At last, it’s 1970

At the moment we have a visitor staying with us here in Liverpool and we’re in the middle of showing her the delights of our beloved place. There will, of course, be a blog post about all that.1

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.DSC07824Not 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.

Far left of the picture, researcher at work.

Far left of the picture, researcher at work.

I first came upon this cultural archive a couple of weeks ago.

Finding this gem from 1972.

Finding this gem from 1972.

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.TV Times 197006

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.

Who could resist? And only 39/11s.

Who could resist? And only 39/11s.

After a relatively fresh and local 1960s as me and my friend Barry found, the food chain is being corporatised.

Different coloured daily wrapping for nutritionally worthless pap. Correctly displayed though, on a Daily Mail.

Different coloured daily wrapping for nutritionally worthless pap. Correctly displayed though, on a Daily Mail.

Corporates in league with each other.

Corporates in league with each other.

The arrival of oblong fish.

The arrival of oblong boxed fish.

From now on the landfill will grow exponentially.

From now on the landfill will fill with plastic exponentially.

Real food under attack from industrial slop backed by spurious science.

Real food under attack from industrial slop backed by spurious science.

Trusty Marmite leaping to the defence of butter.

Trusty Marmite leaping to the defence of butter.

And how is fashion doing after the style revolutions of the sixties?

Erm, hasn't really noticed.

Erm, hasn’t really noticed.

The way you'll look this summer?

The way you’ll look this summer?

Revolution? Dig those crazy prices.

Revolution? Dig those crazy prices.

By this stage I’m laughing out loud.

As Sarah has noticed from across the library.

As Sarah has noticed from across the library.

And the cause of my laughter?

This full page 1970 gem.

This full page 1970 gem.

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?

And the Aztec Bar has been invented in anticipation.

The Aztec Bar has been invented in anticipation after all.

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.

Well done Liverpool Central Library.

Well done Liverpool Central Library.

I should add that while I was finding and photographing all this Sarah and Mandy were reading proper books.

Making proper, grown up, use of the library.

Making proper, grown up, use of the library.

But I’m grateful there’s space in there for the likes of me too. Isn’t that what ‘inclusivity’ is all about?

6 thoughts on “At last, it’s 1970

  1. Mandy Cheetham

    That’s the beauty of libraries – there is a place and something for everyone ! It’s good to be reminded of the advent of the “squeezy” bottle and when we could enjoy making pretty patterns on our delicious processed food. I love the picture of the Liverpool skyline …

    Reply
  2. Jan Hasak

    This is fascinating stuff, Ronnie! It reminded me of the advent of some of these “must-have” items, and I laughed at your comment about how many manly smokers are still around to see the adverts promoting those death sticks.

    The Central Library at Liverpool is so aesthetically pleasing. I’m sure you weren’t improper cavorting around the section housing the TV Times. Even if social media HAS taken over TV as the biggest time suck, at least in the States.

    Reply
    1. Ronnie Hughes Post author

      Yes, Jan, today’s ‘must have’ is often quaint in the end. And one day people will look back at how we do social media now and say ‘What was that all about?’ But books and libraries and talking to each other have stood the tests of many times and will, I’m sure stand many more.

      Reply

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