Shared Moments: Day 53 written by Maureen Kershaw

Dear all,

Day 53 – Today I am remembering perfumes of yesteryear and I hope you will too? My earliest recollection was “Soir de Paris” in its distinctive blue bottle which sat on my Mum’s dressing table for many a year, to be replaced by Goya “Gardenia” or “Black Rose”. I think Mums only wore ‘scent’ for special occasions and I suppose an obvious choice for Grandmas was lavender.

I only ever remember neighbours or aunts smelling, if at all, of soap or talcum powder. The soap was sometimes carbolic from household chores but who cannot forget the aroma of mothballs, a staple of many a wardrobe? My sister’s first perfume was “California Poppy” before progressing to Yardley’s “Bond Street”. The one which is prominent in my mind though was “Je Reviens” by Worth.Barbara had a silver charm bracelet, one of the charms opening to insert a tiny ball of cotton wool soaked in “Je Reviens”. I borrowed the bracelet in 1973 – and lost it. I daren’t tell her and some years later when we tried “Je Reviens” – by then half price and I’m not surprised why – my sister remembered the charm bracelet but couldn’t recall what had happened to it? I agreed – and changed the subject, but still feel guilty now.

When I started work in 1964 Avon fragrances were very popular. The heady “Topaze”, musky “Persian Wood”, the delicate “Here’s My Heart” and “Wishing”, all in their individually coloured jars. Those cream sachets had the strongest fragrance so were my choice. “Moonwind”, “Occur!” and my all-time favourite “Elegance”. Whilst learning to operate a PMBX corded switchboard the telephonist wore Revlon “Intimate” which I thought was the height of sophistication.

Years later a friend’s choice was Revlon “Moondrops” which could trigger a migraine without much effort – in the same category as Coty “L’aimont” or Yardley “Freesia” (my Mum’s favourite so I had plenty of migraines). I cannot always remember someone’s name from long ago as clearly as their perfumes. “Gingham” by Innoxa and lived in Drighlington or ? from Hull and always bought “Cabochard” duty free.

Jill I do remember though as a wearer of Estee Lauder “Youth Dew” – my that was strong. We would meet for lunch at The Milkmaid on Commercial Street and we laughed at our regular waitress who jotted down “Youth Dew” rather than the table number for where they deliver the 2 x Rarebits. Elizabeth Arden’s “Blue Grass” was consistently worn by Janet – as featured in Day 48 – she of spots and buying shoes at Dolcis. At an interview in 1974 I was asked by my Boss-to-be, if I liked “Tweed”? I said “yes” to which he replied “well don’t ever wear it here, I hate it!” I got the job and never wore it again……….to be continued……….

Such detail Maureen, your words bring back so many memories and smells back to life. Thank you, until next time…..

Take care

Shared Moments: Day 42 written by Maureen Kershaw

Dear all,

Day 42 – To continue on the subject of hair,  I think mostly my hair as a child was washed in Fairy household soap. The large green block cleaned just about everything, it was wonderfully soft and as it reached the end of its life, Mum would soak it in boiling water along with other bits of Fairy until it could be moulded into another block. We progressed to Silvikrin which, along with one or two others, came in a small plastic cube.

Fast forward to the 60s and hairdressing shops had become salons. A friend reminded me  of Muriel Smith’s which I didn’t visit, nor Geoffrey Oakes but two school friends went to the latter for our pre-show hairdos. We were to see Cliff and The Shadows at the Odeon and had the obligatory shampoo and set.

Beryl and Kathy went to Geoffrey Oakes and myself to  an upstairs place opposite the Red Bus Station. Beryl and I both had the same style for the occasion ‘the cottage loaf’ and I was not impressed that hers turned out better. Maybe it was the salon – hers on The Headrow, mine cheaper, round the corner on  Vicar Lane. The teenage comics of the day included ‘Jackie’ which I think was the one which gave a new hairstyle each week. Rollers of varying sizes were purchased  to follow the instructions, any straighter bits stuck down with sellotape.

The results as I recall were much the same each week and we could always tell who’d been at the sellotape by the tell-tale sign of mottles or stripes in our makeup, usually across the forehead. With the mid 60s came ‘Loops’ and a work of art. As with the bouffant look it took a lot of patience – and hairspray  to perfect.  If one was a bridesmaid the fashion was to have hair dressed in loops with individual daisies or rosebuds strategically clipped in. Oh we’ve all been there!

