Dear Lord...

merryone

VIP Shopper
What a lovely story Vienna and just how I remember the catalogues or club books as they used to be called. My mum would never have one as she was brought up to believe that if you can't afford to pay for it outright then you can't have it. Yes, it was fine for my nan and grandad as they were pretty well off, so what they wanted, they could have. To be fair they did buy a few things for my mum and me, but my mum still struggled financially, and as a kid, I was often kitted out from Jumble sales and hand me downs. I remember a friend of hers starting a club, and my mum agreed to take the catalogue in and have a browse, but of course she didn't buy anything, much to my chagrin. That said I totally enjoyed pouring over all the lovely toys and clothes I could only dream of getting.
I ran a "club" myself when I had a young family and tbh I couldn't have managed without it. Luckily pretty much all of my customers were good payers, though I did have a few issues with one woman but thankfully it was sorted, mainly by luck, but that's a story for another day! I'm still with Littlewoods today, though the "club" side of it's a thing of the past now, and I couldn't live without it now either. Do miss the books though!
 
Correction - MIL was Kay’s not Freeman’ (V story reminded me) but my mother wouldn’t allow one in the house, everything was saved for and paid in full or not purchased.

An uncle who didn’t have children, worked in a factory which made ladies lingerie type stuff and often gave my mum offcuts of fabric and trimmings. Although she worked in a shirt factory off and on she had no patience at all for sewing fiddly stuff so she went to a local dressmaker who made matching outfits for my sister and me. The fancy stuff was for summer church type outings and it was cotton for other. God I hated them!

My gran and another unmarried uncle used to buy winter coats and Clarke’s shoes (plainest of the plain nothing fancy which is why I now love red shoes) bliddy kilt skirts and mum knitted everything else - something else I hated and now only wear the softest of knits.

I used a catalog when first married for a very short time as I couldn't be bothered with the hassle .
 

brissles

VIP Shopper
Vienna, those catalogues helped me get my "bottom drawer" together before I married. My bedroom was awash with goodies still in their boxes waiting to be rehoused in the flat that my new husband and I would soon move into. I couldn't wait to use the casserole dishes, cream shag pile rug, and a couple of table lamps, all bought on the weekly from the lady up the road. Then there were the Embassy coupons (collected during the years I smoked), and I had enough to claim a coffee table and ironing board !! Of course those were the days when a couple of gallons of petrol would warrant a free 'cut glass' goblet from the Esso garage ! didn't take long to get the whole set (which can now be found on any charity shop shelf 😂 😂 )
 
My parents and other relatives smoked so we collected the coupons and bought stuff just before we married and for a little after - a handheld mixer, an electric carving knife and Pyrex dishes still in use, a pressure cooker, stand mixer and umpteen pans well used but gone now.

I still have some dishes which were wedding presents 50 years ago in use, only the useful ones as I have no patience with things which dont work or which aren’t to my taste. One was a Pyrex casserole set with bliddy vegetables painted on it - I hated the thing but it is really useful so it gets used but put into a plain serving dish afterwards !

I think every house in the country got the petrol station glasses, a lot were very good and a hell of a lot better than the plastic daffs (remember them?) we used ours right up until we got a dishwasher.
 

SisterBliss

Well-known member
Ms Holden had a lovely face before she decided to turn it to vinyl & may do a good pose. Ms McCall has all the grace of a clothes airer & always makes me think of a baby bird, a bit like this one, miaow!

There's something comical about that bird - almost (?) lovely. The davina similarity makes it ugly.....:unsure:
 

donna255

VIP Shopper
My mum bought my Xmas presents from I believe Kay's way back. Also, the co.op, cannot remember how it worked, but she was able to go into the big store and get me my school blazer, sleeves turned up until I grew into it in final year. Other clothes bought from there to then paid weekly.

Yes, all every well people saying not to get into debt, but some families had to use catalogues not for fancy stuff, but normal things like a cooker or a fridge to clothe the children.
 

