Wednesday, December 3, 2008

What are you still doing here? A fistful of bits that really have no place in the 21st Century

Milk Floats
Lovely, quaint ol' cosymobiles from the days when anything was deliverable by a specialist van or lorry ? Corona drinks, coal, eggs and potatoes - not only are they still with us - but space age style iFloats are doing the rounds. Literally..

Radio Rentals, Granada and other goods-for-hire outfits all folded with the availabilty of affordable electrical items So why are these rent-a-rinses still with us, and still doing brisk business? My local Launderettes are perma-populated with lonely looking basket holders - shouldn't these sud-u-like's have gone out with char ladies in floral print pinnies, tea trolleys, milk carton machines and wall mounted can-openers?

Iceland Selling Fridge Freezers
Has anyone ever shopping at Iceland really, stopped, snapped their fingers and shouted, "Yes. I will have me one of those fancy freezers". At £400 a shout white goods are rarely an impulse purchase, and on my last visit to the Kingdom of Katona (for Yorkshire Pudd's) it was all young credit-crunch couples scraping by on own brand econo-burgers, so who in the name of prawn rings buys these things?

Rag and Bone Men
Still a'clanging and a'crawling Steptoe style around the suburbs. Like 'taking it to the tip' and recycling never happened

A bottomless barrel of available browsing to be had, although only ever useful for cheapo holidays, TV and weather. But amazingly, like the Queen and Christmas Cards remains unchanged or untroubled by the internet or digital age - who are the mysterious anono-boffins still working this ZX Spectrum style aggregator


Simon said...

Launderettes: If you've ever lived in a rented place that didn't have a washing machine then you know why they still exist! When the other option is washing your pants in the sink...

Very handy for when the machine breaks down and you're waiting on a fix/spare part to be delivered/new machine as well!

lil x said...

Times were tough for us when I was a kid; my Mum pretty much bought Christmas dinner from the Milkman.

I remember spending many a Saturday afternoon at the Launderette!
(It’s fun when you’re a kid, I wouldn’t want to do it now tho)

“Radio Rentals” re-branded to “Box Clever” diversified and now operate online.
(My sister still rents her washing machine from them, at a very reasonable price!)

And I bought one of Icelands Fridge-Freezers when I left home (I was on a budget and it was cheap - It didn’t last long tho!)

You’ve got a knack PM of triggering loads of memories for me…

Planet Mondo said...

Actually you're right Simon, the last time I used a Launderette was when ours broke down..

We had a Corona lorry, and a Milkman that did a range called 'Farmers Wife' where mum got all the diary stuff from - wasn't it the Co-op milko's that had those weird 'still in the 1930S' bottles rather than the stubby style Lil?

And amazing about Radio Rentals , I thought the F-F's in Iceland seemed to be on the expensive side when I was last in (unless I'm out of touch with the prices - highly likely)

Keith said...

We call launderettes usually laundry mats here in the States. There are quite a few around here. I know there are people who use them when theirs breaks down. Also there are many living in apartments, including a lot of college students, who use them because they might not have them. They always seem to have people in them. I do think there are plenty of things though that seem to have passed their time. I guess they must be doing enough business to stick around.

Furtheron said...

Well my son is at uni... that's why there are launderettes - students.

I remember the Corona lorry as well and yes we had Co-Op milk and the bottles were different from the short ones now. Funny you look at it though, electric vehicle to deliver something in a glass bottle that is reused rather than recycled... Now we drive to the big supermarket in our gas guzzlers to buy milk in land fill bound plastic cartons.... progress.

Ceefax - it's me. I still use it for footy scores and the like - when you support Gillingham there aren't many places that there is any sort of coverage... :-) I could use the computer but it's just habit to go to Ceefax first.

lil x said...

It was back in the late 80’s PM; I reckon things are very different at “Iceland” now.

Our Milkman was called “Brian” and worked for “Unigate” - He won a Top Salesman competition one year I remember (probably coz my Mum was such a good customer, he sold cake and all sorts) - He and my Mum had quite a good friendship build up over the years…

Planet Mondo said...

Weird thing round here though Keith and Further is there are no Uni's - but having said that it does seem to be mainly the old folk doing the Laundry run (and good for you for hanging on in there Ceefax too) - know what you mean about progress another massive communicaton boom over the last few years - yet most people would be pushed to name a run of neighbours in there road.

Lil that sounds a carry on film waiting to happen - can't remember our Milkman's name but was Unigate too. I used to find the sound of them jangling for change in that outsize leather wallet strangely cheery

Ishouldbeworking said...

Not only were milk floats and their wares part of the daily routine, they were such an important item that an ad campaign for a dairy became a brief national obsession...who remembers "There's a Humphrey about"?

Maybe time for the Humphrey Revival? Actually, no. It was a really annoying concept.

office pest said...