The poshest salon I went to was ‘Steiner’ in the Queen’s Hotel. I was in a play at the Civic Theatre and the role was of a middle aged spinster housekeeper. I thought it would be safer to go to Steiner in my lunch hour for suitable styling as the more modern salons may not have known how to tackle it. Besides should it be a disaster then I could run hurriedly across City Square, back to Quebec Street where I worked. The stylist on hearing my request that I needed to be transformed from a 20-something to ‘middle-aged’ said “It’s no problem. you’ve got an old face anyway”! I was mortified, the first and last time for Steiner but I did dine out on the story for a long time afterwards.

Names of such establishments started changing with the years. Tassy’s on Briggate and Essanelle, Schofields. I went there in the 80s and it’s where I had my ears pierced. My Mum was horrified and was convinced the procedure would damage my hearing. One had their hair styled by an Andre or Portia rather than Stanley or Joyce of yesteryear.

Hair rollers have changed over the years, who remembers heated rollers we boiled in a pan? Then came electric rollers, usually referred to as ‘Carmens’. Mine were Boots own brand but I still called them Carmens. Then there were the sponge ones which were OK but I must have replaced them three times before realising that by immersing them in water, they would restore their shape.

I never put colour on my hair in my youth, or ‘rinsed’ it as we called it back then. However at age 15 I went with my sister to her local salon, Stanley Allen on Burley Hill for ‘flashes’ (In our hair not flashes from Stanley). These days of course they are high/lowlights but this was 1965. Simone was my stylist and always wore Scholl sandals, most hairdressers did and I bought some from Grattan’s catalogue.

My work colleague Brenda and I used to go to the Mecca in the County Arcade at lunchtimes  as the Leeds United players went after their morning training. They always seemed to date hairdressers so we would change upstairs on the bus from Kirkstall to town into nylon overalls and Scholl sandals. Our pockets would have a row of hair clips and steel tail combs. We’d dance to the sounds of the 60s in front of the players, trying not to show we knew who they were – then go back to work. We never got anywhere but it was great fun!  I was able to re-enact this on stage at the West Yorkshire Playhouse two years ago in ‘Searching for the Heart of Leeds’ and BAFTA winning Writer Mark Catley said I made his job easy as I wrote the scene myself.

My major disaster with hair was ‘flashes’ – in reverse. A little shop on North Lane, Headingley, long gone unsurprisingly. It was 1973 and I came out blonde with dark flashes. I was horrified. That night I was singing with a double quartet at the Parkway Hotel and had to do something quickly so bought some purple concoction to put on after shampooing , and although it toned down slightly it was still neither “nowt nor summat”. At least it toned with our lilac evening dresses.

The following morning I travelled by train to  a ‘Gershwin’ BBC recording at Preston Guildhall. Two things stick in my mind, besides the wonderful music of Gershwin; compere Pete Murray tripped and fell onstage and I got wolf whistles on Preston station. Do blondes really have more fun, I asked myself? My hair was like straw and needed much Vitapointe which was a task in itself, trying to use the correct amount. Too much and it looked Brylcreemed. Oh the memory! Shortly afterwards I started wearing wigs. Surprised? No.

By Maureen Kershaw

Wonderful Maureen, this brought a smile to my face, thank you again……until next time

The Shows Must Go On

This week’s show is ‘Hairspray Live’ featuring Ariana Grande

Streaming from 7pm Friday 29th May and available for 48 hours.

Watch it on YouTube

“The story of Tracy Turnblad (newcomer Maddie Baillio), in 1962 Baltimore who wins a spot on a local TV dance program and ignites a campaign to integrate the show. The three-hour live event is directed by Tony Award®-winner Kenny Leon and features choreography from Tony Award®-winner Jerry Mitchell. The all-star cast includes Kristin Chenoweth, Harvey Fierstein, Ariana Grande, Derek Hough, Jennifer Hudson and Martin Short. (Original Title – Hairspray Live!) – 2016 Universal Studios.”

Covid19 Scam Alert issue 9 29.05.2020

Dear all, please find attached the latest newsletter from West Yorkshire Trading Standards. Please also note the trending scams. One being the new NHS Test and Trace scam. The NHS will not be asking you for your bank details.

