Return to Appendix One Index

Advertising Practice, Product Introduction Dates
and Parades and Demonstrations

This section is intended to assist with 'set dressing', having the correct advertisements on display to help set the scene. One common practice from the mid 19th century up to the 1960's was for shop keepers to paint the prices of their wares on the shop window using whitewash. This was something of an art as it was done with a paint brush on the inside of the window, so the writing had to be done in reverse. Shops such as green grocers, where prices were variable depending upon the season, often added white cards perhaps a foot square marked with the price of the goods attached to a stick which was inserted in the pile of fruit or whatever. This practice remained common for such shops (and market stalls) into the 1990's although the size of the signs seems to have become smaller in the 1970's.

Paper Posters

Advertising using printed paper 'bills' was launched in the form of the handbill with Johann Gutenberg's invention of movable type printing in 1450. Technically a 'bill' is a list written on paper. The term 'poster' (as a term for a person putting up bills) was coined in the mid 1830's, 'bill poster' was used from the 1864. By Dickens time paper posters were being used in large numbers, pasted up with a flour and water paste (Dickens actually wrote a piece on the subject, mentioning a derelict house that seemed to be held up as much by the layers of pasted paper as by the timber supports).

Political parties and other organisations used simple printed hand-bills which were often seen pinned up in public places. These were black text on a white background with different styles and sizes of text used to provide a degree of artistic content. Railways also favoured simple black and white posters up to the 1870's.

Colour printing using wooden 'cuts' for pictures and standard moveable type for the lettering was expensive and little used. Lithography, which allows printing in colour using wax to repel ink, was invented in about 1790 but it was not applied to poster making until the 1870's when it was taken up by French artists. The lithographed coloured advertising poster gained popularity in the 1880's but the older black and white with different sizes of text remained common. Simple 'colour' posters were made using coloured paper with a contrasting coloured ink, this simple approach was used by political parties from the 50's (possibly before) and was also used for signs pasted onto packing containers (and indeed railway wagons).

Multi-colour printing was confined to advertising posters up to the 1960's with all forms of public information posters, and not a few posters advertising theatre productions and the like, staying with the plain black and white with different sizes of text. In the years before the First World War the Railways began using coloured posters to advertise their services, the artists were commissioned to do the design work and some of these early posters have become design classics (one example being the fat fisherman on the beach for the LNER's 'Skegness is so bracing' poster). Coloured posters were not widely used other than for commercial advertising until the 1960's when the poster recreated itself as a medium for 'pop-art', however most such posters were pinned up inside homes and few appeared on the streets.

Large poster hoardings appeared in some numbers in the 1930's initially these were mainly on the sides of buildings (where the compny errecting the posters would pay a rental to the owner) and replaced many of the earlier painted on signs. By the later 1930s more free-standing hoardings were erected by the roadsides. The standard British poster was made up of sheets 41 inches tall by 27 inches wide, hence all poster hoardings should be in multiples of this size. The standard changed (I think in the early 1980's) to a sheet 40 inches wide by 30 inches high. Single sheets are widely used but the basic minimum size for a hoarding is the 'four sheet'. Prior to the Second World War (and possibly after) bill posters used flour paste prepared using flour, water and blue vitriol (copper sulfate) as a fungicide. At some point after the war a range of new paste type glues were developed but even these did not have to last very long as (as recently as the 1970's) posters were renewed (typically) weekly.

Enamel Advertising Signs

The sheet metal enamel signs were common on shop walls from the 1880's to the 1940's, thereafter they were mostly associated with signs in dirty areas such as petrol stations and the like and they rapidly disappeared from the mid 1960's. A really useful book is Enamel Advertising Signs by Christopher Bagleeand Andrew Morley, published by Shire, as well as colour illustrations of many of the enamelled signs the book includes a lot of information on the size and dates of the signs and information on trades and products. Ready made enamel signs are available from firms such as 'Tiny Signs' but for the Tickling layout I wanted some 'local' signs, I was able to scan the signs from this book into a computer and make changes, these were then printed out at 4x the intended size and reduced to scale on a colour photocopier (which has a much finer dot-pitch than a basic colour ink jet printer).

