in a bathroom like this.
There was no way on earth though, that those bath cubes were going to dissolve!




Seventies bathroom
Seventies bathroom



 We were tired, parents were frazzled, but oh, what a great day was had by all.
I love Christmas, I couldn't wait until the next one.

I suppose our parents could.!

Boxing day, some up bright and early, some just taking it easy.
A day off from all the cooking, we had left-overs galore.
Bubble & squeek was the tradition in our house for lunch (sorry dinner, I've been away from Leeds for a while)




Bubble & squeek
Bubble & squeek


 After lunch, we gathered our Christmas money together, which looked like this:



Cash, old style
Cash, old style


 Off we went to fight in the boxing day sales, and to try and return a few unwanted presents.

If our purchase was rather expensive, or if you just wanted to show off, that you owned a credit card,
one of these would have been used.




Credit card copier
Credit card copier




We would pop into Boots The Chemists, to leave our Christmas photos to be developed, which had been taken with a camera like this:




Instamatic camera
Instamatic camera



We're still laughing at those self same photographs today!


If Smith's was open, we would browse around for something to exchange our book tokens for.
The tokens had been given to us by the same Aunt who gave us the Bay City Rollers LP.




W.H Smith
W.H Smith



What do you know?
As soon as we turned on the telly, after arriving home, what did we see?
Yes, you know, you've guessed it:

Holiday adverts.
Two weeks in Benidorm for fifty quid, all inclusive!




Lunn Poly
Lunn Poly



That, my dears, was a typical, seventies, Christmas in Leeds.
They were wonderful,.
I miss them!

I haven't spent a Christmas in England since the millennium.
About time I did something about that.

Oh, don't forget darlings, write your thank you notes for your Christmas presents.

You can use the sweet little notelets that you got from your Aunt.

You know which Aunt:

The one who gave you the Bay City Rollers LP and the book token.



Notelets
Notelets




I had such a good time writing this post.

It was supposed to go out yesterday, but I just couldn't stop looking at all the old pictures and listening to seventies music, before I knew it, it was midnight!


Pictures courtesy of Mr Google!


Here's what MGG (My Greek God) looked like in the seventies.

The picture of him by the mirror, is our first Christmas together.1975
It is actually taken on Christmas eve.

I had bought him a bottle of Christian Dior, Eau Sauvage , cologne for Christmas.
(You can see it in the picture!)



MGG in the seventies
MGG in the seventies



My first Christmas present from MGG
My first Christmas present from MGG


This is my first Christmas present , from MGG , 1975.



Just to really take you  back on a journey , to the Seventies, listen to this:


Best selling UK hits of the seventies.

Seventeen minutes of bliss!!!


To all of you out there.....

As Noddy Holder would say:

"MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYBODY"


Enjoy more 70's shenanigans at the links below!

See The 70's Growing up in Leeds Part 1 HERE

See The 70's Growing up in Leeds. Part 3 A decade of Decadence HERE

See more about a good old Yorkshire Christmas HERE

8 comments:

  1. Wonderful post bought back my memories from the 70's some of which I had forgotten! Christmas jumpers are so popular this year! I have never seen so many in the shops! Fashion comes around and around just hope those dressing gowns don't return! Sarah x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I had noticed the jumpers making a comeback Sarah!
      I remembered something worse than the dressing gowns: Bri-Nylon sheets! My Mother once bought some, thinking that they would be nice and warm for the winter. Any rough skin you had, they stuck to it like glue!! Give me a cosy flannelette sheet any day!
      Susan.x

      Delete
  2. OMG!! What a trip down memory lane! You absolutely amaze me every time ÷) By the way, Princes Anne was first married on 14th November 1973.We also call lunch dinner in Wales....unless you're posh.I soooooo love reading your blogs, I'm in awe of you.What about those dressing

    gowns?! I had one! What I miss here in Greece is roast parsnips and swede and carrot mash....aghhhhh! I am so looking forward to
    Christmas....especially Christmas Eve.Ho Ho Ho! Tinoushka

    ReplyDelete
  3. That was my favourite too, the swede mash, it's turnip in Yorkshire.
    You and your parsnips T, didn't someone, once even bring you some from England, in their suitcase?
    Susan.x

    ReplyDelete
  4. Yes on several occasions. About those nylon sheets, I remember them well.....I'd put out the light and rub my feet just to see the static lght show! HaHa!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hi Susan,

    I live in Bramley, Leeds and was born in Thornbury Bradford (January 1966). I have just come across and enjoyed reading some of your memories of Leeds.

    I attended Thornbury First School whilst my best friend at the time attended Bolton Royd. We both moved to Pudsey Grangefield, the former Pudsey Grammar School, in 1977 as we had moved by then to live in Pudsey. The old school building now stand s derelict and a new building is in use behind it where the tennis courts previously stood.

    I spent many hours with my Dad watching St Lawrence play cricket up at the club. He had his 70th birthday there and, sadly, his wake when he passed two years ago.

    In my teens I went every week to the under 18 disco at Cavernes in Bradford. We would catch the number 88 from outside the Commercial Pub in Pudsey down into Bradford. I remember a friend of mine (Julie Fields) I went with getting on the bus to Bradford one night excited at this new band called Adam and the Ants.

    My Grand Parents lived on the Ederoyds at Pudsey until they passed about 15 years ago. I was a head chorister in the boys choir at Pudsey St. Lawrence Parish church when I was 14. You mention the Christmas Grotto in Brown Muffs but my Mother always swore that Busby's on Maningham Lane had the best grotto and took us there every year (until it burned down)!

    I bought my Records at Pudsey Woolworths and in Fairbank and Hardings Electrical shop! I had a Kerplunk and Slinky, my friend had Mouse Trap and my Sister had a Spirograph! My 16 year old son has inherited my comedy tastes of the Two Ronnies, Morecambe and Wise and Tommy Cooper!

    Some great memories and pictures; keep up the blog!

    Regards,

    Andrew.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Andrew, so sorry about the long delay in replying to your wonderful comment.
      I have seen pictures of Pudsey Grammar, apparently now it has been converted into flats for people of a certain age.
      I met my husband in Caverns,,,as you probably read!
      Before we moved to Woodhall we lived on Grange avenue at Thornbury, I knew a Beverley Myers, lived on Daleside road I think, any relation? My best friend of that era lived on Ederoyd somewhere.
      Yes...Busby's, I was trying to remember the name of that department store, thanks!
      What good times they were, Thanks for reading.
      Love Susan (Adamson that was!)
      xxx

      Delete

Thank you so much for reading my blog, I am always absolutely delighted to hear your thoughts, ideas or suggestions.
They make all my efforts worthwhile,.

Please do check back, after leaving a comment, as I make every effort to answer all your remarks promptly.
Thanks,
Susan.x

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