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A 1950s Childhood: From Tin Baths to Bread and Dripping

3.72  ·  Rating details ·  425 ratings  ·  30 reviews
Do you remember Pathé News? Taking the train to the seaside? The purple stains of iodine on the knees of boys in short trousers? Knitted bathing costumes? Then the chances are you were born in or around 1950. To the young people of today, the 1950s seem like another age. But for those born around then, this era of childhood feels like yesterday. This delightful collection ...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published September 7th 2009 by The History Press (first published January 9th 2009)
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Average rating 3.72  · 
Rating details
 ·  425 ratings  ·  30 reviews

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This was a great short book on what it was like to be a child post-WWII in Britain. The war was over but for much of your childhood shortages were still a part of your life as well as rationing. There was also a pretty good divide between being a child in the early 50's compared to the late 50's. The older children experienced both ends of the spectrum, going from very little manufactured toys and using what they had, to everything that Mom and Dad were willing to buy at the local Woolworth's ...more
Apr 04, 2013 rated it liked it
Plenty of nostalgia here, even for someone born late in the decade as I was. Not a lot had changed by the mid 60s in rural Wiltshire! Somehow though this book failed to grip. It felt like a catalogue of the times rather than a coherent study. There was little or no reflectiveness, just bald statements of 'this is how it was'. So slightly disappointing overall, but worth reading nevertheless.
Bill Groves
Dec 31, 2013 rated it it was ok
Brought back many memories of my teenage years, but I could not describe this book as a "good read". It is more a series of lists of radio programmes, film stars, television programmes etc.
Danny Quinn
Apr 25, 2011 rated it liked it
A great read evoking a lot of great memories .
May 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
So many memories. A really great read.
Mrs. Moira McGeough
I didn't enjoy the way this book was put together, too much repetition and the lists, the lists! I know some people love a good list and keen quizzers would find plenty of quiz trivia in this book. While in general it was factually correct it somehow missed conveying the spirit of the time. Having said all that it did make me very nostalgic about my own childhood and triggered memories long buried, so maybe I've been too harsh.
Kevin Pease
Jan 12, 2020 rated it liked it
Enjoyable but not very well written, resorted to listing items, author obviously got bored with the process.
Jackie Sykes
Oct 15, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good read

Only gave four stars as the book seemed to drag on in the middle, but it was interesting whe recalling the life
Dec 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A walk back in time

Thoroughly enjoyed reading this. A real walk back in time. So true. Could have had a little more detail but enjoyed it non the less.
Nov 01, 2018 rated it liked it
Full of interesting facts and memories of the 1950's - not a story
Apr 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013, history
I really thoroughly enjoyed this book. After reading Norman Wisdom's autobiography I was quite intrigued by the life he lived as a child and wanted to know more about post-war childhood (yes, yes, I know he was a man by this point). I can tell you that I wasn't disappointed.

There's a little in this book for everyone. I think my favourite parts of the book include Christmas time and school. Most of it seems so different to modern times that it makes me wish that childhood was still like that
Jan 18, 2015 rated it liked it
It's cheesy. Very cheesy. You might not mind that. It's also very personal: this is a book about the author's childhood first and foremost, no matter how much it's presented as universal. You'll need to go elsewhere if you want to know how things were for, say, kids in the country, or immigrant kids, or kids disabled by polio and other common threats. Other experiences are mentioned: how some kids' nerves got the better of them at exam time; how some families decorated their Christmas trees with ...more
Willow Rankin
Feb 06, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book, cheesy-ness aside. It was an interesting look at the 1950s and specifically growing up in a post war Britain.
My biggest gripe with this book, is the endless lists. For example in the Radio and Television chapter, the majority of which are just endless lists. Lists of actors and actresses, tv shows and radio plays. After a couple of pages it does get tiring.
Furthermore, I have to comment at the cheesy nature of the writing style. In the chapter on schooling, there is
Aug 30, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: kindle, library, 2015
A bit of a mish-mash which doesn't quite know what it wants to be. Lots of lists with no interpretation but also very interesting facts and details which evoke forgotten memories. I thought this read as a first draft which needed better editing to make it an excellent read. A book to skim-read but still one worth the reading.
Avid Reader
Apr 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
Enjoyed this account of the era. Brought back lots of childhood memories! Although I was not born until 1957, the similarities to the 1960s within the book, meant that I could relate well to these times.
I read this book when I had to analyze post-war society in Britain and as I found out about this book I was surprised because it was perfect for what I had to do, even from children's point of view. very very interesting, mind the nostalgia though!!
Jun 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
I found this an interesting book to skim through, rather than read in great detail. Some things I couldn't recollect from my childhood - others brought memories flooding back.
Mar 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
Interesting quick read. Surprised at how much I had forgotten. Great memories.
Oct 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
I really loved this book, it took me back to my childhood in the 1950. What memories it brought back a well written and very well researched book. Get it for any old codger like me.
Interesting look into life of a child in the 1950s
David Boyes
This book will be my next read on my ebook, I have purchased this one and the "1960s Childhood, after reading all your reviews I'm looking forward to it.
Angela Reeves
Aug 03, 2016 rated it it was ok
Mrs D Martin
Aug 14, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
For us oldies

Great book brought back many good memories from my childhood I was born in1956 and had 3 older sisters, so much of the book was relevant
Mar 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
Fun nostalgic walk down memory lane. Quick read but enjoyed it.
Jun 30, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Excellent read about what it was like to grow up in 1950s' Britain. Packed full of wonderful memories, it's a well written piece of pure nostalgia. Great.
Apr 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
What a lovely book, brought back many happy memorie. Well written, full of detail and summed up my own childhood perfectly, (I was 5 in 1950).
Simon Evans
May 01, 2017 rated it did not like it
Where to begin? I had hoped this book might give me an insight into life when my parents were children. This does not really do that.

As many have noted it many chapters are comprised by interminable lists. Radio shows, TV shows, music and movies. These are mildly diverting but could have been lifted straight from Wikipedia. Perhaps the publishers could have added value to these by linking to songs and suchlike on YouTube or Spotify.

The other chapters are diverting enough but the whole book is
Dec 02, 2012 rated it it was ok
More factual than a memoir which was quite disappointing.
Sue Perry
Apr 19, 2017 rated it it was ok
I expected/hoped this book to be a lightweight social history of childhood in the 1950s. Instead, it is a muddled collection of corny stereotypes: mothers at home busy with cooking, sewing and cleaning while their menfolk are working in a city office; the happy family gathering at Christmas with an orgy of eating; boys playing with Meccano and girls playing with dolls..

This book is written very clearly from the point of view of a middle class white male from southern England wearing a blinkered
Sarah Banks
Apr 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this it brought alot of forgotten memorys .

I really enjoyed reading this as i was a child of the 5o's brought alot of good memories back sarah
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