Painted Signs on Walls

As literacy improved in the 19th century more use was made of advertising and one common practice from the 1850's through to the 1960's was to paint the shops sign on one wall. These painted signs usually advertised the shops or the goods on sale at the shops on who's walls they were painted.

The signage shown below was painted on the gable end of a row of shops close by a market, the business offered ready-made clothing but also alterations to produce a better fit. The sign was in poor condition and I only had time for a quick photo, this has been cleaned up to produce the illustration however the writing in the bottom right was too faint to read (a return visit may resolve this, if it has not been painted over).

Old end-wall sign on a tailors
Old sign still on the wall of a former high street tailors shop in 2007

Painted signage was also seen on road over bridges (usually advertising national brands of tyre) and some quite large and colourful examples were painted on the sides of buildings prior to the introduction of the paper poster and the hoarding or 'billboard' to carry them.

The sign below is on the gable end of a building, high up and difficult to see from the road, however there was a railway bridge here up to the 1990s and the sign would have been at eye level and clearly visible to passengers on the line. The sign is now faded and has been retouched for the purposes of illustration.

Bike shop sign
Old bike shop sign

By the 1960's these painted signs were increasingly rare, largely replaced by wooden 'billboards' bearing pasted on paper adverts, but two local bicycle shops still had adverts for Sun and Raleigh bikes painted on the end walls in the 1980's and a local hardware shop had a pleasantly elaborate sign painted sign on its end wall into the 1990's (Potts est 1886 - We sell the tools your neighbour likes to borrow). I make a lot of use of printed brick papers and when these are hard to find I make my own, this also allows me to add the painted-on signs fairly easily. I photographed a section of wall and scanned this into the computer. I then blurred the image to give me a vague approximation of the shading. I then made up a 'brickwork' grid of white lines and added this over the blurred image. Given a good quality colour printer it would be possible to print out the sheet but in N the lines are too fine for home printing. I print the page out on a black and white laser printer and give it a wash with water colour paint (burnt sienna and burnt ochre mixed in varying quantities). Set it aside to dry and then lay it between two sheets of brown paper and iron it flat (the laser 'toner' will melt as you do this, the brown paper is essential to prevent the toner sticking to the iron and to stop it being smeared over the paper.

If making signs for walls I have to print the thing out to scale. I like Pressworks DTP from GST, its cheap and allows me to accurately print to a set size. The older versions (often seen on Magazine cover disks) included a 'whole pixel scaling' option that I find makes for a better result when working with fine detail, I believe this feature may have been dropped from more recent versions. I make up the wall as above in my 'paint' program and then add the 'signage' in white over the top. Care is then required to avoid getting the water colour into the white areas but I find the results acceptable.


Graffiti has existed since writing was invented and possibly before. Most was small scale, mainly of the 'somebody loves someone else' type and would be invisible in British N scale.

During the second world war bridges over rivers and canals, and walls close by ponds and streams, were marked E W S in white (sometimes yellow) lettering, usually about three feet high. EWS stood for Emergency Water Supply and these markings were to help fire fighters in the event of bombing raids. The EWS markings took a long time to fade, I can remember them still clearly showing in the 1960's and early 1970's.

Larger graffiti was little seen in Britain before the advent of spray-paints in the 1960's. This coincided with hero worship of south American left wing guerrillas by local left wing youths, who adopted the Latin American habit of daubing their slogans on walls. The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) was formed in 1958 and one common graffiti in the 1960's and 1970's was the circular 'Y-Fronts' logo of this organisation.
Fig___ CND logo
Sketch of CND logo

The right wing youths soon joined in and another relatively common graffiti was the National Front Party logo (a circle with a lightning bolt through it) accompanied by the letters NF.

