Britain In The 1950s: Children

A selection of photos found online, all taken around Britain during the 1950s.

Being helped onto a double-decker bus.

Copying the Guardsmen outside Buckingham Palace.

Feeding the pigeons in Trafalgar Square.

Getting a good view of something at the seaside.

Anticipating firework night.

Fishing in a public park in London.

Feeding a Porcupine at the zoo.

Checking how much you weigh for a penny.

Playing in the street, unsupervised.

Boy Scouts cleaning shoes to raise money.

Reading your comic while mum was inside the baker’s.

Home-made soapbox cars racing.

Dressed in your cowboy outfit outside the local cafe.

54 thoughts on “Britain In The 1950s: Children

      1. So I have learned. Thank you. The photo of the child in the cage at the zoo reminded me of Winnie at the London Zoo, and A.A. Milne’s young son petting and playing with the bear in the cage. Best to you, Pete.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Great selection there, Pete. I know it’s unfair, as the Scout & Guide organisations do a lot of good, in many ways, but I can’t help associating those young lads with the Hitler Youth: two sides of the same coin, I suppose. Cheers, Jon.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. (1a) We have double-deck buses in Las Vegas.
    (1b) We also have double-deck blackjack.
    (2) The guardsmen are cute with their Marge Simpson wigs!
    (3) It’s safe to feed the pigeons in Trafalgar Square. Just don’t try to feed the crows, ravens, seagulls, and Bodega Bay. That’s my “Tip(pi) of the Day.”
    (4) In December, they bring ornaments, garlands, strings of light, and a large star. #HumanChristmasTree
    (5) One Fourth of July, I announced that I was going to light the fuse of all the Black Cats. Upon hearing this, the black cats in the neighborhood all curled up their tail and ran for cover.
    (6) Q&A:
    Q. What did the fish say when it hit a concrete wall?
    A. Dam!
    (7) One evening, back in the summer of 1995, while on a week’s hike in the Bridger-Teton National Forest south of Yellowstone National Park, we pitched a tent near a stream and built a campfire. A porcupine came out of the trees, ambled over to the campfire, and began looking around for food.
    (8) I wonder how much a penny weighs in my pocket? (Fun Fact: Did you know that American pennies are actually made on the Planet of the Abes?)
    (9) From Artillery Street to Peace Street. #LeoTolstoy
    (10) In Warsaw, boys use spit and polish.
    (11) Mum was inside the baker? Sounds like a fantastic voyage to me!
    (12) This photo races a question: Is there such a thing as a soapbox derby hat?
    (13) “Where’s my rocking horse?”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 3) Good Hitchcock connection, David. They closed down the pigeon-food sellers in Trafalgar Square a long time ago, due to the mess made by the pigeons. But the birds still go there, trying to feed on the scraps left by people eating fast food.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. There was a set of those scales inside the doorway of our local Woolworth’s. Nobody had scales at home then, so would go to the shop and weigh themselves for a penny.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I remember when my English Cousin, Johnny, was a toddler and he and his Mom had come to America to live with her husband, my Uncle Vernon. Johnny had been a small child during the London Blitz and whenever we had a thunderstorm, he would go into terrible crying jags whenever it thundered. I was told it was because he remembered the sound of the German bombs exploding above their underground where they took shelter during air raids.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My mum was 15-16 during The Blitz in London, and the bombing terrified her. Even in her 80s, she could recall the fear as if it was yesterday.
      Best wishes, Pete.


  4. An interesting glimmer of cross-culture… that child dressed as a cowboy, could have easily been me at that age. Interesting take on post-war American influence in Brit life, by a child, no less.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Doug, I had a cowboy hat, 6-gun, and a Winchester ’73 rifle. (Toy ones of course.) I also had a Davy Crockett hat and percussion cap pistol toy. American influence was always in my life from an early age. We had your films and TV shows to watch, and played ‘Cowboys and Indians’ on the streets. The TV series ‘The Grey Ghost’ is what got me interested in the US civil war. It was shown over here about 1960 I think.

      Best wishes, Pete.


      1. I could say that Brits gave us some rock & roll… but I am sure that’s a shallow perspective. When I was doing my tour of duty in Iceland back in 1973 I was, one day, guarding some planes on the flightline (obsolete even then, Howard Hughs’ F-102 Delta Daggars). An airport fire truck making it’s rounds (the airport at Keflavik was a dual commercial airport and military base under NATO) pulled up next to me. Much of the sundry airport support activity were rightly manned by Icelandic nationals. The driver of this fire truck rolled down his window to chat… After we commented about the pleasant weather that day he then asked, “Where are you from?” I told him… “Chicago.” He then proceeds to say, “Ah.. Chicago!” Then he lifts his hands as if to emulate holding a weapon, and goes…. “Rat-ta-tat-tat”.
        Now, that was not normally an uncommon response even when I am even Stateside. Back then the Desilu Studios black & white “The Untouchables” starring Robert Stack, was popular for educating the Boomer generation regarding Al Capone. It seems we exported that concept overseas as well.
        Anyway, my new Icelandic friend kept asking about how I managed to survive living through all the violence of Chicago, somehow presuming the Capone days were still alive and well. Out of a sense of frustration I shared with him that my folks had to buy a special bullet-proof car to take me back and forth to school… and we kept a Tommy gun in the car just in case. This affirmed his stereotype and I felt satisfied exporting American good will upon this fellow.

        Liked by 3 people

    1. I have no idea why she was allowed inside to feed the Porcupine. Perhaps she was a child of one of the zoo keepers? It doesn’t seem to want to harm her, it’s just interested in the food. πŸ™‚
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I’m sorry to say that my Dad and Grandad were head keepers at London Zoo. The story goes that I, as a very young child, shared Guy The Gorilla’s cage. Dad also would use porcupine quills as floats for fishing.

      Liked by 1 person

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