Retro Stuff

60s slides: Costiera Amalfitana

Here's some more 60s tourism slides from my grandparents' house (you can see others here). This time from the Amalfi Coast in southern Italy, now a UNESCO site. Again I have posted all 36 images. It looked pretty much the same when I was there about 10 years ago, minus the annoying coach party of loud Texans who kept appearing everywhere you looked and complaining there was no Taco Bell and you had to walk places. Further along the coast in Sorrento I bought a very fancy waffle-knit towel that still serves me well for travelling. The shop assistant seemed very confused that I wasn't buying a whole matching set of them like the majority of their customers. Afraid I could only afford one small one. ... Read More...

60s slides of Herculaneum

When clearing out my grandparents' house a couple of years ago I found seven packets of these 60s tourist slides of various places around the Mediterranean. I've been scanning and restoring them. First up, these from Herculaneum. Herculaneum is a smaller coastal town near Pompeii that was also destroyed by the volcano. It's not as well known, but there are some magnificent villas there in a similar but smaller archaeological park to the one you can visit at Pompeii.... Read More...

Cadbury’s Novelty Cookbook

I got this late 70s/early 80s book from a charity shop a while ago. A lot of families in the UK had it when I was a kid I think. I got it out because I promised to make my friend a really ludicrous birthday cake from inside. The recipes are fine, various flavoured sponge cakes with buttercream icing (albeit with gratuitous Cadbury's product placement in every recipe). It's the choice of cake themes in the book that's a bit odd ...... Read More...

DDR Museum

I'm fascinated by the history of the Cold War. Both the political side, and the social history of people's everyday lives. I've always been extra fascinated by the former DDR, both because I can speak the language and because they tried so hard to be a "model" Iron Curtain society. You read about people being "internal emigrés". Being a good comrade and worker on the surface, but internally escaping to their own world via drink or just plain daydreaming. I suppose that's what I'd do in the situation. I have a lot of thoughts on the subject, but I'm currently writing a zine about the trip this summer, so I'll save them for there.... Read More...

Starkes Viertel- photos of Dresden Neustadt in the 70s and 80s

When I was in Dresden, I bought a photography book by a local photographer. Günter Starke lived in Dresden Neustadt, the area just across the river from the historical centre, in the 70s and 80s, and took a lot of photos. Despite the name, Neustadt is full of old buildings that escaped bombing during the war (it's only new compared to the baroque city centre), and in the communist days, the local council concentrated on building blocks of flats and housing estates to house families.... Read More...

Listening to my grandad’s stereo (but not his record collection)

I recently received my grandad's stereo. He's 89 and has moved into an old people's home, and said he didn't need it any more. He was an electrical engineer for Philips, so his choice of appliances can usually be relied on. I was expecting something from the 70s, but then it turned out he'd actually bought this one 3-4 years ago. I don't know why he felt the need to buy a whole new stereo to listen to his 10 Shirley Bassey records. He once gave me a tape with Italian lessons on one side, and Shirley Bassey songs on the other. I guess he felt it was about time I took up both of those things.... Read More...

70s interior design book

Here are some scans from a 1970s interior design book- House by Terrence Conran. Some of the stuff in it is really really 70s looking, and some is very clean and timeless-looking. The pictures I've scanned are a mix of the two categories. I just scanned the pictures that appealed to me, as it's a massive book. Some of them are a little grainy due to the printing technique. I scanned another 70s interior book I have here.... Read More...

Golden Hands Monthly

got this stack of 70s craft magazines in a junk shop in Devizes a few years ago. That place was amazing, a multi-floored cavern of junk. It's gone now, I think. Here's some photos.There's the usual ultra-cheesy raffia work projects and crocheted plant holders and so on, but the clothes patterns are actually mostly pretty nice, which is why I bought the magazines. What I've scanned is a mix of nice things and weird stuff though. I also couldn't scan double page spreads very easily, because the binding on the magazines is dodgy, and I didn't want to pull them about too much in case they broke. These issues are from 1972 and 1973. I have another issue from 1976, but it's printed on much cheaper paper (the paper quality wasn't sterling to begin with) and the contents are pretty dull.... Read More...

Abandoned school science lab

I was doing some residential teaching for the last 2 weeks. A group of year 9s from Chile came on a school trip, and I gave them lessons about English and British History/Culture and took them to various historical places like Cambridge and Canterbury. I was working in the middle of nowhere, in this old manor house in the middle of a national park. The house had been a boarding school from the 1920s to 2005, and the company I worked for was only using part of the building.  We were the last school tour to be there before it was going to be handed over to the new owners, who no-one knew much about, but didn't seem to be using it as a school. There were lots of locked up rooms that had been used by the boarding school, but weren't used for the language holidays, like the science lab, and they had piles of school stuff lying everywhere. The attitude was pretty much feel free to explore, just make sure the kids don't get into anywhere that could be dangerous.... Read More...