Graffiti then became almost fashionable, much of it fairly meaningless, someones name or an insult, but there were some splendid examples - In London my sister drove up a road to work which was a main commuter route and had pedestrian overbridges at inervals along it. On the side of the the first someone had carefully painted in lettering the full height of the side panels 'GOOD', on the next it said 'MORNING' and on the third it said 'LEMMINGS'. When I was at college a large hoarding across the road carried a poster showing a woman holding a small glass in a foam filled bath set in a white mist-filled space with a white horse in the background and the slogan 'you can take a white horse anywhere' (an advert for a brand of wiskey). Some wit had managed to climb up and added along the bottom 'but you can't make it drink'.

In the mid 1980's highly ornate multi-coloured graffiti began to appear as British children copied their American cousins. The main idea was to display your personal logo in a public place and graffiti became a matter of ornate pseudonyms called 'tags'. This fad lasted from about 1983 until about 1990, after which it fell from favour and graffiti then began to fade from sight other than in less public places such as underpasses where the 'artists' could work unhindered.

Product Introduction Dates

Cleaning Materials:

Brasso 1905.

Johnson wax imported into UK during WW1, uk production started 1922 (Pledge introduced in late 1950's?).

Harpic 1920 (made from nitre cake waste in ex WD armaments factories).

Lux Flakes 1921,

Vim 1923,

Brillo Pads 1928,

Persil 1932,

Omo 1952,

Skip 1959,

Lux Liquid 1959,

Ariel 1968,


Beechams Liver Pills 1860's at St Helens Lancs (slogan 'Worth a Guinea a Box')

Andrews Liver Salts 1900 (very popular by 1920's).

Nivea Cream 1911,

Vicks vapo-rub in early 20th century

Aspro was imported from Australia from 1917, British factory opened in 1927 at Slough (first use of bubble-pack (American invention, made of paper) in 1920's). 1950's slogan 'Aspro smashes colds and flu, it's GOT something'.

Elastoplast factory in Hull opened in 1928.

Paper hankies 'Celluwipes' late 1920's,


Atora founded in 1893 first suet making factory in Openshaw, Manchester, manufacturing ready shredded suet - one of the first 'convenience' food products available. It was the largest factory of its kind in the world. Between 1893 and the early part of World War II Atora suet was transported around the country in colourfully painted wagons bearing the Atora name and pulled by six pairs of Hereford bullocks. It was known to be one of the best publicity stunts carried out by a British firm in its time - long before 'the marketing concept' was officially discovered. The Manchester Atora factory became part of RHM in 1963, and in 1974 production was moved to Greatham, Hartlepool, in Cleveland.

Birds Custard powder was invented by Alfred Bird in 1837 because his wife was allergic to eggs, the traditional thickening agent for custard. Bird’s uses cornflour mixed with milk to form its thick custardy sauce. The famous ‘Three Bird’ logo was introduced in 1929. By 1843, Alfred Bird and Sons Ltd was also producing the newly invented baking powder and, by 1895, blancmange and jelly powders, plus egg substitute too. The brand arrived in Britain around 1900 and World War I saw Bird’s Custard supplied to British troops overseas.

Brown & Poulson Cornflour 1854 .

Bovril was developed by a Scot in Canada in 1874 and arrived in Britain in 1884. Slogans 'It must be BOVRIL' (1909) 'Soon puts a man on his feet' (1915 and 1920's).

Birdseye deep frozen foods appeared in America in 1924 but it was some years before they arrived in Britain, the seagull logo with birdseye across the wings was in use just after the second world war.

Bisto 1910,

Cerebos - See Saxa Salt below

Chivers Jam started in Ireland in 1873, they soon diversified into marmalade, closely followed by the first clear dessert jelly in 1889. The brand was successful and later extended into lemonade, mincemeat, custard powder and Christmas puddings.

Coleman's Mustard 1830 (the bulls head logo dates from 1855),

Daddies sauce appeared in 1912.

