Saturday 29 September 2012

Did Your Mum Make You Wear A Liberty Bodice?

Did any of you wear a liberty bodice when you were little?  I saw this little cabinet at Quarriers Village - advertising liberty bodices from "Libertyland" Market Harborough.  It brought back a few memories.

A liberty bodice was like a vest but made out of a soft, warm fabric.  My mum made me wear one during the winter when I was very young.  I suppose in the days before central heating we needed all the warmth we could get. 

When I think about it - this was my winter school gear when I was about 5 years old - pants and woolly tights, vest, liberty bodice, full length petticoat, school blouse and skirt then a cardigan!  If I was going outside, then this ensemble was topped off with a school blazer and trench-coat!  How on earth was I able to move????  Getting ready for PE (gym) must have been awful - although when  I think about it we didn't have PE kit in primary school, we just pranced about in our uniform.  No wonder!  Teachers would have had to spend an entire morning  waiting for the little girls to divest themselves of all their layers!

Discovered that liberty bodices (sometimes called "emancipation bodices") were introduced when flapper gals abandoned their corsets and freed themselves from the tyranny of restricting clothing.  Although given what I had to wear when I was little, I'm not sure my Mum got the message!

Love, Liz

Thursday 27 September 2012

From the Sublime to the Ridiculous ... for 60 pence!

First charity shop finds for absolutely ages!  Came across this little dish which cost me 25p.

It caught my attention immediately and I thought it was modern (I'm not usually drawn to modern)!  On closer inspection I discovered it was of an 1838 locomotive, designed by Terence Conran for Midwinter Stylecraft.  So I thought for 25p, I'll buy it.  I really like it.

When I got home and did some research I discovered that its from the 1950s.  I have to say that surprised me as I thought it was much more contemporary.  It seems to be one of a set of four.

My second buy of the day cost me 35p - a wonderful kitschy kiltie!  Isn't he so awful he's good?

A souvenir from Dunoon, just across the water from Greenock.

Don't think I could have found two more contrasting finds. 

So, in your eyes, which do you think is sublime?

Love, Liz

Tuesday 25 September 2012

Better Late Than Never!

Yeah!  I've finished it at last!  My Jubilee Tea Cosy.

Actually that should read - I've finished them at last - because I just got around to sewing up these tea cosies yesterday.  Instead of doing it as I finished knitting them, I started a new one instead.  As a result, they have been in my knitting basket for a few months just waiting to be finished off.  Tut tut!!!!!  Do you ever put off finishing a project?

Spent yesterday in the house as it was such a terrible day.  Finished these off, got through a pile of ironing and did a bit of baking, all the while listening to Magic radio - a wonderful day.

Still a few pom poms to do and then they are ready to go to new homes.

Now, time for a cuppa!  Hope its not too wet and windy where you are.

Linking up with Lakota at Faith, Hope & Charity Shopping for Ta Da Tuesday!

Love, Liz
Greetings from a wet and windy Greenock!

Sunday 23 September 2012

Lyle's Lion

Lyle's Golden Syrup - used by bakers everywhere and one of the most iconic tins in Britain.  Recently I seem to be seeing it in a lot of interiors magazines - holding candles or plants or being used for storage.

Have you ever really looked at the picture on the tin?  It depicts a dead lion with a swarm of bees around it.  It seems a strange image to adorn a tin of food, but it would appear that the story behind it comes from the Bible (Judges 14:5-18) and it's a pretty horrible tale!  In the story, Samson kills a lion, the next time he passes the carcass, a swarm of bees have made a honeycomb in it.  He makes up a riddle about this "out of the strong, something sweet" - and that's why it is on the tin!  Abram Lyle was a very religious man.  This trade mark was registered in 1904, although syrup was first put into tins in 1885.

Here's the Greenock connection - did you know that Abram Lyle (1820-1891) was born in Greenock?  In fact, he was a former provost (mayor) of Greenock in the 1870s.  His family were coopers in the town and Abram went into the shipping business, especially the importing of sugar from the East and West Indies.  He later founded the firm of Abram Lyle & Sons, sugar refiners.  He once owned one of my favourite buildings in Greenock - the Glebe sugar refinery, which you can read about here.

He opened a refinery in London, not far from that of his business rival, Henry Tate (of Tate Gallery fame).  The two companies were joined in 1921 after both men were dead.  Thus we have the company of Tate & Lyle, which had a refinery in Greenock until the 1980s.

So, the next time you open a tin of syrup or treacle, just remember the story of the logo and the Greenock connection!

Love, Liz

Tuesday 18 September 2012

Take One Tea Towel ...

Take one tea towel, some gingham fabric, batting and a few hours and ta da ...

A pretty, floral fabric case for my new netbook!

The tea towel was part of a set of three from Wilkinsons. Thought that the heavier tea towel fabric would be better for wear and tear than a thinner cotton.   I just used the netbook as an outline to get sizes and got on with it.  Not by any manner of means perfect - I'm not great at sewing, but I managed.

Got enough of this fabric left over to make a case for my phone.

And there are two tea towels left! 

Pop over to Lakota at Faith Hope & Charity Shopping to see some other Tuesday ta da moments.

