G is for Girders

I grew up in a house where the TV was on pretty much all the time, whether or not my parents were actually watching it. In fact, there was often two TVs on at the same time, one in the lounge and one with my mother in the kitchen. It was mainly for company, but it has resulted in myself having real issues with any level of quiet when I am home. Today it is more likely to be the radio than the TV, but there still has to be some kind of noise in the background or I start to get a bit edgy. This cause no end of amusement with us because the Lovely Wife is completely the opposite and likes nothing better than silence reigning. Therefore, if you ever visit our house you will be able to tell whether I am at home or not the moment that you walk in the door; if it’s quiet, I’m out. If the radio is burbling away to itself in the kitchen then I’m definitely in residence, an indicator that could not be more accurate than a flag posted from the roof.

The other thing that this constant exposure to TV brought was something I have noticed in others as well, which is how much we are victims of advertising. In many cases, certain adverts persist in our heads long after the product has ceased to become available, and they are often more vividly remembered than a lot of the programmes they were interrupting. It is very much a generational thing, where people who experienced them at the same time – especially through childhood – can revel in the shared knowledge that a Finger of Fudge is just enough to give your kids a treat; that Iron Bru is made in Scotland – from girders – or wonder if it is possible to get a copy of Fly Fishing by (and some of you are thinking of this ad as you read this aren’t you, the bit where the old man says, ‘Oh, my name? It’s….) J R Hartley.

Sometimes though you do get a blank look, as either by some fluke the person you should have been able to share the joke with managed to miss the saturation advertising (is Fry’s Turkish Delight really ‘full of Eastern Promise?’) or you realise the advert was a regional one. Coming from the North East one of my favourite adverts was for Tudor Crisps (which I am fairly sure no longer exists) where the cheeky paper lad takes a few bags out of his wages and uses them to bribe one of his (dumb) mates to help him with his delivery, involving what at the time was a notorious Tyneside landmark (as with the crisps, I believe the Dunstan Rocket is now gone). I don’t know why this makes me laugh every time. Maybe it is because it reminds me of people I knew (or indeed, at the time, the boy I was) and it is difficult to get more Tyneside in the 1980s then this. I mean it is even the flavour of the crisps featured – Spring onion, pickled onion, and tomato sauce flavours. Class (although there is another version with the boring flavours)

Or maybe I just really like crisps.

Anyway, here it is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g2UfzAQ8Pfg and I am sure that I ‘ve now got at least some of you to decide to waste some time trawling through your favourite adverts on Youtube is a good idea. Go on, you know you want to, they are all out there somewhere you know.

(I’ll note that this week’s blog was brought on by a conversation over Croft Original Cream Sherry. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9z9s5-lOrUY After all, one instinctively knows when something is right. Apparently.)