The Real Ghostbusters

I knew the Ghostbusters films as a kid. You couldn’t really escape Ghostbusters as it was one of those things that was really big with children. I could be mis remembering but one Halloween I am sure I remember my cousin having a proton pack.

But personally it is the animation which came after the film that I have more vivid memories of not surprising, as there were a lot more episodes and I was a lot more free to watch that being that it was aimed squarely at me.

The premiese is the same as the film, they’re a team of ghost hunters who travel round in their odd car Ecto 1, which had a weird siren as I recall.

I don’t think I really made the connection between the characters in the cartoon and the film being the same. I remember thinking that Egon looked really weird and had no sense that he was in fact based on a real person.

Being an animation allowed for a bit more creative freedom and being aimed at kids the humour could be pushed a bit more and sometimes other boundaries too.

The real premiere?

It was ‘The Real’ Ghostbusters because there was already an animation called Ghostbusters but in one brilliant episode the whole universe got turned upside down and the cartoon characters went to the premiere of the film on which the series based. Fantastic.

And let’s not forget Slimer their friendly ghost who stole the show most of the time, for me at least.

Milkfloats (and milkmen)

The electric motors in traditional milkfloats have such a recognisable sound. The whiney hum that they would produce, occasionally the rattle of the milk bottles too.

Very much long gone from most of the streets of Britain but when I was you g they were everywhere. The milkman delivered your milk, it was the only way you could get milk.

Our milk was delivered by Express dairies, I know this because I remember the distinct E logo on the glass bottles. Their depot was only around the corner from my home so that milk didn’t really have far to come.

The milk was delivered every morning but I remember the milkman coming around every other week on a Friday afternoon for the payment. I couldn’t work out as a kid why he wouldn’t deliver the milk and collect the payment at the same time.

The idea of having milk delivered daily has almost died out. As someone who works in the early hours of the morning I can confirm there are still milkfloats, but they look like vans and don’t have that distinctive noise, in fact they have almost no noise at all.

A modern day milk float. It looks like a regular van but is earily quiet.

I’m not sure where having milk delivered became the exception rather than the rule, it feels like it happened suddenly without notice, almost overnight but I imagone it happened at the same time we began to accept buying clothes in supermarkets.

Then there is the fact that we now live such face paced 24 hour lives that the notion of waiting for you milk to be delivered, or even a traditional morning routine seems like a quant idea from ‘the olden days’ but I don’t really consider my childhood to qualify as that, not yet at least.

Kellogg’s Toppas

Shredded Wheet but with a frosted topping on top that was always bound to appeal to kids. I loved them and I also didn’t mind their sister product Rasin Splitz either.

Still avaliable if you look in the right shops.

Topas didn’t go away but they did change their name to Frosted Wheats and have been avaliable to this day, although they seem to be becoming more and more scarce which is a shame!

Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles

What happens when teenagers and turtles collide? They become Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles. Yep HERO Turtles because that’s how they were known over here because Ninja was considered potentially too violent for the children of Britain.

As one of those children of a Britain I was a fan and I think I still am. The Turtles were the first series I remember which really pushed merchandise, they were everywhere.

I had one or two of these…

Each episode was pretty much the same something bad happened, usually at the hands of Shredder (voiced by Uncle Phil from the Fresh Prince of Bel Air) or his boss Krang. But it was brilliant, entertaining and a show that spoke to kids, occasionally literally when they broke the fourth wall.

There was a character for everyone, my favourite was Donatello, he was probably the turtle I associated with most – a bit geeky but quick witted. I guess that was its main appeal to children.

Go on name them all…

Technically speaking it wasn’t perfect. There were times Raphael would talk but he was mysteriously wearing Leonardo’s bandana and on one occasion one of the turtles mouths was about 3 feet from their body. I spotted these as a kid but it still didn’t put me off.

The Racoons

The Evergreen Forest, quiet, peaceful, sareen, that is until Bert Racoon gets up and so a million Saturday mornings began.