Vienna

VIP Shopper
Yep I married my late hubby in 1973 and began my bottom drawer as it was called, as soon as we became engaged. We used Cigarette coupons too, we both smoked back then and when we married we got the usual wedding gifts from relatives such as towels, pyrex dishes, ironing board.
Our first home was a tiny one bedroomed flat and the kitchen was so narrow you had to walk sideways down it. It had an ancient gas cooker, a sink, one base cupboard with sliding doors and about a 3ft by 18 inch worktop on top of it and one wall cupboard with sliding doors. That was it. No room for a washing machine so I used a local launderette and there was no room for gizmos and gadgets which was ok because I didn`t have any anyway !
We had a secondhand bed, a tiny single wardrobe and in the living room we`d no room for a suite so we had 2 bright orange dralon swivel chairs, a coffee table and a small TV. We ate off trays and it was a bugger balancing things when the slightest movement meant your chair swivelled and you ended up wearing your drink or rice pudding.
 

SisterBliss

Well-known member
Ah the wonderous days of glossy paper catalogues thick enough to use as doorstops and a new one delivered twice yearly.
My Mum ran 2 of them, Great Universal and Kays and her customers would have little paper cards she`d initial when they came to pay their ten shillings or whatever it was. Mum worked part time in a factory at that time and had many of her colleagues as customers but not all of them paid as they should have done. Mum took it personally and hated arrears on anything, she always paid promptly, had a thrift tin she`d divvy her wages and Dad`s wages into and the coal man, gas bill, mortgage and other bills were always settled on time so when any colleague gave her the sob story why they couldn`t pay that week`s catalogue payment my Mum always put it in herself. She always thought it reflected badly on her if she didn`t send in the full amount each week. It was the way she was.
My kid brother and I would be given old catalogues to browse, cut up or play with. My brother Tom would sit and giggle at the pictures of ladies in Miss Mary bras and girdles and I`d draw a picture of a house and stick cut out photos of furniture, curtains and other household items on it. I`d drool over pretty shoes but the only shoes my Mum ever bought me out of it were Tuf lace ups which had to do for school and home time and school holiday meant plastic sunshine sandals from Woolies or canvas pumps and in Winter it was hand me down wellies once worn by my big sis.
Nearer to Christmas, Mum`s catalogues became wishing books. Tom and I would sit on the sofa browsing the toy pages and all Mum could could hear was "I wish I had this, wow I wish I had that and so on ". She must have been listening because lo and behold, on Christmas morning, one and only one, of our wishes would be there and bulked out with colouring books, selection boxes, jigsaws etc. Apart from her underwear I can never remember Mum buying anything for herself from the catalogue, it was always something essential for one of us 4 kids or something for the house.
She ran the catalogues for years and until her older two children were married and had left home and we younger two children were teenagers and she was able to work full time and there was more money coming into the house. Her and Dad were rarities for the area, they`d taken out a mortgage on a house just after the war, the mortgage was £350 and until then they`d lived in lodgings since their wedding in 1941 and had rented a bedroom and a downstairs room from an elderly couple.
Theirs was the only owner occupied terraced house in the street for many a year, the others were rented but for the 1940`s and with such low wages, their mortgage was a big commitment especially when the house started to need major repairs or updating and their 4 kids began arriving. Mum had my older brother and sister close together and then it was 7 years before she had me and my kid brother close together but she regularly told us that neither of us were planned but not in a nasty way.
As for the catalogues, they kept us quiet for many an hour and we`d take what was left of them to school after we`d butchered them with scissors and they`d be used for paper mache made with the sticky white glue which you`d deliberately get on your fingers so you could have the fun of peeling it off later which ranked equally alongside popping tar bubbles with a lolly stick inbetween the cobbles on our street. That was until you got tar on your socks or clothes and a really good rollocking off your Mum !
I so wish that modern day people (woke brigade etc) had these sort of values.

