Pooh Reflecting

Pooh Reflecting
Pooh Reflecting

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Robin Hood and The Saint - two childhood favourites

This afternoon I was doing my usual two things at once (watching TV and typing on the computer) when I heard a familiar voice.  Without even looking up I knew that the voice belonged to Richard Greene - the one and only Robin Hood!
As a child I adored Robin Hood, because I thought Richard Greene was it and a bit.  He has a beautiful, distinctive voice.
Richard Greene as Robin Hood
Sadly, the movie which was on television this afternoon did not have any of the other regulars of the television series.  The characters were there, but not the original actors.  I found this blog which seems to be dedicated to the 50s / 60s series.  This is another website providing a lot of information about the series and the actors who played the main roles.
There were two actresses who played the role of Maid Marion - Bernadette O'Farrell and Patricia Driscoll.  I think I must have liked them both, because I don't remember them being different.

This is the theme song from the TV series - if you read the comments under the video you will see (among some nonsense posts, and lots of "naughty" versions of the lyrics, and references to Monty Python's 'lyrics'!) a post from a man who was actually in the group that sang the song.
Click here to hear the lyrics.

Amazing how many people have fond memories of the show.  Just wish that with all the rubbish that is on TV today they would repeat some of the good ones, like Robin Hood.

Of course, my other favourite as I was growing up was The Saint, with Roger Moore.  He was my teenage hearthrob.  I even managed to get his autograph once - a real one, not a printed one.  My aunt Joan, who lives in England, went to a Church fair where Roger Moore was going to open the whole shebang.  Unfortunately it was raining, so I was lucky the autograph survived.  But, oh, how proud I was when the autographed program arrived and I took it to show my friends at school.  Must scan it one day and add it on here.
This theme tune still makes my heart start to flutter!
Click here to listen to the theme song.  Don't you just love the way he raises those eyebrows and looks at his halo?

I just love his facial expressions. No-one can play the Saint like Roger Moore. I quite liked him in James Bond in later years. According to someone on one youtube site Ian Fleming, who wrote James Bond, originally wanted Roger Moore, but he was committed to The Saint. Ironically, apparently the producer of The Saint originally wanted Sean Connery for the role, but he was committed to James Bond.
Roger Moore as The Saint
I not only liked the TV series, I enjoyed the books.  I acquired, and still have, a collection of probably twenty or more Saint books.  Must check them off against this list to see if there are any I don't have.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Live Theatre

When I was a child we lived in the country in Morwell.  My only grandparents, Mum's parents, lived in Surrey Hills in Melbourne.  We had regular visits to Nan's, either with Mum and Dad, or sometimes we got to stay by ourselves.  I guess my brother was with me each time we stayed by ourselves, and I remember the cousins being there sometimes.  I can't imagine that all six cousins ever stayed there at the same time, with or without parents.
Tram at Wattle Park
One of the highlights of a visit to Nan's was going in to 'the city' (Melbourne CBD) for the day.  We usually went by tram, walking from Nan's to the tram stop in Riversdale Road, opposite Wattle Park.  Quite a long way I seem to remember, but always walked willingly.  I think it was a number 76 tram we caught into the city and back.  I think this photo shows the tram at the end of Riversdale Road - we used to catch it one stop back from here.  No, just found that it is a number 70 tram to Wattle Park.
More often than not Nan took us to the pictures, or a live show.  The live shows were particularly special.  How Nan managed it I don't know because she certainly didn't have money to burn, yet what she did for one of us she must have done for all of us (just not at the same time).  I know that there is no way I could afford to take 5 grandchildren to a live show - even when I was working and earning good money.  Yet Nan did it, so the cost of the tickets must have been proportionally lower compared to Pop's take home pay.
I remember seeing Snow White and The Seven Dwarves, I "think" with Patti McGrath (now Patti Newton).  That's just a vague thought in my head that she was the star.  The only reference I can find is that in 1963 Patti was going to sing some songs from Snow White on the Tarax Show in 1963.  I remember Nan took me to see "Man of La Mancha" - and her being very concerned because there was a 'rape' scene.  I think I was about 14 at the time.  I can't think specifically of other shows or films we went to see.  Yes I can - Fiddler on the Roof was another favourite.  Found this on the net about J. C. Williamson's who put on most of the live shows in those days.
From the 1970 program - Charles West as Don Quixote
J.C. Williamson's continued to stage accurate reproductions of London and New York musicals and plays. Among the most successful were My fair lady (Her Majesty's, 1959), Oliver! (Her Majesty's, 1961) and Man of La Mancha (Comedy, 1967).
It would have been in 1967 that I saw La Mancha. It seems Charles West played Don Quixote, as he did in the return season in 1970.
Another treat was going to the Myer Bargain Basement - where you really could get bargains.  The only way you could get to it was to walk down the sweeping staircase just inside the front door of the Bourke Street store.  I'm not sure if it was in the basement, but I fondly remember the hot nut bar, where you could buy scoops of freshly roasted nuts.