The Racoons came from Canada but over here they arrived on Saturday mornings just before Going Live. The storyline revolved around the good guys (the racoons) Bert was the main focus but a bit haphazard.

His life would be peaceful except for Cyril Snear… the bad guy who almost always was up to no good and something that would affect the other Racoons but fortunately his son was Cedric who happened to be friends with Bert and therefore the good guys would always win.

Cyril Sneer, an evil Aardvark

Cyril and Cedric incidentaly, were meant to be Aardvarks but they fall into a long line of Aardvarks that look nothing like the real thing, they’re pink with bendy noses, Otis The Aardvark and Children’s BBC puppet had fluffy ears and Arthur from the titular cartoon has no nose at all.

Back to the Racoons and not forgetting the three pigs that were Cyril Sneer’s henchmen and the dog friends of the Racoons, there was certainly a lot of wildlife in the Evergreen forest.

But overall the series was enjoyable it charmed me as a kid on a Saturday morning and when they replaced it with (Lois and Clark) The New Adventures of Superman it didn’t really have the same appeal, at least Live and Kicking would show the Rugrats.

Fiendish Feet

A yoghurt from yesteryear. When you’re a little kid the only thing that really mattered was how cool the yoghurt pots were. Fiendish Feet had legs so won hands down.

You have to hand it to the marketing team at St. Ivel (remember them?), its as though someone came up with getting the youghurt pots legs while someone else came up with spooky faces for the pots themselves and they just put the two together.

Each had their own face which was usually something frankenstien-esque with a suitable scary name to go alongside them and support the idea of them being fiendish.

Spooky Wooky was not really the greatest of names.

They appealed to me as a kid and not just at Halloween, which was never as big a deal then as it is now. They seemed to go away for a bit (or at least I wasn’t consuming them) then came back with little stumpy legs but no feet to really speak of.

It was all about the pots, come to think of it I am not even sure I was that keen on what was in the pot.

Inspector Gadget

Not an obscure one at all, I’m sure there are loads of people who remember Inspector Gadget. Go Go Gadget Arms…

Gadget was a robot uncle to Penny, I’ve really understood the backstory there but she always called him Uncle Gadget. He was a bumbling police inspector who would try and solve crimes but mostly really it was Penny who would do the solving and then put herself in peril.

Penny, Brain and Inspector Gadget, he was always enthusiastic about everything.

Gadget naturally was there to assist her but was oblivious to the danger to her and himself and so it would be the pet dog, Brain who would typically save the day.

The main enemy was Dr. Claw who always promised “I’ll get you next time Gadget… Next time…” with a very raspy voice and of course he never did.

For me a personal memory of this was it being shown daily on CITV in the mornings during what I think was my first ever summer holiday. I think that because I distinctly remember feeling like it (and Inspector Gadget) had been going on forever.

The theme tune was good too and I didn’t regret making my kids sit down and watch it with me more recently on Netflix…

When out of town shopping was a big event

The above photo is of a local co-op Hypermarket, long gone, the site now occupied by a big Asda a common sight up and down the country but back when I was a kid a visit to the Hypermarket was a special event.

Although we lived fairly close to the Hypermarket generally the shopping was done in the much smaller Tesco (these days a Tesco Metro to give you a sense of the scale). A trip to the Hypermarket was usually for a special occasion.

They don’t make these when they open up the latest Tesco Extra thesedays.

Inside the store seems huge you’d enter through a clothing department, there was even a carpet showroom at the back of the store. In later years they added a Morrisons style Market Street complete with fake windows above the ‘shops’.

Best of all there was a restaurant, park up the trolley and then we’d go in for a snack or a light lunch. The best seats were next to the fish tanks that were built into the wall.

All of this added to the feeling that this shopping trip was an event and not just yet another trawl round the shops. Best of all when you got through the checkouts there was the ice cream counter. Sweet memories.

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