Author Topic: LSD 1963  (Read 1756 times)

Offline 510bhan

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LSD 1963
« on: August 28, 2011, 08:23:03 PM »
Our town had two picture houses, the State and the Tower with Saturday matinees -
threepence for front seats, sixpence for a back seat and nine pence for the balcony. Even at the age of five you learnt your sums quick and could calculate the best deal between sweets and seat prices.

A shiny shilling could go a long way, florins were doubly good, and half a crown coin made you feel like a queen. Four sherbet saucers for a penny, or eight Black Jacks or Fruit Salad,
gobstoppers a penny each, liquorice sherbet fountain twopence, crisps for fourpence or collected for free from Granda’s bar, along with a bottle of Coke.

So, for a bob, we’d enter the flea-pit stacked with sugary confections from the ninepence change, follow the usherette’s beam to our threepenny seat and wait for the lights to dim.
Sometimes sweets fell as you unwrapped them and searching low under the seats in front you’d rise, Aran jumper covered in old fruit gums or stuck with fuzzy, pre-sucked liquorice.

Pathé News and kids cartoons played or a black and white B feature, often science fiction before the big film in full Technicolor after the intermission, no money left for ice-cream.

Monsters and mummies and zombies groaned from the screen, Cowboys and Indians in Wild West scenes drowned out the sound of the tick, tick from the projection room flicker. X -rating was only for dirty movies, horror and violence, childhood favourites acted out at home, guaranteed nightmares, and with a gun and holster or a feathered headdress playtime with Geronimo changed front lawns and back alleys to wild frontiers.

Next week, if we saved up hard and did our chores, we might be gumshoes or dirty rats toting our pistols, maybe Al Capone clones, war heroes –  on a submarine, fighting in a jungle or flying in a plane, thrilled by Disney fairytales or crying at Lassie’s Great Adventure.

There were no DVDs in the days of LSD.


LSD = pound/shillings/pence UK currency pre-decimalisation. 12 pennies to a shilling, 20 shillings to a pound. A bob was another name for a shilling, a florin was two shillings and half a crown was 2/6d. Twenty shillings made a pound.
Since decimalisation: 1 shilling = 10p and 1d = 1/2p
Black Jacks now cost a minimum of 4.5p each.

Offline Gyppo

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Re: LSD 1963
« Reply #1 on: August 28, 2011, 08:39:18 PM »
I'm glad someone else remembers blackjacks at eight a penny.  A lot of my frends of similar age swear blind that they were always four a penny.   And they were bigger than the ones you get now, or perhaps it was just that my hands were smaller ;-)

I found a farthing once when digging the garden, washed it off, polished it a bit with Duraglit wadding to prolong the pleasure of ownership, then trotted down the shop and bought two blackjacks.  Then I dug the rest of the plot very carefully in the hope of finding more cash, bashing all the lumps with the back of the fork to break them into fine enough soil that no coins or other treasures would remain hidden.  There were plenty of worms, but no coins.  Normally I would have done as Dad showed me, just broke it up a bit and turned it over, leaving frost and rain to break it down.

When I told my best mate about the farthing he suggested we sieved the soil as well - he was always a thorough little soul - but, having already eaten the two unexpected blackjacks I wasn't that desperate any more.

Gyppo
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Offline 510bhan

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Re: LSD 1963
« Reply #2 on: August 28, 2011, 09:08:43 PM »
I'd dig for farthings too if I thought I'd unearth a treasure trove! I checked with my sister about the sweets as I wasn't sure . . . sis is always right! :D Your friends probably forgot about ha'pennies [for four sweets], much more common and more easily held in small hands - about the size of a modern 10p weren't they?

Offline Gyppo

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Re: LSD 1963
« Reply #3 on: August 28, 2011, 09:27:13 PM »
About that size, yes.

We sometimes got our hands on the old silver threepenny bits, which were still legal tender, and a tad smaller than a sixpence.  Dad called them Joeys.  The brassy multi-sided threepenny bits were huge in comparison, about the same size as a modern pound coin.  I've just fished one out of the 'little treasures' box to compare them.

In fact, when some of the first vending machines to accept pound coins appeared they weren't all as well adjusted as they should be, and for the first few weeks they would sometimes accept an old threepenny bit as a pound coin ;-)

Just as some of the first note operated self service petrol pumps would initially accept black and white photocopies of pound notes.  The really early ones only 'looked' at one side, so as long as the queens head was clear enough, you got your petrol ;-)

The people who made the machines soon improved both sensitivity to coin weight and the scanning of notes.

My best mate found some washers in his dad's shed which were exactly the same diameter as sixpences and used them to steal chocolate from machines.  When I said it was remarkable that they were the right weight as well he admitted that he had to file them down a little bit first to stop them coming back out of the 'reject' slot.

Ye gods, this has unlocked some memories about the predatory nature of young boys before they develop a conscience.

Gyppo
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Offline 510bhan

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Re: LSD 1963
« Reply #4 on: August 28, 2011, 09:40:28 PM »
 :D :D :D :D Enjoy them.

My brother collects coins/notes, the artwork and the history is amazing.

Offline bowmore bill

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Re: LSD 1963
« Reply #5 on: September 15, 2011, 07:20:10 PM »
Hello again 510, thank you for the trip down memory lane, descriptively brilliant, enabling me to actually be in one of the fleapits cinemas on a saturday afternoon watching Tom Mix, Hoppalong Cassidy and Superman.
Was talking to someone just the other day about the pre- decimal coins.

You forgot to mention that there were
240 pennies in a £1
480 half pennies and
960 farthings.

I really enjoyed this blast of the past, well done.