Fish Fingers 1955,

Fray Bentos Corned Beef dates from 1899 when a company called Anglo began making corned beef in in the middle of cattle country in Uruguay, taking the make from a local town called Fray Bentos. By 1950 it was a staple of the British diet (more recently Fray Bentos has diversified into soups, meatballs and even tinned fruit)

Fyffes bananas 1880's in early 1900's Elders Fyffes introduced refrigerated ships, Fyffes was the first branded fruit in the world, the blue label was introduced 1929 slogan' Bananas, The All Food Fruit'.

>Gales Honey introduced in 1919.

Hartley's Jam - Hartley’s was a grocers founded by William Pickles Hartley in Lancashire. One day in 1871 a consignment of jam didn’t show up, so William made his own. By 1885 Hartley’s was so successful that when they came to build a new factory at Aintree, they built a village to go with it.

Homepride Flour was a brand adopted by Spillars millers in the 1920s. They launched their 'cook in sauce' range in 1974.

HP Sauce appeared in the end of the nineteenth century but was not widely advertised until the twentieth. In 1924 HP sauce became a public company, they acquired Lea and Perrins in 1930 and in 1967 the business was bought by Imperial Tobacco which subsequently changed its name to Imperial Foods Ltd

Heinz ketchup was introduced in America in 1876 by which time the company was already using the slogan '57 Varieties'.

Jeys Fluid - John Jeyes business patented a disinfectant fluid in 1877 which is still marketed today as Jeyes Fluid. Jeyes was granted the Royal Warrant in 1896 and is still a proud supplier to the Royal Household.

Lyons Cakes - Lyons opened its first teashop in 1894 in Piccadilly, London. By 1940 there were 250 throughout the country. In the 1950s, Lyons Bakery began marketing attractively packaged cakes for sale through grocery outlets, and in 1976 built the largest cake bakery in the world - still operating today.

McDougall's Self Raising Flour dates back to a 'yeast substitute' first produced in 1864 the 'self-raising' flour came later and revolutionised home baking.

Marmite 1902,

Ovaltine 1909 (developed in 1904 in Switzerland where it is called Ovalmaltine).

Oxo appeared in 1899 (before that date it was sold under another name). OXO was also one of the first brands to advertise on TV, with icons such as Sooty, housewife 'Katie', Dennis Waterman and Lynda Bellingham working to publicise the product.

Paxo was invented in 1901 by John Crampton, a butcher from Eccles in Manchester, who wanted to make Sunday lunches more exciting. It was a slow start, because stuffing is mainly served with poultry, which was a luxury at the time, but as the price of chickens dropped in the 1950s and 60s, Paxo's popularity took off.

Robertsons Golden Shred marmalade started in Scotland as a kitchen produced product in the 1860s, it was being properly marketed by the in the 1880's and this was followed by Silver Shred a few years later, business spread to whole of UK by 1900. The Golly logo was introduced just before WW1. Today Golden Shred remains the world’s biggest marmalade, with annual sales topping £13 million, Robertson’s share of the market by value is (as of 2008) 24%.

Rombouts arrived from Holland in 1964. The company was established in 1896 and developed the individual coffee filter in 1958. In 2008 it began selling its own branded 'fairtrade' range of coffees.

Roses Marmalade dates back to the 1930s.

Sarsons Vinegar was created in 1794 by Thomas Sarson, it's the nation's number-one vinegar, with a distinctive flavour from specially brewed malt barley.

Saxa Salt - The Cerebos salt company was founded in 1884 in Newcastle. Their core brand “Saxa” was launched in 1907.

Smash (instant mashed potato) introduced in the mid 1960s

Spam was first produced in America in 1937 but did not arrive in Britain until about 1939.

Sunpat Peanut butter arrived in the 1960s. Peanut butter was developed by a St. Louis physician in 1890 as a nutritious, easy-to-eat food, peanut butter reached UK stores in the 1930s, with Sun-Pat arriving in the 60s.

