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Friday, 5 July 2019


Available for freelance writing commissions on a variety of subjects including family history, nostalgic Belfast and its famous people, shops, shoppers & shopping, the golden age of Hollywood (esp westerns) and humorous pieces on life's weird and wonderful. Op-eds, columns, non-fiction book reviews too. & @JoeCushnan

A while ago, I paid several research visits to the splendid Belfast newspaper archives, down the side of the Central Library and couldn't help but notice that, in the early 1960s, advertisements dominated front pages. Here's a few to show how the world changes.

'The most wonderful gift a wife could wish for...' 
A woman's place and all that back in the day. I can feel the heat of boiling blood from 2019!

WANTED - Dead or Alive
'Free collection service throughout N Ireland.
Live animals humanely destroyed by our agent before removal.
Prompt payment for all carcasses over 3 cwt, degutted.'

Ciggies for Christmas. 'The ideal gift'.

More ciggies for Christmas. '7'6 for 50'

'Where are they off to in such a hurry? They're off to the corner cafe where they'll meet their boyfriends and have a glass of milk, the way the young do these days.'

You looking' at me? Ciggies are cool!

'What a disgrace! Muddy boots, in and out, and the doorstep's filthy again. So first things first - get it clean before the neighbours see, and then take in the milk. Pour a pinta. Sip it slowly. Feel the better for its pure cool creaminess, and then get cleaning again.' Ha, ha, ha. You almost feel they were going to add: WOMAN!

Ciggies are romantic.

'He really does think she is beautiful. They've been out dancing several Saturdays now and each time he's fallen for her a little bit more. Now he's almost prepared to say so! Dancing's fun - but in the circumstances so is just sitting and talking. And sipping a long cool pinta. When he's had his, anyway, he reckons he can out-twist anyone in the room - and she can keep up with him and look beautiful doing it.'

Did I mention, ciggies are romantic?

There's a treasure trove of nostalgia in the newspaper archives. Might be a few articles or even a book about the good old bad old days!

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