Troubling that few people save, graft, & do what's right these days (pay on time, take responsibility, stop at one child if they cannot afford more etc)
 

stratobuddy

VIP Shopper
I bought something on Hire Purchase (the "never never") when I was 15. Of course, my parents had to sign the HP agreement as I was under 21, which you had to be in those days.

But I paid all the repayments by working delivering groceries after school and on Saturday, on a bike like these, complete with the wicker basket - - - -



Nostalgia delivery bike 91325796_296710123.jpg
Nostalgia delivery bike .jpg



Needless to say, it was an ELECTRONIC GADGET, a reel to reel tape recorder, and it was worth every hour of working to pay for it.

I had told my best friend, who lived 3 doors away, about getting one, and his parents BOUGHT him one, as he seemed to get whatever he wanted.
 

Clothescloth

Well-known member
Green shield stamps, anyone? Collected from Tesco, and petrol stations! We collected books full of them, then it was a trip into town to the Green Shield shop (which was always very busy) to exchange them for Pyrex kitchenware and the like!
 

brissles

VIP Shopper
My parents and other relatives smoked so we collected the coupons and bought stuff just before we married and for a little after - a handheld mixer, an electric carving knife and Pyrex dishes still in use, a pressure cooker, stand mixer and umpteen pans well used but gone now.

I still have some dishes which were wedding presents 50 years ago in use, only the useful ones as I have no patience with things which dont work or which aren’t to my taste. One was a Pyrex casserole set with bliddy vegetables painted on it - I hated the thing but it is really useful so it gets used but put into a plain serving dish afterwards !

I think every house in the country got the petrol station glasses, a lot were very good and a hell of a lot better than the plastic daffs (remember them?) we used ours right up until we got a dishwasher.

LATI I STILL use the smallest casserole dish with the bliddy vegetables on the side - for my stuffing ! its just the right size to take a packet of Paxo sage and onion 😂 😂

As for the plastic daffs, we also got plastic carnations with a packet of Daz (I think), so my Mum just stuck them in the ground in the front garden.

Somehow I can't see all the yummy mummies in their new-builds, of today doing half these tricks - they'd rather buy the plastic cactuses from Bumbleweeds collection.

Ha ! ha ! as for the orange dralon swivel chair. I remember shortly after being married, buying one from a jumble sale and proudly dragging it home to our flat. BUT BUT BUT it didn't look half as big in the church hall as it did in our small lounge - it practically swallowed up one wall, and new husband was not impressed, although in the 70's it did fit the bloody 'orrible decor. It lasted a week then out it went.
 

stratobuddy

VIP Shopper
Green shield stamps, anyone? Collected from Tesco, and petrol stations! We collected books full of them, then it was a trip into town to the Green Shield shop (which was always very busy) to exchange them for Pyrex kitchenware and the like!
I started to collect Coop stamps that were like Green Shield stamps, so then I had to do a lot of my shopping in the Coop, such as my Hoover vacuum cleaner.

In the end, I had 1000's in about a dozen books.

Then they stopped honouring them!

I've never got over it, even though it was 30 years ago :( (Don't mention the crown lol).
 

merryone

VIP Shopper
My mum bought my Xmas presents from I believe Kay's way back. Also, the co.op, cannot remember how it worked, but she was able to go into the big store and get me my school blazer, sleeves turned up until I grew into it in final year. Other clothes bought from there to then paid weekly.

Yes, all every well people saying not to get into debt, but some families had to use catalogues not for fancy stuff, but normal things like a cooker or a fridge to clothe the children.
Good point Donna - One of my best friends at school always had a Kay's catalogue in her house. They weren't very well off, and with 4 kids to buy for I doubt if her mum could've lived without it, especially since she had no transport. A 7 mile bus trip with 4 kids in tow wasn't always an ideal option, or the cheapest either.
When I ran my club, I religiously put the money aside because there was no way back then that I could've afforded to buy the amount of stuff I bought outright, so it was a God send. It still is because I can defer payments on expensive items up to a year, and just so long as it's all paid up by the time the year's up, you pay no interest. You can pay what you want, when you want and I find Very (part of Littlewoods) is no dearer that other places on the high street and they have bloody good sales too, postage is £3.99 per order, Click and collect is free as are all returns - It's a no brainer for me!
 