Coles Cafeteria in Melbourne

Coles Cafeteria c1953 (from SLV Victoria)
A real treat when I was a child was being taken to the Coles Cafeteria for lunch.  This would have been in the 1960s.  Often it would be my Nan who took me, or my mother, or both.  It was so exciting being able to choose what we wanted as we slid the tray along the counter rails.  Sometimes we must have had to tell Mum or Nan what we wanted because we would be given 'table duty' - i.e. we had to sit at the table chosen, minding Mum and / or Nan's parcels while they got the food.  Funnily enough I can't remember what we did choose.
I do remember the 'S' shaped chairs with red seats and backs - not sure if they were leather or vinyl.
When I was a young mum myself I remember taking my daughter to Coles Cafeteria too.
I loved 'the city' when I was a child and a young mum.  Now it is so different, and hardly worth visiting.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Nan and Pop

Lindsay George Arnold GOOD

I only ever knew one set of grandparents.  Dad's parents had died long before I was born - Grandpa (John Loring SULLIVAN) in 1934 in the Coramba Disaster and Grandma (Christina Ruby JONES) in 1947.  I am just guessing that I would have called them Grandma and Grandpa.  Mum's parents were my Nan (Beryl WALSH) and Pop (Lindsay George Arnold GOOD).  Nan lived until she was 93, and was a great grandmother to my daughter.  Pop died in 1965 when I was 12.  I therefore have lots of memories about Nan, but only a few about Pop.
Nan always looked the same, until the day she died.  A lovely homely, silver-haired lady.  She played the piano, which I always thought was special.  And what's more, she had a piano in her house and as children we were allowed (sometimes) to tinker on it. I learned to play Chopsticks and Good King Wenceslas on that piano.  Nan also had some purple carnival glass dishes in which she served jelly and icecream.  At her funeral I asked a younger cousin what she thought of when she thought of carnival glass dishes.  Her response - jelly and icecream.  The best thing about the icecream was that it was homemade - always tasted ever so much better than most bought icecream at the time.
Nan always wore a pinny, or apron, while she was cooking or doing the housework.  She also had her own special stool in the kitchen to sit on while she was peeling vegetables etc.  I think Mum still has that stool somewhere.
Pop - what can I say about him?  As an adult I now feel that I never got to know Pop as well as I would have liked.  I do know I adored him.  When I think of Pop, which I do often, I see him sitting in one of two places - in a chair right opposite the door into the kitchen, or in his shed talking to Mr. Waterhouse who lived next door.  Pop's shed was a mysterious place, full of gardening implements and paraphanalia and relics from the war.  Pop was an avid vegie gardener.  The house was on a large block and a good deal of it was given over to his vegie garden.  I think he grew flowers like dahlias and gladiolis there too.  The front garden was more Nan's domain.
I always feel that if I had got to know Pop better as I grew older he and I would have had a special connection.  But Pop didn't seem to interact with us much when we were children.  I remember one day when I was writing in my Memory Book (I wonder whatever happened to that book - I obviously didn't keep it) at the kitchen table and Nan told me that Pop would be very pleased to see how much trouble I was taking over my lettering and handwriting.  I can't remember whether Pop was still alive at the time, but I do know that he had the most beautiful copperplate handwriting, and I was so pleased that Nan thought Pop would be pleased.
Surrey Hills Railway Station
Pop worked for the Corps of Commissionaires when I was little.  I think he was a security guard at J.B. Were - a firm of stockbrokers.  He would walk to the Surrey Hills station every day and catch the train into the city.  I remember his lunch box - it was a black tin with two scottie dogs on the lid.  Whenever I see old tins for sale I look to see if I can find one like it.
Pop had some unusual habits.  One I particularly remember was his 'breakfast'.  It consisted of a raw egg in a glass, which he drank!  Yuck!

