Heart Reflections Live

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Simpler Days, Simpler Ways- Childhood in the 70's

It's funny how a particular taste or sight can carry you back to the days of your childhood in your mind's eye. This has been happening a fair bit to me lately. I don't know if this is common once you hit 40, or if it's just a "Mum thing", but the sight of my daughter's 1970's retro dress in the ironing pile, and the ham and tomato toastie I had for lunch the other day, inspired me to write a nostalgic post.

I had a happy golden uncomplicated childhood and greatly desire that our children enjoy the same, despite the wickedness of the world in which we live.

I was born in 1967, when our potties were enamel, not plastic, and my mother washed my terry towelling nappy (diaper US) squares in a cylindrical shaped electric washing machine, with a hand-wringer on top. Of course the washing was hung out on our Aussie Hills Hoist line.

Home Decor involved a lot of orange, olive green, mission brown and loud prints in green or brown for curtains, wallpaper or lino.

We had no television set when I first came along. When we did get one it was black and white, and I don't believe we bought a colour set until the early 80's. We certainly watched more TV than what we allow our children to watch today. While they enjoy mainly Christian DVD's or classic family movies, we enjoyed at various times in the 1970s: Family Affair, Sigmund the Sea Monster, Bonanza, Little House on the Prairie, Australia's Adventure Island, Romper Room, and Humphrey B Bear; The Brady Bunch, Gilligan's Island, The New Mickey Mouse Club (The one with Lisa Welchel), Happy Days, and on the weekends, Young Talent Time and The Wonderful World of Disney. TV shows today lack the innocence and charm of those 35 years ago.

My brother and I went to the local public school. We each carried one of the old Globite school ports (Port was a term unique to Queensland- translate suitcase!) Those were the days when school science teachers actually APOLOGIZED for having to teach evolution. They said it was only a theory they had to teach at school, and you didn't have to believe it, if you didn't want to.

(Incidentally, I met Ken Ham from Answers in Genesis in the early 1980s, when he visited our highschool, and was greatly impacted by his ministry. We have alot of his material and our children are growing up with a solid belief in CREATION, and have tools to back up their beliefs. We have no monkey's uncles in our family tree!!) Our state school had a weekly Bible lesson and we had to stand and sing "God Save the Queen" every morning at assembly.

Our family doctor was a Christian, and allowed the Seventh Day Adventists to have copies of the 1964 editions of "Uncle Arthurs Bedtime Stories" complete with order forms in the waiting room. I adored looking at those books and used as much pester power as I could to persuade Mum and Dad to buy a set. They did, and I have very fond memories of my Dad reading to me every night at the table. My husband and I now own 8 volumes of the same editions, and our children love them too. I much preferred the fashions in the books, than what was available in the shops to buy back then! These books were truly instrumental in stirring a desire in me to know Christ from an early age.

I loved the music of Elvis Presley growing up, and was devestated in 1977 when we lost both Elvis and Bing Crosby in the same year.

Trips to our nearest big city- Brisbane-were very special treats. We dressed in our very best clothes to go( always a dress unless it was very cold!), but with comfortable shoes for all the walking we would do. We were also told to wear our very best underwear - in case we were in an accident!! (Does anyone else remember this adage?) My mother, in the early 1960's had worked at the Brisbane GPO, so when she took us, we got to go to all the lovely old places she remembered. I loved the old Brisbane Arcade- still there-and the Coles building with its old wooden elevators and cafeteria up the top, which hadn't changed much since the sixties. Sadly that building became a victim of progress. I remember the first time Mum took me to the rest rooms under Brisbane City Hall at King George Square. At the time the decor hadn't changed since the 60s and I was shocked that you had to PAY to use the toilets!That's where the Aussie expression- "To Spend a Penny" comes from.

There was a favourite little French style cafe near King George Square called Little Boys, owned by an elderly couple, that we often liked to visit for toasted ham and tomato sandwhiches. We were sad when they closed.

So many Brisbane Icons are no longer part of the skyline- I loved looking across to the art-deco styled Cloudland Ballroom, and now even the old hospital where I went as a child is gone. Another favourite place was the old Brisbane Museum, which used to be in the old heritage listed building opposite the hospital- seeing the stuffed lions up close would thrill me!! While some would say the seventies were seedy, we were happy and sheltered from all that.

I remember reading Jack and Jill comics from England, lots of Enid Blyton, Snoopy and Peanuts, and of course Paddington Bear.

At school we played ball games, hula hoops, string games, crocheted, played Jacks, skipped and played games with elastics around our ankles.

And of course I remember the Holly Hobbie craze, with her sweet innocent image on everything from sheets, pencilcases, lunch boxes and flasks- how different from the awful Bratz image today! We collected stamps, stickers,erasers and picture rulers.

I also remember listening to Christian singer Evie Tornquist on RECORD not CD and seeing her bright happy face on TV adds, sharing her love of Jesus with the world.

Those were the days when Arnotts Biscuits, Vegemite and Victa Mowers were still Australian owned!

I hope you've enjoyed my nostalgic walk through the 70s in South East Queensland. What can you remember most from the decade that you lived your childhood through?


posted by Father's Grace Ministries at 3:07 pm


I did enjoy that trip back in time :) I was born in 1975. Thanks for sharing.

7:29 am  

Post a Comment

<< Home