Virol (an 'enriched' syrup for making something like 'beef tea') in use by the 1920's and widely advertised using enamel signs. Lasted into the later 1930's.

Walls pies and sausages 1850's, ice cream early 1920's, same company.

Tate & Lyle merged in 1921 the Mr Cube logo came in 1949, Lyles Golden Syrup still has only Lyles name on it with the Lion logo


Mackintosh's Celebrated Toffee 1890's,

Quality Street 1936 (Put your shop in Quality Street by putting Quality Street in your shop) merged with Rowntrees 1969

Rowntrees formed 1860's, pastilles and gums 1870's, Table Jellies 1901, Black Magic 1933, Chocolate Crisp (later renamed Kit Kat) Aero, Dairy Box mid 1930's, smarties 1937, Polo 1948 After Eight 1962. Rowntree Mackintosh merged with Nestle in 1988.

Wrigleys spearmint gum and jucy fruit 1893,

Fisherman's Friends 1870's but only sold outside Fleetwood from 1963

Smiths crisps 1910 (first such product to use pre-printed packets) In 1920 the slogan was 'They are delicious to eat, They are cheap'. The most popular brand in the UK until the 1990's.

PK ('Packed tight-Kept right') first UK production 1927 the logo is a small chap with a three pointed 'jesters' hat in black but with flesh face and red jesters boots.

Mars Bars 1932,

Milky Way 1935,

Maltesers 1936.


Jacobs Ireland 1850's, cream cracker later 1880's UK mainland factory opened 1914. Slogan 'Ask for the Best - Jacob & Co cream crackers'

McVities Digestives were patented in 1926 - These were the first 'digestive' biscuit, the name was derived from its high content of baking soda as an aid to food digestion.

McVitie's Homewheat Chocolate Digestive (now simply known as McVitie's Chocolate Digestive) in 1925.

Penguin was first produced in 1932 by William McDonald, a biscuit manufacturer in Glasgow, and became a McVitie's brand when McDonald joined with McVitie's and Price, MacFarlane Lang & Co and Crawford to form United Biscuits in 1946. One of the first biscuits to be advertised by name rather than company brand.

Jaffa Cakes 1940's (made by McVitie's)

Hobnobs (made by McVitie's) first launched in 1985 and a milk chocolate variant followed in 1987


Turog bread 1903.

Wonderloaf (sliced) 1937. The first pre-sliced loaf had appeared in Britain in 1930 but I believe this was the first 'national' brand.

Wonderbread 1955.

Hovis flour 1880's. The bread was baked locally in bakers and the once common 'Hovis and Teas' tea rooms. Noted for staying fresh as it had a high oil content.

The Mothers made its first appearance in the north in 1936 and became a national brand in 1956. Originally sold wrapped in wax paper, it progressed with technology to introduce the now-familiar plastic bread bag, although Mothers Pride Scottish Plain can still be bought in wax-wrapped bags. The familiar tartan wrapping of the much-loved Scottish Mothers Pride Plain loaf is an officially recognised tartan. Mothers Pride tartan was registered with the Tartan Society on June 1st 1996 and is used on the packaging of the range of Mothers Pride Scottish bread and bakery products.


Spillers Flour by 1840's this company was already big.

McDougals Self Raising Flour (the first of its type) 1860's

Homepride Flour 1924 but only widely promoted after 1960.

Soft Drinks

Schweppes Tonic water (the first on the market) 1840.

Coca Cola dates from 1886 but the wasp-waisted bottle was only introduced in 1913.

Carlsberg Lager Beers have been imported from Denmark into the British Isles since about 1900

Tea & Coffee

Twining's Tea 18th century, oldest tea co in UK.

Ty-Phoo Tipps 1844.

Brooke Bond 1869 by 1890's business was wholesale to grocers.He added the word Bond to the name to imply quality. BB 'Dividend' tea 1935, PG Tips later 1930's, cards introduced 1954 chimps from 1956. Brook Bond merged with a firm called Liebig in 1968 to form Brook Bond Oxo.