I was a milkman at the weekends when I wor a lad. Delivered on Saturdays and Sundays mind you! Walking round the streets collecting the money and marking it in the big book isn't something that would be done now I suspect, used to have a couple of hundred in ready cash by the end of Friday night.
Still, I got to drive the old float around sometimes whilst the milkie went in and gave his girlfriend a personal delivery of a Saturday morning - no really it's true! (insert own 'Confessions Of..' gag here).

I do like 'pages from Ceefax' which is shown as a filler sometimes. All that tragic world news set to lush sweeping strings and a jolly brass section. Terrific.

LF Barfe said...

Box Clever was the result of Radio Rentals and Granada merging, wasn't it? And I own a chest freezer bought from my local Iceland. The econo-burgers are to be deplored, but it really is the best place for frozen veg, and the only place hereabouts that sells square sausages, for that authentic Scots breakfast.

BLTP said...

If my washing machine doesn't turn up today i may off down the laundrette, and a few years ago we were thinking of setting up a ceefax cafe where people could sit arounf drinking expensive coffee playing bamboozle, it went the same way as our Lapdog dancing club....

Planet Mondo said...

ISB - I've still got some 'Watch Watch Out' - Humphrey stickers somewhere, and wasn't it Frank Muir heading it up. Actually there were a few middle aged chaps in seventies ad' campaigns: Clement Freud with Minced Morsels, Willie Rushton with Double Decker bars and Spike Milligan doing the Mini adverts..

OP that is genius - you've got to blog your 'creamy delivery from the milkman' stories, for years I thought Hot Choclate were singing" I believe in milko" - not miracles, we used to sing it at any milkmen shuddering past our school - and you need to get this CD on your Christmas list Test Card Classics: The Girl The Doll The Music be warned there are 8 volumes..

LF Square sausages!?!? it sounds like a Road Dahl invention. Why haven't I heard about these before? Fab idea takes the agony out of barbeques and watching your bangers roll into the embers and if someone's making geometric meat why stop short at the sausage? How space age would a square mixed grill look - it'd be like Tetris for breakfast!

BL Ceefax Cafe! now you're talking, but you know some bugger would get on the bandwagon with a teletext tea rooms.

Roman Empress said...

I was thinking about launderettes the other day. I used to have a regular weekly service wash when I lived in Sydney but that was 10 years ago and I haven't used one since. The problems is they use mainly biological washing powder in those machines and even if you take your own powder, there's still remnants in the machine. And I always itch like mad afterwards. Sensitive soul that I am.

lil x said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
lil x said...

I know what you mean about that leather wallet (“Man Bag”?) PM - I feel the same way!

By the way; “Radio Rentals” did merge with “Granada”
Change ensued when the companies were bought by “Nomura”.

In the mid 90’s D.E.R, Multibroadcast, and Focus all merged with Radio Rentals.
(I sound like a “rental nerd” don’t I?)

Planet Mondo said...

RE - were you hardcore and had a pair of those outsize wooden tongs and red plastic baskets for your washing bundle? And any nutty names for soap powders in Aus' that were hilarious to Brits

Lil - Amazing, how many years have we known each other and yet never knew you are such an expert ? Have you though of going into consultancy?

iLL Man said...

Never had a milkman round my way. Coalmen yes, but we weren't suburban enough. Plenty shops nearby.

The Cornish Internet's still on the go? Jesus! That said, I know old chaps that go to the speedway and claim to use ceefax and the like to find out if the meeting's on or not. Out-dated, but still effective.

office pest said...

Not much more to tell on the OMO front Mondo, except for the guy's name! Thanks for the music tip, however I am currently playing Babycham's 'Sparkling Sounds' party LP, an mfp gem from '74.
By the way, did you know that the mfp offices were in 'Astronaut House' - just perfect.

Roman Empress said...

I wish I could remember Oz brand names. If I were there now I'd take much more notice. Cocktails is the one to ask for that. I don't recall seeing any washing powder at all. I delegated that task to the nice Chinese people down the road. Sorry to stereotype but they really were Chinese.

David said...

When I was a kid in 70's there was a rag and bone going down our street in Blackburn quite often. But since moving away from there, in the last 20 years I have come across one and one only. Strangely, when I was taking my driving test.

I was sure the bastard was put there to put me off.

Piley said...

the milkfloat 'floats' by my house every day, yet i never see him stop anywhere! The prices they charge are pretty painful too.

Loved the glory days of the milkman in the 70's and collecting all the 'Humphreys' merch they used to carry on board. Plus orange juice in milk bottles!! CRAZY!!!!

Still have a rag and bone man down my road once or twice a month too... even shifted a load of old iron guttering on him too.. it was probably worth a few quid, but like i'd ever be arsed to sort that out!