This is how I remember Pop - this photo was taken in later years.  And this is Nan dressed up as Miss Po-land when she was living in the retirement village in Sale.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

8 Shepherd Street, Surrey Hills

This is the address at which my grandparents lived while I was growing up.  I spent many happy times here, and loved the old house.  I can still picture what it looked like inside and out.  It was a very long block which went right through from Shepherd Street to the lane at the back (which appears to have been made into a road now.)
Next door at Number 10 was where Mr. Waterhouse lived in a flat - Mr.Waterhouse was Pop's good friend and the two spent many hours reminiscing in Pops' shed.  At Number 6 there were two houses with a common wall - just now I can't think of the names of the people who lived there.  I'll have to ask Mum to refresh my memory.  (She says the Durands lived right next door, but can't remember the name of the people who lived in the other house.)  On the opposite side of the road lived the Snells, the Serpells and the ?)
In Number 8 you entered into a central passageway, with Nan's bedroom on the right and another bedroom (which later became Aunty Eily's loungeroom) on the left.  The passage led to the loungeroom.  Beyond the loungeroom was the kitchen, and off the loungeroom was the third bedroom which was Pop's room.  Between the second and third bedrooms, with entry from both rooms, was the bathroom.  The kitchen had a huge walk-in pantry.  The door from the kitchen led to the back verandah which was enclosed and was the bedroom for my great grandfather when I was very little.  Later it had a section divided off at the end for an indoor toilet.  Prior to this modernisation the toilet was next to the wash-house in the back yard.  As far as I remember it was always sewered, unlike the loo at home which was unsewered for many years.  Pop's shed was behind the garage and wash-house.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Mr Grinpukel

Was watching a program called "Bush Doctors" today and they showed a man who had trodden on a nail.  Bill told me he had once had a nail go right through his foot, and that reminded me of the time I trod on a nail when I was perhaps about ten.  I remember that it happened in the front yard, and for some reason Mr Grinpukel was either coming to visit my dad, or just walking past (can't remember which) and he offered to remove the nail from my foot!  I don't remember if it hurt, but I do remember not liking Mr Grinpukel.  I wonder if that because he did hurt me, or whether I just didn't like him?  I have a feeling his name was Eddie.  In fact, it was.  I did a Google search for him and came up with this - Eddie Grinpukel.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Chocolate straws for milk

We were doing our shopping this morning, and I bought some condensed milk so I could make some mayonaise.  On the shelf opposite the condensed milk I spied something else from my childhood that appears to have been resurrected - flavoured straws for milk!  According to the web, they were 'invented' in Australia in about 2006, and called Sippah Straws - but I certainly had them in the 60s.  Can't remember exactly what they were called, but I know that as a special treat we were given one to take to school so the school milk tasted nicer.
Now, school milk (this link is specifically about Queensland, but it seems it was a Commonwealth scheme, so was the same in all states) - thereby hangs another tale.  Somebody had decided that children needed extra nutrition, so every day we got to drink 1/3 pint of full cream milk.  Trouble was, the milk sat outside, often in the sun, from when it was delivered to when we were issued with it at morning recess.  Strangely, although it was usually warm rather than cold no-one ever seemed to get sick from it, and we all drank it.  The use of the wonderful flavoured straw (which from memory had a felt-like "wick" inside the straw, through which the milk passed and became flavoured) certainly enhanced the experience.  Milk monitors used to collect the milk for each class and then distribute it to the students.  Once a month (or was it weekly) we also received an iodine tablet - this was because it had been determined that in our area there was a lack of natural iodine, which is needed for brain development.  Once the use of iodised salt became prevalent we no longer received the tablets.  Apparently it is becoming a problem again, because a) people are using less salt and b) the salt they ARE using is often non-iodised, rock salt or salt flakes etc.