But obviously one of the places we’ve taken her has been our beautifully renewed and restored Liverpool Central Library. We were in there for hours, and at one point, while Sarah and Mandy were exploring the treasures in the Picton Reading Room, I reverted to type and explored one of my own particular delights, their complete collection of TV Times magazines.Not for the TV, which I never watched much then and not at all now, but for the adverts. This was a mass market magazine and I love to see what the adverts tell us about what mattered in the culture of the country in those days.
I first came upon this cultural archive a couple of weeks ago.
But this time, for no particular reason, I thought I’d go further back and focus my research on the first 3 months of 1970. A decade has turned, humans have landed on the moon, Nixon’s on the rampage in Vietnam, Ted Heath’s Tories are about to return to power, colour TV is getting going and The Beatles are breaking up.
But what really counts in TV Times land?
Well, loads of holiday adverts around New Year for a start. Remember when the antidote to post-Christmas depression was to start looking forward to two summer weeks at Pontin’s? ‘Book early’ Fred Pontin is reminding us.
And many of the full page colour adverts are for cigarettes, including the ‘manliness’ of Capstan Full-Strength. Wonder how many of those ‘manly’ types are still around to read this?
But my eye is caught by stranger stuff.
After a relatively fresh and local 1960s as me and my friend Barry found, the food chain is being corporatised.
And how is fashion doing after the style revolutions of the sixties?
By this stage I’m laughing out loud.
And the cause of my laughter?
It was a different world and so long ago.
Still there’s the World Cup coming up this summer in Mexico, and we won it last time so who knows?
If only Bobby Charlton had thought to invest in a ‘Distinctive Toupee’ (note absence of accent).
So, all of this valuable cultural information from a tiny section of the archive. I’ll certainly be back for more.
I should add that while I was finding and photographing all this Sarah and Mandy were reading proper books.
But I’m grateful there’s space in there for the likes of me too. Isn’t that what ‘inclusivity’ is all about?