PennyPitStop

VIP Shopper
I remember Joan Collins doing a stint for Littlewoods! They now now a "Michelle Keegan" range of clothing and household stuff - As one would imagine, it's all very "Footballer's wives"...lots of pinks and gold, fluffy slippers, blingy dressing gowns etc, but the difference is that this range is tucked in amongst all the other stuff and she's not being promoted as "The face of the brand" - so she can stay!
How long before Mrs "teach your grandmother how to suck eggs" Hinch will come to one of the catalogues or to Q?
How did we ever manage without these people?!


Does anyine here follow Mrs Hinch? I was in Lidl a while ago and two of her four books were there £5. Nah I thought don't need. The a few weeks later one little soul left was £3.00. I bought it. Its the journal activity one. It will be entertainment at the caravan. But if anyone thinks I'm giving names to different cleaning cloths then their plot is so far lost it is further out than Pluto is.

Is it worth a read? For £3 yes. Will I buy the other three? I'd want change from a fiver for all three. She's spotted a dint in the market and making £1000s per Instagram post so good luck to her. But I can't get sucked in. £3 for a dip of the toe in the water is as much as I need to do. Crazy old world out there, I just want peace n quiet thank you.
 

madaunty

Quietly, Very Confused
My kid brother and I would be given old catalogues to browse, cut up or play with. My brother Tom would sit and giggle at the pictures of ladies in Miss Mary bras and girdles and I`d draw a picture of a house and stick cut out photos of furniture, curtains and other household items on it.
Yes! We also did this (except for the brother bit, we didn’t have one).
There were 4 of us girls with 5 years between us, so I imagine it was a cheap way of keeping us entertained.
We’d also cut out the head and shoulders of the models and then cut out outfits and stick them on the heads with spit.
Simple pleasures.
 
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brissles

VIP Shopper
Does anyine here follow Mrs Hinch? I was in Lidl a while ago and two of her four books were there £5. Nah I thought don't need. The a few weeks later one little soul left was £3.00. I bought it. Its the journal activity one. It will be entertainment at the caravan. But if anyone thinks I'm giving names to different cleaning cloths then their plot is so far lost it is further out than Pluto is.

Is it worth a read? For £3 yes. Will I buy the other three? I'd want change from a fiver for all three. She's spotted a dint in the market and making £1000s per Instagram post so good luck to her. But I can't get sucked in. £3 for a dip of the toe in the water is as much as I need to do. Crazy old world out there, I just want peace n quiet thank you.

I suppose the market she aims at are those that have Pizza's for Sunday lunch, wouldn't know the many uses for bicarb of soda (perhaps she doesn't either), and haven't a clue how to change a lightbulb or wire a 3 pronged plug. Because those of us of a certain generation were shown how to do these things by our Mums and Dads, and its laughable that some young thing is earning thousands because those that 'follow' her are absolutely clueless when it comes to cleaning windows.
 

donna255

VIP Shopper
I remember Green Shield Stamps and they became Argos. I remember we had Green Shield Stamps and when Argos opened you could use them as part payment towards something. I had just started working and went in and bought a pair of gold hoop earrings. They are not big and quite fine, but I still have them today and still wear them.
 

Twilight

VIP Shopper
I bought something on Hire Purchase (the "never never") when I was 15. Of course, my parents had to sign the HP agreement as I was under 21, which you had to be in those days.

But I paid all the repayments by working delivering groceries after school and on Saturday, on a bike like these, complete with the wicker basket - - - -



View attachment 21490 View attachment 21491


Needless to say, it was an ELECTRONIC GADGET, a reel to reel tape recorder, and it was worth every hour of working to pay for it.

I had told my best friend, who lived 3 doors away, about getting one, and his parents BOUGHT him one, as he seemed to get whatever he wanted.
My idea of a bicycle ❤️ I might just start looking for one.
 

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