Maxwell House Coffee 1890's (USA).

Nescafe instant coffee 1937 (this was the first successful instant coffee, the first to appear on the market were developed in the USA in 1867 but the idea did not catch on at the time).

Horlicks 1873 USA as 'Malted Milk' intro UK 1890's, UK factory 1908, Horlicks name intro 1932 along with slogans featuring the term 'night starvation'


Scotts Porage Oats 1880's but only advertised as such after 1914 when the word Porage was added to differentiate it from other brands (by which time the entire manufacturting process was automated and advertising featured the slogan 'untouched by human hand').

Breakfast cereals generally were developed in America in the 1890's, they arrived in Britain in about 1900.

'Force' a cereal that was very popular in Britain in the 1930's, featured the Sunny Jim character on the box and advertising.

Rice Crispies 1928.

Tools and Equipment Rawlplugs 1919

Tannoy loudspeakers 1928


Raleigh cycles 1888,

Sun Cycles XXXX,

General Goods

Addis tooth brushes 1830's, bone handles replaced by plastic in 1920's the Wisdom cranked handle brush 1938.

Silver Cross prams 1877 slogan 1950's 'The worlds most exclusive baby coach'

HMV was the trade name for the Gramophone Company from 1899 but was only registered as a trademark in 1911. In 1932 HMV and Columbia merged to form EMI but the HMV and Columbia brands remained in use for advertising.

Ever Ready originally torches imported from USA from 1901, British battery factory set up 1903.

Belling Electrical Appliances 1912,

Pyrex UK production started 1921, colourware in 1952 opalware 1954.

Uhu glue 1932 (the first synthetic resin bonded glue).

The Hoover Electric Cleaner Co built a factory in Britain in 1932.

Swan Brand electric kettles 1935.

Tupperware 1945 in USA arrived in UK 1960

Flymo 1963

Shoes and Socks

Start-rite children's shoes 1920's ads featured two twins walking up a long straight tree-lined road.

Scholl footwear intro UK about WW1.

Pretty polly brand name 1926 , company expanded when nylon introduced in 1946.


Express Daries 1871 (1st country 'creamary' on LSWR line in Wiltshire.

Cow & Gate 1880's as a dairy company but by 1910 mainly known for baby foods based on dried milk. Absorbed

Animal Feeds

Spillers Pet Foods 1855 (company was already a big flour miller), became Ranks and Spillers in XXXX, bought by Dalgety Animal Feeds in the late 1980's

R & W Paul Limited incorporated 1893 .

Pauls & Whites Ltd formed by merger of R & W Paul merge with White Tomkins & Courage in 1964.

Silcocks Aniumal Feeds of Hull, taken over by Lever Bothers in XXXX to become Silcock Lever Feeds

BOCM (British Oil & Cake Mills) formed by a merger of several firms in 1899 operating in ten seed-crushing mills (all rail connected). BOCM & Silcock Lever Feeds merged to form BOCM Silcock Ltd. in 1969 but the plain BOCM logo remained in use.

Other firms in this area in the early 1980's included Dalgety Agriculture, J Bibby Agriculture and Nitrovit. In the later 1980's several smaller firms were absorbed by either BOCM or Pauls including Marsdens (Lancashire), Burgess Feeds (Yorkshire), Sheldon Jones (Somerset), Cobbledicks (Devon) and Tucks (Norfolk). During this period Ranks and Spillers was bought by Dalgety and Nitrovit was bought by Bibbys.


Associated Portland Cement Manufacturers Ltd. (APCM) was formed by a merger of several smaller companies in 1900. The individual trade names were retained to maintain the good will of consumers. In 1912 the majority of the remaining manufacturers agreed to combine to form a group called The British Portland Cement Manufacturers Ltd. (BPCM)

In 1920 a new organisation was formed, the Cement Marketing Company Ltd. who's sole purpose was the disposal of the products of A.P.C.M and B.P.C.M. It was the formation of the CMC which saw the introduction of the Blue Circle logo and up to the 1950's (possibly later) the letters CMC were printed inside the circle on the logo. All cement produced by the two companies (APCM and BPCM) was sold under the Blue Circle Cement brand.