A big welcome to my new followers and many thanks to all of you who leave comments on my posts - I really enjoy reading them.

Love, Liz
 Greetings from sunny Greenock (for a change)!

Monday 17 September 2012

Charms & Memories

I knew it was somewhere!

After looking for ages I eventually found my old silver charm bracelet.  My Granny got me it for my 18th birthday - so it is well and truly vintage by now!  Haven't worn it for many, many years.  It could do with a bit of a clean!

The 18 and 21 charms are there for obvious reasons.  The other charms mean something too.  I loved drinking tea even then!

The little hot water bottle has a "potty" inside when you open it up.  I was always cold and needed a hot water bottle!  Not so sure about the potty!

Egyptian bust - loved anything to do with ancient Egypt when I was young.  I actually wanted to be an archaeologist when I was in my teens.

Holland and Amsterdam - my favourite place when my friend and I went on an InterRail holiday when we were students.

Last but not least - a Greenock charm.  No need to explain that one!

What great memories this charm bracelet has brought back! 
Did you have one?

Love, Liz

Greenock Welcomes Cruise Ships

Oh well, summer is over and I've just realised that I haven't shown you any photographs of some of the lovely cruise ships which have visited Greenock this season.  About 40 cruise ships called in at Clydeport this year bringing passengers from all over the world.
A piper welcomes the Seabourn Sojourn.

The Aida Cara visited twice.

Here's the Grand Princess.

While I'm on the subject of ships, Couldn't finish this post without a photograph of Greenock's own Waverley (click to read about her).

Just one more ship - the Norwegian Sun - will arrive on 26 September.  Then even more cruise ships next year!

Love, Liz

Tuesday 11 September 2012

Through The Wringer

Remember these old washboards?  This one is called "The Albert" and was made in Scotland.  It had a corrugated metal surface which you scrubbed the soapy clothes against.

My Granny lived in a tenement in Greenock and used to use one of these for cleaning clothes in the weekly wash before she had a washing machine. 

She also had one of these mangles or wringers!  It was mounted between two sinks in the kitchenette.  First of all the soapy clothes were put through.  Then the sink was filled with cold water, the clothes were rinsed and put through the wringer again.  No wonder she had strong arms!  This wringer was made by the Acme Manufacturing Co of Glasgow.

My Granny would then put the washing into a basket and take it down three flights of stairs out to the common "backgreen" (actually concrete - easier to maintain than grass) and hang the washing out.

I remember that each family in the tenement had a specific day for hanging out the washing, or a particular piece of rope to use.  Of course with Greenock weather there was much watching out for rainy showers then the washing had to be brought back upstairs again and hung on the pulley in the kitchen.  Unfortunately,  if the washing had got really wet because Granny had been out for her messages (shopping), then the whole wash had to go through the wringer all over again!!!

Even when she got her first washing machine it was just like the one in the picture, everything still had to be put through the wringer!  Thank goodness for spin dryers!

Love, Liz
Greetings from Greenock

Monday 10 September 2012

Tourist in my own Town of Greenock

What a wonderful scheme "Doors Open Day" is!  It is a fabulous time to explore places that you would not normally have the opportunity to visit and hear more about the history of your home town.  On Sunday I was fortunate to be among those visiting the Inverkip Street/Duncan Street cemetery in Greenock.  It is a quiet place and, although it is not far from the centre of town, this was the first time I had ventured inside.

The tour was run by Inverclyde Tourist Group.  A couple of their members had done a lot of research into the history of some of the people who were buried there.

This cemetery was closed in 1859.  The new Greenock Cemetery (which I've blogged about often) was opened in 1846.

Some of the gravestones are from the 18th century.  Many are of merchants and shipowners of the town. 

The word relict - what a horrible word, in this case means widow.  It makes me think that these women were poor broken-down things (which perhaps some of them were).  What a shame that four of their children died young - a common story in those days, I suppose.

Love, Liz

Thursday 6 September 2012

Only 10 Days To Go!!!!

Only ten days to go!  Series 3 of

Downton Abbey

starts in the UK on Sunday 16 September - can't wait!

I've been re-reading my copy of "The World of Downton Abbey" (published by Collins).  Not only does it contain lots of photos of the characters, but also goes behind the scenes to show some aspects of  filming.  There's also lots of good background information about the era covered by the programme - fashion, working in service, etc.  It's a great book.  If you are a fan of the programme then you will love it.

There's a Downton Abbey Facebook page which has lots of photos, interviews etc.

I've been watching Parade's End which is on BBC2, but find the characters totally selfish and uninteresting.  Perhaps it will get better?!?  It got some great reviews in the "quality" press, which probably just means that I'm extremely common because I'm not that keen on it.  
I just enjoy a good old-fashioned story with a wonderful range of characters - that's Downton!
Love, Liz

Monday 3 September 2012

"The World's First Picture Encyclopedia" (or so it says!)

I was having a look through the vintage "I See All PictureEncyclopedia" I got a while ago and came across some more interesting pictures to share with you.

I love this one of the Chelsea Pensioner and Girl Guide.

Wondered what it said about the Scots!

Don't you think that this guy looks like he's enjoying this a bit too much?!

Love these gilded carriages.

Er ... strange name!

Love, Liz
Greetings from Greenock