(119) 'A Hullmead Saturday Night'

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Ken
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(119) 'A Hullmead Saturday Night'

Ken
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This post was updated on .
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MaKq8iXGSxE

Some memories create a warm glow and one occurs whenever I recall the Saturday nights of the cold winter of 1956/57.  I was a ten year old and would have been at home with my mother and my sixteen year old brother, Gordon. The rest of the family were out.  My sister Phyl, now an eighteen year old, would probably be with her friends, Daphne Vallis and Jennifer Locke.  My father, at that time working for the store chain, Timothy Whites, would almost certainly have been visiting his local, The Red Lion, as would my brother Bob.  Brother Len, just months away from getting married to Pam, may well have been at his fiancee's home.  Three other siblings, Wally, Violet and Dot had already flown our, 'Hullmead,' nest.

What was so special for me on those long ago evenings occurred because Gordon was not yet old enough to go in a pub, for back then the rules were strict and usually adhered to.  That meant, until his eighteenth birthday, he, mum and I had some memorable Saturday evenings together.  Every week Gordon would give Bob the money to buy our Saturday night treat.  He'd then go to the pub with him, collect it, and bring it home to mum and I.  The order was always the same, one quart bottle of Bulmers Cider and three packet of the long thin, tuppence a bag, KP peanuts.  Each of us would also have a packet of, 'Cheese Specials,' containing four cheese sandwich biscuits, plus a packet of potato crisps.  There were two choices, Smiths, with their famous salt in a little blue bag, and a make whose name I can't recall, but every week I chose their new and exciting OXO flavour.  With treats such as these, we would sit down for a night of joy!

A night of joy was no exaggeration for, as well as the treats, we had the new medium of television to watch, we so loved being entertained in our own home by the big stars of the day.  We watched the likes of Dickie Henderson, Alma Cogan and Dave King, who were showbiz giants of the age.  How the three of us would laugh as we munched our snacks during, 'The Arthur Haynes Show, with his famous stooge, Nicholas Parsons, who usually played an upper class toff. Every week Arthur would pronounced Nicholas's name as, Nichol-arse, and my darling mother would laugh as if she'd never heard it before.  Gordon recalls mum particularly enjoyed the comedian, Sandy Powell, with his famous catchphrase, "Can you hear me mother?" I especially liked, The Max Bygraves Show,' with his magical mix of chat, comedy and musical guests, I think that was where I first heard Anne Shelton sing her 1956 No.1 hit, 'Lay Down Your Arms.' That was one of my fathers, and now my, all time favourite songs.  If you'd like to hear it, click on the above link.

As much as I loved the summer months I remember feeling sad when the clocks went forward.  To my brothers it meant the 1957 cricket season was almost with them, but to me it meant the end of those joyful Saturday nights.  However, summer passed and October saw the clocks fall back an hour once more. The dark nights returned and with them, Gordon's Saturday Treats.  Once again I was in heaven as the stars of the land performed for mum. Gordon and I, via our small 14" Pye television set.  Around that time I began to view a certain star in a different light than I had the previous year.  Her name was Sabrina and, if my memories correct, she couldn't dance, sing or act, but she did have two fine assets that mesmerised the now eleven year old me.  I would imagine that my mother took less interest in Sabrina than Gordon and I. Other stars who entertained us as we sipped and munched our treats were, Donald Peers, David Whitfield, Ruby Murrey, Lonnie Donegan, Michael Holliday, Guy Mitchell, Benny Hill, Tommy Steele and The Beverley Sisters.  But all things end for on April 26, 1958, my brother Gordon reached the age of eighteen and I've no doubt he celebrated with a pint in the Red Lion.  This meant the end of those Saturday nights the three of us shared but they remain engraved in my heart.  Like so many special times, they passed too quickly.  
Ken
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Re: (119) 'A Hullmead Saturday Night'

Ken
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As my older siblings grew up our home became less crowded on a Saturday evening.  This tale tells how that led to some joyful times thanks to my brother Gordon's generosity at the dawn of the television age!