The Children’s Hour

On the BBC, the Children’s Hour lasted from 5pm until 6pm, the time of day when the children might be home from school. During that hour, from 1922 until 1964, the BBC broadcast radio programmes for the younger members of our families.


Radio Luxembourg: Fab 208

Do you remember the static? The crackles? The first fuzzy bars of music could be heard as the evening closed in, the light retreated, and the waves wandered in. The first strains of music from Radio Luxembourg reached the British Isles and the evening began.

Rosehip syrup

Starting a winter morning with a spoonful of sweet, fragrant rosehip syrup was warming and welcome. The alternative, starting a winter morning with a spoonful of viscous, foul-tasting cod liver oil was far less preferable.

Money in fractions

As news today reveals that the British government recently considered dropping the 1p and 2p coins from circulation, I am reminded that I grew up in a world where money came in half pennies as well as pennies. Money came in fractions.


Until cash machines started blossoming during the 1980s, getting your hands on actual cash was a procedure. You’d have to go into the actual bank just to check whether you had any money you could take out.

Telephones in hotel rooms

To have a telephone in your hotel room was once such a novelty that hotels marketed themselves with this as their main attraction. Nowadays, the cool, modern trend is for your hotel to boast that it doesn’t have a phone in every room. It doesn’t have a phone in any room.

Hospital corners

If you don’t know what a hospital corner is, it’s because you’ve grown up since the revolution in British bedding. Today we mostly use duvets (also called comforters) on our beds but, back in the day, we insisted on sheets and blankets. And how you tucked in those sheets mattered.