Sunday, 25 December 2016

On Christmas Day with presents from the 1950s

Dinky toy, circa 1955
Now I doubt that any one will be beating their way to a computer today and the readership of the blog will take a dip.

Nevertheless as you are sitting back amongst the discarded wrapping paper, with a day of indulgence ahead I thought that I would just be more than a little selfish and share a few of the Christmas presents that came my way when I was a child.

A book I still read, 1954
Most have long since vanished like the wooden toy forts my dad made, complete with battlements, towers, drawbridges and even one year a portcullis.

This was also the year he made four identical rocking cribs for each of my four sisters for their Christmas dolls.

They were massive affairs and each painted a different colour.

But for me throughout the 1950s and into the early 60 presents were dominated by the train set and the Eagle comic.

So there would be an addition to the big train set which stood on a converted ping pong table and took up all of a big room with its track lay out, marshalling yards stations, signals and model village.  Usually this might be a new locomotive or a few freight wagons.

Alongside these there was always an Eagle annual and the odd Dan Dare toy.*

Dan Dare from Eagle Annual nu Six, Christmas 1956
The toys had usually broken by February but the annuals have lasted the test of time and can still fascinate me over 50 years after I opened them under the tree infront of an open fire.

And as you do I continue to collect a whole range of the books put out for children during the 1950s.

Some I wish I had been given, others are totally new to me, and others still were ones that at the time I would not have gone near but now are as interesting as the Eagle.

Of these it is the Girl  which was the companion to the Eagle annual that I return to.

And that I think is enough of nostalgia for another year.

Pictures; from the collection of Andrew Simpson







*The Eagle, http://chorltonhistory.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/The%20Eagle

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