There have been further reports of scams, doorstep Crime and business complaints all relating to the COVID-19 pandemic here in West Yorkshire.

This news alert will give you an indication of the current situation here in West Yorkshire.

Take care

Click on link:

WYTS Weekly news alert issue 9. 29.05.2020 – Copy

Snapshot in Time: ‘Keeping Busy’ in Woodhouse, Little London, Centre of Leeds and Montserrat!

Dear all,
Our friends and neighbours of Delph View and Craven Road have shared some more pictures of themselves keeping busy: baking, drawing and playing skittles.
Sylvia has shared a picture of her going for a long hilly trek in Montserrat just before the lockdown, she made it! Sylvia is now trekking around Little London and will send us some pictures in the coming weeks. She has also sent you a picture of the view she had when in Montserrat. Loving that Sylvia, thanks again for sharing your view with us.
And finally one of our members has been busy making more homemade Jam. It is tasty! Thank you for your kindness and generosity. We are sharing it I promise!

National Theatre at Home – This House

This week’s play is This House by James Graham and it streams from 7pm today (Thursday 28th May)

Watch This House on YouTube

“It’s 1974, and Britain has a hung Parliament. The corridors of Westminster ring with the sound of infighting and backstabbing as the political parties battle to change the future of the nation. This House is a timely, moving and funny insight into the workings of British politics by James Graham (Ink, ITV’s Quiz) and directed by Jeremy Herrin (People, Places and Things).

You can watch This House from 7pm UK time on Thursday 28 May until 7pm UK time on Thursday 4 June 2020. It was filmed live on stage at the National Theatre in 2013.

The running time is 2 hours 40 minutes with a very short interval. It is subtitled. The play is suitable for ages 14+ with some strong language throughout.”

National Theatre at Home. Enjoy world-class theatre while we’re closed

Shared Moments: Day 40 ‘My concerns relating to haircuts’ by Maureen Kershaw

Dear all,

Day 40 – My concerns relating to haircuts – or not – brings to mind hairstyles and associated disasters through the ages I hope these will resonate with many.

Sometime around the age of 7, my hair was given a centre parting and fringe – which now, I suppose, would be called a ‘classic bob’. I believe it was styled at a hairdressers on Brudenell Road which had two or three cubicles for individual and private cutting, setting or perms. The styling went through the varying stages to a reading of ‘My Weekly’ or similar under the dryer, all behind your own closed door. Strange!

There again my hair could have been cut at Lewis’s. The children’s hairdressing dept. on the 1st floor was roughly above what is now the cigarette counter of Sainsburys in Dortmund Square. Children sat on toy animals as I remember, rather like a fairground ride, which if they did move would account for a less than neat cut. Photos in folders displaying “School Days are Happy Days” (to which I strongly disagreed) showed a fringe of frightening proportions over the years. My hair refused to curl; oh how I tried with those bulldog-type wave clips – without success.

My Mum used to have Prom home perms carried out by a neighbour. Our house would stink! (from the perming lotion not the neighbour).I wasn’t allowed a perm until I was 11 years old, in readiness for a holiday at Butlin’s, Skegness. I did win 2nd prize in the Butlin’s Miss Elegance contest but I think it was for my dress and deportment, not from the shoulders up. For Children’s Day 1960 I had a shampoo and set before participating in English Country Dancing. Rollered and well lacquered, I think most of the ‘set’ had disappeared by the time we hit the arena at Roundhay Park.

As a bridesmaid for my sister’s wedding the customary hairdo was styled at T H Whiteley & Daughters on The Headrow on the Friday afternoon. By Saturday not many curls and waves survived under the peach petalled headdress from Denton’s in Thornton’s Arcade; not helped either by a heavy snow shower. There were no fancy names for hairdressers in those days and bore names such as Margaret Fenton or Sylvia’s. ‘Crowning Glory’ being the exception for naming, it was the salon of choice for my first staff dance hairdo. Looking at a photo of the occasion I don’t think it was worth the bus journey to Armley, but multi Award winners nevertheless they were.

