Welcome to the Whirligig Message Board. This is the forum to discuss 1950's television and radio in Britain. You can ask questions about the programmes, try answering other people's queries or just tell us all about your nostalgic memories
We are all well aware of our senses and how certain events can throw a switch to remind us of distant, seemingly long gone happenings. We usually associate this with sight and sound, both being such good triggers to evocative memorabilia ... but how about odour?
I have a few triggers that are instantly squeezed when certain odours assail the nostrils. None more pungent that the smell of the blacksmith's workshop as he pounded glowing steel to shape on his anvil in the Brighton open market in the 40' 50's. When he dressed and fitted a hoof with a red hot shoe from the forge, the burning, although quite spectacular, was totally painless to the horse, and the odour once experienced was never to be forgotten.
A walk to Brighton railway station up Trafalgar Street, took the pedestrian past a woman's hair dresser situated in an arch right under the station, and I stand to be corrected but I believe they specialised in home perms. To be described as the stench as rotten eggs would be an insult to the friendly chickens I kept a few years ago, this was an odour that could bring the recipient to the point of retching. How anyone would willingly have such a concoction placed about their person, and paid for the privilege is beyond me.
Worthing, on the Sussex coast had a strange but regular freak occurrence of nature. A few miles off the coast the seabed must have been home to a huge and very dense bed of kelp (seaweed). On a large tide or after a good blow, this kelp would break away from its resting place and head inexorably to hurl itself on Brighton's beaches. Fresh seaweed is not unpleasant on the senses, old and dried seaweed is rank. During the summer months, within a few days of the seaweed's arrival, the seafront was immediately infested by uncountable numbers of very large seaweed flies. The council would uplift this weed, place it on barges in Shoreham harbour and take it back out to sea, where it was dumped. Needless to say a few days later, on a large tide or after a nasty blow, the whole procedure was necessary once more. I suppose this was humorous ... the odour wasn't! Even now when I walk the rocks at low tide, the hint of seaweed odour in the air immediately reminds of those seeming 'Trifid' invasions of Brighton seashore.
Finally, and here is one I am sure many will recall, the adventure of boarding a steam train ready to undertake a journey. Did your parents take you to stand by, and admire the huge engine as it stood there panting, waiting to start the trip? The steam, the heat, the soot and the smuts invading the air but who really cared? The heat and the odour given off by the fireman's work when stoking the boiler were again odours that once experienced remain with you forever, also the coal dust that permeated the air.
All aboard ... anyone care to share memories where the senses played an all important part, although perhaps not realised until much later in life?
Last Edited By: ROBIN Sun, 21-Aug-11 00:13:53. Edited 2 times.
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