Small change for a sea change

Most of us were lucky enough as children to be given pocket money. What was pocket money for you as a child is small change now. It can help us give our children experiences and support that will create a sea change in their childhood.

Linda Christie

My pocket money story

As an 10/11year old I had to earn my pocket money of 2 shillings per week. For that I had to clean out the fire ash pan every evening after school ( 5 days per week) and reset the fire with twisted paper ( a very skilled task) criss cross the firesticks and pile on the coal on top ready to be lit by my mother after our evening meal. Daily chores included making my own bed, dusting and drying dishes but my speciality was "cleaning the brasses". This involved a large brass large swan neck cold water tap which turned black if not polished every day and a large pull out doorbell, a brass knocker and our name plate all on the front door (polished weekly) . I had special cloths and a tin of Brasso.......I loved this chore........and still enjoy polishing things!
I spent my 2 shillings (2/- or 24d.....pennies) on:
1. 6d for the Saturday morning ABC Minors (Cinema for children)
2. 6d for an Orange Maid Ice lolly at the cinema.
I was in 7th heaven and still remember the "Pathe News" music clips as well as The Pearl and Dean adverts and the very loud music. Of course there was always a cartoon....The cat Sylvester and Tweetie Pie........"I tot I saw a pooty cat!" Children cheered out very loudly when " the goodies" were winning and booed even louder when "the baddies when losing!
Remember we had no tele in those days ...only radio.
That left me 1/- (shilling) for savings or to spend in the "sweetie shop" near school throughout the week. I could purchase a Chocolate MB Bar for 2d,(on reflection I'm sure this was like cooking chocolate), 4 Blackjack or Fruit Salad sweets for 1d, a packet of Swizzels cost 2d, a packet of Rowntrees gums were 3d(threepence) and a packet of jelly babies were 3d. A packet of Smiths Crisps with a little blue salt bag was 2d....these were always for sharing and seemed like a huge meal!!! I also bought a School Friend comic for 4d. ........I remember getting the attached School Friend annual for Christmas when I was 10!

A treat was to go on the tram on a Sunday for a 1 1/2d.... It was said as "a three halfpenny half ticke". If the tram conductress liked you when you got to the terminus she let you flip all the seats upstairs so that they faced the other way and the tram just went back the way it came.......I can still smell the red leather of the seats and the smell of a wet conductress' uniform!!!! Mmmmm....... I eventually went to secondary school on the tram aged 11. A very special trip on the top of the tram was to see in December who could count the largest number of lit Christmas trees in the bay windows of flats in the city. Great entertainment for a pennyhalfpenny.

I tended to spend a penny every day, bought my SF comic and saved 3d per week. This let me go to the public swimming baths once a month costing 4d to get in! This all happened in the late fifties.......those halcyon childish happy days!

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