In 1962 Beatle cuts were all the rage and not just for men. A home movie shows a young Maureen sporting the cut and I wish to this day that the tape had burnt out at that point. (8mm projectors had a habit of suddenly destroying the tape, usually at a treasured moment – but this section sadly remains). Another 1960s style was of course the bouffant look. The strongest setting lotion was applied after shampooing before being put into rollers and topped with a hairnet, tied at the back. On Saturday shopping trips to town, many women were seen sporting their rollers under a headscarf. I was always forbidden from such practice as Mum said it was “common”. Much backcombing and lacquer spraying from a gunged up plastic bottle of Rainette was required for the bouffant look. To retain it, we would sleep in hair rollers! What we did for vanity eh? It must have been so uncomfortable and I was constantly nagged by Mum that they would damage my brain! We’ll leave that one there…

Written by Maureen Kershaw, local resident and member of Caring Together

This has brought back memories Maureen. I got my first perm in the mid 70s, I remember they used cotton wool around the edges of the rollers to stop the perming solution dripping down. yet it still did. And you’re right the smell is distinct. It stung my eyes too.

Poetry Corner: ‘Thinking’ By Walter D. Wintle – 27th May 2020

Thinking By Walter D. Wintle

If you think you are beaten, you are
If you think you dare not, you don’t,
If you like to win, but you think you can’t
It is almost certain you won’t.

If you think you’ll lose, you’re lost
For out of the world we find,
Success begins with a fellow’s will
It’s all in the state of mind.

If you think you are outclassed, you are
You’ve got to think high to rise,
You’ve got to be sure of yourself before
You can ever win a prize.

Life’s battles don’t always go
To the stronger or faster person,
But soon or late the person who wins
Is the person WHO THINKS THEY CAN!

note: I have added person in place of man in the later part to be inclusive of all – dated 18th May 2020

Oliver still musing in lockdown…written by Oliver Cross

Oliver still musing in lockdown

THIS week I listened to the first of President Franklin D Roosevelt’s 30 ‘fireside chats’ – the radio broadcasts he made throughout his presidency (1933-1945) to reassure Americans going through the worst (and a few of the best) of times that the government knew what it was doing and things would turn out right.

I thought FDR, who led America out of the Great Depression and through the New Deal, Pearl Harbour and the Second World War, might have some tips for modern leaders, who like to describe their situations as completely unprecedented even when, as with the present plague, they’re not.

The background to Roosevelt’s inaugural radio chat has parallels to Boris Johnson’s TV address on the easing of Covid-19 regulations, except that Roosevelt’s crisis was about money rather than lives (not that the two can be easily separated).

Roosevelt had just been elected president and Johnson had just recovered from  coronavirus and both needed to make their mark. America, like Britain, had been through a kind of lockdown – the nation was in a financial panic and all banks had been shut to stop depositors withdrawing their funds. Roosevelt’s task was to announce the imminent reopening of the banks without sparking another money stampede.

Both leaders had to proceed carefully but Roosevelt evidently thought his message could be best promoted by explaining the banking dilemma plainly and patiently.  True, he stretched things a bit by pretending to speak from an actual fireside rather than a broadcasting studio, but his tone, understated and homely, seemed completely authentic and he attracted, by a margin of millions, the biggest audiences of the radio age.  .

Johnson is a thoroughly modern premier for the visual age; the nation needs, he thinks, meaningless graphs illustrating the declining death rate in kindergarten colours but with no figures attached.

It needs leaders with sharp and emphatic hand gestures, even at the risk of looking a little like Benito Mussolini; it needs the message to be distilled into slogans (such as ‘Stay alert’) which can be written in bright graphics and it needs random words and phrases to be emphasised by booming them out loudly, because otherwise we might forget that we are in mortal peril and nod off.

There are many photographs of Roosevelt delivering his fireside chats. He is surrounded by a bank of microphones plastered with the names of  broadcasting  networks and there isn’t a fireside in sight.

Yet, by some miracle of the radio age, a conversation seems to be taking place. Roosevelt’s tone is thoughtful and slogan-free; as if he’s talking rather than Making  A Statement. And, which is impossible, he seems to be listening as well as talking, having the same quiet, attentive manner as Alastair Cooke in his old Letter from America broadcasts.

In his first chat, Roosevelt explained that the biggest banks would open the next morning and the second-order banks in the next few days. America’s  many small-time banks and loan companies, however, would have to wait until their finances were put in order, which might take time, as illustrated in the 194m6  film which always goes down well in troubled times, It’s a Wonderful Life.

Thank you Oliver, until next time….