Tuesday, 26 February 2008

Remembrance of Tins Past

I went on about this anachronistic shop in the Unmitigated England book, and illustrated my recollections with a selection of pictures taken in the late seventies in Billesdon, Leicestershire. This is one that escaped the net, turned-up today as I was rummaging for a photograph of a Fenland drainage pumping station. The shop was extraordinary, with contemporary brands jostling for position on the shelves with once memorable but now extinct household names. I think this photograph is of the front-of-shop 'display', not so much an example of the window dresser's art as a repository for tins and packets put there a year or so before and then forgotten. So much of this was once so familiar. I miss the Norfolk stuffing box (top shelf, right) with the smiley pig on it and the legend 'Highly Recommended' underneath, and that Nestle Ideal milk tin with the white stripes. Can you still get Mary Had mint sauce? I bet I go to the shops tomorrow and see if they do, depositing yet another unopened jar in the Ashley Archive, alongside all seven of those very clever variants of the Lyle's Golden Syrup cans they're doing to celebrate 125 sticky years.

10 comments:

A F-A said...

Lovely photo! I personally like the jar of Robertson's Mincemeat...with its fondly-remembered image of Idi Amin on the label. (Ah, Alan Coren, how you are missed!).

Ron Combo said...

Tinned mandarin oranges with Ideal milk. I could nearly weep.

Philip Wilkinson said...

The Ideal milk is good, but:

Carnation's the finest milk in the land
I have a tin of it here in my hand
No udders to pull, no hay to pitch
You just punch a hole in the son of a bitch.

Peter Ashley said...

Thankyou Philip.

Peter Ashley said...

Also, it's funny but when I was a child I was always surprised when my mother opened a tin of evaporated milk and there was still something inside.

Toby Savage said...

I have a Pancake Day, limited edition, Lyles treacle tin if you fancy it. Should be empty by about April. I'll put it on ebay and tempt youwith the link.

Peter Ashley said...

I've now got more treacle than I know what to do with. Does anyone know a recipe that includes the contents of seven small tins and four big uns? Thankyou for the offer Toby, but I've already got one as a swap because I forgot which ones I'd bought. And it doesn't look like they do Mary Had Mint Sauce anymore, but I'd be grateful for any sightings.

Lady Barbara Skelton said...

That Ideal milk tin brought back childhood memories of Sunday tea time. I love old packaging, and was lucky enough to work a stone's throw away from Robert Opie's packaging museum when it was based in Gloucester. I spent many a contented lunch hour looking at the exhibits and the videos of vintage adverts. Oh, happy days.

Peter Ashley said...

Please forgive the shameless plug m'lady, but there's lots of old tins and packets in my Unmitigated books. And it looks like Robert Opie's collection has at last found a good home in Colville Mews in Notting Hill. Right, as cook hasn't got over being thrown out of bed by last night's Biblical earthquake, I'm off down to the kitchens to make my bedtime Bournvita.

fjda said...

looking to find out who made mary had mint sauce and where were they based

thanks