By the mid 1980's three large groups dominated the cement industry, the largest was Blue Circle accounting for over half the total production. Tunnel, Ribblesdale and Ketton were all part of Rio Tinto Zinc (RTZ) but continued trading under their respective brand names and the third player was the still independent Rugby Cement.

Parades and Demonstrations

May queen celebrations up until 1970's.

Rag week (shrove Tuesday being rag day) involved students collecting for charity and generally having a bit of a party, the practice began in the 1890's, by 1900 fancy dress was common. The 'rag mag', a paper booklet of jokes and cartoons was sold and 'stunts' were performed to advertise the week (one lot of mountaineering enthusiasts 'mountaineered' along the pavements, driving pitons between the flags and fully 'roped up', when I was at college we all dressed as Romans and went out with assorted buckets, kiddie's potties etc collecting money). This, as someone remarked, was when innocence was still legal. In the later 1980s selfish pretentiousness (formerly associated with the more insecure elements in the 'middle classes' and the subject of much derision in the general population) became increasingly accepted into main stream culture and the rag weeks petered out in mid 1990's.

1890's to 1918 Suffragettes (the term was coined by the Daily Mail in 1909), women householders were then given the vote but smaller demonstrations continued until 1928 when all women received the vote.

1930's Communists & Fascists (the latter favoured a 'uniform' of black shirt with no jacket), held rallies and demonstrations in the streets of the larger towns, often this lead to fighting in the streets. After World War Two both political systems were seen as undesirable, and although adherents to both continued to gather for meetings there were relatively few mass marches.

1920's & 30's 'pageants' were popular and often featured street parades with bands and people wearing their 'Sunday best' clothes, at the front of the parade, and interspersed along it, would be people carrying banners. These were very orderly events and required no policing.

The Army used to march through the streets to the railway station up until the 1950's, after which they travelled in motor vehicles.

Anti-War demonstrations have been a feature of British life since the end of the First World War. On at 11am on November 11th (Armistice day) a minutes silence was held to commemorate the dead in the First World War, I can remember in the 1950s buses would stop, the driver would get out and remove his uniform cap and stand silently for the minute. By the 1970s motorists generally felt that their journey to the shops was of more importance than a few million dead people and, other than at organised events, the silence was not observed. During the mornings it was normal for a band to lead groups of ex-forces personnel, all wearing a red poppy in their jacket lapel button hole, and their medals, to the local memorial, where the vicar would make a speech and the silence would be observed. This practice seems to have died away since the end of the 1960s. From the end of the 1950 to the early 1970's CND (the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, commonly known as 'ban the bomb') staged a number of marches, usually associated with military establishments. From the later 1970s these tended to be related to specific aspects of nuclear weapons, such as the American deployment of 'cruise missiles' at their British bases.

1980's 'Gays'.

In the North West (and possibly elsewhere) there were annual holidays known as 'wakes', the word was originally 'walks' as these days were set aside for members of religious organisations to march through the streets with their banners. Over the years various trades guilds and groups such as the Masons adopted the 'wake' and later the trades unions. By the time the railways were up and running the tradition was to group all the wakes into a single week (known logically enough as Wakes Week) although each town had a separate date for their event. During these periods the mills and factories would close down, allowing the people to take a holiday, often taking the train to a nearby resort. The people who owned the bigger mills and factories also often owned large houses in these resort towns and these were converted into hotels offering 'special rates' for their employees and bringing in a tidy income for their owners. Meanwhile back in the town there were still a number of the processions although the town itself would be unusually quiet during these periods, with most of the shops closed and the streets empty of traffic.

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