Friday, 27 November 2009

Shelf Life

I felt I had to quickly redeem myself after the last erratic posting. And as I fell into the local post office this morning for my Telegraph, the opportunity stared me in the face from the window. I have received warning glances inside the shop when I've lingered a little too long looking at a display of similar items above the cigarettes, bottles of Wincarnis and stamps (bringing new meaning to the phrase 'top shelf'), so today I whipped out the camera and ran for it. But what survivors. Mainly medicinal, (that blue glass laxative bottle worries me) it's good to see an unused Bronco toilet roll with its optimistic tag '500 Sheets'. The hero for me though is that little Nescafe tin, a reminder of when this seemed such a ubiquitous item in the post war pantry. However, just looking at the description on the classic label of what they've done to it does make you wonder how far the contents had come from anything resembling a coffee bean.

21 comments:

DC said...

Is your Post Office in a museum of buildings, or is the proprietor "one of us" that s/he has shelves full of such wonders? (Or is the turnover of stock somewhat sluggish!?).

Whatever, a lovely composition of some splendid items.

Peter Ashley said...

Looks like it doesn't it? But no, it's just an excellent local shop that appreciates these things and displays some old stock items.
Except the Boots tin, which I expect was imported.

Philip Wilkinson said...

Back on form. Glad I can now stop squinting at the 'dog' while scratching my head.

Isn't this stuff wonderful? The coffee tin brings back a time when such containers were really small. Why? We didn't drink so much of the stuff? We hadn't enough ready cash to buy it in bulk? Our kitchens lacked banks of built-in cupboards to accommodate big tins? All of the above, I suppose.

accountant said...

You would,nt like to divulge the location would you? I could pop out from work in the lunch hour to see this.

Peter Ashley said...

I'll give you a clue Accountant, being a local chap: Horse & Trumpet, Nevill Arms and a school designed by Goddards of Leicester.

Sue said...

I do like the juxtaposition of the Bronco with the mysterious laxative (only Harvey's Bristol Cream and snooty mineral waters come in that blue these days which makes you wonder...) but I shudder to think how useful the Bronco really would be should you over-do it on the blue bottle!

Peter Ashley said...

You're right Sue. I put Bronco alongside Izal and the curiously-named Three Hands as the most spectacularly useless bog rolls ever.

Philip Wilkinson said...

Bronco: 500 sheets to the wind.

Peter Ashley said...

Thankyou Wilko.

And I've just remembered that a schoolmate once sent me a letter from his first job, written in fountain pen on a roll of bog paper with 'Central Electricity Generating Board' printed on every sheet.

accountant said...

Thank you for the clues, when I was a student working on a local farm, the shop in question was a butchers and I remember delivering lambs to be slaughtered by the butcher at the back of the premises.

DC said...

I understand why they were unpopular, particularly with the ladies, but Izal and Bronco (3 Hands?!? What was that about?) did do the business for young exponents of the comb-and-paper. Now what do they use? Internet?

Toby Savage said...

There was a documentary on Radio 4 about Izal just last week. Fascinating listening, but of course, I can't remember any of it.

Peter Ashley said...

You're right Toby. I heard it, and I think the name 'Izal' came from two blokes called Isaac and Alan, but that's more than likely wrong because I was doing something else at the time.

Thud said...

I think money may have been rather short.As a child I was sent to buy coffee by the individual sachet.

Sue said...

On the naming of bog roll, you might be interested in two gems I have found from discounters here in Germany for their Own Label products:
"Touching".....bleurgh!
"Happy End"
Both worse than Three Hands, surely?

Peter Ashley said...

Thankyou Sue for those. They're like having one called Tortoise Head.

DC said...

I could buy in to a loo roll that promised a happy end...in the 'old fashioned' meaning of that term.

I'll stop now and get back to the '95 Tollot-Beaut.

Bucks Retronaut said...

Reminds me of a 60`s telly cowboy series called "Bronco" which had as the words to its theme tune " Bronco ! Bronco ! Tearing across the Texas Plain...Bronco Laine !" .......which of course was sung around the playground as "Tearing across the dotted line....."

Oh,what fun we had !

Martin H. said...

I was particularly overjoyed to note the mauve 'Ostermilk' tin on the right of the photograph, as I have an identical tin in the cellar full of screws, washers and small unidentifiable aluminium stampings (next to the 'Valspar Enamel' tins). I cannot recall a time when the tin was not there, so I dare say I probably ingested the contents as an infant.
It has occurred to me that I could start a blog based on the contents of the cellar.....

Peter Ashley said...

Sounds like you could Martin. But read Ray Bradbury's short story 'Boys! Raise Giant Mushrooms in Your Cellar' first.

Martin H. said...

I shall try to locate a copy immediately!