Sixties Childhood


Sixties Childhood

I’m old enough to remember those callers to the house who have now disappeared – the knife-sharpening man, the fizzy-pop man. Mostly men it seems, though once a traveller-woman persuaded my mother to part with a lovely summer dress.

After the brooms-and-mops man had called my mother would give me the sweet little sample tins of polish and I’d buff up the miniature piano in my dolls house.

Oddly the sitting-room in my doll’s house– polished piano, too many pictures on the walls and a large clock, made out of an old watch– very much resembled my real sitting-room today.

M J Lewis 2016

Welcome to all who visit Friday Fiction and a particular thanks to those who stay to read and comment. Thanks as ever to our host, the writer and artist Rochelle and also to the Friday Fiction regular and writer, Claire Fuller who supplies the photo this week.

(Please note all Friday Fiction photos are copyright and should only be posted in conjunction with Friday Fiction or by permission of the photographer.)


21 thoughts on “Sixties Childhood

    • Our house was at the entrance/exit to the village and yes definitely a calling point for gentlemen of the road, asking for a teabag, hot water and a bit of milk in a billycan. You’ve added detail to my 100 word ration!
      Think this went on into the seventies – not frequently, but now and again. One tramp acquired a shopping trolley – a kind of progress?


  1. Besides the ‘fizzy pop man’ and the ‘betterware man’, we also had a rag and bone man, and a hot black peas man on a motorbike. Thanks for this piece which took me right back.

    Liked by 1 person

    • We had a rag and bone man in South London, in Balham right into the eighties – I’d forgotten that!
      And that fizzy pop – think we thought it was sophisticated because that was from a van. Surprised we didn’t glow in the dark after drinking it.
      But we missed out on those hot black peas!


    • Interesting cultural differences and similarities! Milk yes, from a horse-drawn cart, but sometime before the sixties. My Aunt’s father was a milkman with his horse in the East End of London. (And the electric milk float still has a few doorstep deliveries in my road even today, though most people use the supermarket)
      But we didn’t have ice delivered by any form of transport – only an icecream van.


      • Dear Archon’s Den,
        I’m a child of the sixties – apart from the first two weeks of 1960, which I missed on account of not being born yet and have had to rely on secondary accounts.
        (I was a home delivery, helped into the 1960s by the travelling, bike-riding Assistant Midwife who arrived just in time – the doctor and proper midwife were stuck in traffic in their respective cars! Probably too much information – but another travelling story to go with my Friday Fiction.)


  2. Dear Miranda,

    You’ve managed to bring back a lot of memories for all of us of a certain age. Here in the Midwest US we had the milkman and the Manor Bread man. I loved the latter since he also carried samples. I loved the fried pies he sold.
    Lovely story, in any case.



    Liked by 1 person

    • Now there’s a coincidence!
      Must have been a hard life knocking on all those doors. A tough way to make a living but I guess there were worse ways.
      Some work days I envy my postman/postwoman their freedom but must also be exhausting and monotonous.


  3. I love this, and the fact that you live in your doll house, what a magical place you’ve made for yourself. Different country, similar memories. We have several of these, too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The overlaps and differences in different countries is very interesting.
      My husband who lived in the South of England remembers genuine French onion sellers in Breton berets and striped shirts- it’s where we get our silly French stereotype but it does have a tiny element of truth.

      Liked by 1 person

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