Top 10 memories – growing up in the ’40s

Michael Wolff, born in the mid ’30s, looks back on his top 10 memories from the 40s.

1940 Spitfire For me, aged 7, the musical whine of the Supermarine Merlin engine was the sound of merciless triumph.

1941 Chocolate coated Ryvita
I’m the only person in the world who remembers this wondrous and delicious product. I couldn’t find any trace of it on the web. Dark chocolate on tasteless crisp bread – a subtle way to make minimal wartime chocolate both taste delicious and last longer.

1942 Disney’s Bambi
I saw this tragic film during a parental weekend visit to one of the dreadful (full of dread ) boarding schools in which I was incarcerated. The fire made me fear for my mother’s life in London where she lived during the blitz.

1943 Bassett-Lowke clockwork classic M7 s
A treasured and cherished possession – I took it to school, looked at it daily, and marvelled at its supreme quality.



1944 Willys jeep

My dad was spending time in the US. On one occasion
he visited me at school with two US army officers and we drove off in the jeep in front of envious boys. It marked the end of the disdain I’d suffered for being foreign.

1945 First biro made in the UK 1945 Another rare gift – a status symbol from my dad.  It leaked, caused smudges and stained fingers and made me and my clothes smell disgusting. I was forbidden to use it.

1946 the banana came back
Their arrival was marked a magic post war moment.

1947 R1155 military radio
This was of my most treasured possessions. At fifteen I still imagined that I’d played a part in winning the war.

1948 Raleigh racing bike
A conspicuous, mighty and breath-taking gift from my parents – it embarrassed me and caused both scorn and envy.

1949 Health and Efficiency
It came in a plain envelope. Printed on glossy paper with a smell I can still remember. It was my front door into sexual fantasy and the marvellous wonder and promise of girls.

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